What's going on?
Lots of things are going on around here.
I'm speaking on a queer panel at Loyola University on Thursday night at 7:30.
Past events have proven to me that public speaking is not, um, my forte.
It's actually kind of odd how nervous I get.
It doesn't make sense.
For cryin' out loud, I'm an ex-Mormon.
Mormon children are raised speaking in public.
On the first Sunday of every month, Mormons hold a testimony meeting.
Anyone can get up and speak, but particular pleasure (and learning from the innocents!) is taken from watching children still unsteady on their feet toddle up to the microphone to bear their 'testimonies.'
While all my church friends were standing in front of the entire congregation from the time they could lisp out, "I know thith churth ith true, I love my mom and dad and thitherth and brotherths, I know Josepth Thmith wath a prophet"...
I was never that kid. I only went up to the pulpit a few times in living memory.
My mom, encouraging me to bear my testimony more, told me it would be a funny thing to try and picture everybody naked.
Church seemed a weird place to picture my Sunday School teacher, Sister J, without her dress on, but...
Sister J was sitting in the third row back, smiling at me, wearing a floral denim jumper and a turtleneck.
I was eight.
I had a good imagination.
I could picture her naked easily, looking at her while giving my testimony.
And then I just kind of...trailed off.
Never exactly shy, I would still clench my fists, digging my fingernails into my palms, if I needed to get up and write on the chalkboard, explaining how I got the fraction.
Every week, we had a spelling bee.
I always memorized my spelling word list in preparation.
As the spelling bee circle commenced, I would furiously calculate which word would be mine to spell when it was my turn.
Waiting for "dandelion" or "rhythm" to land on me wasn't the problem - I knew perfectly well how to spell the words.
It was knowing that I'd have to speak while everyone was watching me.
Juuuust waitin' my turn.
I used to do this in bed all the time, when trying to fall asleep.
It's actually hard to do it while standing - you have to really focus.
It must have looked hilarious.
Now: I was still wearing leggings with puffy-painted sweatshirts every day at this point - I hadn't yet reconciled myself to wearing uncomfortable clothes like jeans.
My nervous, twitching buttcheek dance would have been all too visible.
And finally one week, a girl in my class, Jackie, noticed.
She nudged Kelly, next to her. Kelly nudged Ricky next to her, and pointed.
Vacation. V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N. Vacation.
Clench! Right cheek, relax.
Product. P-R-O-D-U-C-T. Product.
Pretty soon, the whole class was in hysterical giggles.
Watching me bob, minutely, up and down, silently mouthing along with the spelling bee in my giant glasses.
Mid-ass squeeze, I glanced around the standing circle of my peers.
All eyes were on my thin cotton leggings.
One of the girls, Jackie, couldn't hold it in anymore, and burst out, "Omigod, what are you doing with your butt?"
I became a 'jeans' girl overnight.
So, public speaking, right? Thursday!
Should be good.
We've been tossing around the idea of getting our own apartments.
Hopefully within walking distance.
There are two main reasons:
1) I've never lived by myself.
And I've never lived by myself.
Without a roommate.
Nothing in the house, apart from books and clothes, is mine.
I don't own a single dish, pot, pan, stick of furniture, or piece of art.
I cannot picture how I would decorate a space that is wholly mine, because I have no idea what my taste is when left to my own devices.
And...I think that's a little odd.
I also cannot imagine what I would do with my time if I came home, every single night, to just myself.
I've always, always had a roommate or a girlfriend for a social crutch.
What happens when you kick the crutch away?
|[by Betty turns blue]|
Her art stuff is taking over everything and making us both crazy.
And she needs more time to do work.
We moved here so she could go to school, and I want to give her license to be as selfish as she wants with her time during her thesis year - free to be in her studio from 6 a.m - midnight, six days a week.
Get to know myself again.
And - who knew? this is a HUGE relationship taboo.
Friends are creasing their foreheads with concern.
Apparently, you can move in together, but you cannot move out again without the relationship being over.
Other faggettes keep telling me that you can't go backwards in a relationship - only forwards.
Do y'allfags think that's true?
'Cause now I'm worried.
Maybe this isn't such a good idea.
Holding onto Nadine's elbow to steady her as she picked her way through the slush in completely inappropriate spike heels, I told her all my troubles.
I think that because you already live outside of what society expects you to do, you're more open to exploring alternative living situations."
Alternative living situations.
I like that.
(It'll look like an issue of Dwell, minus the photos of blond children in stripy tights playing in their Ikea-ed-as-fuck rooms.)
The Frida situation is kind of what CJ and I are hoping for now.
But - are people right?
Can you take step back in your relationship?
Or is this a venture doomed to failure?
I've never talked to any dykes who've done this.
It would seem that the only thing gayelles are good at is moving in.
Do relationships only have fast forward buttons?