Sunday, November 22, 2009

138. One for the road...

I occasionally think about this blog… languishing in cybernetic oblivion. Thoughts wander through my head that make me think “That would make a good blog post”, but then, of course, I never sit down to write them out. Every once and a while I’m surprised by a comment that arrives in my inbox – people are still reading! And I just took a gander at my Statcounter page, and well… the ticker goes steadily up. It’s strange to think about.

I’m sitting here on my couch, having spent the last few days in silence due to a surprising bout of laryngitis – does it even help to conserve your voice when you get laryngitis? I’m on antibiotics and they have helped the other symptoms but I still sound like a much less sexy version of Geri Hall (yes, to any Canadians reading this, I find Geri Hall sexy… what are you going to do about it?) so I’m not speaking. Perhaps it’s because of having to remain silent for well, more than 2 full days now (except for the occasional experimental vocalization to see how my voice is progressing) that I suddenly feel the urge to blog. Maybe I just need to ‘talk’.

So… let me fill you in on what has transpired since I last blogged. I think it’s been almost a year now, which is madness! I’m continuing to work at the preschool, which I am continuing to love, although some cracks have begun to develop… I am attempting to overcome my instinctive passiveness and am trying to address the problems. (I am being purposely vague here… not that anyone I work with even knows about this blog, but well, it feels prudent. Some people who know some people I work with could stumble upon this.) It turns out I can be quite assertive when it comes to my workplace. The times I have stood up for myself the most have always been at work… although there was the recent epic battle with my mother… I’ll get to that later.

Or, perhaps I’ll get to it now. Why wait?

What happened was this, I innocently mentioned to my mother in an otherwise pleasant conversation that I was thinking about going away again, this time for only a short time – a few months or so (if I can ever find a teaching job overseas that has a 2 or 3 month contract I will likely take it). A few days after this, I came home from work to find a message on my machine from my mother, telling me she was coming to stay with me for 2 weeks. (This, only a few weeks after she had been to stay with me for a week during the summer) Well, I knew I couldn’t take that… 2 weeks is way too long for her to stay, I would be practically insane by the time she left, and the fact of the matter is, she almost always stays longer than she originally tells me she will, so I decided that this was as good a time as any to put my foot down. I called some friends for moral support, knowing I was in for a fight, and called my mom. When I got her on the phone, she almost immediately let me know that she, in fact, was planning to stay with me for a month… which as the conversation progressed became ‘indefinitely’. I was pretty sure I knew what this was about, but it took her ages to finally admit it. What it was was that she was wanting to come and stay with me until I lost all the weight I ‘need to lose’… she is panicked about me leaving the country while still being overweight. Well, long (LONG) story short (seriously, this fight went on for 5 hours… on the phone… she hung up on me and then immediately called me back at least 10 times, the only thing that finally ended the conversation was me telling her my phone battery was dying) I put my foot down and told her that she wasn’t allowed to talk to me about my weight any more. I have told her this before, told her how her obsession with my weight has had a huge effect on me – the fact that my weight is all my mother thinks about when it comes to me has messed me up since… well, since my teens when I was seriously just a little bit ‘plump’ as they say. And the time in my life when I lost the most weight… well, it was when I was in Ireland… far away from her, and before she was comfortable on the computer so we weren’t in a lot of contact back then. I felt the most free back then, and I didn’t do anything on purpose, it just sort of fell off of me. I’ve tried explaining this to her many times over the years, but has had no effect. My weight has been the main topic of conversation between me and my mom since I was in my teens. I’ve tried putting my foot down before, but I think she knew I would give in… This time, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t. I want to say I knew I wouldn’t, but I can’t… I was just fairly sure. But I think she could feel the difference… there was a lot of panic from her, but 5 hours later I went to bed pretty certain that I’d gotten my point across. And the thing is, it seems to have worked. She doesn’t bring it up anymore, and I think she’s actually noticing the difference in our conversations. We talk now, and have actual conversations where I want to participate, as opposed to her talking and me saying ‘mmhmm’ at the appropriate intervals, even when we aren’t talking about weight stuff (even her own weight stuff, because that always ends up being about my weight stuff) because I’m dreading when it’s going to come up. I think she’s learning that we can have more of a relationship if she actually respects my boundaries. I’m hopeful about our relationship for the first time in… well, ever. Oh, I still don’t think we’ll ever be as tight as she wants us to be (I don’t think anyone is that close with their mother, at least not in a healthy way…), but I think there is potential for an actual relationship, which is nice.

What else has happened… well, this past summer I was in a lesbian, Jewish wedding, which was Awesome! My oldest friend finally married her girlfriend of 10 years. I decided during the Hora (the traditional Jewish dance where they lift the couple up on chairs) that I want to marry a Jew because the entire ceremony was just beautiful, and the Hora is just danceable joy. My stance on gay marriage is obvious, as evidenced by my participation in a gay wedding, but I have to say, being a part of one… I really don’t understand the opposition to it. I mean… I understand thinking that it’s wrong, but I don’t understand wanting it to be illegal. Being there, among both the brides’ families, celebrating their love and happiness, their hope and plans for their life together… it was so beautiful, but more than that, it was so… normal. There was nothing insidious, nothing malicious, nothing profane or vulgar. It was wedding. That’s all. If you think it’s wrong, then don’t get gay married, or go to a gay marriage. That’s your right, and I think people should be allowed to believe what they want, but I seriously can’t see anything harmful in it.

Anyway, the wedding was beautiful, I cried… a lot. I gave a speech that I’m told was quite good, despite my nervousness. And of course, I danced… a lot.

There is one other bit of news I have been saving until last. Oh, it’s nothing too scandalous, but it was a big step for me, and I should probably follow it up with more big steps, but well… I’m sort of a coward. I can’t believe I did it in the first place. Did what? Ah well, you see, I placed a personal ad on a website and got more than a few responses, which resulted in a couple of dates. With ladies. Yep, I went on some gay dates.

The first one was relatively unsuccessful. The girl was very nice, but managed to pretty much disqualify herself as a potential girlfriend for me within minutes of us meeting – she wants to be a farmer. Which is lovely, but I’m a city girl all the way. I decided to just enjoy the date (which happened to fall on Pride, so we went out dancing, which I love), but it became quite clear as the night went on that she was anticipating sex, which was in no way on the menu and that made it a bit awkward at the end of the night. I tried to take a cab home, but she insisted on driving me and there was an awkward moment in the car when I went to get out that I think was the result of wanting to kiss me (she had tried earlier that evening)… I felt bad, but I just wasn’t interested.

The second date… well, that one was a different story. She is a professor at one of the universities here in Ottawa, and she sings, and writes her own songs…. I was extremely excited about that date. And it went so well. We got along, the conversation flowed nicely… it was wonderful. And I brought up my faith, and while she didn’t respond with “I’m a Christian too” she did mention wanting to find a church in Ottawa so I was even hopeful on that front. All in all it was a wonderful experience and so I screwed up my nerve and asked her out for a second date the following day. Unfortunately, so did her ex. She sent me a very nice email telling me she had a wonderful time with me but she had decided to give her relationship with her ex a try… which sucked. I would be inclined to believe it was a story she made up to let me down easy except we have actually gotten together a few time since because well, we did get along so well. I’m not anticipating an intimate friendship or anything, because I admit I still have a slight interest in her… I mean, come on! She’s a singing, song writing professor! It doesn’t really get any hotter than that!

Anyway, after that I got a little gun shy and so I haven’t been on any more dates, much to the disappointment of many of my friends… and, admittedly, myself. The thing is, I find the stress and anxiety that goes along with dating a little overwhelming. I suppose it is for everyone, I’m just not all used to it.

Anyway, I’ve blathered on for long enough, so I think I’ll stop now. I won’t make any promises about when I’ll post again because chances are I won’t keep them. But hey, to anyone reading this… thanks for listening!


feral geographer said...

Thank YOU for writing again! I was actually thinking of you/your blog this morning, as I'm getting ready to visit a local Unitarian youth group with my partner to talk about being queer... I was thinking about how I don't have much experience with a Christian perspective on GLBTQ2S identity (despite the fact that many straight folks seem to think that any queer could speak for all queers!), which made me glad for being able to read the thoughts of you and all the other bloggers from this great diverse online world. Amazing to check in here and see that you've written again!

Amy said...

Ahhhhh... new blog post! I got hooked on your blog some time after your second last post and had to read the whole thing, and then - there was no more. But I'm so glad I randomly checked back here today!

Glad to hear things are looking more hopeful with your mother (Where there's God there's hope. Always.), laughed at "She wants to be a farmer", and I know I'm a complete stranger so it's very forward for me to say this, but I'm also glad to hear you've been on a few dates; I had been a "side A/side B" fence sitter for a while before coming across your blog, but after I had read through it, it just made so much sense that everyone should be allowed to be in a relationship, and it saddened me a little to think that you might decide on "Side B" and miss out on that. (I mean, there's nothing wrong with celibacy, unless you're not called to it, and then - )

Okay, so hopefully all that wasn't too much coming from a stranger. Love your blog!


Anonymous said...

Gay and Chrstian don't go together. The bible scriptures cannot be change to please you or others.