Monday, March 19, 2012

Would You Like Some Cotton Candy with Your Ignorance?

As of October 2012, I will have been Out as a Lesbian for about six years, and Out as having some type of interest in women for about eleven years.  I hear a lot, these days, about how I should be thankful that the Gay (or GLBTQI) movement has come so far, and that things are so great here in Canada for being Lesbian – and to be fair, I will admit, that when you compare us to places like Russia, where they’re still passing laws that decree you can’t even talk about being Gay ; or areas of India where you can still be put to death for homosexuality, yeah, we’re clearly somewhat ahead in the race.

That having been said, however, I live in what I would very seriously define as the most Conservative capital city in the entirety of fucking Canada – and that’s Alberta included.  Now, I’ve lived here for almost eleven years, and in a great many ways I’ve grown accustomed to that Conservatism, but for the most part it’s something that I have blatantly chosen to either disregard or very specifically act in polar opposite to.  For example, I have walked the city for years with buttons pinned down the chest area of my bookbag strap which fairly obviously describe my sexuality, I used to have a tank top I’d wear in the Summer that said “Tickle Me Lesbo,” and I generally Out myself in a conversation with someone I’ve just met in less than ten minutes.

I’ve had countless conversations with people over the years about how being a Femme Lesbian puts me in a situation where day-to-day life is about constantly Outing myself and reasserting my stance in juxtaposition to my sexuality.  I am by no means conceited, and when men flirt in my direction I very often miss it, as men very rarely register on my radar, but very often I am met with suspicion on all fronts (hetero men and women, professional, personal and my own subculture), until I state my sexuality for all to hear so they can begin building the boundaries they feel are necessary to make themselves comfortable.

It’s true that you can “be Gay” in Fredericton.  Nobody is going to chase you down the street and attack you (certainly not in the light of day, anyway – and it’s been years since I’ve heard of attacks downtown in the bar district), nobody stands around protesting with signs, nor are people very publicly verbal about slurs or comments.  But you don’t have to scratch very far below that surface to notice things, if you really pay attention, which reaffirm the city’s Conservatism even after eleven years.

I’ve been fired for being a Lesbian in this city, I’ve been harassed on the job and had to drag co-workers in front of Union reps for formal apologies.  I’ve had managers who got very noticeably uncomfortable when I honestly answered the (very gender-specific) question of “Do you have a boyfriend or husband?”  I’ve been admonished for being “too visibly” Lesbian, I’ve had verging-on-screaming matches with Pastors in the city about whether or not God really hates Gays. (I’m also a Lesbian Christian, but that’s a ran t for another day.)  And none of that is even including general, indignant “Why do you need a Gay Pride Parade?” conversations I’ve had with people who were supposed to be my friends.

Some days are easier than others, for dealing with all of this knowledge.  Unfortunately, today wasn’t one of the easy days.  When I go out places with my girlfriend, it becomes even more visibly obvious that we are not just two friends out and about.  She is the sinfully hot Butch to my bubbly Femme, and we present that way without having to work at it.  And ever since we began dating, I started noticing more and more that even though Fredericton tends not to be forwardly verbal with their discrimination, they love to stare in a way that very often insinuates their distaste.  It was this side of six weeks ago that we went to a popular Sports bar and restaurant here, and upon getting up to leave I asked my girlfriend why she was making her “what the fuck is your problem?!”face, to which she responded that there was an older gentleman at another table that had been making faces at her the entire time we were eating our meal. 

We get stared at almost everywhere we go, and while on the good days I can ignore it or pass it off in some sort of flattering way, there are some days (such as today) where it just irks me.  Because if you’ve ever lived in Fredericton and been aware of the Gay subculture, you can see that even though Fredericton is not dangerous to be Gay in, most Gays chose NOT to be visibly Gay here.  So for those of us who do, we regularly get gawked at by people too faint of heart to scream their slurs at us on the street.  I completely identify, at 28 years old, what animals in cages at a zoo must feel like every day - that sensation that people are looking because you are a curiosity; as though they expect you to suddenly perform Circus side show tricks for their amusement during their afternoons they’re away from Hicksville.  I get the most frustrating and angry urges to walk up to these people who do quadruple takes at me and my girlfriend holding hands and ask them if they’d like some cotton candy.

Today was one of those frustrating days – to the degree I wanted to escape the public entirely.  Upon sitting in the same side of a booth table in the restaurant we chose for breakfast, the waitress eyed us with very thinly veiled disapproval and asked us if we were “expecting others.”  She then proceeded to SHUSH me while I was laughing (and I’ll be the first to admit that my laughter is intensely unique and loud, yes), but my gut told me the shushing was much more about “Oh God, don’t draw attention to the Lesbians in the corner booth now that the restaurant is filling up!” than it was about volume.  Breakfast was followed by getting gawked at by just about seventy dozen (yes, frustrated exaggeration) people in Wal-Mart.  I imagine that some days the monkeys find it easier to be in the zoo than other days, as well.

I am blessed to have a strong, magnificent Butch woman who, even though she is new to being in this type of spotlight when it comes to the subculture and the city, handles this particular frustration very well.  I often worry that the gawking upsets her, as she would be much less used to being stared at than me, if we’re talking years in experience.  But somehow she manages to keep any embarrassment or frustration she may have from surfacing, and also soothes mine in the process.  Until this point in my life, I was never entirely convinced of that old adage “falling more and more in love” with someone, but my God that woman has converted me completely.

So yeah – you won’t die in Canada for being Queer, and in this particular city, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever get picketed or beaten to death for it, either.  But don’t let the complacency of a city full of Conservatives fool you.  Most of them don’t like you in their backyard any better than they ever did.  They’re just too traditionally Canadian-raised polite to spit in your face.  They wait until they get home behind closed doors to bitch to their hetero partners about the Dykes they saw at the restaurant this morning.  And while I appreciate living somewhere that I won’t die for being a Lesbian, it would be nice to be able to walk down the street someday while I hold the Love of my Life’s hand and not have to feel a hundred sets of eyes burning holes in my back.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Who Am I to You?

(Original Write Date - February 14, 2012)

I often come awake screaming.  Shards of half-sentences abusing their way out of my mouth.  Who am I to you?  Who were you before it all started?  And I gasp there, entangled among bed sheets, swearing to myself that this time, THIS time I’ll make myself believe it:  That you live far better without me, that I mean nothing and I should turn to the wall and go back to sleep.

I often pour over your artwork for hours, my eyes glut upon the beauty, the pain, the darkness, and the stark understanding I cannot leave in a comment below.

(Your art talks in metaphor and hard feelings pushed through narrow realities into the living beautiful)

Who would you be now, without him?  Where would you be?  Out of mediocrity, out of the dark?  Further in, or in a darkness of another kind entirely?  My mind begs me to leave these thoughts, but I can’t and I don’t.  I twist and turn the knife, wearing your clothes, burning virtual holes through your art, your portraits, your soul put up for all of a website world to see.  I long to tell you everything, yet everything never comes, my love.

When I first saw you, did I think, Here is someone complete?  Or, oppositely, did I consider, Here is someone unfinished? – (for you were always art, my darling, splashed upon a palate that I did not know was my life). You are still unfinished, gathering pieces of yourself, through paint, through shared characters of role-play, through the screaming childbirth darkness that sometimes gets the better of you.  Gathering, as though you were shot across the country like marbles, some of you here, some of you in Montreal, some of you still lost in provinces not yet explored ... and with no idea whose turn it is to shoot.

I liked how you were then:  A woman on the verge of everything that is worth being on the verge of – the verge of an ending, of a beginning, a woman on the verge of her own madness but in the best possible way.  You were turning the page, and seeing yourself in all the chapters laid out before you, with a look of dazzle-ment in your eyes, as though you’d forgotten the book altogether and put it down thinking those chapters were never a possibility.  It was as though I tripped into In Love at the same time I reflected your own strength back into your eyes.  We left the gates running, without considering the race.

But even in that, I lie.  We considered well, often and without shame.  I was jubilant at the expectation of seeing you lay down your mediocrity; to close the pages to the book you’d written to now.  You’re still at the desk ... even as the wick threatens to sputter off into the melted tallow. Oh, love, alas . . .

Who am I to you?

I twist, in your clothing, breathless to prove I have not dreamed you out of desperation.  I scream until winded, at the frustration of not being an artist of your genius – I cannot paint you, or sketch your incredibleness . . . I turn to my own gift, and fail to find words.  Fuck words, I fail to even find language.  No utterance of vocal consonant combination or ancient scribed symbols burn hot enough or etch deep enough into screen or paper to show you, the life we’re not living down the right side of the fork I wedged into the story you were trying to tell.  Journals open, journals close – all their blank pages merely reminder that I have a story to tell that has no right tools to speak it.

I force myself to look into his eyes . . .  I cannot tell you how often.  Fascinated – morbidly -  seeking similarity, understanding, sympathy, amusement?

(twist the knife, twist the knife)

What do I know?  I’ve never built anything.  Yet all I see in his face is a blankness, and the feeling that you are both somehow still unfinished, as you plod on.  I bleed out, I bleed out.

When I met you, Woman-on-the-Verge, you were strength and health and beauty.  Direction had nestled itself inside of you, with a knowing of what was yes and what was no.  You rose and bloomed like a flower on the cusp of its very own life.  Almost everything I have ever prayed for, I have received.  And then learned how to leave it behind.

I come awake, without you.  Rolling over, rolling over, to more and more empty.  You have no idea how much you fascinate me, I whisper to the darkness.  Who am I to you?  It has hurt, my love, to see you turn your back on the verge you so gracefully had climbed.  I watch the wick flicker, a flame too close to the end.  Let me light you, again, I whisper in my dreams.  I do not like who you are with him.  You are unfinished – and the story has so much more that needs to be written.

I am your ending.

I often come awake screaming, because you keep refusing to finish the book.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Devil You Don't Know

One of the most important and hardest lessons to learn so far in life has been the lesson that it is not my responsibility to fix people. While I believe that all of us have a touch of this in us, for some it is more of a hump to get over than others. I know for me, at times, it was akin to climbing Everest. And I am ever aware of the backsliding.

For as long as I can remember, I have felt some sort of ingrained mission to fix other peoples' miseries and situations. For those of us who spent as much time raising and protecting our parents/siblings as our parents did us, the root of this can be obvious. Whether obvious or inobvious, however, this tendency in me has proven more unhealthy than healthy in the long run, and after 27 years, I have let it go.

It kept me imprisoned in unhealthy relationships, pushing for my partners' miraculous mental revelations. It kept me dating and settling for chronically unhealthy women with no hope of ever seeing the light at one end of their darkness. It has pulled me into negative energy spaces with friends who seem to have no interest in viable, long-term solutions to their immediate miseries.

When I first entered therapy a couple years ago and unloaded all that was weighing me down, my therapist looked at me and responded (in not so many words), "These things are all sad or unfortunate, but they're not your problems."  I don't think my mind could really comprehend it at first. I had no boundaries. No rules about what was mine and what was someone else's to handle. Those people, however unhealthy, were my partners, my friends, my family, and admitting it wasn't my responsibility felt like abandonment.

The process of letting go has been long, and hard, but so very worth it. I had to learn that love, true or otherwise, can be poisonous, and there is no way to love someone harder or better in order to change that. I had to see that some people really do prefer the devil they know to anything else, because misery can be soothing in its familiarity. In waking up and looking around, I saw the darkness in addiction, and that not everyone is as ambitious, or stubbornly-willed as you might hope in your love for them.

In trying to put distance between myself and the people/situations in my life that were perpetuating my need to play savior, it made room for healthy people to appear/reappear in my life, including one of the most important of all. Talk about freedom and joy.  It surprises and pleases me when people see this change in me. Feeling the change in myself at first was even exhausting. The devil you don't know can take a lot of energy at first. But when people started bringing up how happy I was all the time, I knew all the pain and exhaustion of moving through it was worth it. I had to get used to a smile on my own face. I had to remember how much I giggle.

I am ever grateful to the people who have stayed in my life through all of this. I am thankful for the new people I have met, and blessed in the necessary loved ones who have returned. As for those I have lost, I cherish you, and my wish will always be for you to become the saviors of your own destinies. Sometimes the best way to love yourself and others is to let go. Sometimes it's the only way, if you want to see that person grow.

~ Mar

Monday, February 14, 2011

Six Degrees of Awkward Gay Social Separation

For any of you who have followed my blog to this point, you’ve heard me touch on the shallow subculture pool (and all that entails) and my thoughts on what I like to call musical exes.  This entry is a slight branch out from that, inspired by a friend’s Facebook status (as well as a few other things).

In all my 27 years, I have always had friends that other friends or other people couldn’t understand why I’m friends with them.  They’d meet the person in question and say things like, “She seems angry,” or “a lot of maintenance” or “they seem dark,” etcetera.  I guess it never occurred to these naysayers that what may seem one thing to them was something else entirely to me - that maybe that person fills a space in my life that maybe somebody “easier” would not.

Now, this is not specific to the subculture, but take what I’ve described above and put a subculture twist on it.  I am currently friends with someone whose ex is dating my ex.  I have also made out with the person that one of my favourite people is currently romancing.  It’s been said that we are actually lucky if we have as much as six full degrees of separation here in the subculture pond that is so small you can practically spit across, and for the most part, it’s true.

Situations like this can definitely be awkward.  We don’t always exist in a space where we can effectively avoid each other, if avoidance is our tactic of choice.  So when someone has just ended a relationship with someone and that person starts seeing someone that you may have previously been seeing, life gets awkward.  That part is unavoidable, and certainly not what I’ve come to discuss, because short of expecting people to leave the city, it’s not a problem that’s solvable.  However  . . .

We all know that relationships (romantic or otherwise) rarely end on a good note or with any sense of amicability (at least right away).  Chances are great that if you just ended something and your ex starts seeing someone you know, you’ve got lingering issues and more than a few choice words you’d like to share.  Often, in the subculture, you see a sort of power struggle ensue – two lesbians break up and there seems to almost be some sort of invisible game of marbles happening, to determine who was friends with what friends first and who’s going to walk away afterward with the most of them.  This struggle often tries to take place on margins of who was right and who was wrong, when relationships almost never fit squarely into right and wrong categories.  I disdain this power struggle – my hope is that someday people will understand that we’re all mucking along in the same world, no better equipped than anyone else to be passing judgement on people or relationships and how they best function.

That having been said brings me to the main point.  Gossip.  Or trash-talking.  Or any other way you might like to color it.  People trying to tell other people what person might be bad, or damaged for them.  Where do we get off, I wonder, telling someone that a person we once cared about who may have hurt us in ending something, is somehow too broken, or crazy, or [insert gossip here] to be in someone else’s life?  Who are we to say who is good or bad?  We’re all damaged, we’re all messed up in our own ways, and to sort of steal a line from RENT, just because my baggage may not go with yours, doesn’t mean that it won’t go with someone else’s in a way you’re unable to see.

And yet we do.  We judge, and push, we gossip people away from others.  We whisper in the club and elsewhere.  “Do you know what happened?” and “Oh, I can’t believe you’re friends with that person.”  Get off it, people.  We are all able to make our own decisions, regarding who is ‘too crazy’ for us and who isn’t, or who fills a space in our lives that may not have filled a space for you.  I am pleased to have enough confidence in my own judgement in people to decide whether someone being my friend or lover is healthy for me, no matter how unhealthy that person may previously have been for you.  We are all only human, and at the end of the day, I believe with every fibre of the heart I wear on my sleeve that people are worth the benefit of the doubt, every time.  Call it flaw, if you like, but it’s brought me the best people in my life, and taught me the most important lessons, as well.

So yes, I’m aware that I’ve pissed off my share of people in the subculture.  I’ve got exes; both from friendships and romantic relationships, and maybe some of them still carry enough anger/judgement to want to turn people off from me.  I try to be understanding, and I always forgive.  Because we’re all wandering, and nobody’s really doing it better than anyone else, as much as we’d like to believe otherwise.  The ones who are worth it will listen with their hearts instead of their ears, and stick around to make the right decisions about who is deserving of their time.  To those I have loved and cared about, and those I do love and care about, I wish you all nothing but happiness and truth in your wanderings.  Listen with your hearts, for the ground is level under our feet, and you have all been beautiful to me.

“I know that it’s easier to portray a world that’s filled with cynicism and anger, where problems are solved with violence.  That’s titillating.  It’s an easy out.  What’s a whole lot tougher is to offer alternatives, to present other ways conflicts can be resolved, and to show that you can have a positive impact on your world.  To do that, you have to put yourself out on a limb, take chances, and run the risk of being called a do-gooder.” – Jim Henson

~ Mar

Monday, January 3, 2011

The More We Get Together

Recently, I was having a conversation with a woman who co-pastors an eclectic type of "home church" here in the city.  This conversation was about many things, but one of the more interesting things that came up was my thoughts and frustrations regarding the incestuous feeling of the GLBTQI dating scene here in Fredericton, and the drama cycle this seems to perpetuate.  "Just once I'd like to meet a woman where I don't know her ex, her ex's ex, and all their friends in between."  It's recently reached a point where if I see an attractive dyke around that doesn't seem familiar, I can safely and usually accurately assume that they're not native to Fredericton's scene.

My pastor friend's theory, to give you the gist, is that incest (if you take it out of the blood-relative context) breeds a sort of self-focussed, destructive energy.  "A community (or family) that is focussed only on and within itself is going to suffer from unhealthy emotional issues and perpetuate a host of common tics and problems."  We of course discussed how this crosses more than just sexuality boundaries, and is the reason too why so many Christian churches fall in on themselves - the failure to look outward and bring that energy to the larger world.

As far as this theory relates to the subculture though, I both agree and disagree.  One thing to consider is that most GLBTQI communities are incestuous not by choice but by necessity.  "Sub"-culture inherently infers smaller than the community it exists within.  With Fredericton being a small city to start with, one can only assume that even the straights in the area have had more than one experience with playing musical exes.  The smaller the dating pool, the more likely to find this problem.  Moving outside of your local dating area is an option, but not always practical - or even doable for those who can't manage long distance.  Let's be honest, folks, some of us aren't even good at relationships here within city limits, let alone cross-province.

Musical exes appears to me to be one of the things most complained about in the community.  But Debi made a comment once upon a time over coffee that's relevant here, too, and that is, for the most part even though the community is incestuous, there is a feeling that we all have each others' backs if it were to come down to it.  Whether this is something that's inherent in the more literal sense of incest I don't know, possibly.  Also, keep in mind, this relevant comment on the theory has different layers and levels in my opinion, too.  We here in Fredericton seem to talk a lot of game when it comes to breaking up with someone and the anger we allow into that experience.  But IF that ex were on fire on the street, would we piss on them to put them out?  I like to believe for the most part yes.  Not only that, there are varied experiences and spaces that we are operating within daily in this regard.  We have Pride meetings, and go to the club and manage passable friendly dynamics with people that may be avoiding us in "real life."  In playground terms, we "make nice" in the community, with a very human sense of community loyalty lurking beneath the surface of our wounded, musical relationship facades.

I don't think I believe that the GLBTQI community will ever necessarily fall in on itself because of this necessary incest, but I do think we have mini-quakes of falling in ourselves individually.  We rally, we move around each other, and slowly build each other back up in new ways with expansions and growth of the heart.  I think this is necessary, and beautiful.  I've always wondered if maybe the smallness of the community and the limited number of people is God/dess/whoever's way of playing the ultimate joke on us.  I like to think that maybe ALL our partners/soulmates/etc. do actually live in this community frame.  We just have to wait for the music to stop in front of the right chair, however long that takes.  And it very well could be that partner IS someone that you've been with before, they just needed to keep playing until they caved in and were rebuilt and came around one more time.

My point (assuming I set out to have one of sorts) is that, while we spend copious amounts of time bitching about the shallow pool in the city, if you stir up the waters, you will see something safe and beautiful and sometimes healing in there.  We show all the colors of our rainbow in this splintered dynamic.  For me, this is where my Pride lies.  In knowing that while we stand damaged, and human and backbiting, we are home even if we can't see that home yet.  Necessary incest - maybe.  Family?  Definitely.  Beautiful?  Without a doubt.

~ Mar

Friday, December 17, 2010

Miele to the Sparrow

Dear Sparrow,

What would I say if I could say anything at all?  I've written this open letter in my head, over a hundred thousand times in a year.  The words fall flat.  It all comes down to a simple phrase, that I don't have the opportunity to say.

I miss you.

I miss you, I miss you, I miss you.  So much sometimes I don't even have space inside of myself to put it.

What would I tell you?  I'd tell you that there has been no easy silence since you left.  Other people just try to fill up the minutes.  I keep looking for the Dar Williams to my Joan Baez, but the Dangling Conversation is dead.  I would tell you that the easy silence was the most soothing part of our entire friendship.  We just got it - no definitions, no arguments.  I would tell you I trusted you, unquestioningly, and that's probably what did me in, in the end.

I would tell you that I can't drink Jasmine tea anymore.  That I keep meaning to buy a copy of The Final Confession of Mabel Stark, but I keep putting it off because who would want to talk about that novel besides you?

I miss you.

The poetry.  With you gone, Sparrow, there's nobody left to lament the death of the English language anymore.  Nobody I can use random SiP quotes on and know it won't fall into dead space.  Nobody to sing Neko Case with while sipping loose-leaf tea and talking about how Kim only bought you one good thing in your entire relationship.  There's nobody who pauses, mid-conversation to write down a phrase for later use in a Happy Bunny notebook.  No one who writes poetry so stark and startling and deep that it brings tears to my eyes.

I miss you.  Your laughter, your lumberjack walk.  Your "I'm always tired, but you're always welcome," eyes.  Your, "don't knock, just come in," and bringing me leftover cream of mushroom soup in that dyke hat you so often let me borrow.  I miss the chivalrous butch you only let out to play every once in a while.  The comfort.  The familiarity.  The things we had in common.  I miss that we never let each other get away with much when it came to our writing.  I miss that you trusted me to take a critical eye to your genius and still threw me a Dave Matthew's Band t-shirt when the sun went down.

I miss the fact that you know at least something about everything.  There was never a moment I wasn't learning.  Or challenged, or stretching myself.  You reflected back at me the most beautiful version of myself I have ever seen.  I tried things and succeeded at things that I never thought I could even see in my worldview.  As silly as walking from downtown across the walking bridge.  As serious as going back to school.

I miss your special Olympian jokes.  Your irreverence.  Your intense quiet and the fact it never frightened me.  I miss sharing Mexican while mopping the Trinitea's floor, the documentaries, and the thousands of hours of GLBTQ talk.  I miss your singing.  Your Moncton stories.  Your "you'd love what I'm reading now."

I would tell you of how much weight I lost.  How I still wish you had taught me to run.  I would tell you I finally succeeded in staying broken up with Catherine.  I would ask you to teach me about Pewter as only you can, seasoned with 2 years of around the world and sounding like Neruda.  I would ask you to take me back to the Curry House and teach me more about world cuisine.  I would tell you, even at the risk of getting beaten by your junkyard dog partner, that I miss how you sleep.  The ease with which you fit into your own body.  The fact that you got me without ever having to try.

I would tell you, Sparrow, that I miss you.  That I never thought I could miss someone every day of my life.  I wonder if you miss me too.  You were always much more cryptic about how you handled that side of yourself.  A dark beer, a pair of cowboy boots and an "I can sleep with my friends and never talk about it again," attitude. Heh.  I would ask you - why did you handle it the way you did?  We both know that you knew better.

I would tell you, throwing every ounce of caution I have inside myself to the wind, that I read "Miele".  And that is exactly why I knew better.  I got it - maybe that's why it shocked me so much to realize you didn't.  I would ask you if it all started with you sticking your foot in your mouth, as you were often wont to do, Sparrow. lol

I would tell you I miss you.  That I love you (although not in the way you seem to fear).  And I would accept that there is never enough time.

~ Mar

Monday, December 6, 2010

On Dating in the Fishbowl

If you know me halfway well, I've told you my Fredericton Lesbian Dating = Fishbowl metaphor one, if not several times.  I have been in the city off and on for nine years.  And trying to date in this city leaves me nothing but questions.

Such as where are all the lesbians between the ages of 24-35?  Where are the old-fashioned and trustworthy butches?  Where are the sane women - and do sane women even exist anymore?  Is there anyone out there who is honest and up front?  Who can hold a conversation, is literate and not addicted?  And the largest question - is it that my standards are too high; are these things ACTUALLY too much to ask?

I just wish that people were direct.  Because I am a direct, brutally honest person.  And yeah, brutal honesty is a bitch.  It hurts, it can offend people, but it's the only thing that slices through social bullshit and lays things out on the table.  I would much rather meet someone and have them say "You know, I'm not as attracted as I thought I would be," or "I'm really fucked up right now and have no energy to devote to new people," then the stupid social motions we go through.  I'm starting to develop a real hate for social constructions in general.  Just say what's on your mind, people.  I neither want nor have the time for any fluff.

Of course, it's funny then when people like my co-workers tell me that they think it's because I come off as such a strong, confident woman.  I often wonder if strong and confident means loud and full of opinions.  Is it really so awful to know what you want and don't want?  Or is it just that it's so rare that people get scared by it?  There are no women I admire more than the ones I meet who have a clear idea of what it is they want and what they won't deal with.  Good for you, for at least putting the brainpower into the subject and realizing that it's better to know ahead of time what you want than to get weeks or years into something only to realize that it makes you miserable.

So, are you out there?  Someone who is smart, funny, chivalrous, a little (or a lot) butch, concerned about the world but not drowning in it, a little bit of a minimalist?  Can you hold a conversation, read a book, make loose leaf tea?  Are you actually looking for a relationship and not a play partner/toy for your bf/drunk buddy/friend with benefits?  Do you still believe in love?  Do you know that money means nothing at the end of the day?  Are you secure with who you are and how you live?  Do you have a sex drive?

... *crickets*

Christ on a jumped-up crutch.  It sounds so weird to even say I've been here on and off nine years.  Where is my life going?  Everyone says to move, but from what I hear, it's the same old lesbian fishbowl drama, just in a different bar and a different city in any of the other places.  I feel so old and so tired.  *sigh*  Where is Debi when you need her?  She makes me feel rather balanced somehow, and less adrift.

~ Mar