Friday, December 28, 2007

"You didn't tell me that your parents lived in serial killer country."

So my parents have met Ms. K. It's rather strange to think that two very separate parts of my life have merged like a brief planetary alignment. The event happened Christmas night when Ms. K arrived at my parents' house in "serial killer country."

"You must not love me anymore," she said over the phone, only minutes away from arrival. In the background I could hear the computerized voice of her GPS system telling her where to turn. "You didn't tell me that your parents lived in serial killer country. You lured me out here to kill me in the woods."

I imagined at that moment that Ms. K must have been negotiating the dark and winding turns that mark the desolate path to my parents' house. I imagined that the only light would have been from her headlights, the full moon, and the distant glow of homes decked out in Christmas lights. "I warned you! Didn't I tell you that they lived in the sticks?"

"Yeah but you didn't tell me that I would fear for my life. You didn't grow up here did you??"

"No, I'm from the suburbs."

"This is Blair Witch country!"

"Funny, it was filmed in Maryland . . . ."

"You're not helping!"

When Ms. K finally arrived, my stuff was already by the door ready to go. It was nearly 11 pm and most of my extended family had either left for home or had gone to bed. My father introduced himself and shook her hand like it was a business meeting. My mother warmly said hello from behind the island in the kitchen. I was nervous and anxious to get going. While my father instructed Ms. K on the best route to drive to Brooklyn, she was silently checking out my mom for a glimpse of how I might look in my late 50s. The meeting took all of two or so minutes.

When then loaded up the car and said our goodbyes. When I offered to drive Ms. K's car, everyone shared a chuckle over my inability to drive a stick shift. Okay good, I thought, at least Ms. K and my parents can find common ground by making fun of me.

Monday, December 24, 2007

"It's hard out here for a pimp."

It wasn't just the comments on my last post that wondered if my mother truly understood that I meant girlfriend with a capital G. Ms. K was also rather suspicious and pointed to the fact that my mother had offered her the fold out couch instead of the bed that I was sleeping in. But c'mon, I thought. My mom's an intelligent lady, right?

I mean it only briefly occurred to me that maybe she had become one of the Pod People because the conversation went off without much incident. How could she not know that I meant "my girlfriend?" When I woke up this morning, my father still snoring from the other room, I discovered her watching Hustle & Flow. Then I really began to wonder if she was one of the Pod People.

But then I realized that perhaps our conversation hadn't been so successful when she asked if I had heard from my "friend" as we drove to lunch. I thought she meant Laura, who is back again on my shit list for telling me she would check up on my cats yesterday but never calling to say she did so nor responding to my text. "No your friend from Pennsylvania," my mother interrupted when I started on my diatribe about Laura dropping the ball.

Oh. My "friend." Jesus fucking Christ, do I have to have this conversation all over again?

I could have clarified the matter then (I should have fucking clarified the matter the night before), but instead I decided to silently fume in the back seat of the car, fume over lunch, fume in the liquor store, and fume in the grocery store. It was an old tactic that I had perfected in my teen aged years and apparently I was still quite good at it.

When I got home I talked to Ms. K on the phone for an hour or so, managed to calm down, and listened to the sound of her wrapping presents. Afterwards I went into my parents' bedroom where my mother was alone watching television and wrapping a gift for her sister.

"You know I meant my girlfriend girlfriend was coming down to get me," I said, staring at my hands as I petted my parents' cat.

"Oh I didn't know."

"But I said my girlfriend," I mumbled like a disaffected teenager.

"But I didn't know what you meant. I have girlfriends too."

I sighed and suddenly it was like it was 1994 when I was miserable and used to lock myself in my bedroom for hours on end.

And then she said, "Rouge, it's all right. We just want you to be happy. Are you going to stop moping?"

"Maybe."

"Well stop moping around. So are you going to tell us anything about her?"

After I explained to my mom that Ms. K is a devastatingly pretty genius, I felt a little deflated for having gotten worked up TWICE for nothing. But I guess this counts as a Christmas Miracle and if my mom is telling the truth, all she wants is for me to be happy and that's the best Christmas present of all.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"That's it. You want them happy."

My horoscope for today:

"One of your oldest relationships is reaching an important turning point. This is the time to admit that it's now or never, and make the choice you have been afraid to make. You need to look out for yourself in this scenario, and realize that your role in the partnership is not just to do what they expect you to do all the time. Where is your piece of the pie? You can choose to have a last conversation on the topic, or you can choose to just let go and move on."

Balls. Could my horoscope be talking about my mother and how I have been planning to rectify our relationship by re-coming out to her? Now or never?? Balls.

Okay, I can do this, I told myself. How hard can it be for me to just say the words I have a girlfriend. Or something to that effect. Quick like a Band-Aid!

My stomach felt queasy, but that could have been the food poisoning I had yesterday. How could I casually insert that into a conversation? Especially since Ms. K had been thinking of picking me up in Maryland to take me back to Brooklyn?

My mother and I have a shall we say special relationship. I briefly lost my nerve yesterday when our Brooklyn based reunion started off rocky (I ended up crying in my bathroom. And it wasn't just the food poisoning.) But now that I was back in Maryland would I still have it in me to do what I needed to do?

I saw my opportunity over a mother-daughter shopping trip figuring that I could either (a) tell her in the car yet risk a car crash or (b) tell her in a public place so she couldn't lose her shit. Right. A PLAN!

But then she started buying me stuff and I hesitated because I really wanted those sheets that she said she'd get me. Okay, I'd tell her in the car! Kismet struck as we were leaving the store when she said, "I don't know how you're going to fit all this stuff in your suitcase to take back to New York."

"It won't be a problem," I stammered, my tongue feeling strange in my mouth as I prepared to say what I have been scared of for ten years.

"Why is that?" she asked.

"Because my . . . girlfriend might be picking me up either Tuesday night or Wednesday."

My heart began to race as the words hung between us. And then my mother responded with:

"Oh it would be a big help if she would pick you up!"

Wait. What just happened here? Did my mom just casually roll over the fact that I just said I had a girlfriend? Where were the hysterics of years past? Was she happy that Ms. K was coming because she wouldn't have to drive me to the bus on the 26th?

"Who is this?" my mother continued.

"Her name is Ms. K."

"Where is she coming from?"

"Pennsylvania." My voice sounded strange coming out of my mouth.

"She can always stay Tuesday night. There's the fold out couch and the air mattress."

Um, who are you and what have you done with my mother?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"No going twosies in the house!"

Ah, the holidays. I'm a mess per usual. I've only bought one thing for Christmas (an etching for my mother) and I'm quickly running out of time at a rate that seems to be matching my dwindling bank account. I have a massive pile of laundry to do and my parents are arriving in two days to stay with me briefly before whisking me off to Cow Country, Maryland. But since it's looking increasingly like Ms. K and I will be forgoing Vermont for alternate plans, at least I don't have to figure out who's going to feed my cats while I'm gone. Instead we can hang in The Brooklyn, lay in my bed together with cups of coffee, and talk about Stuff.

One of our topics of conversation revolves around the fact that I'm a cat person (but not this kind) and she's a dog person. I have two cats that constantly leave me covered in white fur and various furniture shredded; Ms. K has a golden retriever who is apparently "devastatingly handsome."

"So how long do cats live?" Ms. K asked innocently.

"Oh I don't know. Fifteen years? Sometimes 20. I once had a professor in college who had a cat who was older than me at the time."

I got a wide eye stare of incredulity. "Can't you just teach them to be dogs instead of cats?"

It was my turn to stare at her incredulously.

"Just teach them to bark," she continued, "walk them outside instead of using the cat box, feed them on schedules, and give them baths. None of this thing where they lick themselves."

"Have you ever tried giving a bath to a cat??!"

Clearly not.

What this highlights is that there are clearly some differences in our personalities, differences that can be overcome, but somebody is going to have to realize that cats + water = not good.

Instead we agreed that my cats are transitioning to dogs, but will remain pre-op. These are the compromises one makes for love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Just so you know, my mental image is of you, crouching in terror, with a board strapped to your feet, and a Marie Antoinette wig on your head."


Because this is blog post number 500 and who wants some sort of introspective drivel, here's me on the slopes having wiped out on the snowboard. Marie Antoinette is here to protect the innocent or rather what's left of my dignity.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"If you're going to blog about this, you have to paint an accurate picture."


I consider myself an open minded person, ready to try new things, and challenge myself with activities that might be outside of my comfort zone. With foods I'm adventurous and I will gamely go new places because it's worth the experience. When Ms. K and I got to talking about snowboarding once, I confessed that I had never skied or snowboarded before.

"Never?" she asked incredulously. Ms. K had once been an avid snowboarder and was quite good.

Never. But I'll try. I have good balance on the subway! How hard could it be?

What we didn't account for was the fact that I would discover snowboarding to be the most fear inducing activity I have ever taken part in. With my feet strapped unnaturally onto the board, I immediately began slipping in a undesirable direction. As soon as gravity took hold, so did terror. Let me tell you how much my body enjoyed moving 50 miles and hour down an icy decline with only various layers of clothing and body fat to protect me.

Zero percent.

I really wanted to like snowboarding. Ms. K even said that I was starting to get the hang of it, but when my body smacked into hard earth for the fourth time, I crouched there near tears, too terrified to move, and thinking that I would have paid anyone any amount of money to not be on that slope again. For all that effort I only went down the bunny slope once, too scared and sore to attempt again.

So there. I totally punked out. After a calming dose of nicotine, I went to the beginners hill, looked down its gentle white slope for a second chance, and feared for my life.

Ms. K is starting to think that going to Killington, Vermont is a bad idea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Knock knock."

Because some of you out there appreciate that I'm mildly freakish and decided that the way I was going solve my financial crisis was by gaining employment from two New York City astrologers, then maybe you will also appreciate that I'm keeping a close eye on the monumental Jupiter-Pluto conjunction transiting my first house today. But most of my clever readers probably care more about what's going on in my non-astro life.

My friend Ms. Mouthy Femme recently wrote:

"My adorable blogger friend, Rouge, posted an entry the other day about how she wondered whether her finding love made her blog . . . obsolete. I didn't comment, but wanted to say that being in a close romantic relationship, we dredge up baggage even more intriguing than we do when we're single, which makes for good reading . . ."

Dredge up baggage? Check.

It's no secret that I don't have the best of relationship with my family owing to my disastrous coming process 10 years ago. While my mother and I in particular have come to some sort of balance in our relationship, we don't talk about the G-word. Except for that awkward mention after last Christmas -- the same cluster fuck of a holiday where I had planned to re-come out to my mom only to find her not in the most agreeable mood. Now that Christmas is once again upon us, I had been thinking if I should try the coming out process again. The difference between this year and last year is that I have girlfriend that I care deeply for.

Whether it's in a couple of weeks or later, by phone or in person, I'm eventually going to have to bite the bullet and resolve one of the biggest unresolved areas of my life. Although Ms. K doesn't want it to be on her behalf and although this resolution stems from a fight we had about Christmas plans, it's something that I need to do.

Friday, December 07, 2007

"We are delayed due to train traffic ahead! Please be patient."

Stuck on the Manhattan Bridge for 40 minutes a few days ago, confined to a rush hour Q train that refused to move owing to "signal problems," I had time to think about things. My iPod battery was drained and I had nothing to read except for subway ads. Yes, I had quite a bit of time to think. With an easy night time view of Lower Manhattan, I was reminded yet again why I love this city -- despite dangling precariously over the East River at the mercy of a sometimes infuriating transportation system. It's been three years since I moved here from Washington, DC and I have absolutely no regrets.

I also thought about how this blog has gone through some transformations in the three years, first as a chronicler of my time as a fledgling New Yorker and then as a balls out Lesbian Takes on Brooklyn and Manhattan. Now my blog is . . . what? Hmmm. What do you all think? Have I somehow strayed from from my raison d'etre? Do I need to start getting my gay on again? Perhaps this blog, much like my life, has shifted into its next stage of development.

So where am I? Stuck on a Q train between two points in my life? No, not stuck. I'm definitely moving. Ms. K and I have been seeing each other for five months now -- long enough to start thinking long term while avoiding any Lesbian dating clich├ęs. (I feel bad for not writing about the transformation here in this blog) She's still in Pennsylvania and I in Brooklyn, but for now it is what it is. We know each other well enough to be able to catalogue our mutual likes and dislikes and tally up our identifying marks. I am particularly fond of the string of three freckles near her heart, an Orion's belt of pigment small enough that I can cover it with a thumb.

I guess if there is any lesson to be learned from this blog is that it's absolutely possible to have a sane, stable Lesbian relationship. Praise be to OFAG, but there's something to be said about the saying that you get what you're looking for when you stop looking for it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Because you picked a good cradle to rob."

I sometimes joke with Ms. K (who incidentally wants a new blog name) that I feel like a cradle robber. I'm 29. She's 22.

"You're not really a cradle robber. You have to be at least ten years older."

Okay, that takes some of my anxieties away.

"Here's the thing about you being a cradle robber," she continues. "I'm not some crappy 22 year old. It's not like I live in my parents' basement and drink Keystone Lite and make you buy me things. I take you to Vermont to snowboard and own a house and buy you stuff and tell you that you're pretty."

As I type out her comments, she seems frustrated and gives me a look, that scrunched up brow look that I've come to know.

"I don't like that quote," she says, looking over my shoulder. "It makes me sound like an arrogant douche bag."

"I don't think you're an arrogant douche bag. I think you're lovely."

"But your blog readers aren't going to think that."

We're in bed with the laptop. I've taken the day off of work, a cat is curled up with us, and it's snowing outside. We had been planning on how we're going to celebrate Hanukkah later and how we're going to need to go to the store to get latke making supplies.

"Who's your favorite shiksa?"

"You are," she says with a smile. "Why don't tell your blog readers why you like being a cradle robber."

"I forget that you're 22. For reals."

"Because you picked a good cradle to rob."

"My rising sign is Sagittarius. Moon in Gemini."

Ms. K chastised me again for not updating my blog. Incidentally it was over dinner again in Ditmas Park. This time I had no excuses. Well, some. I have been working up updating my portfolio and looking for side work, which, strangely, materialized as a steady side job working for two New York astrologers and their highly trafficked website. Swear to God. It's funny the job postings you find on Craigslist.

(Didn't I joke in my last post that I could work as an astrology consultant?)

Anyway, that should save me from destitution for a while. No bleak Dickensian future for me! Oh no. I will be an astrologer to the stars. (Shameless plug: For a nominal fee I'll read your astrology chart! All you international readers should take advantage of the plunging Dollar!)