Sometimes I think W deserves someone better than me.
Sometimes means during the past few weeks.
I have been moody.
Not 24/7 moody. That would be full-blown depression. Instead, I have been like a black storm cloud in the summer heat, unpredictable and quick to rain on everyone’s parade.
“You are a lucky woman,” I tell W sometimes.
I call her by her full name when I say this. She thinks it’s cute.
I know this because she crinkles her nose.
I haven’t called her a lucky woman for awhile.
I wonder if I am moody because I’m a butch. A brooding butch chiseled out of stone and always over thinking things until smoke comes out my ears and my flannel is at risk of catching on fire.
As a general rule, butches are not perky or bubbly or given nicknames like Sunshine or Daisy.
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer prone to endless inner reflection. Sylvia Plath in a pair of Dr. Marten’s boots.
It could be a combination of the two. A butch writer. W never had a chance.
We had a spirited discussion last weekend about the word “wife.” About how W has a desire to use the word to describe me while I would cringe inside about such a female-identified word being used in reference to me.
Later, I told W she should refer to me as her “female lover” just for the shock factor.
“I can’t win,” she says.
I think it’s because I still haven’t figured out who I am. It sounds silly because I am in my 40s. But I still feel like I am in a state of flux, a work in progress.
I wonder if butch is just a transition. Just another phase in my metamorphosis from tomboy to lesbian to soft butch to butch to something else.
When I used to travel to my alma mater to meet up with my college pals, I would drive for as long as I could before stopping for something to drink or to use a restroom. I usually stopped about two-and-a-half hours into the trip at a McDonalds in Danville, a small town near the center of Pennsylvania. I would grab two cheeseburgers and a vanilla shake and continue on, excited to see my friends and pop open a cold beer. I wonder if butch is Danville. A pit stop and not a destination.
Or is my metamorphosis complete? Maybe I’m already a butterfly (a butterfly in a flannel shirt and combat boots) and just haven’t realized it yet.
* * *
What about you? Are you a moody butch or in a relationship with one? Are you still a work in progress or is your transformation complete?
A butterfly in combat boots! *chortles* I can just see all the butterfly eating critters in the animal queendom wandering around with a dazed expression on their faces and splints on their beaks. “But, she kicked me! For realz!”
I’m actually a rather cheery butch more often than not. Perhaps I’m an anomaly.
I think there’s a significant difference between figuring out who we are and what we are. (and what we want to be when we grow up!) Be a butterfly with combat boots. That’s what fits today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
I knew you would have good advice. Here’s to being a butterfly in combat boots.
I get hung up on “wife” too (Donna and I are not married because she considers it bourgeois decadence – never take up with someone who was once in a Marxist study group).
I like partner, spouse, and lover, but I always hated significant other and companion doesn’t work because of our age difference. Husband is out of the question. Sometimes I get introduced as “my Jamie” which is about as accurate as it gets.
I’m much less moody since I entered menopause.
Maybe I should just wait for menopause.
It’s complicated. The names we call ourselves. There’s a great quote by Lucille Clifton: “What they call you is one thing. What you answer to is something else.” Sometimes W calls me “handsome, sexy beast,” and I always answer to that.
Which Clifton book/poem is this from??? I adore her. She and Marge Piercy have the funniest poems about menopause.
Not sure where I found that quote. I remember using it in my memoir.
The great thing about being a work in progress, is that you get to be more than one thing, in this life.
I know that Danville MacDonalds. I drive across the coal country, and get on 80 there.
Never thought about it that way. I guess I get so hung up on the fact that gender is so easy for some people.
I went to school at Penn State, which is right off of 80.
I just discovered the term soft butch. I had previously thought of my self as sort of androgynous (assuming it meant both/and when apparently people take it as meaning neither/nor). Huh.
“Soft” always made the term “butch” more palatable to me.
See here’s the thing. Masculine-of-center women are a dime a dozen. Butches are the real thing. It’s like the difference between men and James Bond.
I love that comparison as I am a huge Bond fan. Octopussy being my favorite Bond movie, Roger Moore my favorite Bond and Maud Adams my favorite Bond Girl.