Me and Dorothy.

“Hi, Pretty,” Dorothy Allison says to me in a southern lilt that could melt three-feet of snow in Philadelphia in February.

I have my book opened to the title page of her memoir and hand it to her to sign.

“You’re another tall one,” she says. Her eyes sparkle.

Allison has just headlined the “Literary Adventures at Sea” program on our Olivia cruise to Alaska where she talked about feminism and lesbian literature and liking the tall butches because they’re fun to climb.

“It’s an honor to meet you,” I say. “I’m a writer, too.” I try to play it cool–Dorothy Allison … no biggie–as butches often do.

When I catch up with W back in our room, she asks how the signing went.

“It’s a good day when Dorothy Allison flirts with you,” I say.

Later, I can’t stop thinking about the word “pretty.” Allison hadn’t used it as an adjective but as a noun.

“Hi, Pretty,” she had said.

I’ve never liked being described as pretty. It always carries with it a feminine connotation.

pretty: “pleasing by delicacy or grace,” the Merriam-Webster definition reads.

I like the concept of pretty as a person or object, especially when the word glides from the lips of Dorothy Allison.


A sunset.

A tree-covered mountaintop.

An eagle soaring in the ice blue Alaskan sky.

A butch still trying to come to terms with her appearance in this pink/blue world of ours.




16 responses to “Pretty

  1. Pink/Blue World. Great term.Yeah. I have a Hell of a time trying to make things fit too.

  2. averycassell2016

    Pretty as a noun while flirting? And from Dorothy Allison? What a sweet Southern delight. I would have blushed. You’re doing something right!

  3. bookishbutchesq

    I hear ya about the pretty thing and yet, I have been known to blush at being called pretty but women who I admire. Being flirted with by Dorothy Allison, yup a kick ass day.

    • You know it, BB. I guess it comes down to who is wielding the word “pretty.” Would probably groan if it was coming from my mother but from a pretty femme or a world-famous lesbian author it has a totally different effect.

  4. So friggin jealous!!!! LOVE this woman. HERO… Big sigh….lol can you hear it? Congrats on the pretty πŸ˜‰

    • She was everything you would have hoped for … funny, inspiring, raunchy and sweet on every butch in the room. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, don’t miss out!

      • Now you’re just being mean. x( Lol…awesome! I’m so happy to hear that she is out there, still doing her thing. I thought she was forever out of my will-I-ever-meet-Dorothy reach! Nice to know it can still happen. Sigh…I can’t wait!!! Guess I’ll have to push back my fear of the USA to meet her lol.

      • Oh, I wasn’t being mean. Just saying that she still speaks in front of groups, at least once in awhile. (Also, had forgotten that you weren’t in the U.S.)

      • Lol I was sooo kidding about the being mean part MB… should I have written tongue in cheek? πŸ˜‰ But thanks for the feedback…I will stalk her a little and see how and when I can make that happen!

      • I guess I am still feeling like the trip was too much and that I was so lucky to have an opportunity to go.

      • Own that shit, girl! It was a beautiful gift given to a deserving soul. Embrace and enjoy the ‘too muchness’…I would πŸ˜‰ xo

      • Good advice. Working on it.

  5. Lawrences7987

    I am dying. I’ve never been more envious of anyone or anything than you in this moment.

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