Just the way I am

Yesterday in therapy, I talked to Deb about the “Amber Alert” from last week.  I was surprised, as I told her the story, to hear the anger in my voice.  I really didn’t realize I was “angry” about the whole thing.  This is just Amber.  This is how she is.  And over the years, we have just grown apart because of it.

This time last year, my mother asked me if  I had gotten Amber’s Christmas card, a photo of her children.  I told  her I had not and she said she would forward me the one she got.  I told her it wasn’t necessary for her to do that.

“Aren’t you guys friends anymore?” my mother asked, astonished.

“Not really,” I answered her honestly.  “I mean, nothing really happened to end our friendship, we’ve just, sort of, disconnected.  We don’t really have anything in common anymore and we haven’t talked in ages.”  I told her the card didn’t mean anything to me and I didn’t have a burning desire to see the picture of the kids.  My mother seemed to find this hurtful in some way, using her “jewish mother” tone of voice to say, “Ooook.  I’ll just keep it then.  I like other people’s kids.”

It seems… maybe… that I might… have seemed a little hostile when talking about this card… maybe.  Deb asked me what it was about the card that bothered me.  At first I really didn’t know what she meant.  I didn’t realized that I was conveying serious displeasure about the subject.  I gave her a few answers:

“What’s the point?”

“It’s a waste.”

“Why do I want pictures of other people’s kids?”

None of these answers seemed to satisfy Deb.  “I think there’s more,” she kept saying.

I told her, I don’t understand why people send out pictures of their children as a Christmas card.  I’ve gotten them from other people as well.  People I don’t really interact with.  People who I’m no longer (or never was) close to.  People who can’t be bothered to give me the time of day for months and years at a time and then one day decide to send me a picture of their kids as a Christmas card, without bothering to personalize it in any way.

“It feels like an afterthought,” I told her, “like they didn’t really care that much.  I imagine them sitting down at their dinner table with a stack of these damn picture cards, a stack of envelopes and their rolodex.  They pick up a card, they right a nice greeting to the recipient and they pop it into the envelope and they send it on it’s way.  They get to the end of their list and there’s one card left.  ‘What should I do with this one?’ they wonder aloud.  ‘Eh.  I guess I could send it to Kevin.’

“The sentiment feels disingenuos.  Like I was nothing more than an afterhought and I wasn’t any more important than a quick flip of the wrist, and off the last card goes.

“I’m not attached to these people’s children, and they couldn’t even be bothered to write a simple ‘Merry Christmas.  Wish you were here.’  What’s the point?”

The answer still didn’t seem enough.  “I keep feeling like you’re looking for me to tell you that I’m some how jealous or envious of these people having families, but I swear to you, that thought has never entered my mind… Before right now.”

That’s when the real irony of the situation hit me.  I told my sister, in October, “I need good quality, non-cell phone digital pictures of the children so I can print them out and hang them on my office wall.”

“I know,” she replied.  “I need to take their picture for the Christmas card anyway.”  The thought crossed my mind that it was a lame card.  Nobody wants a card with pictures of other peoples’ kids.  But at least it would get me a picture of my neices and nephew.  Out of all the “christmas card” picutres of other people’s kids I got this year, the one person from whom I would have liked to, my sister, didn’t even send one to me.

Deb asked me for more.  More explanation why I was so unahppy to receive the child-photo-christmas cards.  Why did it feel disingenuos to me?  The only answer I could give her is that it felt one sided, like people were foisting upon me something I didn’t care about without any interest or concern about whether I was interested; without any interest or concern about me.

“Say more,” she prompted.

“To me,” I told her, “Friendship goes two ways.  Sure, we all want to talk about ourselves.  We all want people to listen to us as we tell them about ourselves.  But friendship?, is about talking about the other person.  Friendship is about asking the other person how they are doing.  What’s new with them?  What, if anything, do they need?  Hopefully, after they have answered those questions they will turn around and ask you about you, but if they don’t, that’s when you can say, ‘OK.  Glad to hear your doing well.’ and then proceed to tell them about you.

THAT is what I didn’t get from Amber for a very long time.  It’s all one sided!”

“Of course it is!” Deb answered.  “You made it that way.  You didn’t tell her about you.”

“She didn’t ask about me.  She didn’t express a genuine interest about me.  She didn’t really want to know about me.”

“She didn’t?” Deb asked me.  “You said she asked about your love life.”

It’s true Amber always asked the dreaded “when-are-you-going-to-get-a-girlfriend-you-need-a-girlfriend-when-are-you-going-to-get-married?” questions, but she didn’t want to know what I would have told her, had I answered those questions honestly.  She didn’t want to know that I am attracted to strong, healthy, athletic men, preferably with a nice tan and not much hair below the neck.  She didin’t want to know that the kind of relationship I was interested in, the kind of sex I wanted to have, wasn’t going to result in the creation of a baby.  She didn’t want to know that the kind of marriage I would want is not even legal in 45 US States.  So I make sarcastic, sometimes even snide remarks, (“What are you?  My Grandmother?  Would you like to pinch my cheeks and talk about my punum too?”) and she either doesn’t get the point or she pretends not to and continues to push.

“So she doesn’t know the truth and the dialoge is one sided because she feels free to express, maybe even push, her thoughts and feelings and what she believes, but you don’t do the same.  And I think we see this over and over again where you form these relationships where you feel like you have to sit back and allow the other person to force their perspectives on you and you start to feel like you can’t express yourself and be who you are around them.  And then you start to accept this as how things are.  I’m concerned that you make it OK.  That you give people permission to do this to you.  And then you feel more and more like you can’t be who you are and be open and honest with people.”

…..

WELL, DUH!

Dream Weaver

(Be forewarned.  This gets ugly.)

~~~~~

I’ve been so torn about what to write about today that I’ve frittered away all my writing time not writing.  Dang it!

I’ve got some strong feelings and I’m not sure how to articulate them… Not like that’s ever stopped me before…

First of all, I had a strange dream this morning.  At first it wasn’t too big of a deal.  I dreamed that I was riding, as a passenger, in a small airplane with Lance Bass as the pilot.  It was some sort of celebration for him on his “last day as a member of *Nsync”.  I remember exactly three things from this part of the dream:

  1. Lance and I were apparently already friends.
  2. I asked him, “*Nsync still exists?”
  3. He did an unannounced barrel role in the plane and freaked everyone out.  (Can you even do barrel roles in non-fighter jet planes?)

The dream turned dark and disturbing when we returned to the air field, however.  Upon returning to the air field/airport all hell broke out as there was random and indiscriminate shooting taking place inside the hangar.  It gets weirder.  Somehow, and go with me here, Mischa, my cat, was the  one doing the shooting.  I don’t remember a lot of the details of this part of the dream but I remember that as the scene progressed and there was some “defensive shooting” being done, Mischa got shot in the chest.  Now that he was no longer shooting at people, I made my way over to him and scooped him up…

And took him to the vets office that was conveniently located to the side of the hangar, of course, because why wouldn’t it be?  I rushed in the door of the vets office with Mischa lying limp in my arms and heard his labored breathing as he fought against the air rushing in and out of the bullet hole in his chest…

And I told the vet to put him to sleep.  Without batting an eye or missing a beat, the vet, grabbed a syringe full of whatever they use to put animals to sleep and injected it into Mischa…

And I held Mischa in my arms and listened to his breathing slow and ease until…

I woke up.  Late, as usual, and rushing to get ready for what was supposed to be a fairly laid back day at work, but turned out instead to be one interruption after another.  Much of the day was spent thinking about this dream, until I went for my regular therapy session…

~~~~~

Actually…

I was going to say some things about the conversation I had with Deb, but I’m realizing I really need to mull it over some more, and that I should put that off until tomorrow, and that writing about my dream was a little more difficult than I expected and has me a little disjointed.  I suppose if I was smart I’d delete this whole post and go home, huh?

Sock It To Me

I’ve had a fairly uneventful couple of days.  And yet, I don’t know where the time went.  I feel like I don’t have a handle on things right now.  Not in a depressive, woah is me, kind of way exactly.  Just, time seems to run out all the time.  I don’t know where the time went and why I didn’t get more done with it.

Friday night I stayed up way too late working on my socks.  I finished them, except for the “grafting” at the end.  I didn’t know what that meant, or how it is done.  I mentioned that to Juana the other day and she said something about alternating knitting and purling and she threw out the name of some technique the name of which I can’t seem to remember, but makes me think of Kussmaul, which isn’t right because that’s the name of a type of breathing that relates to Insulin shock (excess sugar in the system) and has absolutely nothing to do with knitting – Clearly.

I brought the socks in today and Juana showed me how to finish them off.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it again, but at least I know who to ask next time, too.

But I stayed up until after 2:00 in the morning working on them and then slept until after noon on Saturday.  That’s a good way to lose valuable time right there.

On Saturday, I got up with a plan which very quickly fell by the wayside.  I ate some breakfast and watched TV while I worked on my menu for the week.  Well, I guess really I worked on my menu for the week while I ate breakfast and watched TV.  It was supposed to be a quick process but I was easily distracted and it took a few hours to complete the menu and my grocery list and head out to shop.  By the time I made the three stops I needed to make and came home with my loot it was after 8:00 and I still needed to take a shower.  My lofty plans of eating a healthy dinner of Salmon and Brown Rice were shot and I ended up eating left over pizza instead.

One of my stops on Saturday was at Bed, Bath and Beyond where I bought a flour sifter.  I had to go there because much to my surprise, I could not find one at Target.  I needed the flour sifter because Sunday morning I made scones.  I have been craving scones like my mother used to make, for years.  Not that there’s anything particularly special about the way my mother makes them, just that they were always hot and fresh and she put about fifteen times more sugar in them than the recipe calls for (which is only about one and half teaspoons.)

It’s not even a special recipe; it comes from the Betty Crocker cookbook.  The problem is, my Betty Crocker cookbook doesn’t have the scone recipe in it and my mother packed up all her cookbooks when she bought her house several years ago and they’re all stored in her attic where she can’t get to them and therefore couldn’t obtain the recipe for me.  Surprisingly it’s much harder to find on-line than you might think and I’ve been without a good scone recipe for years… until now.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, I had some bananas that were on their last leg and needed to be used or go to waste, so I made banana bread.  The recipe I have for banana bread calls for buttermilk.  I love buttermilk food products, but I detest buttermilk, go figure.  The smallest container I could buy of buttermilk was a quart and the banana bread calls for 1/2 cup.  Having a significant amount of left over buttermilk I needed to find some more recipes to use it in.  So I made biscuits.  They were pretty good.  A little denser and less flakey than I like.  I believe I over kneaded them.  I’ll know for next time.

I still had half a quart of buttermilk left and I needed to find something else to make.  I found an app on my iPhone for a recipe finder where you type in an ingredient and it gives you recipe options.  I found several recipes for blueberry muffins and I love blueberry muffins.  I lost track of which recipe was which and soon I ended up with a cream cheese muffin recipe that sounded really good but wasn’t a “blueberry” recipe.  I decided to take my chances and make it blueberry anyway, only not really knowing what I was doing and not wanting to get too far overboard I only used a 1/2 cup of blueberries for the whole recipe.  They did turn out pretty well but I wasn’t sure if there were enough blueberries so when I brought some into work the next day I offered my coworkers some “Theoretically Blueberry, Absolutely Cream Cheese Muffins.”  Theoretically blueberry, because there was a very real chance of someone getting a muffin with no actual blueberries in it.

While searching for buttermilk recipes and finding blueberry muffins, I also found a recipe for scones.  So I had to make them.  And I did.  And they were deeelishus.  And too many of them.  And too fattening.  I ate them while watching Winter Wipeout (which is not something I can crochet or knit while watching if I want to get the full effect) and while gearing up for my afternoon with Lil’B.

I wasn’t really sure what to do with him and I’m running low on creativity these days.  I started thinking about movies and thought he might like to see Tron: Legacy, but I wasn’t sure.  I don’t know that much about it and I never saw Tron so I didn’t really know if it was appropriate for him.  I put it out to Twitter because anytime you need a question answered you turn to Twitter, right? No?  Hmmm…  I asked “Any reason for a 9 yo to not see Tron?”  I got one answer, hours later, which simply said that if he has a short attention span he won’t be able to get through it.  I think the GI Joe fiasco last year proved that’s not a problem.

I arrived at Lil’B’s house to find a herd of people.  His uncle and his family, from Bakersfield, was visiting.  I wouldn’t have been surprised to have been sent away without Lil’B under the circumstances, but that thought never seemed to cross anyone’s mind.  While Lil’B was finishing getting ready some of his little cousins asked me what we were going to do.  I told them I wasn’t really sure and it depended on if Lil’B had something he wanted to do, and then I said, we might just go to a movie.  They started asking what movie and one of them suggested Tron: Legacy.  Lil’B came out of his room, ready to go and I asked him if he had anything specific he wanted to do.  He said, “I don’t know.” (Naturally)  I asked him if he had any interest in seeing Tron and he said, “I don’t know.” (Naturally) And then another of his cousins spoke up, “Ooo. Go see Little Fockers,” he said enthusiastically.  I missed bits and pieces of their conversation but I heard something about “shot in his penis” and this was funny, apparently.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  Little Fockers is rated PG-13 and Lil’B is only 9.  But his mother doesn’t care about such things and he has seen more than a few movies that were rated above his age bracket.  The movie was actually pretty good, though there were things about it that were a bit above his maturity level and I was a little uneasy from time to time.  After the movie I asked him what his favorite part of the movie was and he said it was when Jack and Greg got into a fight at the kids’ birthday party that had them thrashing about in a ball pit.  I asked him if he had any thoughts about or questions about anything that he heard or saw in the movie and he said he did not.  I hope that means he didn’t think much of the sexual innuendo and questionable moments and not that he was embarrassed to ask.

When I dropped him off his cousins and uncle were still at the house and the young boys came rushing up to ask what we had done.  Angel told them we saw Little Fockers and then he went into the bathroom.  The boys turned to me and asked “How do you get a big brother?”

I told them I didn’t really know.  “I know how to become a big brother.  I don’t know how to get a big brother.”

“I want a big brother!” one of them said.

And then the other said, “I want you to be my big brother!”

I was surprised.  “You do?” I asked.  “Why?”

He answered with a big grin on his face, “Because!  You’re cool!”

Knocking

I’ll be leaving work for the day shortly.  Before I leave, I always make a stop in the restroom so I’m ready for my grueling four mile (20 minute) commute home.  I know.  Feel sorry for me.  There is no way for me to get to the restroom from my office without passing the elevators and as I did so I saw a woman waiting who has been a thorn in my side since the day I started this job.  She’s evil and pushy and demanding and full of herself and I don’t like her one bit.  And in a second I’ll tell you how I really feel.

As I passed her all those thoughts rushed through my mind.  In an instant, I thought of how much I dislike this woman and all the reasons why.  I also thought of her daughter, who is, by chance, a well-known Olympic swimmer and household name; a former contestant on Dancing with the Stars; has judged Iron Chef America; and has a number of product endorsement deals.  Her daughter, who, from what you can tell by her public appearances, is a kind, sweet woman, liked by everyone.

I imagined this woman faced with the accusation of being all the things I said of her, feeling the need to defend herself and doing so by saying something along the lines of, “If me being evil and pushy and demanding and full of myself helped my daughter get where she is today then I’m glad to be all those things”, because this woman strikes me as being that kind of person; a stage mother, someone who might have pushed her daughter into being something she may or may not have wanted to be.

I couldn’t help but wonder about a childhood like that and then I thought about what it would be like to have those opportunities, whether they were desired or not.  And I thought about the opportunities I didn’t have growing up.

I’m glad I didn’t have parents who pushed me to be something they wanted me to be, without concern about what I wanted.  (OK, I just heard that in my head and I realize I very much had parents who pushed me to be things they wanted me to be, without concern for what I wanted, but in a very different context.)  I’m glad I wasn’t the disgruntled child of a stage mother pushing me to be a professional when all I wanted was to go play and be like normal kids.  I don’t think that would have been a great way for me to grow up, especially if I didn’t really know what I wanted to be or do.

On the other hand, I wish I had the opportunity to find out what I wanted to be or do.  I wish I had the option to experiment and find out what I really liked and the opportunity to pursue it full force; to be the best I could be at something I wanted to do.

I wish I had learned to play the piano.

I wish I had swimming lessons.

I wish I had learned to ice skate and ski.

I wish I had tennis lessons.

I wish I had acting and singing lessons.

I wish I had taken dance classes.

I wish I had all those things and anything else I wanted to try.

All those things cost money my parents didn’t have and I get that.

I can’t hold it against my parents that they couldn’t afford to give me these things, but I can’t help wonder what I might be like if I had those opportunities, not just to learn skills or develop talents, but the opportunity to be involved with things, to be active and social.

I wish I’d been encouraged to get out and interact with people, to participate in activities and events.  I wish I’d been encouraged to live life.

Instead I was encouraged, nay, I was ordered to sit back, stay out of the way, watch life pass me by and never be a part of it at all.

~~~~~

The woman in the elevator may be evil and pushy and demanding and full of herself, but she gave her daughter opportunities.  She encouraged her daughter to play a part in the world around her.  She created a world where her daughter could be somebody and live life.  How wrong can that be.

Besides, thanks to her, I have personally held in my own two hands two gold, two silver and one bronze olympic medals.  How many people can say that?

Amber Alert

I was running absurdly late for work yesterday, made all the more unreasonable by the fact that I decided not to take a shower in the morning.  I intended to restart my gym routine this week and I would, of course, take a shower after my workout.  I needed to get to work earlier so I could go to the gym.  I piddled around the house a little bit due to the “extra time” I thought I had allowed myself by not showering first.  And then a few minutes after I ate my breakfast, I started getting that feeling.  You know the one.  The one we don’t discuss in polite society…  woops.  The one that says, You are never going to make it out of the house without a stop by the porcelain throne, first. Dammit!

All the “extra time” I had allotted myself was suddenly gone, and I was very late!  Now I’m not even going to be able to justify time away from work to go to the gym! Major Planning Fail!

I was standing in front of the mirror, working on my now arduous oral hygiene regime when I got a text on my iPhone from a 918 phone number:

918 Phone Number, 9:45 AM: Hey Kevin!!!! Guess who?!

Waiting waiting waiting…..(Jeopardy Theme)

Clue: been friends since 1992

I had a feeling I already knew, only I thought I had a cell phone number for this person.  I thought I had a cell phone number for everyone in Tulsa that I cared to interact with.  There are other people in the 918 that I wish not to interact with ever again and so I didn’t want to reply blindly.

I texted the number to my mother to find out if it was a number she recognized.  Mom confirmed the identity and I realized the number I had for this person was one digit off.

I waited a while to reply.  I needed to finish getting ready and get to work and I didn’t need a conversation with anyone to slow me down.

Me, 11:28 AM: Hey Amber!  How’s it going?  Been a while!

Her: Hey!  Good!  Congragts on EMT!!

Me: How’d you know that?

Her: Haha…..I’m watching you…..don’t look over your shoulder…..

Me: That would be impressive.  There’s a 23rd floor window over my shoulder.  With closed blinds.

Her: Ha!  I had to e-mail your mother to see if you were still alive!!! Lol.

How the story tracks from “to see if you were still alive” to “Congrats on EMT” I do not know.

~~~~~

Amber and I became friends in 1992 when we both worked in the grocery store in my mother’s back yard.  I’ve mentioned this before.  There used to be a big empty field behind our house and then they built a grocery store there.

I swore at the time that I had met Amber somewhere before, but neither of us could figure out where.  To this day, it seems like I had to have already known her (though, to be honest, my impression is that we weren’t friendly.  I thought she was a snob, and in fact didn’t talk to her for a while at work because of it) but who knows.

One summer evening, I had gone to the store to pick up my pay check and Amber was just getting off work.  I ran into her in the magazine aisle as she was heading back to the staff lockers to get her purse.  We chatted for a little while and it came up that we were both hungry.  Amber had a car and I had money burning a whole in my pocket (nothing new about that) so I convinced her that she should drive us to my favorite (no longer in existence) restaurant and I would buy her dinner.

We found that we had a lot in common at the time; at least enough to build a friendship on.  We started hanging out regularly on weekends.  She would drive and I would pay.  We became good friends.

Amber is two years older than I, and at the end of the summer she started classes at Oral Roberts University and I started my Junior Year at Broken Arrow Senior High School.  Our friendship continued and we hung out many week-ends and talked on the phone all the time.  It occurs to me now, Amber was probably the only person with whom my mother never rushed me off the phone.

Amber is beautiful and very flirtatious and never wanted for guys attention.  Eventually she told me about a guy who was asking her out.  She told me she really wasn’t all that into him but she was going to go anyway.  That seemed strange to me, but then what do I know about relationships.  I said nothing.  A while later, I was on the phone with Amber one day and she told me that she was “going steady” with this guy and that we couldn’t be friends anymore because he didn’t think it was right for her to spend time with another guy when she was “with” him.  I told her that was stupid, we had been friends for a while,  I was here first and she didn’t even like him all that much.  I told her it was her loss.

A couple of weeks later she called me and told me I had been right and that she wasn’t going to see him any more.  I told her this was the only time I was going to take her back after being dumped for a boyfriend.  She promised never to do it again, and she didn’t.

A while later Amber met Brian, a handsome, brilliant, multi-talented, disgustingly self-confident man who fell head over heals in love with her the minute he laid eyes on her.  Amber’s biggest complaint about Brian was that he wasn’t jealous of our relationship.  A few months before I moved to California, they were married, have been together ever since and have three children together.

In college Amber studied Physical Therapy and she was all about physical fitness and nutrition even though she never struggled with her weight a day in her life.  She even joined Weight Watchers even though she was thin.  I used to resent that attitude, but now I understand it better.  Despite getting her degree, she hasn’t worked a day in her adult life.  She’s a stay at home wife and mother and her brilliant husband makes more than enough money that she’ll never have to think twice about that lifestyle choice.

When I moved to California I used to communicate regularly with Amber by way of instant messenger programs.  I enjoyed implementing these tools to stay in touch with people I cared about while I was working.  Though there is only a two-hour time difference, by the time I get home from work and get settled in and have dinner, it is too late to call people back “home” even if I were so inclined, which I’m really not.  I’m not a phone person.  So using Instant Messenger to talk during the waking hours was a nice treat.

The problem was, Amber usually initiated our conversations and they were usually about nothing.  She would sit for hours typing messages to me while I was trying to work and they were about things like recipes and her workout that day and how she’d just found out there were x number of calories in y food item.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to her, I just didn’t have time for meaningless rambling while I was trying to work.  I started ignoring her messages and then pretending I had been away from my desk while she was typing and “Oh so sorry I didn’t see all that!” lying.

We drifted.  A few times I tried to have deep, personal conversations with her and she just blew them off and diffused them with her idea of humor.  We drifted more.

Several years ago I began having conflict with my mother.  Amber has known my mother for years, but she know’s the mother that outsiders are allowed to know, not the mother that her children know.  One day, Amber asked me if I had any plans to come back for a visit any time soon.  Up until then I had always made time for Amber and Brian when I came to town.  I told her I really didn’t have any plans and didn’t really know when I would because I was no longer on good terms with my mother and I couldn’t see myself coming to visit her, maybe never again.

The appropriate response to that would have been sympathy for a friend.  Curiosity about what could have gone so terribly wrong and why I might never want to visit my mother again.  Understanding for how hard parent-adult child relationships can be.

Her response?  “Don’t say that!  As a mother it hurts me to hear a child talk about not talking to their mother.  You don’t have kids so you can’t understand…”

Few things in this world piss me off more, or faster than, “You don’t have ____, so you can’t understand” or “You aren’t ____, so you can’t understand.”  It just belittle’s the person’s intelligence and it’s not a valid argument for anything.  We drifted some more.

A few years ago, an e-mail was making the rounds.  By today’s blogging terms I suppose it would be a “meme”.  It was one of those, replace-my-answers-to-these-questions-with-your-answers-and-forward-this-to-all-your-friends-and-back-to-me, blah, blah, blah e-mails.  One of the questions on the e-mail was about how many piercings you have.

When I left Oklahoma, I had one ear pierced.  Interestingly, right now, I can’t remember which one it was.  Several years ago now, my friend Heather begged, bullied, convinced me to get the other ear pierced stating that times had changed and it was no longer trendy to wear only one ear ring.  She promised that it was not a statement about one’s sexuality.  I hadn’t yet worked out my issues and I cared a great deal about that fact.  When I completed the e-mail and sent it out to my friends (and my sister) I simply answered the question honestly.

“How many piercings do you have?”

“Just my ears”.

I wondered if anyone would notice or comment.  Amber’s response?  “So what?!?  Are you gay now?”  Coming from the private school, good-little-Christian-girl background that I know she does, I automatically interpreted the tone as being derogatory and insulting (I still do).  We drifted completely.

In contrast to that, over the years Amber has asked me repeatedly, almost obsessively about my love life.  “Do you have a girlfriend yet?”  “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?”  “Don’t you want to have a girlfriend?”  “When are you going to get a girlfriend?”  “You need a woman.”  Somewhere inside me, every time she asked these questions I knew the answer, I just couldn’t face it and I sure as hell couldn’t tell her.  Her incessant prying combined with my own internalized shame only served to make me resent her for pushing.  I always answered her tersely and she just laughed it off as thought it were nothing.  She never could take the hint that this was something she ought not ask me about.

~~~~~

We exchanged text messages as conversation for about 15 minutes when she finally asked:

Her: OK- so- do you have a woman yet??

I waited several minutes to answer.  I wanted to tell her the truth, but– well, there is no but.  I was scared.  Plain and simple.

Me: What are you?  My grandmother?  Would you like to pinch my cheeks and talk about my punum too?  No.  No woman.

She waited nearly twenty minutes to respond.  I wondered if she’d finally gotten the message and was leaving the topic alone.  I wondered if she was considering the possibilities and going to ask me, again, if I was gay “now”.  I made up my mind to answer her honestly if she asked.  I wondered if she had gotten her feelings hurt and was pouting in silence as she was prone to do.  And then she replied.

Her: hee hee hee.  Oh well, just checking.