Friday, September 29, 2017

After All This Time

[via annstreetstudio]

Good afternoon, qweeahs!


What have you been up to?
I’m over here wearing a thin sweater and socks being so relieved it finally, finally stopped being 90 degrees.


I have a hot coffee in my hands.
I have a “Warm Tobacco Pipe”-scented candle burning.

I’ve never been so happy.



Remember when I was horrified and whining at the idea that summer was nearly over? Turns out we had more than a month left of being uncomfortably sweaty to go.

This unexpected amount of time enabled me to check plenty of my remaining summer goals off my list.


I got in a boat, I ate peaches that dripped down my arm, I skipped work, I got dangerously bored, and I skinnydipped in a river.



My mom came to town.


She told my sister, Shelley, and me that she was coming “for a quick visit.” We both thought that meant for 3-4 days—a long weekend.

Great! We’d take Friday and maybe Monday off from work.


And then she emailed her flight info, and we suddenly realized that our idea of a “quick visit” and her idea of a “quick visit”...didn’t quite line up.


My mom came to visit for eight days, and she stayed in the spare bedroom in the house I share with Tawnya and Seven.

It was the longest amount of time I’ve spent with my mom across the hall since I moved away for college.


We went to the State Fair.


[here is my mother stripping a turkey leg bare at the State Fair 10 seconds after declaring that she couldn't possibly eat anything else]

We ate cherry pie for breakfast five days in a row at a bakery called Turtle Bread here in Minneapolis, because when my mom likes something, she is not fucking around with how much she likes it.


We went for morning walks around Lake Calhoun and window-shopped at posh stores and watched a lot of really bad movies, including a particularly bad movie called Midnight in Paris. (I will never understand the enduring appeal of Owen Wilson.)

[why]

One night, my extremely Mormon mother announced she wanted to watch Game of Thrones because she’d heard so much about it.


Our Mom won’t see R-rated movies.
She’s that Mormon.


Shelley and I tried to tell her she would not like Game of Thrones.


My mom: Well, it’s supposed to be very good.


Shelley (rabid GOT fan): OK it is very good, but it’s also really violent.


Me: Really violent. REALLY VIOLENT, like watch-the-blood-pulse-out-of-a-slit-neck-up-close violent.


My mom: Well, I’ve seen war movies.


Me: There are a lot of naked people. There’s so much sex.


My mom: Krissie, are you trying to protect me? I know there’s sex. There’s sex in everything these days.


Me: YES, I’m trying to warn you that there’s a lot though. So much.


Shelley: There’s incest.


Me: Open incest. Naked people everywhere.


Shelley: Zombies. Blood.


My mom: Oh for heaven’s sake. I wanna see it.


So we turned off the lights and watched the first two episodes of Game of Thrones, which—I don’t know if you remember—feature incest, prostitutes, implied underage incest, casual murder, implied rape, mass murder, zombies, and one young child being pushed out of a window for witnessing incest.


My mom did not speak the entire time.

When we turned the lights back on, she pressed her lips into a thin line and said, “Well. I can see how some people (she meant perverts and freaks) could like this.”


Shelley: It’s a lot.

My mom: I don’t think I need to see any more of this.




Except for the abject failure of Game of Thrones night, the trip was a wild success. Mom had a great time, and returned home to Phoenix with the unshakeable idea that the amount of fun activities Shelley and I had meticulously planned was our normal; a firm belief that this was how we lived every day.


She wants to come back soon.

It’s been weeks since she went home, and I’m still exhausted.




Life happened outside of Mom Visit 2017, too—I started combing through my effingdykes@gmail.com inbox backlog and found this fresh (coupla days old!) lil’ letter just hanging out.


Q: Hayyy!


I wanted to write and welcome you back from your den of depression and dissent! I, for one, missed you and your sassy writing. You got me through some tough times and made me laugh a lot through tears only lesbians can cry over breakups. So, for that, I thank you!


I do have an odd question. I have this one ex who I run into an inordinate amount and I'm constantly wondering: why? For a year after we broke up, I ran into her every single time I went out. And I mean every time.


We broke up before Halloween a couple years ago and it was brutal. Brutal and heartbreaking.

Since then, I've run into this ex at times when I should not have run into her more often than I can count. For instance, Pride weekend, about 6 months after we broke up: my friends spent an hour convincing me to come out; that I wouldn’t see her because it's Pride! and there are so many people!


So I got out of the cab, walked down the alley, and walked right into my ex.


Anyway, it happens so damn often that I am starting to wonder if it means something. Not that we should get back together, but like, is she supposed to be in my life? I just don't understand!


Thanks for indulging my crazy!


-Anonymous


[via zeewipark]

A:  Anonymous, I fucking feel you.


I used to be like you. I used to think that if I kept running into someone, they had a purpose—a real reason—to be in my life.

My friend at work once complained to me that she always saw the same woman in the bathroom, every day, no matter when she went, and I believe I said, smiling wisely like the wisest old sage, “You must have something to tell each other.”



Gross.


Listen, Anonymous, you’re being a huge lesbian right now.


Not everything has Cosmic Meaning, not everything is written in the stars. Sometimes things just happen, and happen often enough to creep us out.


BUT IT COULDN’T POSSIBLY BE COINCIDENCE, we bleat, scanning our Chani Nicholas horoscopes for the all-important “You may rekindle a flame, or revisit a scene from your past that needs resolving” sentence we need for proof.


Everything probably does happen for a reason, hunnybun.


But there are also just coincidences, because the universe is vast and unfathomable and doesn’t give a shit about whether or not you keep running into your ex.


It could also be a glitch in the Matrix.
The possibilities are endless, here.



This whole idea—that if you keep running into someone, they have a message for you, or the universe wants you to come together somehow—is something that we all read or heard somewhere. I don’t know why, or where the idea came from, but it’s as pervasive as the idea that if you shave your upper lip, the hair will grow back thicker.



Everyone believes it.


I call bullshit.


Anonymous, think about it. No matter where you live, even if it’s a city of millions of people, the out queer community is really small. Wherever we live, we know the same gay places; we know where the cutest queer baristas pull espresso shots; we know where the gheys dance on Saturday night and we know where the homos have 1 p.m. hangover brunch on Sunday mornings.

And as much as we like to complain that it’s a stereotype that we all know each other… we all fucking know each other.


Additionally, if you dated someone for a long time, that person knows all your hangouts, and you know theirs.

Also! if you dated someone, it means you had things in common—shared interests. Shared friends. Possibly even synced-up schedules.

In short:
You are going to run into your ex.

Forever.


[oh look, it's your ex from 6 years ago]

The real question is: what do you want to do about it?


People only have a purpose in your life or a message for you if that’s something you’d be open to and want.


Coincidences are like vampires: they can’t do anything to you unless you invite them in.


It’s interesting to me that y'all broke up a few years ago and you’re still so bothered by running into your ex that you are writing to a strange dyke you’ve never met to talk about it.


I mean, I love it, because I’m fucking nosy, but:
Have you got some unresolved feelings for this person?  


Your throwaway “Not that we should get back together...” at the end of your letter is pretttttty casual.


Do you want to get back together with her, sugarpie?

You said your breakup was brutal and heartbreaking—do you still love her?



If the answer’s no, and you’re sure you no longer love and want your ex in a romantic way, maybe you’re missing her as a person in your life.

Maybe with each coincidental run-in with your ex, your subconscious is nagging your brain, like “Hello, we’re all healed and ready to perform the time-honored queer tradition of morphing a lover into an amazing, life-long friend.”


If you’re thinking about reaching out (and it sounds like you might be)... do it.


Next time you bump into your ex, why not just ask her if she wants to hang out sometime? The worst thing that could happen here is that she says no. And that would be fine, because this is your ex, who brutally broke your heart, right?


Anonymous, the universe is not trying to tell you something by having you run into your ex over and over again.


The YOUniverse (yes! i'm gay) inside your mind is.

[via naropinosa]

You are going to run into your ex.
That’s a given.


But if it’s bothering you this much, years after you broke up, there’s something happening here.


Figure out what it is you want from your ex, even if it’s “I want to not see her at all ‘cause she broke my heart,” and I promise you, you’ll still run into her sometimes, but it won’t unsettle you anymore.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Queerem Theorem

[via ahmet.erdem]

Sluts! Good morning.

The other night, I was walking back from drinks with Erin, a friend from Chicago.

As we all headed towards her car, she sniffed the air and said, “Doesn’t it just smell like the end of summer? Cut grass, leftover bonfire smoke, hot cement, night wind.”

She sighed happily.
Clearly, Erin was ready for fall. She had packed her summer full.

She had lived.

[via okaycaceface]

I acted like I was also sniffing the air appreciatively. Inside, though, I was panicking.

The end of summer? The END of summer?

[via popmyeyes]

Bitch no.

Here is a list of all the things I have not done yet this summer:

  • Swum in one of the 10,000 goddamn lakes in Minnesota
  • Been on someone’s boat
  • Skinnydipped a single time
  • Sat astride a bike
  • Chased the ice cream truck while screaming and leaking quarters
  • Made out sweatily with a stranger on a queer bar patio
  • Waved a sparkler
  • Been bored out of my mind
  • Skipped work even once
  • Gone on a trip that spanned more than 3 days
  • Read a book in a hammock under a tree
  • Watched a terrible summer release movie about the origins of a superhero or some shit
  • Eaten a ripe peach (the fruit u pervert)
  • Put Sun-In in my hair in an attempt to turn it white (this is my annual summer goal)
  • Worn a bikini top under my clothes just in case impromptu swimming happened
  • Injured myself lavishly due to being barefoot on an inappropriate surface

Obviously, I have some catching up to do.

[the absolutely perfect park near my house]

When I realized that Erin was right, that summer was officially close to done, I made up my mind to cram as much summer into the next few weeks as possible.

I mean, I had plans.
I was going to buy a damn kayak this summer.
What the fuck.


The sad truth is: I’ve just been working, y’allfags.

Working a 40-hour-a-week corporate copywriting job and then freelancing at night, a lot, when I get home. I’m on this new kick where I’m trying hard to pay off all my credit card debt and my car loan and my student loans as fast as I can—I’m suddenly incredibly, unbelievably tired of working in offices so I can continue to make minimum payments on my debt loads each month.

I’m pulling the plug, ya know?
I want out. I want freedom.

I want to write what I want to write, and maybe get paid for it someday, and to not spend my only life wearing cardigans in freezing grey office buildings to cover up the fact that I’m not wearing a bra, smiling thinly when someone wishes me a “Happy Tuesday!” in the kitchen at 8 a.m.

[via poppylissiman]

I’m ready.

That means I’ve been funneling all my paychecks towards my debt so hard that I constantly cut it too close and do things like get my debit card rejected when buying $24 worth of groceries at the co-op. (That was yesterday; I acted like I used the wrong card and it was NBD, but a dewy sheen of stress-sweat broke out along my hairline.)

But! No matter.
It’s time for a little fun, I think.

Time to cut loose; make some irresponsible decisions before summer completely passes me by.

Let me just fire up my Tinder.

[via doyouconsideryourselffeminist]

Actually, a lot of my life feels like irresponsible decisions, and I’m becoming more and more OK with that.

On August 4, I celebrated my one year anniversary of moving to Minneapolis.

I’m really proud I made the decision to put my happiness and well-being first.

I’m also still so overjoyed to be in this beautiful lil’ green city that I cannot even drive past the skyline at any time of day or night without murmuring, “Aw, look at her” in a weird, fond voice, as if I were looking at my grandma dressed up for her 90th birthday party.  


From an outsider’s perspective, though, I had hit a new low when I moved.

I was a 33-year-old single dyke who owned exactly two rabbits, one broken scooter, and several black trash bags of clothes. I was leaving a relationship of four years and leaving a stable job that paid me slightly more than enough to live. I had mountains of debt, no insurance, and no new job lined up. I also had no savings—I had to put the U-Haul on my last, non-maxed-out credit card (praying it wouldn’t put me over the limit.)

Btw, if you’ve only ever rented a U-Haul to move within your own city, and it was like $90, you will not be ready for the shock of how much it costs to take a U-Haul over a single state line. $870, homos.

[View from the U-Haul, August 4, 2016]

In Minneapolis, at first, I was an emotional wreck, crying at the smallest things.
I cried when I got caught in a downpour at night and locked myself out of the house—Seven was asleep inside, but I didn’t know her well yet, and I was afraid to wake her up.
So I sat on the porch, soaking wet, and sobbed.

I cried when I realized I had bought a new mattress for myself and was only sleeping on one side, automatically leaving room for my ex.

I cried in the middle of the afternoon in an Uber when Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” came on.
I don’t want to talk about it.


Things got better slowly, and then they got better so rapidly I couldn’t even keep up.

Suddenly I was dating wonderful people steadily, and not-hating my new job, and being paid the honest-to-god going rate for a senior copywriter, and having great sex. I was hanging out on blankets at the lake, and taking my dog roommates for romps at the park, and throwing femme parties with Tawnya, and ordering cold press at coffee shops, and having baristas immediately know what the fuck cold press was, because I was in Minneapolis, dammit, and in Minneapolis, things are called by their proper names.


Now being unhappy feels like a hazy memory.
I'm gonna do my best to keep it that way.

I’m 34, and only just starting to feel like I’m actually getting my life together.


That feeling especially includes dating.

I’ve learned, um, quite a lot about relationships in the last few years, particularly about what I can and cannot handle in a relationship, and I don’t think I could have learned it any other way than living through each and every scenario that is, and is not, whooooaaa nelly, OK with me.

Everyone learns about this stuff differently, but for me, it’s taken far, far longer that I would have ever suspected to learn even the basics about what I need in partnerships.


My friend Steffany has a theory I like a lot about queer dating and relationships.

She posits that since we were all raised in a heteronormative world, pretty much only seeing heteronormative role models (unless we were luckyasses raised by queers), and only observing heteronormative relationship dynamics represented in all forms of media, many of us queers are… possibly! maybe! a little behind when dealing with our romantic relationships.

Her theory: since most of us were brought up believing that we would function entirely in straight society, and maybe weren’t even aware we were queer until perhaps puberty or far later, it’s possible that many of us queers have been stalled in how we operate within relationships by up to a decade.

Oof.
And ooooh.

Entertain this idea with me!

[via scariest_bug_ever]

Puberty happens for most humans at around age 11-13.
There are so many feelings during puberty! And you felt them all so intensely! Remember that shit?

And then, when lots of us come out at whatever age we come out at, we go through a babydyke or babyqueer phase—a second puberty.

[via autostraddle]

That second puberty offers lots of excitement—everything is so new! let’s cover ourselves in rainbows, OMG YOU’RE GAY? I’M GAY TOO!!!!—and lots of really intense feelings. There are first loves all over again, and there's tons of drama.

Our second puberty—realizing we’re queer and can fuck and be in love with other queers—often happens years and years after our first puberty.

[via antonzhuman]

That’s a lot of time to spend not-practicing relationships with other queers.

Most of us still operated 100% in Heteroland until we came out.

We missed a helluva lot of opportunities to practice being in gayass relationships in our formative years.

[via ship]

For me, it was about 10 years.
That's 10 years of queer relationship practice I didn’t get, or think about, at all.

So wait: Using this theory, if I’m 34, that means I’m actually only 24 when it comes to dating, and maybe that’s why I’m only now starting to put it all together.

[via manicpixiememequeen]

Oh I like this theory.

You’re 26?
Dahling, you’re only 16 in Queer Dating Years (QDY hehehe).

You have so much time to learn.

[via ashlyncoco]

As you might imagine, I find this idea extremely comforting.

I think Steffany’s theory could possibly explain a lot about queer relationships in general—why we get so obsessed with our first queer loves, why we have so much drama, and why we have such intense bonding and then outrageous breakups.

We’re all still learning! We’re all catching up, cementing in the lessons we didn’t learn the first time around, when being straight was the only option we’d ever seen!

It’s also entirely possible that I’m just using it to soothe myself into believing I’m not a total fuckup.


Goddamn, though, this idea is cute to me.

What do y’allfags think?