I’m Surprisingly Not Really Surprised, But I Sorta Am

I’ve been stoked all week for Pride Week here in my city.

There are a lot of events happening, and I’m going to a couple of them, including a Drag show & a “Pride in the Park” day, where a bunch of things will be going on, all at once.

I feel so much empathy, and a strangely welcoming aura, that I don’t get from many groups, when I am in the LGBTQIAP community presence…it’s comforting and strengthening, to me.

Stupidly, I’m welling up with emotion as I type this, I’m just…

Well…anyway.

I’ve been so excited for this, I’ve been talking about it in my office, trying to see if there were any other women who might, possibly, be interested in going to one of the events. The drag show, the park, whatever. I just…kind of wanted to share the wonderful experiences I’ve had with others.

And, instead, the commentary I received back – wasn’t very complimentary.

It wasn’t outright horrible, but…it was, backhanded, snickering, in some cases, spluttering and a quick look of disgust, before quickly covering it with polite disdain.

It was, to say the least, really disheartening, to me.

You see… I’m Pagan.

I am already a minority.

I came out to my coworkers after a long 6 months of debating with myself whether I should or not, way back in 2000, when I started working with some of the same women I still work with today.

We live in a mostly-Republican state, pretty conservative, and yet, I’ve never had a really bad reaction, in this city, from anyone I’ve told about my faith. I feel I’ve been pretty lucky in that regard, as I know there are many who face regular discrimination over their religious beliefs.

These women had absolutely no trouble accepting that I had a non-mainstream religion…

And yet, I can honestly say, that I don’t feel as though anyone who is not hetero, would feel comfortable coming out working there.

Granted, there ARE a couple of women who are totally accepting and friendly towards non-hetero, so I won’t say it’s everyone.

But I was….sad, disheartened, and I felt a little let down.

Which is stupid, again.

They don’t owe me jack shit.

But…I can’t ever, really, be my true self around them.

And, that’s just another layer between them and me that must be applied and maintained, for everyone’s comfort.

*sigh*

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Sorrow and Joy

It is true…

There are so many stories of sorrow in the news, these days.

Stories of children trapped in caves, along with their coach, far from where I live, but no less heard and concerned over..

Stories of tornadoes, ripping through local communities, taking lives, and tearing apart what has taken years to build up for so many…

Stories of people, leaving poor, defenseless babies out in the weeds – one, lucky enough to be saved, far from here…another, local, not so lucky, who died, and the parent who left it being possibly sentenced to only 15 years in prison, in exchange for that baby’s death. Not even enough years for that child to have reached its majority, had it lived…

Yes…it’s true – so many sad, unalterable tragedies in the news.

Everywhere you look, no matter where you’re from, no matter what station of wealth you find yourself at, there is some news story of sadness that touches upon your circle of awareness.

Do you sit down and refuse to rise again? Do you refuse to ever smile again, or ever experience joy again, because someone, somewhere, is experiencing a tragedy?

I was given to think, yesterday, that maybe I wasn’t supposed to be allowed joy, because of all the sorrow on someone else’s news-feed. Or, maybe, they were thinking they weren’t allowed any joy.

I don’t think it works like that.

Sorrow exists. Yes. Absolutely.

And, as conscientious human beings, we should try to ameliorate whatever suffering we can, where we can, when we can, and as we can.

BUT.

This does NOT exclude us from the award that is experiencing joy.

We all deserve to have some joy in our lives.

Whether that means hanging out with friends; going fishing; spending time at home, in the quiet, alone for 5 minutes; going to a drag show; spending time in the garden, or however, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else…

YOU DESERVE A LITTLE JOY IN YOUR LIFE.

And, if you choose to ask others to share in that joy, and THEY decide it’s not their type of joy? They can simply say “It’s not my thing, but I hope you have fun”.

And don’t make fun of the other person for that joy.

Because that’s rude.

And not joyful at all.

There are many sorrows in this world…

Don’t make one for someone else.

Blowing Out The Candles in My Dreams

I woke up this morning with tears tracing down my face.

I’d had a dream, & I remembered most of it.

I had gone with my cousin to a bookstore. Now, this particular cousin is more like a sister to me. She & I grew up extremely close. We’re only 10 months apart in age (I’m the elder, not that that really matters, but I could see you out there, wondering).

We used to spend our summers together, my aunt (my uncle had died when we were very little) would send her to our house for a few weeks, then later, I’d go stay with them for a few weeks in southern Minnesota.

We squabbled like siblings, we laughed like best friends, & we ganged up our parents, & snuck around as teenagers do, just as though we were more than mere cousins.

So, when I talk about my cousin “L”, it’s more as though I’m talking about a sister I never had.

Back to the dream. L & I had entered this super cool bookstore, which came complete with its own specialty bakery &, of course, cafe/coffee shop.

You were even able to special-order decorated cakes for occasions, & the bakers would decorate them to your specifications.

In my dream, I hadn’t had my birthday yet. This is important, later.

We browsed a bit, found books to buy, & sat in the cafe & had some cake, talking about things, catching up, since I haven’t seen L for a while. (Truth, it’s been months, & we would do this naturally)

L talks a mile a minute, so I let her blow her steam, keeping quiet & enjoying my cake, knowing she’ll listen when I tell her about my life. She always does, but, as an only child, she’s used to certain things, always being able to go first in a conversation being one of those things. I don’t mind.

Some who think they know me might scoff, but I really am quiet. When I care about someone, I’ll just sit & wait for the other person to talk themselves out completely before I speak, giving them my full attention the whole time.

When we were finished, we packed up & got ready to leave.

But first, I went over to the specialty cakes area. I’d seen a cake I wanted for my birthday, which, in my dream, hadn’t happened yet. And all I wanted was for the decorator to do some simple words on top – nothing major or fancy.

I’d filled out an order card with my contact information, & gave it to the bakery for the special-ordered layer cake.

When I spoke to the decorator about the cake, she misunderstood me 3 times, pulling out 3 different cakes, none of which were the ones I wanted. So, I finally walked her to the case & showed her the exact cake I wanted & told her that all I wanted was a simple handful of words on top.

She told me “We don’t decorate that cake. You can’t do that. Why would you even want to?”

At this point, my cousin had walked off to talk to some friends, so I was alone, and frustrated with dealing with someone who just didn’t seem to get it.

“I just want someone to put ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ on top of the damn cake, is that so hard? I always spend my birthday alone, my kids don’t come home, my parents leave the state, my friends don’t remember, or don’t live close enough to be here…I just wanted something nice for myself. Forget it!”

At this point, I walked out, with cousin L scrambling to catch up to me.

She asked what was wrong, but I wouldn’t tell her.

Later, I get a phone call from the bookstore. Could I please come down & pick up my order?

I told the lady on the phone I didn’t have an order, but she was adamant, & that I needed to pick it up.

So, I went.

When I get there, the cake is done, exactly as I ordered, and when I go to pay for it, she won’t let me, saying someone else already took care of it, although she won’t tell me who.

I take my cake & go home, wishing I had someone to celebrate with.

That’s my wish every year.

Does making wishes on candles in dreams count?

A Little Wild

I fear my mother despairs of ever cultivating a true gardener’s soul within me.

(Yeah, pun intended)

I have this tendency to “grow my own way”.

And, I hate weeding.

Uggghhh…nothing more mind-numbing and irritating to me than pulling weeds. It’s one of the reasons why I got rid of the vegetable garden we used to have in the backyard.

Boooring….

I do however, have my own way of gardening.

Wild.

Other than my lily garden, which is still a work in progress, and will probably end up more wild than tame by the end of things, anyway, my flower beds are thrown together as a mix of perennials – and then told – “GO! Whoever lasts – wins! May the odds be ever in your favor!”

And I am very much in support of this style of gardening, obviously.

My mother hates it.

She sees it as disorganized, messy, & well…not like her.

But that’s just it.

It’s ok. I’m not her. I’m me.

I love my mom.

But I’m disorganized, messy, & not her.

I am, however, a survivor.

Just like the flowers that make it to the blooming stage in my yard.

And, by that – I mean – my yard…has now gotten into the The Hunger Games act of gardening…

I have wild daisy patches blooming in the middle of my grass.

And I let them.

Why?

Because Katniss and Peta made it this far. They deserve their chance to shine before the mower takes them out.

They aren’t specially bred lilies, or carefully cultivated and pruned arrangements.

They popped up, out of nowhere, while I wasn’t looking, because we were getting rain & I couldn’t mow for a few days.

So- bloom – you little fuckers.

Bloom.

Go wild.

This yard is the only place you’ll probably get this chance.

Because I’m still a little wild myself…even if only between my ears.

(No green thumbs here)

It’s Finally Happened

I’ve finally, truly, given up on ever having faith in men.

I just don’t believe that they’ll ever do what they say they will, anymore.

I don’t have any fucks to give when it comes to romance, either.

I’m so done with giving chances to men who shit on me, take me for granted, walk all over me & treat me as though I were nothing more than a convenience drive-through for them.

It’s been a long time coming, this attitude, and a slow death by attrition, but after everything – I’m just. Fucking. Done.

I don’t want anymore promises, no more “please, just one more chance”s… No more winky faces, no more flirtatious texts or DMs on Instagram. No more “trying just one last time” on dating sites, because Goddess knows – THAT is the LAST fucking thing I need. No more damn messages asking me about my “likes and dislikes”.

Fuuuuuuuck… I’m so tired of all the bullshit, only to end up alone again at the end of it all, because it really was all just a game to the other person.

I’m too damn old for this shit.

I’m too old for these men who “claim” they “love me” (ha) and yet they can’t ever seem to make their way to my damn door. Oh, but they can text every day, and want to talk on the phone, sure, cause that’s easy.

But, actually showing up?

Naw, that’s hard.

Sorry.

Fuck off.

I’m busy.

I don’t have time to read your texts anymore, and I’m not answering the phone when you call.

You want to tell me you looove me?

Fucking prove it, bitch.

Til then, I’m out.

I got no fucks to give.

Drag Me To…

I went to my very first Drag show on Saturday!

*SQUEEE*

Ahhhh…that’s better.

I’ve wanted to see a live drag show (as in, Yaaass, Qween!) for years – ever since I watched the original 1978 movie version of La Cage Aux Folles. I saw this one late night on cable in my early twenties, & was immediately riveted.

This feeling was reiterated when I saw Too Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.

And again by the Robin Williams and Nathan Lane version of La Cage Aux Folles, retitled in English to The Birdcage.

Needless to say, I’ve had a healthy fascination with Drag Queens for a long time.

Hairspray? I prefer the original version with Divine, Rikki Lake, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, and Sonny Bono. C’mon, I mean RIC OCASEK from The Cars was in it, fergawdssake!! (Yes, I’m a child of the 80’s, and not ashamed of my musical upbringing, thank you)

And, I was recently lead to Todrick Hall, who has the voice of an angel, and the attitude of…well…

Y’all should watch his YouTube video called Straight Outta Oz. It’s straight outta this universe amazing.

Of course, I love RuPaul, and discovered others through the Drag Race, like Bob the Drag Queen, Alyssa Edwards, Miss Fame, Kim Chi, and others too numerous to mention here.

Anyway, back to the Drag Show.

It was put on as a fund raiser by a local Relay For Life team, and they called it “Cancer is a Drag”.

It was 4 hours of knock-down, drag-out (pun totally intended) hilarity and fun.

I didn’t want to leave my seat the whole 4 hours, even to pee, for fear I’d miss something!

And the Queens and Kings were amazing! They lip synced, they joked, they played games & got the audience revved up and involved.

I was blown away.

And, I can’t wait till they come back.

I just want to hug them all, tell them how much they’ve given me, how brave and inspiring I find them, that they can be so OUT LOUD, and UP FRONT right in people’s faces! Especially in conservative places like the city and state I live in.

(North Dakota’s a red state, y’all, and sometimes it’s so conservative it’s claustrophobic)

So, here’s the best of the pictures…I know they’re not the best, but when you’ve got #QWEENSINMOTION…well, you do the best you can.

These were not all of the performers, but I wasn’t able to get great pictures of everyone – a lot of the pictures I took came out blurry due to the dim lighting, the strobing light effects, & the constant movement of the performers. It was really difficult to get still shots!

I sincerely hope these ladies and gents know just how appreciated their performances were on Saturday, & they’re willing to do this again really soon. Because I’m kind of addicted to the whole experience, now.

Even though I ended up going to this alone, I never felt left out.

And that, was the most amazing part of it all.