So I joined a gym in January. Fascinating stuff, right?
It takes a while to put together a really good gym kit. You go, and you think “Boy, my hair is short enough that I don’t need a brush or comb, but I need a portable pot of that stuff that keeps my hair from looking like a dandelion…”
Towels were immediately an issue. I had bath towels and beach towels, and quickly determined that neither were gym-appropriate. I told The Carpenter that I needed gym towels. Since towels form approximately 20% of our laundry by volume and I can get a little fetishy about them, he tried to dissuade me.
I recounted our argument to The Boys as we walked through a discount department store and I browsed towels, looking for the Perfect Gym Towel. Of course they did not even need to have the towel taxonomy explained to them.
The Brunette, who doesn’t even go to the gym because he’s a reprehensible little ectomorph who wouldn’t gain a pound if you fed him a free weight, defined a gym towel as “an inexpensive, medium sized, potentially disposable towel that you wouldn’t care if you lost or if someone used it to clean up jizz”
"Yeah!" I replied in my outdoor voice, as we rounded a corner "But my bath towels, you get cum all over those and I’m like -" and OF COURSE there’s some poor guy standing right there.
The test stands though.
Wherein The Hag escalates a joke
So we’re in the mall, eating frozen yogurt (I know, I know!) and talking about life, the universe and everything. The Blonde is telling me that I am phobic about conflict, and I can’t even argue, not only because I am phobic about conflict, but because I just had a terrible example of this yesterday.
So I’m telling him about the rude associate in Ikea, and starting to get choked up because it’s not just a rude salesperson - if I can’t stand up to a retail worker who is refusing to help me, how can I accomplish any of the minor acts of self-preservation that are necessary in the immediate future?! I have a salary negotiation, continuing insurance claim, etc… So I start to tear up.
I’m right on the verge, and The Blonde can see it coming. Normally when I start to cry over silliness he makes me stop by doing this creepy whispered cheer: “Cry… cry… cry…”
But this time he just flashes me this huge smile, rolls his eyes and says: “Jeez ____, I’m not breaking up with you!”
And that just set me off. I look around the food court, suddenly panicked. ”You… you brought me to a public place?! To break up with me? So I wouldn’t MAKE A SCENE? YOU’RE BREAKING UP WITH ME IN PUBLIC BECAUSE YOU THINK THAT MEANS I WON’T MAKE A SCENE?!”
By now the tears are streaming down my face. I sustained it for as long as I could before the giggles got me. It was hysterical. The Blonde, who like all blondes is a blusher, achieve a state that can only be described as magenta.
The Blonde, politely declining a surrogacy offer.
My youngest, who just turned six, asked me what gay means last night. It was easy enough to answer. I told her a person who is gay likes people of their own gender the way most people like people of the opposite gender. So a gay man likes other men the way most men like women. She asked if girls can be gay, and if so, who do they like? At that point I think the math kinda clicked into place for her.
I don’t know if she’s ever really realized that The Blonde and The Brunette are a couple the way The Carpenter and I are.
Lately she’s been amusing herself by asking how the baby gets into the mommy’s tummy. I tell her the daddy puts it there. How? With his penis. Cue the hysterical grossed-out six-year-old reaction, played over maniacal giggles. I know this game. Two days later she’ll ask me the same questions with exactly the same intonation, and the same reactions. Its a game.
I always thought part of the purpose was to shock and upset the adults, but observation of my offspring shows that no matter how blase and casual you are while answering questions with bare uncommented/unedited facts, they still ‘forget’ and come back round to get the same answers again.
Maybe it’s like listening to Betty White. Even if you have a thousand reasons to believe she’s about to say some wild shit, your brain can’t even let you anticipate that it’s about to happen. Like a blind spot in your ability to predict results based on past performance.
The Blonde and I should do standup.
We do this thing when we are ‘performing’ our friendship for an audience, where he ends every sentence with “… for someone your age” and I start all mine with “You people…”.
When we introduce ourselves as best friends, sometimes we have to say: “Seriously. We are.”
Walking along with Blond & Two of Three
Two of Three just turned thirteen. Blonde says something about feeling outnumbered. I challenged Two of Three to say something horrifying. Without missing a beat she says:
"Sometimes, when I wear a tampon, I’m pretty sure I put it in wrong. Because it hurts when I sit down!"
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how you gag a gay man.
I think I used my Outside Voice there.
In my defence, I was outside. At a noisy bus stop. And I did move away from the crush of people. The Blonde was trying to bully me into visits. Finally he tried to bribe me. Keep in mind, the sour-face older woman at the stop could only hear my half of the conversation:
Blonde: “Pleeeeeeze come over. We’ll make a BABY!”
Moi: “Bullshit. You don’t even know the recipe for baby.”
Blonde: “Sure I do. When a man and a woman love each other very much-“
Moi: “Or if they’ve been drinking, or if they have low self-esteem.”
[dirty look from random bus lady]
Blonde: “Yeah, whatever. Come ooooover”
Moi: “I’ll have a baby with you, but I’m not giving you custody. You can visit it.”
[moar dirty look]
Blonde: “WAHTEVER COME OVER”
I did end up going over. No babies were made or even attempted.
And you know what, grouchy-faced lady? I have a hearing loss. Which is way more of an inconvenience for me than for you. Also; take a look around. You are in a crowded public space. You might not want to know anything about our lives, we might not want to know anything about yours. But we all have to share this space. See the trees and squirrels? Outside = outside voice.
The Blonde wants to pass
… for straight. I do not think this is in the cards. He gets really upset if you tell him he is emphatically identifiably gay. It’s not that he’s closeted at all, or ashamed, or anything like that. I think he probably just would like to be invisible to bigots, free from harassment, and have his sexuality be something he chooses to share with someone as opposed to something that is public information.
Welcome to the sisterhood. No wonder straight women and gay men form these intense friendships.
But mostly I think he just wants to fuck straight men. I tried explaining to him that straight men are not gay, by definition.
"Shut up. You don’t know anything!"
Yup. Part of his brain thinks that if he passes for straight, he is in there. It’s the unattainability, and who am I to criticize on that account…
Maybe I should have the Carpenter sit him down for a chat?
I took The Blonde with me to a party that I attended as part of a resolution to attend all my ‘school things’ in my last year of school. Side note: reconsider resolution.
The theme was ‘White-out’. A theme so fraught with danger that you just knew a bunch of dudes came up with it while wearing dark wash denim and not menstruating. Also it is on a boat cruise, so it is captive-audience. Once we’re on it doesn’t matter how much it sucks, we are on for the duration. But best not to dwell on unpleasantness.
So I bought two tickets and an ill-advised but actually super-cute swishy white skirt and began shopping around for a better date than The Carpenter. The Carpenter is anti-social, and when I bring him to these things I hate to leave him, so it winds up being the two of us in a corner.
The Blonde is ideal; he is social, but awkward enough that he understands my anxiety. And he owns white pants.
So off we go.
I leave him alone for three minutes, and come back to find him and some guy chatting on the railing.
See, the thing is; being gay is a thing you have in common with other people, if it is a thing you have. Straight people don’t bond over their heteronormativity. You don’t look at another straight girl and thing “Well, we’ve got one thing in common…”
Like when my family was living in a townhouse complex, and a new family moved in across the parking lot. Second of Three looked out the window and saw a little girl in a poofy princess dress, so she ran upstairs, put on her poofy princess dress, and ran outside.
Instant best friends.
I’m not saying that The Blonde and Random Boat Gay are besties, I’m just saying I wish there was something overt or even subtle about me that would make like-minded types approach me when I stand alone at the rail.