Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Road Trip Lesson

Twelve days from today I'm going on a road trip. I've already referred to it as "epic" and "awesome" and "of doom". A friend of mine has deemed it my "Green Tea Trip", because the hope is that it will be something of a spiritual cleanse and not just a way to get from point A to point B. There may be more Road Trip Lessons from the trip, though, none of them will probably relate to this blog in any way (and neither does this one, come to think of it.) So there's your fair warning.

Planning this road trip has given me cause to reflect on road trips I've taken in the past. When I was a kid, my parents would pack us in the car and drive us from Pleasant View, Utah to Dearborn, Michigan to visit my maternal grandparents. Despite the two to three days of driving each way in a car with three little brothers, I always looked forward to this trip because it was the only time during the year that I got to see that side of my family, and we got to leave Utah, and we usually got to see and do fun things on the way. (Can you say Corn Palace??)

One year, during our annual trek to Michigan, I learned a very valuable lesson. We had driven until late into the night and stopped to camp (because my parents are thrifty and camping is way more economical than finding a hotel that can accommodate a family of six). We were roused before the sun was up and put back into the car, where we all promptly fell back asleep (because my parents are clever and driving while the kids are asleep is way more peaceful than trying to referee Calvin Ball from the front seat). After about an hour of driving, the sun started to peek over the horizon, at which point my dad said to my mom something to the effect of, "Jan, doesn't the sun usually rise in the East?"

We'd been driving for over an hour in the wrong direction.

Here's the lesson: we still got to where we were going. Life is like that sometimes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

And Sometimes Things Don't Work Out

Hello and greetings to all 8 ( 7?) faithful followers of my blog.

I have a sad story to tell. It's the story of how it Didn't Work Out.

As you may know from reading this blog (or from knowing me in real life), I've been *ahem* happily *ahem* married for a while now. Would have been seven years this September. (Oops. I suppose using the past tense there sort of blows the ending, huh? Could you think of it as foreshadowing and still be surprised in a second when I get to the punchline? Thanks.)

I' a divorce. I think.

I'm about to go into detail over the reason for my confusion, but let me start with the things that I know for sure.

1 - My wife and I have definitely separated. She got the car and the cats. I cast iron skillet that my parents gave me. That's...that sounds...I'm not trying to be cynical. It just happens. But I digress...

2 - My wife and I were (are?) crap...if there's a question mark then this isn't one of the things I know for sure. Moving on.

3 - Uh...I'm a lesbian. (Surprise!)

4 - Nah. There's no #4. I mean, there are more things I know for sure, but they aren't really pertinent.

I would like to state, for the record, that I love Becca a lot. Still. Currently. In the present tense. She's an amazing woman. She is going to go places and do things. I will not be going and doing them with her, and that is going to be better for both of us.

Right, so, I'll spare you all the gorey details of the "why". (If you're super curious, buy me a drink and I'll tell you, but not in this medium and not today.) The bit I want to get to is the "what now?"

Because, you see, when I got married almost seven years ago in the lovely country of Canada in the lovely province of British Columbia in the lovely city of Vancouver at the lovely Unitarian Church, I received a piece of paper that stated that my marriage was legal and all on the up and up. I signed stuff. Becca signed stuff. Our witnesses signed stuff. The minister signed stuff. It all seemed very official. I had to bring my passport AND my driver's license AND my birth certificate (to show to the lady at the drug store...okay...that part doesn't sound as official...) Anyhoo, all the research I did before hand (read: Googling) told me that Canada was the way to go if you were a girl and wanted to legally marry your girlfriend (which I was and did.)

The information also told me that in order to get a divorce in Canada, one of the interested parties would have to live in Canada for a year. Heh. Suckers. I'm never getting divorced. Besides, I like Canada! Is that supposed to be some kind of threat?!?

Flash forward to 2012. Here I am, in my own apartment, with my laptop and my clothes (and the cast iron skillet) wondering if I now have to move to Canada - at least temporarily.

Google to the Rescue! Canada seems confused. Canada just punched me in the stomach. (Or saved me some money, depending on your point of view.) It seems that Canada had an election or two since my wedding. And it seems that the conservatives are now running the show. And it seems that they're not as fond of the "hey, gays! Come get married here!" mindset as were their more liberal counterparts. And they are maybe now confused about whether my marriage was ever legal in the first place.

Let me tell you a little story about some other lesbians who also got married in Canada and also now would like to be divorced (but as far as I know that is where my similarity with them ends). Once upon a time there were these two hot women (I've never seen them, but doesn't it make the story more interesting?) who got married in Canada and then ran around doing all the things that straight men imagine lesbians doing. (Pillow fight!) Then one day, they decided they were tired of being together all the time and being mistaken for sisters, and they realized they were starting to look like each other, but not in the cute way that people start resembling their pets - no, in the creepy way that some lesbians start dressing nearly identically and then it gets weird. (You're right. I'm making up details to flesh out the story. Hush. The next bit is true. I swear. I'll cite sources and everything.) They wanted out. They separated. They wanted a divorce. Lesbian #1 moved to Florida. Lesbian #2 moved home to the UK. That's pretty separated, if you ask me. So they called Canada (I'm sure there's an 800 number for that) and asked pretty please with sugar on top if they could have a divorce.

And Canada said no.

"But why?" said the lesbians, looking all coy and sweet and batting their eyes like some lesbians can and other lesbians just look awkward doing.

"Because," said Canada, "we just now, after hearing your plea, decided that if your marriage isn't legal in the place where you normally reside, it didn't actually ever count in the first place. And since Florida and the UK aren't hip to the gay marriage train, you're out of luck, eh."

Here's where the story gets kind of weird. Because, you see, you would think that two crazy gals who were looking to get out of their marriage would hear this news and go, "whew! That was much easier than I expected." But, no. Lesbians can be a little cray cray and these two were no exception. Instead of going "Yay! I'm not married! That's what I wanted!" they went "WHAT?!? I'm not legally married? But what about all the wedding presents? What about all the vows and rings and combined finances? What about that huge expensive party we threw for all of our friends? What about GAY RIGHTS?!? You have to say our marriage counted!! How else can we take part in the most sacred of privileges afforded our straight counterparts and get a divorce?!"

And then, like good little lesbians, they filed a lawsuit.

Flash forward to today. Me, reading the story of these two, now angry, lesbians. "Hmm." I think, "They're all grumpy, but this could totally mean that I don't to live in Canada for a year." Except that then, Google failed me. Because that was all the information I could find.

So, I may or may not be married to a man who may or may not be a dangerous criminal. No...wait...that was Steel Magnolias. I may or may not be married to a woman who may or may not ever speak to me again. Yeah. That sounds closer to correct.

Is a puzzlement.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012's CONTAGIOUS?!?

You're going to need this for this post:
When I say "hit it", you go ahead know...hit it. (Where "it" = that pretty "play" button.) Let's try it now just to make sure it's working. Are you ready?

Did you know that gay is (hit it)


I didn't either! I can't believe no one brought it to my attention before! I mean, I know my mom thought (thinks?) that living in Cedar City, Utah for an extended period of time can give you The Gay, but I know plenty of straight folks in Cedar City, so I just figured she was overreacting. What if I was wrong? What if they're all just immune to The Gay and I wasn't? What if I caught gay from living in Cedar City and now I'm a carrier? What if I'm (hit it)


Oh, the humanity! Oh, borrow, if I may, from Joseph Conrad: "The horror! The horror!"

I can't believe I didn't realize it before, but it must be true! Because, you see, I have this friend (who, for purposes of anonymity I will refer to as "Friend". Try not to get confused.) with whom I am very close. And she was making plans to come visit Becca and me for a day or two in the spring. When she mentioned these plans to her mother, her mother told her she didn't think it was a good idea. The "why" it wasn't a good idea, her mother left unsaid, but Friend already knew the "why". Eventually, Friend told me that both her parents (who are lovely people. I've met them. We get along famously and I was under the impression that they quite liked me.) are absolutely, with out a doubt, convinced that if you spend time with the gays, you will, in fact, catch THE GAY. (hit it)

I had no idea I was such a danger to my immediate friends and family! I suddenly feel like a leper. Maybe I should walk around chanting "unclean! Unclean!" so folks know I'm highly contagious. I have The Gay and there's nothing I can...or  want, for that do about it.

Any my poor friend! She's DOOMED! (Go ahead. One more time. With gusto. HIT IT!)

Like most of my friends, she makes her living in theater. And, as you may or may not know, a lot of gays work in theater.  Good grief, just walking into a theater is like licking a Petri dish full of gay. She's being exposed to gay from all sides! She can't escape it!

Now, I don't actually know anyone to whom I have directly passed The Gay. There was a girl who lived on my couch for a summer and thought she might have caught it - enough that she tried kissing girls and even dated a girl for a while - but, luckily, she made a full recovery and is now happily married (to a man) with a lovely child. She survived! Also, I can hardly take full responsibility for her exposure as the apartment in question was occupied, not only by myself and my wife, but by two of our gay friends (and our token straight friend). That's a lot of gay-sposure!

At least Friend's parents aren't concerned that the gays are actively recruiting. At least they're giving us the benefit of the doubt and taking some of the responsibility out of our hands. You might, even if you knew you had it, unwittingly pass on herpigonosyphilaids. So it is with The Gay. Despite your best efforts at containment, you never know who you're going to expose to the danger!

And, in her mother's defense, Friend is beautiful, smart, talented, in her mid 20's and (hit it - one more time)


At this rate, she's destined to wind up an old maid, and her mother just wants to make sure she's actively pursuing a husband and not hiding behind the lesbians. Can you blame her? Okay, since I've spent this entire rant pseudo blaming her, I guess I can, but I can also see her point. The only way to meet eligible, single men is to hang out with eligible, single men. Most of the eligible, single men I hang out with are also interested in meeting eligible, single men. My circle of friends is not going to help Friend find a husband.

Anyway, I sincerely hope that Friend's well-educated, well-intentioned parents learn that The Gay isn't something you catch by exposure. It's just something you're born with - a genetic defect, if you will (I won't, but you can if it makes you feel better about life) - and not contagious at all. Though, I imagine the only way to prove it to them would be to over-expose Friend to The Gay and then marry her off to Vin Diesel, or some other excessively manly man. And I'm not sure Friend is into the kind of "over-exposure" I have in mind...

...yet. (hit it)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

So, what's the deal with sex?

What IS the deal with sex? Now, granted, I have some of my own...hangups?...with sex, but setting those aside for a minute (you're welcome, Mom) I'd like to seriously talk about sex.

First of all, let me say, sex is fun. Or, at least, it should be. If sex is not fun, you're doing it wrong. (And, don't feel bad if this is the case. A lot of people aren't having fun. THAT'S what I want to talk about!)

But here's the thing about sex being fun - no one wants to talk about it. Anywhere. Ever. They get embarrassed if you bring it up. Why? We talk about other fun things all the time! And encourage people to participate in the fun with us (or without us, but for heaven's sake, go have some fun!)

For example, if I'm going to Disneyland, I invite everyone I know - because Disneyland is fun! I invite all my friends. I invite my family. I invite strangers on the street. I invite the waiter at Denny's. And when I get back, I tell all those people about all the fun I had so they'll want to go have some themselves. Because having fun is a good thing, right? I think we can all agree that fun is good and should be shared, yes? Great. Back to sex.

I'm not suggesting that you go have sex with strangers on the street (though, it might be fun, so I'm not going to knock it if that's what you choose to do. Fun is important! know...don't be stupid. Don't wiggle out of your safety restraints on the rides at Disneyland and absolutely use protection if you're having sex with strangers. But that's neither here nor there.) What I'm trying to figure out is why we want to tell everyone and their dogs about our fabulous trip to Disneyland, but we don't want to talk to our best friends about having great sex.

You guys. Great sex is fun!

The dude who currently resides upstairs from me just had boring sex. At least, I assume it was boring. It sounded boring from where I was sitting. The whole thing lasted all of three minutes and I heard heels in the stairwell maybe 45 seconds after the bed stopped squeaking. Did she have a train to catch? Is the building on fire? Did you kick her out? Sheesh, dude! Take a minute and enjoy yourself. Better yet, take a minute and make sure she enjoyed herself! There are rides at Disneyland that last longer than what you just did - literally.

See, that's one of the things about sex being fun - it takes two (or three know...more than just you - not that that can't also be fun, that's just not what we're talking about here) - and if everyone involved isn't there to have a good time, what the hell are you there for?

Baby-making? I sincerely doubt it.

But how do we know we're all here to have fun if we don't talk about it? If we don't say things like, "OMG, I just had awesome sex. Everyone should be doing what I did last night," how will people know that sex should be awesome? Maybe the world isn't ready for the porno re-cap of every detail of your sex life, but you also don't typically mention every thing you ate while you were at Disneyland. It's enough to know that you were there and you had a great time and you EARNED those ridiculous mouse ears!

Yeah, I know. This has nothing to do with coming out. But, you know what I've learned from all my gay friends that I never heard about from the straight ones? Sex is FUN! (I guarantee you, the gays are not having sex for the purposes of pro-creation, and they're the only subset I know that genuinely want to talk about sex ALL THE TIME. Good for us! Yay fun!)

So. Get out there. Have some fun. Then talk about it. Talk to me. Find a gay friend and talk to them. Ask about my trip to Disneyland. I hereby declare war on whatever this weird phobia is we all seem to have about talking about sex. Sex sex sexy sex. Sex. I like it. I have it. You probably have too. If you haven't, you've probably thought about it. Sex. Let's talk.