Finding love

W texted me from work yesterday afternoon.

“Can we have the same thing for dinner that we had last night?”

“Um, I think so,” I text back.

It is not a difficult meal to prepare.  Breaded chicken tenders, noodles with butter and parmesan, and corn.

Imagine a butcher version

Me, only butchier.

W is struggling with some things these days, so I do what I can to make things easy for her.  I try to have dinner ready when she comes home.  I try to have the house picked up and food in the fridge.  I buy her cards and write her notes and sneak a piece of chocolate in her lunch.  Cooking chicken tenders two days in a row really isn’t a big deal.

When W comes home, I am in the kitchen finishing up dinner.

“Thank you for finding me,” she says.

Online datingShe says it all the time.  It’s a reference to how we met on match.com.  I was the one who sent her a note.  I was the one who found her.

“Someone has to take care of you,” I say.

“I know,” she replies.

W tells me how lucky she is to have me in her life.   The women she works with always tell her they need a Middle-age Butch to do all of the things I do.  Someone to pack their lunches, cook their dinners, pick up their prescriptions, do their grocery shopping.

I am not available.  I am a one-woman woman.

I remind W that she does lots of things for me.

She disagrees.

“It just looks different,” I tell her.

W is the breadwinner.  Because she works so hard, I am able to work from home and take care of things like lunches and dinners and errands.

Foam fingerShe is my biggest fan.  She loves everything I write.  This writer with low self-esteem needs to have her ego stroked.  Often.  Like a giant, needy cat.  Without W’s encouragement, there would be no finished book.

She loves telling people about my book.  I tell her not to make such a big fuss, but inside I light up like a firework.

She tells me I’m cute.  All the time.  Sometimes I even believe her.  She tells me I’m the world’s best lesbian.  But then we all knew that already.

W is the adventurer.  She drags me along on her excursions.  I plant the heels of my Dr. Marten’s in the mud and make things difficult.  But I am always glad to have ventured out and seen the world through her eyes.

She makes me giggle.  If you tell anyone, I’ll only deny it.  And then poke you with a sharp pokey object.

Moths in candlelightShe is the love and light in our house.  The rest of us are just moths.

The things I do can be calculated in monetary terms.  How much would you pay someone to cook your dinner or do your grocery shopping?

But W’s contributions are priceless.  To help a person believe she is a rock star like Joan Jett or Melissa Etheridge and can achieve her dreams is an invaluable skill and service.

It happens.  Sometimes.  When the stars align.  And you find the right person and fall in love.

Butched

I was watching TV today while folding the laundry.  That’s when I saw a promo for a new show.

Butched.

Genius, I thought.

I didn’t even have to watch the clip to know what it was all about.

Lea DeLariaThe show would be hosted by a famous butch.  Someone like Lea DeLaria.

Every week, a random person would be “butched,” or given a butch makeover.  This would involve cargo shorts, a T-shirt or polo shirt, new sneakers, maybe a baseball cap or even a tattoo.

Because everyone knows butches have more fun.

There would be instructions on how to give the butch nod, what beverage to order with lunch (beer), what beverage to order with dinner (beer), how to walk with a swagger, tie a Windsor knot, sing along to Melissa Etheridge songs in the car, open a jar of pickles without showing effort and respond to “can I help you, sir?”

And then I realized the show was actually called Botched.  And it was about fixing plastic surgery mishaps.

Nevermind.

* * *

But if there was a show called Butched, what would it be about?

What’s in a name?

Name tag

So, you’ve all seen it.  I know you have.

My name.

It’s right there on the cover of my book.

I’ve gone from anonymous blogger to author who shall be named.

Note: Middle-age Butch is not my real name.

I’ve enjoyed blogging anonymously for the past two years.  It allowed me to open up and write about whatever I wanted.  And be more flannel-y and cool than I really am.

But now the jig is up.  And I’m not even Irish.

When I was a kid, I used to hate my name.  It was seven letters long and contained every vowel except “u.”  It rhymed with “Crayola,” kinda.  It was French.  These things do not make for a cool name.

In second grade, my teacher, Mrs. Ruth Dixon, shortened my name to Rae.

I'm like this but butchier

I’m like this but butchier

At about the same time, my grandmother started calling me Rae.  Her favorite movie was The Sound of Music.  I was Rae, or “re,” her drop of golden sun.  So yeah, I’m like a butch Julie Andrews.

And it stuck. Rae.

Not a bad name for someone who gets called “sir.”

It’s one letter away from Ray.

I think I’m just feeling exposed these days, what with my memoir less than three months away from its premiere.

I’ve never had to worry about my family reading my blog.  It was something I did privately.  Under a pseudonym.

I worry about what they will think about the book.

More specifically, I worry that they will be embarrassed by the book.  Not so much by how they are portrayed (this isn’t the lesbian version of Running with Scissors … which would be Running While Scissoring, I believe).  But just by the fact that they have a daughter who sometimes gets mistaken for a man.  Or young boy.  Or Boy Scout.

ElephantWe don’t talk about anything in our family.  I have this great line that didn’t make it into the book: The elephant in the room was our family pet.

So having a book published is like airing our dirty laundry in public.  Even though it’s my dirty laundry.  And yes, those are my boxer briefs thank you very much.

I had thought about publishing the book under a pen name.  Maybe Girl-Who-Hasn’t-Worn-Skirt-Since-Grade-School.  Or Little Flower Stamen-Pistil.  Did I mention that I’m part Cherokee?  But couldn’t come up with a suitable moniker.

I guess I need to adjust to being a little more open and honest.  To putting myself out there.  Not so much with the rest of the world.  But with those who claim to know me best.

A slice of butch life

imagesFX4BSP6BSo, I woke up this morning in a really great mood.  Perky , you could say.  Yes, you heard that right.  This butch was feeling perky this morning.

So much so that as I was skipping to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I tripped on the bottom of my flannel nightgown.  I know.  So said.  Butch down!  Butch down!  I cried because it hurt so much!  After 10-15 minutes of open weeping, I went about my morning grooming routine.

After I was perfectly coifed and dressed (Who’s the fairest of them all?), I made a nice cup of chamomile tea.  Drank it in my souvenir mug from the movie The Notebook.

And then it was off to my home office to do some work.  There was a Phillies spring training update on the local sports channel and some show on how drinking beer can actually boost your sex life and make you more attractive to the ladies, but luckily those shows didn’t interest me so I was able to focus on my work.

I know, I know … all work and no play makes butch a dull boy/girl.  I did take a short work break to watch an infomercial on a new line of skin care from France!

I’m waiting to hear from W about when she’s coming home.  It’s Friday, which means salad night for us!

* * *

Well, happy April 3rd to all of my Flannel Files followers.  Unfortunately, this post is two days too late.  Story of my life, folks.

See if you can spot all of the inconsistencies in the above post.  And remember to never take yourself too seriously.

Free bowties!

Ya can't have too many.

Ya can’t has too many.

This deal is too good not to share.  Butches and non-butches, get your bowtie fix by buying one from Tie the Knot, Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s bowtie collection that funds the fight for LGBTQ equality.  When you do, JT himself will throw in a free bowtie.

Y’all will need a bowtie on April 28 when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear marriage equality cases.  Wear a bowtie on that day to show your support.

The deal expires April 28.  Use promo code EQUALITY at checkout.

Tell Jesse Tyler Middle-age Butch sent ya.  In my mind we are old pals because I watch Modern Family reruns all the time.  We are old pals.

Go here to order your bowtie.

* * *

TrophyAnd the winners are …

Speaking of bowties, I have the winners from the Leaving Normal: Adventures in Gender book launch promo contest.

Piccadilly Jilly came up with the idea of a laminated bookmark with a soft topper like a flannel bowtie.  Jilly’s idea has morphed into a bookmark with a red felt cape attached to match the book’s superheroish cover and theme.  P.J. herself did the bookmark mock-ups.

And Widdershins suggested putting some related stories on cheap flashdrives.  I tweaked that idea and will be placing songs quoted or mentioned in the book on flashdrives.

I’ll be posting information on where you can get these promotional items as the book launch nears.

Guys, I’ll be in touch about your bowtie prize.  You can pick from the two bowties I posted when I announced the giveaway (an orange paisley bowtie or a bowtie with a tiny floral print).  Or, pick out a Tie the Knot bowtie (just go to the site and tell me which one you want) or select a mystery bowtie.  I know, too many choices.

Cover girl

Hey guys, take a gander:

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a book!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a book!

Still scheduled for release on June 26.

You can find more information from my publisher Weasel Press, including the book synopsis, by scrolling down their Facebook feed.

Better yet, find them on Facebook, follow them, like the information about my book and share.  You know you want to.

While you’re there, check out their other publications and submission calls.

Prepare for launch!

Rocket launch

Mark your calendars, folks.

I have an official launch date for my book.

Leaving Normal: Living in the Middle of Boy/Girl comes out June 26.  That’s three short months from today.

So exciting!  So scary!

W and I have just started planning the book launch party.  We’re looking for a local LGBT charity to donate a portion of the profits to.  We considered adopting a softball team, but it would probably involve way too much paperwork.

As far as the book goes, I’m picking out cover art now.  I have it narrowed down to three covers.  I need to make a decision soon but keep changing my mind.  I just got back first edits, which I’m going to comb through this weekend.

It all seems so surreal.  I was updating my blog a few weeks ago and got to cross off “write a book and have it published” from my bucket list.  Such an awesome feeling.  I pounded my chest like Tarzan and actually high-fived myself like a big giant butch dork.

I’m looking ahead to marketing.  Making lists.  Sending out e-mails.  Thinking about press releases, guest blog posts, etc.  Three months will go by really fast.

So, here’s where you come in.  I need your best promotion ideas.  You know me.  Lovable butch with a fondness for flannel.  You know about my book.  A heartwarming tale about a lovable butch with a fondness for flannel.

Pitch me your best book promotion ideas.  Think outside the box.  Because isn’t what this book is all about.  Living outside the box.  Those M/F boxes.  And every other box related to gender.  Get inspired.  Get crazy.  Get butch.

I’ll even make it worth your while.  Best idea wins a free bow tie.

Your pick ... posies or paisley.

Your pick … posies or paisley.

So, get to thinking.  Can’t wait to read what you come up with!