September 23, 2010

Maria, Maria...she reminds me of a west side story...

During my first graduate school class last fall, we went around the room and introduced ourselves.  One of my classmates began to speak, and something inside me snapped to attention.  I couldn't stop watching her from across the room.  She was so beautiful and her voice was captivating. She had a smile that warmed me inside, and skin the color of a perfect cappucino. 

Have I mentioned before how much I love coffee?

Our university is in a not-so-safe area and our classes are at night, so we began walking to our cars together after class.  I learned that she was in the middle of a break-up with her girlfriend of five years.  She learned that I was at the beginning of a divorce.  Pretty soon, we were talking everyday and meeting for dinner before class.

Not knowing how to flirt with a woman, I was at a loss of what to do.  One night, fueled by a few of glasses of wine, I sent her a text and told her that I think she is incredibly sexy. (Which, by the way, I feel strongly that cell phones should have a breathalyzer attached to them that automatically disables the phone if you're drunk.  This would have saved my ass many, many times.) 

 After class one night I drove her to her car, she gathered her things and got out.  She startled me when she opened the door to my car and got back in. 

"I just came back to give you a hug," she said. 

When she put her arms around me, I swear I got struck by lightning. 

I was overwhelmed by the feel of her hair in my face and my hands on her back.  I knew that I could never live without that feeling in my life anymore.

But what did I say in that moment? The moment that my soul finally found what it was searching for my whole life?  The moment that I felt complete and perfect and emotional and ecstatic??

"You smell GREAT," I said.

The dumbest thing ever.

I hope she still likes me.

September 7, 2010

The first cut is the deepest...

One night I was out walking my dog and I felt like I was going crazy, crying and walking.  I knew that I was gay, and my husband knew I was gay, but no one else knew.    Always a believer that secrets are like poison, I just knew I had to tell someone. Right then. Right that very second.

I called my friend who lives around the block, and asked her if I could come over to talk. When I got to her house, her husband took one look at the box of Kleenex in my hand and hightailed it right out of there.

She poured us each a glass of wine and asked me what was going on.  I blurted out, "We're getting divorced." She asked why and I said,

"Because I'm gay."


Then she walked over to me, gave me the tightest hug and cried right along with me.

I live within shouting distance of my very closest friends. We have parties, spend holidays together and our kids are all friends.  Whether I need a cup of sugar or a bottle of tequila, my friends are there for me. 

My friend and I discussed which of our friends would be okay with me being gay, and which ones I should absolutely not tell.  One of my friends gives her son Playboys so he won't "turn out gay."  Yeah, probably shouldn't break the news to her.  But we agreed everyone else should be okay with it.  I mean, we're young, we're liberals and we live in Seattle, for God's sake.  They will all still love me anyway, right?

Except one:  my friend's husband Robbie is a midwestern, corn-fed, football loving conservative.  I had no idea how he would take the news.  My best guess was that he wouldn't speak to me and wouldn't allow our kids to play together anymore.

As I slowly began telling my friends that I am gay, I became more and more anxious about what Robbie would do.  The last thing I wanted was for my kids to suffer any negative consequences because of me.  I also wondered if my friends would begin to take sides, choosing between supporting my husband or me.  Word was spreading fast among my friends (no matter how much someone promises they won't tell, they always do...bitches!)

One night, there was a knock at the door.  It was Robbie.  He wrapped me up in a huge bear hug.  He told me that he would support me no matter what, and that they would always be my friends.

I sure hope he means it.