Today I decided to show photos of my hand below and David's hand on the right. My hand has a "tattoo" of a dinosaur that Leo drew on my left palm. He wanted to give me a tattoo as I was cooking dinner last night. I thought that my palm would be a safe place, since it probably wouldn't last long there given how often I wash my hands. What I didn't anticipate was how much drawing on my palm would tickle, which was surprising since I'm not that ticklish. I kept laughing and squirming, which frustrated Leo a little. The artwork would have turned out much better I'm sure if I could have stayed still.
David's hand above is the result of his rowing. He always has calluses or blisters. The large one that is fresh he insists is due to poor technique at yesterday morning's row - holding the oar handle too tightly and some other problem. He says that if he had proper technique he wouldn't have blisters. I think that that is b*llsh*t since every rower I've ever met has damaged hands. I think that they wear it as a badge of honor. David added that when Leo saw his new blister Leo asked "Does it hurt?" and immediately jabbed his finger into it. David responded, "Yes it hurts, don't touch it."
You may also notice our matching wedding rings. We bought them just before the first anniversary of our first date, at the Whole Earth Festival in Davis, California. (Whole Earth was started in 1970 and features bands, homemade crafts, vegetarian food and what David calls "organo-groovy" people, causes and ideas.) He decided that we should have rings since we had been together for almost a year, so we bought each others' for $16 each. He said at the time that we should think of them as "promise rings" since same sex marriage and domestic partnerships were years away. Later he admitted that he just wanted me to wear one so that others would know that I was taken and off limits. He didn't need to worry, I wasn't going to stray, and it's not like I had other guys after me. When we got married legally in 2008 he brought up buying new rings, but I said no way. We had worn the rings for 16 years by then and I was very attached to them and didn't want some new rings.
David's Grandpa and Leo'sGreatgrandpa Jim's memorial service was held yesterday. It was at his Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elk lodge, which we always called the Elk's Club. I don't know the history of the Elks, but it seems to have something to do with veterans of World War 1. When the memorial service started at 1 PM, the clock was set to 11 AM and chimed eleven times. There was mention made of 11 o'clock being the hour to remember the dead. I believe that WW1 ended at 11 AM, November 11th, so that's probably the origin of the emphasis on 11. The Elks also emphasize duty and serving the country in the military, and the American flag was prominent.
The ceremony itself was, as his daughter charitably said "Well, that was different." It was generically religious, Christian really, but also used the symbolism of ivy and some type of flower, but I wasn't sure what they symbolized. The master of ceremony I guess that you would call him mumbled and didn't read his script well, so I couldn't follow all that was said. The cheap looking plastic ivy and flowers didn't help. Thankfully it was brief, ending 12 minutes after it started. There was a point where people were asked if they wanted to say something about Jim, but no one did. I think the problem was that at nearly 91 he had outlived his friends. He said the same thing when the family gave him a surprise 80th birthday party. If I had thought about it ahead of time, I would have said something, but in reality I wouldn't have known what to say. I didn't get to know my grandfather in law as a person really. The longest conversation that we ever had happened when I asked him about Jean, his first wife and David's grandmother, who died before I joined the family. He talked for 20 or 30 minutes about her.
Afterward Phil, Jim's son and David's father, broke down. He said that it finally hit him that his father was gone. David just held his dad, and at my urging Leo went over and hugged his grandfather as well. David is doing fairly well. As I said in my earlier post, he wasn't close to his grandfather.
Afterwards Jim's widow treated us to lunch at the Elk's Club. The food was typical American food circa 1960. The only vegetarian item on the menu was a side order of French fries, so I passed on food. It's not too much fun to sit and watch other people eat I discovered.
By then Leo was restless, so we left soon afterwards. Millie, my mother in law, rode home with us, so we had four people crammed into my Honda Insight. Leo wanted David in the backseat with him, and David wanted to honor that because Leo was clingy, which is to be expected when a six year old is around the ceremonies of death. To fit a 6'4" (I think that's about 1.9 meters) tall man in the backseat, Millie had to pull her seat so forward that her knees were against the glove box.
Later last night Leo couldn't sleep and called for David to cuddle with him in bed. They talked about Greatgrandpa Jim and dying. Leo asked me earlier if Greatgrandpa Jim knew that he was going to die. I said that since Greatgrandpa Jim was old, he knew that he would die sometime but not when it would happen. We expect more questions in the next few days, or maybe weeks or months from now.
Last night I was given a stern lecture. It went something like this:
What are you doing up this late?!
me: I'm going to bed right now. You should go to bed too.
You haven't gotten any sleep yet!
me: I know, but I'm going to bed right now.
You shouldn't be up this late.
me: It's not that late (it was about 10:20 PM).
What have you been doing?
me: Well, after I got home from work I spent some time with you, then I went for a run, then David and I, uh, "talked" (which means we had really good sex), then I took a shower, ate dinner, and am now coming to bed. You should go to bed too. I'll see you in the morning. I love you.
I love you too.
The source of this lecture? Not my parents or husband, but Leo, my six year old son. He should not have been up that late but hasn't been sleeping well lately. He obviously loves me and watches out for me. Sweet, when I think about it
David told me this morning that he's now classified as a "senior". That confused me, since he's only 39. But he's a rower, and rowers 30-39 are "masters". Since he'll turn 40 this year, he is now a senior. When he reaches 50 he'll be a "veteran". Who makes up these titles?
Interestingly, it was David not me who had some issues with me turning 40 five years ago. It took him a while to wrap his mind around being with a 40 year old. He got over it, obviously.
A funny story about 40th birthday parties. We hosted a 40th birthday party for a friend in 2003, since his house is small and ours is larger. David baked a cake in the shape of a Viagra pill, and the other cake had the chemical structure of Viagra drawn on it by the bakery. (The bakery thought it was hilarious once we explained why we wanted this complex diagram on a cake.) One of the guests brought black balloons and put a large black "40" on our front door. Our nosy neighbor from next door saw that we were having a party, the balloons and the number on the door and realized what was going on. But she thought that it was either mine or David's party. David looks young but is prematurely grey, so she came up behind him the next day when he was in the garage on his rowing machine and congratulated him on turning 40. She startled him, and he doesn't like surprises. He turned to her and kind of snarled "I'm 33, we were hosting the party for a friend!" She apologized and went back home.
My son Leo's school had a contest recently. Many "snowballs" (don't know what they really were but they weren't snowballs) were put into a large jar and all the students and staff at the school could guess how many snowballs were in the jar. Out of all the kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, and the staff, the only person to correctly guess the correct answer of 206 snowballs was Leo. I was surprised - can he count to 206? The prize was that he could go to the library and pick out any new book to keep for himself. He picked "Do unto otters: a book about manners" that uses otters to teach lessons. My son picked a book on manners? Really? His manners are pretty good, better to others than his family members. So I guess kids continue to amaze or surprise their parents all of their lives.
As an addendum to my last post, I also kidded David that since his parents remarried, he no longer comes from what the right wing calls a "broken" home.
Today my inlaws, Millie and Phil, got married for the second time, 44 years after their first marriage and 29 years after their divorce. It was a brief ceremony during the early morning service at their Lutheran church. The retired priest who counseled them before and after their divorce performed the ceremony. There was a reception afterward in the church hall, then family and close friends went back to their house. We picked up food from the catering service of a local grocery store so that everyone would have something to snack on before dinner. It was good to see everyone in the family, and many of their friends spoke to me. They knew who I was, and many of them looked familiar from prior parties, but I didn't know who most of them were and didn't want to say "Who are you?" so I made small talk. Leo did well playing with the only other kid there.
I did note one humorous detail. Millie and Phil each have separate bedrooms, as they have since they moved back in together. They have Millie's best friend spending the night, and her son rents a room from Millie and Phil, and her other son is sleeping in the fourth bedroom. So that leaves the best friend to sleep in Millie's king sized bed with Millie. I pointed out to Millie and Phil that she'll be sleeping with someone other than her new husband on her wedding night. They both smiled at that. I don't know if they are still having sex or not, nor do I want to know.
My inlaws are getting remarried in two days, so the craziness has begun. My mother-in-law is a good person, but she procrastinates, then panics right before something has to be done and rushes around like a mad woman. I try to avoid her before one of her parties. She wouldn't listen to David's good advice that she shouldn't cook for about 15 people just after her wedding, or make the family wait from about 9:30, when the service will be over, to 1 PM when she'll serve dinner. Most of that time she'll be in the kitchen cooking. Buying trays of food would be so much simplier. Now she's frantic, calling David twice within five minutes last night. I offered to help but he said "Do you really want to be sucked into the crazy?" No, I don't.
Leo has limited the variety of food that he eats, as kids his age do. He would live on macaroni and cheese, ravioli and tortellini if we let him. Recently David made him try a fruit or vegetable before he could have anything else and gave him a kiwi. Leo loved it and wanted more, so we bought a bulk pack at Costco. Yesterday he ate five, including three for breakfast. He got David mad though when he said at dinner "I'm ready for my kiwi now." David explained that our home isn't a restaurant, and David isn't a short order cook, so asking nicely for a kiwi is more appropriate. At least he's eating a fruit.
Part of my past made sense today, 30 years later. I was listening to Mikey's interview on Ben and Dave's Six Pack, and while waiting for the interview, I heard "I'm Coming Out." In 1980 I bought a Diana Ross record that had the single "I'm Coming Out" on it. I was 15 and had never heard that phrase before (I know you younger guys are laughing, but gay issues just weren't talked about then like they are now, at least not in Georgia where I grew up.) I played it over and over, and could tell that my mom never liked me to play it. I couldn't figure out why at the time, but today it dawned on me. Maybe I was sending signals even at 15.
I've got a cold again. No big deal, but my nose is dripping at all the wrong times. I'll be talking to someone at work and suddenly the dripping starts. Kinda awkward to stop and wipe it, but it's better than dripping on something or someone.
David is more ill than I am. He's probably got another sinus infection. At some point this winter we may actually have all three of us well at the same time, but I don't think that it's happened so far.
David and the family seem to be doing OK with his grandfather's death. Leo's asked a few questions, all reasonable ones. He's had David's two maternal grandparents die, but he was younger and didn't really know them like he did Greatgrandpa Jim.
Today David had his laptop at the table, and he said that he was taking an online quiz titled something like "What television mother are you?" Without thinking, I said "You're Roseanne." David does have a sarcastic side. He took the quiz, looked at me and said "I hate you." Because the quiz told him that he was...Roseanne. When he read aloud the description of a Roseanne mom, I said "Yep, that's you." He couldn't really disagree.
Yesterday we went to the only kids' shoe store in town to buy Leo a pair of black dress shoes for his greatgrandfather's funeral and his grandparents' wedding. Well, such shoes weren't available. So the best that we could do were tennis shoes in black with silver trim. But he wanted navy blue ones instead, so we bought those. This way he will wear them more than twice, so we came out ahead. He also saw kids' umbrellas and asked for one. We're in the rainy season here in California's Mediterranean climate, and there is rain forecast for the next week, plus he doesn't have one. So he has a new umbrella. I took him to school today in the rain, so the perfect time to use his umbrella. But no, he didn't want to use his new umbrella, and the reason that he gave was that he DIDN'T WANT HIS NEW UMBRELLA TO GET WET! I explained that that was the point to an umbrella, it gets wet so that he stays dry. No, he still didn't want his new umbrella to get wet. This was after we were walking from the car to school. So I had to carry his backpack and his umbrella while holding my umbrella to stay dry. At what age does logic start to appear?
We were told yesterday that Leo will be an engineer when he grows up. He had a playdate with the son of the couple that we're closest to (we met them when both couples were adopting), and he helped his friend and the friend's mother fix a difficult to assemble toy. The friend's mother is an engineer herself, and she said that he definitely has an aptitude for engineering. I know that he enjoys fixing things and taking them apart. We have a trash can that has a foot pedal to open the lid, and it came apart this weekend. I didn't feel like stopping as I was cooking to fix it, so I just told Leo that it was broken and within about 10 minutes he had studied the mechanism, recognized the problem, and fixed it. He does have ADHD, but he's been mechanical since he was a toddler. How many toddlers walk around with a screwdriver in their hand looking for something to take apart? Leo did.
David's paternal grandfather, and Leo's greatgrandfather, Jim, died last night. He was 90, almost 91. We received a phone call just after lunch from Millie (my mother in law) that Phil (my father in law) had been called from a local Emergency Department that Jim had a large cerebral hemorrhage (a stroke with bleeding in the brain), and that the family should come to the ED now. When we arrived Jim wasn't moving the right side of his body and would only occasionally open his eyes. The ED physician (who David referred to as "Dr. Hottie - he's got that nerd thing goin' that I like so much" - guess that explains why David was attracted to me) explained that there was a large amount of blood in the left side of Jim's brain, and that in a person Jim's age the situation was usually fatal within a few days. Jim's wife, two children, his only grandson and greatgrandson (David and Leo) were there, and his sister was coming in from her home about 3 hours away. Leo was a little scared or intimidated at first but later warmed up and held Jim's hand. After a few hours we left when EMTs arrived to take Jim to a hospital covered by his insurance.
David has been ill the last few days, and I had to wake him up from a nap to go to the ED. He didn't want to go to the other hospital, and Leo had had enough of hospitals. I asked if David wanted to go back later to see his grandfather, but he didn't. Mille called about 11:30 PM to tell us that Jim had died.
I am trying to help David, but the reality is that he doesn't need any help. He's not sad, since he saw this coming for a long time. At Thanksgiving he talked with his grandfather, only to have his grandfather ask his mother why David wasn't there. The other reason, really the main reason, that David isn't sad is that he wasn't close to his grandfather. Despite living about 30 miles apart, the family only got together once or twice a year when David was growing up. That was because Phil had a very strained relationship with his father. So David doesn't have good memories of his grandfather from his childhood.
But Jim was an involved and loving greatgrandfather to Leo. In his 80s he would get down on the floor and play with Leo, which David said his grandfather never did with him. I think Jim was raised by a strict German father who taught him that men didn't show emotions and left childcare to women. So Jim missed the chance to have a close relationship with his grandson but he didn't make the same mistake with his greatgrandson.
Unfortunately, Jim didn't make any funeral arrangements, so his wife (who is his second wife, not David's grandmother) is trying to do that now, but she doesn't seem to be able to make decisions from what we hear.
This Sunday was supposed to be Millie and Phil's wedding (getting remarried 29 years after their divorce), but we're not sure if Phil will want to get married soon after his father died.
I have been thinking about this topic since Michelle Obama said something about when her husband was elected, it was the first time that she felt proud to be an American. She was criticized by the right wing, but I completely understood what she meant. It is hard to be proud of your country when your ancestors have been enslaved, then "freed" but denied basic rights, lynched, discriminated against, etc.
So I started to think about my feelings about being an American. Perhaps I take too much for granted, and I realize that so many parts of the world don't have much of what Americans and other Westerners enjoy. But I can see where America falls short.
For me, it starts with how gays, lesbians and others who don't conform to rigid gender stereotypes are treated. I am treated as a second class citizen in my own country in many ways. I am denied recognition of my marriage and am legally a stranger to my husband in all but a handful of states; I could be fired from my job based on my sexual orientation in many states; my right to be considered for adoption wouldn't be allowed in some states; I can't serve in the military, not that I would want to, but I should have that option. So based on that, I'm not proud of my country's treatment of minorities.
But I am proud of some things my country has done. The defense of Europe during and after World War II was the right thing to do. Democracy has many problems, but it seems better than most other forms of government, so I'm glad that the US has spread democracy.
I can think of many things my country does wrong. Our government is much too militaristic - how many wars have we been in just during my lifetime? Vietnam, the Balkans, Iraq twice, Afghanistan, etc. Why do we still have troops in Korea over 50 years after fighting stopped? Why do we have military stationed all over the world? We are not the world's policeman. We spend more than the rest of the world combined on our military. That money is desperately needed for other priorities. Why does the US get involved in almost any conflict everywhere? Has the government heard of imperial overreach?
I think in many ways I have more of a European mindset than an American one. Americans have kept too much of the settler mentality, the "I'm going to find a piece of land for myself, and screw the rest of you." We don't seem to have the social cohesiveness that other countries do. The social safety net is full of holes. And insults and yelling are standard instead of calm discussions.
Our democracy has so many problems, most based on money. The candidate that raises the most money wins something like 95% of all elections. Corporate interests seem to rule our government, because they provide the money to win elections.
I can't leave out the role of religion in the US. The US got many of the religious fanatics that left Europe. (Why couldn't we just have gotten the prisoners like Australia did? They got the better end of the deal.) Many of those fanatics were extremely intolerant of others' religious beliefs. So many people base their voting on their religion, which is their right, but this is not a theocracy. You don't have the right to impose your religion or religious beliefson anyone else, even via the ballot box.
I do hope that some things are improving. Gay rights have advanced much during my lifetime. Perhaps when gays and lesbians have all the rights of other Americans thoughout the country I will finally be proud of my country, just as Michelle Obama was.
Yesterday my son Leo skipped from reading level 8 to level 10. This feels great to me. After watching him struggle with reading last year before his attention defecit hyperactivity disorder was diagnosed, I am happy to see each advance in reading. His reward is dinner out for the family this weekend. I don't like to use food as a reward, but his meds decrease his appetite, and he likes to eat out. Unfortunately, his favorite Mexican restaurant closed a few months ago. With his severe peanut allergy, many restaurants are off limits. There is one Chinese restaurant that seems safe, but we always bring an Epi-pen when we go out.
This morning I again had the pleasure of waking my six year old son Leo up. It really is a pleasure. Seeing my cute son laying there asleep, and starting to talk to him to wake him up is nice. He moves around, smacks his mouth some, raises an arm but it gradually falls back down. He is a heavy sleeper - he must have inherited that from me. (That's a joke, he's adopted. But he looks a little like my husband David. Leo's birthmother picked us to be Leo's parents in part because she thought that David looked like Leo's birthfather.) He often partially wakes up, then rolls over and drifts back to sleep. It's really cute. This is something that I probably wouldn't have appreciated before I became a parent. Becoming a parent really does change you in so many ways that you don't even realize.
I want to add to the gay guys reading this that you can become a parent too. (or at least you can in most US states. I don't know about South Africa, Australia, the UK or other countries where some of you are living.) There are lots of kids out there who need parents. We know several couples who adopted through the foster care system, although we didn't go that route.
A few days ago I was in my son Leo's room as he was getting dressed after his shower. He bent over, and as he did, a fart popped out. I was nearby, so I said "Are you farting at me?" He turned around and saw the smile on my face, then he smiled too and said "Yes", although I know that it was accidental. A few minutes later I felt a fart coming, so I said "Leo, do I have something on the back of my shirt?" Being the good kid that he his, he looked at my lower shirt where I was pointing, and I let the fart rip, right at him. Very juvenile, I know, but when you're around a six year old you sometimes revert to childhood. He thought that it was funny, and once you do something once with Leo he wants to do it over and over again. So now he'll come and get close to me every time he has a fart coming. I didn't know that I was starting a family tradition, LOL.
Another funny family story relating to farts (no, my family doesn't always talk about farts.) My mother told me that she read "The Catcher in the Rye" and when she came to the scene where someone gets into trouble for farting in church, she didn't know what the word fart meant! She looked it up in the dictionary and it wasn't there! It was the 1950s, which was a repressed time. She also told me that she once got into trouble with her father for laughing when her little brother farted. I asked her what word she used if she didn't use the word "fart", and she said that there just wasn't a word for it. I asked her,"Well what did you do when you wanted to talk about it?" and she said that they never talked about things like that! Can you believe being so repressed that you can't talk about normal bodily functions? Well, some people today can't talk about homosexuality, so it isn't very different.
Would you shoot chili up your nose? I mean capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chilies. I think that I would have to be desperate to do that. But my husband David has been doing that for about a week now. He has chronic recurrent sinus problems and infections and has had two sinus surguries in the past 10 years. But he keeps having more infections and problems. He used over the counter Afrin, but that can't be used for too long. So he's tried a dilute solution of betadeine, nasal rinses with salt water, steam, and just about everything else that can be tried. Now it's the active ingredient in chilies. His physician recommended this, he didn't come up with this on his own. I have a few recipes that use hot chilies and I'm always careful when I cut them up, but I always end up getting some on my finger and touching my lips or eyes, then having burning for a few minutes to hours. I don't know if I could shoot that stuff up my nose. I wish that I could somehow cure his sinus problems. His ear nose and throat specialist my consider a third surgery if he doesn't improve.
Today my husband David and I went to see The Young Victoria. We tend to like "chick flicks" over action movies. David grew up watching lots of PBS since that was either the only channel that they could get or the only one he was allowed to watch, I'm not sure which, and he has an affinity for British movies. Plus he is a historian by training, so he like historical movies - except when the moviemakers get something wrong, which he will always points out. We enjoyed it. It was a love story about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. I thought that the actor playing Albert's brother was cuter though. The screenwriter also wrote Gosford Park, another good Brit chick flick from 2001.
The next movie that we want to see is A Single Man which is already out but not here yet. So we like chick flicks and gay movies. When I was younger I would have felt embarrassed about that, because it seemed too stereotypical or "too gay." Now I am old enough and sure of myself enough that I don't care. I like what I like. I can remember refusing to see anything artistic or cultural until I was in my mid 20s because I wasn't comfortable enough with being gay to allow myself to do anything that seemed gay. (Well, except having gay sex! I could do that but not attend a play? The closet can be so suffocating.) That's an advantage to being 45 - I know who I am and don't care if others don't approve.
I sent a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, and it was published yesterday. The situation that I wrote about started with the local Boy Scouts of America troup having their annual Christmas tree sale at a local Baptist church. A lesbian couple who are well known in town (and were the first same sex couple to marry in the county the first day that it was allowed in summer 2008) wrote a letter to the newspaper reminding everyone that the BSA discriminates based on sexual orientation and religion (not everyone knows that you can't be a boy scout or leader if you don't believe in a supreme being), and that there are other places to buy Christmas trees from groups that don't discriminate. A local scout leader wrote a vicious letter to the editor in response, accusing the married couple of intolerance, and saying that as a private organization the BSA can determine their own membership rules. My letter said that the couple never asked the BSA to change their policy or challenged their right to sell trees, and as a private organization the BSA can set their own policy. I pointed out that the couple merely reminded everyone that the BSA discriminates, and that people should think about spending their money with a discriminatory organization.
I used a calm tone in my letter but I really dislike the BSA. Many if not most of their supporters are right wing, anti-gay, anti-women organizations, such as the Catholic and Mormon churches. They are also too blindly patriotic for me. They're part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" that Hillary Clinton talked about years ago, and she was correct.
I realize that others will have very different feelings about the BSA. I know former scouts who are gay who support the BSA, but I won't, and I won't even consider letting my son Leo join. I really have no respect for any discriminatory organization.
I thought about all the girls I ever dated recently (it's a short list, I am gay after all). I think that it might have been Mikey's post about the girl who asked him to a dance that started my thoughts. I remember the really awkward high school dances and the girls that I went with.
My first "girlfriend" was in eight grade. Everyone was "going out" with someone, so a girl I'll call D1 and I followed peer pressure and did the same. (I'm avoiding their real names, and I realized most of the girls' names start with the letter "D" so I'll need a number after the D.) "Going out" meant talking on the playground after lunch, since we never went out anywhere. After a few weeks of meaningless small talk, she told me that she thought that we should break up. I almost laughed, since I knew going out was a joke but she was acting like this was a divorce.
Freshman year of high school I took a girl I'll call M to most of the dances. I'd known M since kindergarten and sat next to her for at least 3 years. We were seated alphabetically and she was the next name so was usually sitting behind me. She had hit puberty before I did (as did 99% of my classmates), so she was taller than me in all the dance photos. I don't remember any kisses, but it obviously wasn't a priority for me.
Sophomore year I "dated" D2, which again meant we went to dances and never saw each other at other times. (I went to an all male Catholic high school - what a nightmare.) I remember other guys' shocked looks when I walked in with D2 the first time. I thought "Yeah, I got a cute blonde with nice breasts to go out with me!" It turns out that I was great cover for D2. She was sneaking around and dating and having sex with a 24 year old. But she had a large affect on me. D2 was a vegetarian, and I always thought about becoming a vegetarian, until 1994, or 15 years later, when I became one too. I also chewed my last piece of gum on a date with her. She said something about gum and I stopped and thought about gum for the first time and realized that my jaw hurt each time that I chewed some, so threw it out and never chewed gum again. I've tried to find D2 but haven't been able to - I would like to know how she is doing.
Also sophomore year a freshman at the all girls school asked me to a dance. She was so short and delicate that she made me seem tall. Unfortunately she died when she was a senior in high school. She visited South America, where her mother was born, and contracted some infection and later died of it.
Junior year I was over the regular dances until prom time came around. I thought that I should go to the prom but didn't have a date. I think that I called M again, but she didn't want to go, so suggested that I call...D1. Small world. So after our eight grade "going out", we went to the prom. When I look back at the photos, the tuxes from 1981 were hideous - green, with a large bow tie and a light green frilly shirt. Gag me with a spoon.
Senior year I went to the prom again, but this time it was with D3, another "D" girl. We knew that we were just having fun, since she was engaged to a guy in the Army who was stationed overseas. It was a fun night.
The summer after senior year I dated the sister of one of my friends. I'll call her D4. She was kinda fun to be with. (There was a song playing on the radio at the time with "867-5309" in the lyrics. D4's phone number was 897-5304. Wow, why do I remember that close to 30 years later.) But she liked to kiss. One time she stuck her tongue in my mouth while we were kissing. My eyes flew open and I jerked my head back and started laughing. I wanted to say "What do you think you're doing with that tongue?" but didn't. I knew that I was gay by then and did not want anything to do with her tongue. Now her younger brother's tongue, oh that would have been different. He had just finished his freshman year in high school but was really tall, 6'4" or 6'5", and cute. His family always treated him badly, and I had to stop myself from defending him when I was over at their house.
In college I finally was into guys, but not really much. One girl was interested in me. I'll call her L. We were both chemistry majors, so we had a number of classes together. At one party when I was buzzed we kissed some. She put her fingers into the bottom of my pants leg once in physics lab when I had my leg on my other knee, and it annoyed me, so I said in a loud voice "L, get your hand out of my pants!" Everyone turned and looked and she was so embarrassed that she didn't try that again.
So that's the history of dating girls. I feel bad that I wasn't honest with them, but other than D4 and L, I wasn't honest with myself at the time either.
That title might get some attention. Blogging has improved my sex life. My husband David reads my blog now. I told him that I had a blog a few days after I started. He didn't seem to want to read it at first, but then he asked for the address. We've talked about some of my posts, including the one about his depression and the difference in our sex drives. He's also talked to a friend who has an absolutely wild past, who suggested some things that David could do. It's worked. We're having more sex, and David has tried some things that he was interested in but hadn't tried. It turns out that despite being together for 18 years, he hadn't tried rimming me much. He seems to love it and I certainly enjoy it.
David has also talked to me about how much he appreciates my support when he is struggling with his depression. Well, of course I support him - I love him! I guess blogging has helped our communication, even though I thought that we had good communication before I started this blog.
Last night my mother-in-law, who I'll call Millie, called to say that she and my father-in-law, who I'll call Phil, are getting married. This will be their second marriage. The first started in 1966 and apparently ran into trouble quickly. But it produced my husband David in 1970. (Sorry, had to edit out something about David that he didn't want me to share with the world. If you have already read it, pretend that you don't know about it.) They separated in 1978 and divorced in 1981.
By the time I joined the family in 1991, they were back to being each other's best friend. I told David that his parents were the closest divorced couple that I had ever seen. They took vacations together along with many other activities. They moved back in together in 2003, just before our son Leo was born. They expanded the house a few years later to have two master suites, since Phil's CPAP machine for his sleep apnea is too loud for them to sleep in the same room.
Last year they became domestic partners here in California. Phil had wanted them to remarry but Millie was reluctant. Now she's come around and they'll have a small ceremony at their Lutheran church later this month. So married for 15 years, divorced for 29, then remarried. Millie said that she has wanted to wait until David's marriage to me was recognized throughout the United States, but that will take years (I hope that it will happen eventually), and they are in their 60s.
This is one of my son's Bakugan. They're kinda neat, even to me. They start out as a small sphere that then opens up into elaborate animal shaped toys. There is a game that can be played with them, but for now my son just enjoys playing with them. I admire the engineering and creativity that went into making them.
I saw a trailer for an upcoming movie that looks like predictable, campy fun, Is It Just Me? I think that the web site is isitjustmethemovie.com. David and I rarely go to see a movie so we probably won't see it in a theatre but may watch it on DVD. I say that but I still haven't signed us up for Netflix yet.
I like to keep my life organized when I can, and meals are part of that. David and I cook in large quantities on the weekend and put up meal sized leftovers in our freezer. So this is what our freezer looks like. Wall to wall with leftovers. I also plan out my outfits for the work week and have them hanging in my closet by Sunday night. No more trying to think of what to wear when I first wake up. I know what you're thinking, and no, I don't have obsessive compulsive disorder. I just like organization. Very much. My clothes are the same way - pants and shirts organized by style and color, the shirts hung in the order of the visible light spectrum - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. This sounds weird even to me as I write this.
Today begins a new year, and a new decade (well, you can argue about when the new decade begins, but I won't go there). I do look forward to some things in the new year. David, Leo and I are planning at trip back to the town that I grew up in during Leo's spring break from school. It happens to fall over Easter this year, so we'll be able to go to my extended family's Easter get together. I obviously don't celebrate Easter, but getting together with my extended family is always enjoyable. I have hopes for the federal trial challenging Prop 8 in California based on federal instead of state law. I have more hope for Massachusetts' challenge to part 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, but that isn't near trial yet.
I also hope that the world will become a better, more peaceful and more interconnected place in the next year. Perhaps some of the division in the United States and the world will lessen. I would like to see the US end at least one of the wars that we are involved in. I would like to see our President live up to more of his campaign promises, especially being the "fierce advocate" that he said that he would be for gay and lesbian rights.
I don't normally make New Year's resolutions, but I will try to continue some of the goals that I have been working on. I hope to be more dedicated to meditating each day. I know the days that are more difficult to fit meditation into my schedule and will work on five or ten minutes on those days. I will also try to be more mindful. It wasn't until I began to meditate and study Buddhism that I realized how little of the time I am actually aware of what I am doing. I'm often on autopilot, thinking of something else, the past or future, a movie or book, or how I want or would like the present to be instead of just being present with the current moment. It sounds simple to be present in each moment, until you try it. So I'm practing being present as much as I can.
I will also try to keep up with friends, family and people I've met online. I haven't been here on blogger long but have enjoyed reading other's blogs and interacting with them. This may sound strange to the younger gay guys that might read this, but blogs have given me a way to express my "gay uncle" feelings. What I mean is that since I became a father six years ago, I realize that I have strong paternal feelings. I also have similar feelings toward younger gay guys - not paternal because I'm obviously not their father, but similar feelings that I have toward relatives of mine - like the younger gay guys are part of my extended family. In a way, they are. I want to help the young guys who can't come out to their families or sports teams. Maybe I can help by giving some advice, or listening when they want to talk or vent frustrations. I have gone through much of what is happening in their lives, so I understand, perhaps in a way that their straight parents can't. So if anyone wants to take me up on that, email me.
That reminds me that when David and I talked about becoming fathers, he suggested adopting or becoming foster parents to gay teens that had been rejected by their families. I admired that, and he still wants to do that when Leo is older. But I wanted the whole experience of parenting, from infancy to adulthood, so we adopted Leo when he was a newborn. Parenting turned out to be much tougher than I realized.
I hope everyone else can have a good year as well. I end this with a wish from my metta or lovingkindness meditation that I practice.
May you be well. May you be happy and peaceful. May no harm come to you. May you be free of greed, selfishness and jealousy. May you be able to face life's problems with patience, courage and understanding.