The Garden

Relationships are hard. No matter how one cuts it they are work. This idea that Hollywood has peddled to us that it’s always supposed to be easy has really done a disservice. It is a garden to be tended and seen too. There will be the lean times where it’s more work for not much reward but then there will be bounties unlike any have seen, if the effort was put forth 

My own relationship is fine. (I think.) It was just on my mind this week because a good friend of mine has found herself caught up in a whirlwind romance. She has found her other half and it looks to be something more than a casual trist. And I couldn’t be happier for her. She deserves it. Her previous relationship was hard tended but it didn’t bring forth any real fruit. 

From her recounting of the past months events I have gotten a vision that if they are still together by thanksgiving, which she will be visiting his family, he will propose. I could be wrong (more than likely I am, I tend to run that way) but something just tells me that. 

When I was younger I could pinpoint with an eerie accuracy when and how a relationship would end. It would come to me instantly in a flash. Granted most of the time it was of my own relationships and one could argue that the events that would occur could have just been a self-fulfilling prophecy, however I never saw myself as the ender of the relationship. 

What does this information have to do with working toward a relationship, who knows. I just miss having the talent. It went away once I met my husband. 

He and I, this early October, will have been together for 14 years. It has been hard fought. Our harvests have been bountiful and filling, but there have been lean times as well. I think the number one thing for a gardener is to remember that fruits will flourish no matter how hard the struggle. 

For the sake of clarity, it has been a summer for our relationship. Not anything he or I have done, it’s just that our obligations have taken us into new realms separate of the other. Me with work, school, and the show. And him with work. It’s weird transitioning from him texting all day long to not hearing from him until he’s on his way home. But it’s work. It is just time to till the soil and pull any weeds that may grow. 

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Australian Same-Sex Marriage

So, an article came across my yahoo.com newsfeed (yeah, I know, the eye roll is appropriate.) It told of two gay men in Australia that were against gay marriage. Immediately I was enraged for a couple reasons, mostly because I know that this “news” station is using these two men to justify the other side’s opinion that it should be illegal. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s step back.

When gay marriage was being endlessly debated in the states I read and shared every article on Facebook. I joined a couple groups and would try and get all of my friends and family on board. One of my cousins, an out lesbian, never joined any of my groups and refused joining the fight. While she never outright said it, I knew she was against gay marriage. I was incensed. I couldn’t understand why. All I could conclude is that she’s 1) a nut-job and 2) a republican, which I assume is just to be “different.”

One time when I was taking a basic English class to “get back to the roots of writing” (god, I’m an idiot) I was put into a group that had this one little shit in it that was full of opinions. I have since seen him working at a movie theatre as a ticket taker, so, looks like he’s doing well for himself.   Anyway, I took this class during the heated ‘Prop 8’ in California and the topic was on everyone’s minds. This particular person informed the group that he had gay friends that didn’t want gay marriage because, and I fucking quote, “they didn’t want to get married.” Um… Excuse me? If this was even remotely true (and god I hope it isn’t) all I could think was that this is the most selfish reason to not want legislation. You don’t want to get married? Much like our hetero counterparts they don’t HAVE to get married. They can stay single until the day they die drunk and alone, to be eaten by their hundreds of cats. But to vote against your own community because YOU don’t want to get married is some bull shit.

This article (which I will post a link at the bottom) brings back that rage. How can these fuck faces sit there and tell all the others in their community they don’t believe in marriage because they don’t see themselves getting married. Are you fucking high on poppers? Maybe if you take the bottle away from your nostril for a couple days you might gain some clarity. This is not just for you, it’s for everyone. To sit there and purposefully harm someone else THAT DOES WANT TO GET MARRIED is beyond cruel.

That’s the thing about politics that confuses the hell out of me. People pass this legislation because it either will or won’t affect THEIRSELF. Fuck the other people that have hopes and dreams.

I truly hope this “couple”… I mean, can we call them that? They’re not… I mean… They’re men. That word is reserved for heterosexual couples that aren’t living in sin. They shouldn’t even be allowed to share a bed. They’re not married. They’re just friends… I hope these “friends” are ostracized by their community. Fuck having they’re “own opinion.” “Everyone should be treated with respect.” No they fucking don’t. You’re not showing any courtesy to those who want to get married so why should these “friends” be given any?

Here is the match: https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36960765/same-sex-marriage-wollongong-gay-couple-oppose-marriage-push/

 

Same Cake, Different Frosting

Evidently, it is human nature to do the same thing and expect different results. Einstein defined this as the definition of insanity; however, I think it applies to everyone. There are areas of our lives that we need to learn hard lessons, and even then it doesn’t mean it will prove to have any effect on our way of life. I say this because yesterday a bakery in my own hometown declined to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding day because it was against her religion. I get enraged for a number of reasons, not just, because it’s discrimination (no matter how you cut it) but I thought we had moved on. Clearly, we need another round of lessons. So, settle in class.

The thing that hurts me the most is that this is happening in my very town. No matter how liberal or crazy someone outside of the state of California views it’s residents it doesn’t apply into my pocket of bloody red that resides at it’s heart. This town is bleeding republicans. Which is why I am not surprised that it happened, but at the same time in shock. I get so comfortable in my own bubble surrounded by people that love and accept me without question. So, hearing that someone else has refused a service to one of my community members resonates on a whole other level because I know that I could very well have been in their shoes. It also makes me feel guilty, because I have very rarely come across any kind of hatred.

One of my good friends posted how he understood but it made him uneasy that government should have a say over private businesses. You mean, like laws? Where businesses have to have disclose all things in their food or how they have to abide by cleanliness? I’m confused. Where do we draw this supposed line?

My thought is that if you open a business there is a legal and social contract that is understood and accepted; unless the patron in your establishment is acting irrationally, you have to serve them. “The customer is always right,” has been echoed in retail since it was coined (by JC Penny I believe…). And unless you’re establishment offers a niche service there is no reason to say “I can’t do this.” For instance, if I went to a vegan restaurant and demanded a steak. Well, they don’t serve steaks. Or If I go to a Christian book store and demand the latest Stephen King novel. Those things don’t exist in that realm. So, when I walk into a bakery and ask for a cake, unless I don’t have the money or am calling you every filthy name under the sun (and speaking to a man that isn’t there), then the owner has to serve them.

It’s petty bull shit. “My religious beliefs….” Okay, what if this is that person’s third marriage, after she has been divorced twice for adultery? Are you still going to serve them? What about a couple that has had multiple children out of wedlock and is only now getting married? Their morals don’t exist then. They just see dollar signs. But, God forbid (pun intended), that they make a cake for a gay couple.

Now, in this event in my own hometown the baker at least was a “good Christian” and directed them to a bakery that does. Bless their heart. Doing the good Christian thing. However, here is how I see the situation. Let us say I have a coffee shop. And this same faithful baker comes in wearing all the trappings of a “Christian” and upon seeing them I pull her aside and say “I’m sorry. I don’t serve Christians here. However, there is another coffee shop across town that does. You’ll have to go there. Sorry.”

Everyone and there cat knows that woman would be infuriated and raise all kinds of hell. (Pun, again, intended.) Moreover, she would have every right to. No one should experience discrimination for any reason. Ever. At all. No matter what. Unless they’re just an outright asshole. Then let the denial of services commence.

So, if one has a hang-up about making a goddamn cake for a couple of homos on their wedding day then don’t make cakes. Make muffins for a coffee shop. Sell JUST cookies. If your morals are “so strong”, do not go into a job that would infringe upon your beliefs. It is common sense.

If this couple had gone in and lied about what the cake was for and they had made it, the woman would have done just that and they would have taken the cake to their gay wedding. Has this woman now participated in their unholy matrimony? Has she tarnished her “spotless” soul and barred herself from the gates of heaven? No.

The mental gymnastics must get exhausting.

To quote their own faith at them, what about the parable of the Good Samaritan? It was told by Christ to his followers and it detailed how a man lay beaten and bloody in a ditch and was passed up by all these holy men and strangers and wasn’t tended to until a Samaritan (a group of people who were seen as disgusting) finally came to his aid because he saw a man in need. They would say, oh, well the story is about helping out someone in medical need. True, but that’s not how parables work. They are miniscule lessons that impart an overall message. The thing you learn from the parable is HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN NO MATTER WHAT.

So, like most of everything that is happening in our country, here we are, once again. Same shit, just a different day.

“Do what you want, BUT …”

I’m really mad at my husband, and since he happens to be up in the mountains out of cell reception I have decided to air my grievances here. After all, someone might learn something from this because God knows he probably wouldn’t even if I told him.

That last part may seem like a dig at my husband, and it is (not gonna lie), but it is also the truth at the same time. He has this character defect that causes him to tune out anyone that “yells” at him. I say “yell” because his and my definitions are drastically different. While I have a habit of raising my voice because I am a very passionate person from the theatre (who projects) he takes that as me “yelling” at him. When I yell… well it as an ugly affair that does not paint me in a pretty light at all. I think he’s seen me “yell” maybe three times over our 13 years together. But I can’t help but get loud when I am super passionate about something. I am not one that holds back my feelings, I wear everything right on my sleeve. So when I get upset, I “yell.”

It helps when I practice my speeches beforehand, so I can find the beats I want to hit and the points I want to make to make certain he knows where I’m coming from and can understand. What’s worse is the dude is johnny-on-the-spot and no matter how much preparation I invest he can throw a curve ball question at me that sends me back into my rage. Honestly, the dude should have been a lawyer.

So I have spent most of the day practicing how I want to go about telling him that what has just transpired between us is something I do not appreciate and has thus made me very angry.

I was asked to be a guest on this little talk show that broadcasts on Facebook live. It’s called “Canoodle After Dark” and you can find it on “Canoodle Studios” Facebook page. (I promise I’m not plugging for them.) The topic of the show is basically a rip-off (see, not plugging) of Love Line. It’s three woman all talking about sex. The topic for tonight’s show is supposed to be anal sex, so it makes sense why she asked me to be a guest. In addition to me just being hilarious, remember I am the face of the gay community now. Self-appointed.

Now, the situation reeked of “you’re going to be in trouble” from my acceptance. So I phoned up my husband to ask if it was alright. He gave the usual ho-hum “do what you want, BUT…” and that’s where I take umbrage with the situation.

Look, if he didn’t want me to do it for the “but” reasons and flat out said, “Hey, it will make me uncomfortable for you to do this because x, y, and z, I’d really prefer you not to do it,” I would probably be annoyed but I would understand his logic and not do it. However, he took the manipulative route which drives me nuts. You can’t tell me I can do what I want and then give me some small print that will basically be setting me up for a fight. In my mind, I want to do it and it will be fun. He said I can do what I want, but…

I’m not one to play games like these. If I do not like something I will tell you, to your face, that this makes me mad or uncomfortable. I’m not going to pussy-foot around the subject because I “don’t want to look like the bad guy who’s controlling you.” Um… That’s exactly what you’re doing, you just have somehow convinced yourself in your head that because I didn’t flat out say you can’t do it, I’m not a controlling husband.

To me by doing that has made his response an ultimatum, without being an ultimatum. The situation set before me is “do what you want, but… if you do it I’m going to be furious.”

I get his reasons. He’s a private person. I understand. If he had laid that out and then said I don’t want you to do it, I would have been fine (annoyed, but fine.) I know how petty I sound that I want him to do it my way. But, at least my way doesn’t force anyone to do mental gymnastics to understand the true route to take. It’s a weird “Sophie’s choice” game. Like he’s testing me to see how much I “really care about him,” when me wanting to do this show has NOTHING to do with him. It’s all how I love being the center of attention and look amazing on-camera.

I love my husband. No relationship is perfect, ever. You’re trying to put two different people together to make a life work. There are going to be bumps. But unlike my husband, I’d rather say “hey, stop doing this cause it makes me mad,” than manipulate him. I guess I just respect him more than he does me. (Did you see what I did there? Manipulation.)

High school sweethearts

Today my husband encountered something that shocked and astounded me. 

He’s taking the photojournalism class I took last semester and today they did the assignment for “portrait.” One of the volunteer models was this 15 year old boy. 

My husband said that this boy had brought another along with him and they were being playful with each other in a way that gave him the impression that they were together. They were lightly touching the others waist or arms. Nothing that screamed “hey! We got a gay here!”

All of the students in the class grabbed a model and disappeared to do the assignment, other than my husband and this boy. He went up and asked him to be his model and they took pictures.

As they were walking my husband asked if he and the boy were together and the boy said “how could you tell?” 

It turns out that this 15 year old boy and his boyfriend are engaged to be married in a year. A year. He’ll be sixteen. His fiancé is 18. 

What I find so shocking is that in my conservative, bible buckle of the Bible Belt, town that not only do this boy’s parents accept him as a gay man BUT also have given permission for the two to be married. That’s insane!

I shouldn’t be this amazed, my mother alone is testament to the power of love and acceptance, but I think this a testament to change. Real change. 

While I wish the best for these two, part of me thinks that they won’t make it very long. Teenage romance has it tough already, the fact that they’re also gay men doesn’t really add to the potential success rate of this relationship. 

Pessimism aside, the fact that I even have this story to tell brings me so much joy. 

A Year Long Challenge. Maybe.

Back in July Writer’s Digest (my hooker of choice) offered a special on a couple e-books. One of which was a book that offered a different writing prompt for every day of a full calendar year.  I wanted to start immediately, but seeing as how the book began on January 1st I thought I’d wait until that time to begin.  Especially since the prompts grew more difficult with each passing day.

Like most things I say “I’ll remember this for later.” I very nearly forgot. It wasn’t until Writer’s Digest sent me another dirty tease about that book which reminded me of it’s existence on my computer.  So, if all of my other resolutions fail I wish for this one to at least go.  I think I can write everyday and post it on here.  (Can’t I?)

The first prompt of Year of Writing Prompts (by Brian A Klems and Zachary Petit) is very fitting for the first of January.

“January 1. Your Resolutions. What are your New Year’s resoltuions? Take one and create a fictional story surrounding it.”

Like countless thousands, I have made at least one resolution.  Though being the lazy overachiever I am I have made a list of 6 different things I would like to accomplish in the new year. Whether I actually achieve them is an entirely different story.  One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Forest Gump which perfectly sums up my feelings about resolutions and a new year.  The scene is of Forest,Captain Dan, and the two hookery girls in a bar watching the ball drop in time square.  One of them with big doughy eyes watches and says in a whisper “I love new years. Everybody gets a second chance.” And if I am given a second chance I’m going to at least mildly attempt it with gusto.

My Resolutions:

1 – Finish my book.
2 – Get in shape.  I’m 58 lbs overweight.
3 – Read at least 12 books.
4 – Get spiritually settled.
5 – Start a family.
6 – Pay off my credit cards.

Derek and Moira stood nervously in the exam room.  Despite having told her numerous times to sit Moira had refused.  So instead he wrapped his wife in his embrace.  He pressed his cheek to hers and hum a tune of his own creation.  It was one of the things she loved most about him.  The gentle melody soothed her nerves and she could focus on more important things like fertility and being pregnant.

This was round number six in their battle with her failing uterus.  In one of there attempts she thought she had a knock out but it came in with a sucker punch and knocked all the wind from her gut.  The two had been devastated and spent nearly a year recuperating.

“Do you think he’s taking so long because it’s good news?” she asked.  She kept her eyes shut and focused on Derek and herself, blocking the rest of the world out.  In her mind she and he stood in the vast expanse of the galaxy among stars and moons.

Derek stopped humming and hugged her tighter.

“It will be what it will be.” he said.

Luckily her eyes were shut and him not looking cause he would have been offended at her eye roll.  It was the best he coud offer at such a time.  He was just as clueless as her and she knew that.

They had prepared in the car before they dare enter the office.  And prior to that they had spent all night talking it through.  The final conclusion then was if this didn’t work they would have to adopt.  Derek had made such a beautiful altruistic case.

“There are so many other kids in this world desperate for a family.  Why would we deny them a loving home?”

She had hated him for his sense of logic. Even a tiny bit jealous.  She had always assumed he felt the same as her when it came to the question “biological or not?” How could they be close to a child that wasn’t made up of the two of them? It was an absolutely selfish thought.  She knew that.  But with all her knowledge she couldn’t change the pressing fear and guilt weighing in her chest.

Please, God, she prayed for the billionth time.

With a click of the door the doctor swooped into the exam room.  He instinctively looked at the table before peering around the door, momentarily perplexed.

“Good afternoon,” he said.

The two stepped from the other’s embrace and stood, only inches apart, with their hands clasped together. Derek like the gentleman that he was offered his hand to the doctor. The white coat clad physician took it and gave it a firm shake.  Already his confidence and cool demeanor had Moira hopeful.  Of the times before, she had known the answer before they had spoken a word.

“So we got back the test and I have some bad news and some good news.”

Moira’s heart froze in her chest.   Derek tightened his grip around her hand.  They could do this, it said.

“The good news is that you are definitely pregnant,” he said then looked down.

“You know what, Dr. Stewart, You can stop there.  Unless the bad news is that it would somehow harm my wife I don’t think we should know. At this point, no matter how the baby is, we will love it all the more.  Because it’s ours.”

MOira looked at her husband, studying his square features and stubbled complexion.

“Okay.” The doctor said.

Derek met his wife’s gaze and smiled.

“Because it’s ours,” she said.