Tag Archives: dating

I remember

downloadTo my wife:

I remember our first date.

I remember you being late and rushing in the door of the bookstore like a gust of wind.

I remember you laughing and me smiling, not really sure what to make of you but thinking I would like to know more.

I remember walking to the pizza shop that sat at the top of the hill where we ate cheesesteaks and french fries.

I remember how quickly you handed over the money for your half of the bill as if you didn’t want strings, even for a few seconds.

I remember your big, brown eyes, bright and curious like a raccoon’s.

I remember your mask, too, and wondering what was underneath it.

I remember you letting me buy you a beer at that old bar down the street.

I remember sitting on the bench back behind the shops at the end of the night. The small patch of green grass an island for two. “Can I give you a hug?” you had asked, and I said you could.

I remember how you smelled like flowers and patchouli and how hard you hugged me like you were trying to tell me one last thing before we parted and went our separate ways.

* * *

This was from an exercise in today’s writing group. W’s birthday is on Friday, so I thought I’d post today as a small pre-birthday gift. What do you remember about a first date? First love? Start with “I remember” and see where it takes you.





First date anniversary

imagesA471BH9G.jpgLast night, W tells me it’s the ten-year anniversary of our first date.

I tell her how surreal it all seems.

When I look ahead to the next ten years, I picture my life with W by my side.

But when I go back in time to when we were first dating, it’s weird to think we ended up together.

When we talk about that first date, we always say we didn’t have any expectations, that we weren’t looking for anything serious.

That’s a lie. Everyone is always hoping for the best. For a love connection. For something as serious as a heart attack, but maybe not so life threatening. Serious like a foreign film or that season of the L Word when Dana gets cancer and dies.

Plus, we’re lesbians, which means, technically, we were only two dates removed from renting a U-Haul and moving in together. Talk about serious.

When I look back on that first date, I remember:

W insisting we split the bill at the pizza place where we ordered a couple of cheesesteaks, even though I would have been a chivalrous butch and picked up the tab.

W wearing jeans and a white ribbed tank underneath a black sweater. Her curves like a right hook.

After dinner, we walked to a pub and had beers.

Then we walked back toward the pizzeria and found a bench off the main street.

We talked for a while.

When it started to get late, W told me she didn’t want the night to end.

She hugged me long and hard as if she was trying to hold on to the night like that.

After a decade, parts of that September evening are fading from my memory.

I don’t remember what I wore or the words printed on W’s ribbed tank.

But I still remember the way her patchouli perfume smelled sweet and spicy.

The scratch of her sweater on the side of my cheek that reminded me I was alive.

The way her hair shined under the street lights.

How she felt solid in my arms.

I didn’t want the night to end either.

I didn’t tell her that.

I was too busy trying to remember all of the little things about her because I wasn’t sure how long it would be until our next date.

* * *

What do you remember about your first date?

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.

Love conquers all, even evil cats


You had me at popcorn.  And girl.

When W and I were first dating, she invited me over to watch the movie Rent. She’d put the kids to bed early and make buttered popcorn. Would I like to come over.

Sure. This red-blooded lesbian had Melissa Etheridge’s “I Want Come Over” playing over and over and over in her head.

Here’s the catch. There’s always a catch. W had cats. Two of them.

And in direct conflict with the laws of nature and lesbianism, this lesbian was allergic to cats.

They only look innocent.

They only look innocent.

For as long as I can remember, cats have made me itchy and scratchy and caused my eyes to seal shut.  The last time that I had played with a cat — a cute little kitten at a college kegger — my eyes got all red and itchy and eventually swelled shut. Two of my friends had to guide me back to my college apartment as if I were Helen Keller. Miracle workers, both of them.

So, yeah, I was nervous about spending time at W’s place. What if my eyes swelled shut and I couldn’t drive home? It was a 45-minute drive, depending on traffic. How embarrassing what that be for this big, bad, I-can-take-care-of-myself butch?

But there was to be hot buttered popcorn. And a movie. Oh, heck, there was a hot girl in the picture. Who am I kidding? She could have been covered in cat hair or wearing a cat-hair sweater and I would have been there with bells on. Maybe not bells, because they are kind of girly.

The big date night arrived, and I found myself sitting in W’s apartment on W’s couch with W.  And her two cats. I was petrified. I tried to ignore the cats but they were curious. You know how cats are. One kept brushing up against me. I was careful not to touch my face or rub my eyes.

The movie started and with one slick move I slid my arm behind W.
Every so often, I took a bodily inventory. No sneezing. No itchy eyes. No scratchy skin. Just a little bit of heavy breathing, but that was to be expected.

Turns out that I didn’t have an allergic reaction that day and haven’t any day since. W and I now live together along with three cats and other assorted random creatures.

Not to throw W under the bus (here’s me throwing W under the bus), but she had mentioned to a friend about me and my cat allergy and basically said that it was a deal breaker. So sad, the friend remarked. She seemed so nice.  She was so ready to dump me for the cats.

Is there a moral to this love story?

It just goes to show you that love conquers all, even deadly allergies.

Cats are diabolical creatures and have broken up many a pair of lovers. They are narcissistic and evil like that.

Take your pick.

* * *

What about you? Any pet-related dating stories to share?

Date night

W and I had a date night on Saturday.  If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that we don’t have a lot of those.

W asked me out, which is always nice.  I might be a butch, but I’m certainly not adverse to being asked out.

We went to see the movie Bad Teacher just because Ms. Diaz was in it.

We went to see the movie Bad Teacher just because Ms. Diaz was in it.  Does this make us bad people?

We went and saw this cute movie called “In a World …,” which is a small rom-com about the voice-over industry.  It’s a smart, funny film.  Lesbian comedienne Tig Notaro was in it.  As was Cameron Diaz, who played the leader of a group of Amazon women who battle a tribe of angry cavemen in the film within the film.  That’s the movie that I’d like to see next, ’cause Cameron Diaz and Amazons.

The movie was showing at our local art house theater and it was the first movie to be shown there in digital format.  So, that was exciting.

After the movie, the theater was presenting a special showing of Rocky Horror, and we got to see everyone dressed up for that.

We ordered dinner from an Italian restaurant across the street and went to a bar and watched the end of the Penn State/Michigan game while we waited for our food.  Penn State won in fourth overtime, which was exciting, especially because I’m a PSU alum.


I’m sensing a theme here.  Are we that predictable?

We headed home with our dinner and ate Italian food in bed and watched a few episodes of season four of Modern Family.

There were some adult activities after that, but this is not that kind of lesbian blog.

Anyway, it was a pretty sedate evening, but it was really nice to have that alone time with W.  One thing about having kids, it makes you appreciate when they’re not around, at least for an evening or so.

Here’s the thing: I like that after all of these years, we still enjoy each other’s company.  We don’t need fancy or exciting or expensive.  Just being together is enough — sharing popcorn and a movie, Cameron Diaz, a football game and decadent desserts in a take-out containers.

Go ahead and label me

imagesCABVPTSFWhen W and I first started dating, she made it very clear that she doesn’t like labels.

On one of our first dates, we met at a local gay bar and discussed 50 shades of gay with the bartender.  Does it really matter what we call ourselves and how we identify?  Gay, bi, queer, all or none of the above or something in between.  Isn’t it all about the person?  What’s on the inside?  To hell with restrictive, pigeonholing labels.

Of course, I agreed.  I mean, it was early in our relationship and I wanted the girl.  Besides, being anti-label seemed to be the politically correct stance at the time.

I was reminded of all of this stuff about labels this morning.  W was getting ready to go to a music festival with her son.  As she was putting in her earrings, I commented about how girlish she is.  She finished getting dressed — jeans, sneakers and a V-neck T-shirt, wallet in the back pocket — and reminded me about how she doesn’t fit neatly in a square box labeled “femme.”

And, it’s true.  She’s got some fantastic “femme” parts and tendencies, which drive this butch wild, but she can’t be contained by boxes or categories or labels.

Case in point, her hands.  I find W’s hands incredibly sexy.  Her fingers are always decked out in silver rings.  I like how the silver sparkles when it catches the light and how feminine her hands look all bedazzled like that.  But I’m also smitten by how capable her hands look.  Strong, agile and adept.  Hands that can sew a pair of drapes, darn a sock, plunge a toilet or fix a pair of glasses with a tiny screwdriver and a pair of pliers.

I certainly love W because of who she is and not because of any label that she wears.

images[7]On the other sparsely ringed hand, I’m quite a different story.  I like labels.  I need labels.  I desire labels.  If I could, I’d sew this label on the back of my neck:


Just like a Hanes T-shirt or a pair of underwear going to summer camp, I feel the need to wear a tag.  To let everyone know who I am.  To remind myself of who I am.

I have an insatiable need to fit in, to belong, to be a part of something greater than myself.

I’ve had times in my life when people have caught me off guard and referred to me as a “butch” or a “baby dyke.”  Usually, I do that thing where you turn your head looking for the person being talked about and then slowly nod like oh yeah, of course, you were talking about me, I was just momentarily distracted by that shiny thing in the corner over there.

Having a label makes me feel safe.  It makes me feel like I’m someone.  That I’m not alone.


Me and k.d. belong to the same club

I’m a butch lesbian like all of the other butch lesbians.  Me and k.d.  Me and Shane kickin’ it at The Planet.  For butches only.  Just us butches.  With our super-secret handshake and members-only clubhouse.

I’ve never been much of a leader.  I’ve never really understood the benefit of going first or paving the way, blazing the trail or setting the pace.

I find it much more desirable and advantageous to bring up the rear.  To follow.  To fall in line.  To go with the flow.

I like to keep things organized and manageable.  I don’t like cross-over or spill-over or messiness.  I like things neat.  Like a white ribbed tank with a pair of jeans.  Or a crisp, freshly pressed white button down with a colorful paisley necktie.

I could never be a Chinese menu.  I’m not in favor of picking and choosing from columns A, B and C.

It’s column B or bust.  B or nothing for this butch.

I wear the label “Butch” proudly, with a capital “B,” even though it might not be politically correct.  For isn’t it all about the woman underneath the Arrow dress shirt and the pinstripe pants?

Of course, but this woman has only really felt like herself when she started wearing a label the reads “butch.”

First dates and first anniversaries

W and I celebrated the first anniversary of our commitment ceremony today.

Our six-year relationship has been fairly consistent from the get-go.  Pretty solid and steadfast with very little drama, which sometimes makes me forget that we’re lesbians.

I’ve been thinking back to our first date.

W and I met online and arranged to meet at a local Borders bookstore and then grab some dinner.

I arrived way ahead of time.  That’s what I do.  I am neurotic and anxious and operate by different time rules than the rest of the world.  It’s like Middle Age Butch’s Excellent Adventure without the phone booth. Or, 12 Monkeys and a Lesbian.

My usual rule of thumb is to arrive ten minutes early for routine appointments like teeth cleanings and parent-teacher meetings.  I allot 20 minutes for outpatient procedures and job interviews.  A first date warrants an arrival 30 minutes in advance of the scheduled meeting time.

The extra time allowed me to stake out a strategic spot in the bookstore.  I wanted to be able to see W when she walked in the door and have her see me.  I didn’t want to have to search her out or have her sneak up on me.  Why I was preparing for an ambush of sorts is beyond me as this was just a first date and not a drug deal or Little Bighorn.

I tried out a spot near the front door right by the bargain books.  This made me look cheap and anxious.  W would learn soon enough that I possess these qualities.  But this was way too soon.

Next, I tried out the benches in the fiction section.  I sat facing the O’s for Joyce Carol Oates.  Too pretentious.  Then the B’s for Rita Mae Brown.  Too obvious.  The S’s for David Sedaris?  Too dark.

I moved to the magazine rack.  It had a great view of the front door but wasn’t too obvious.  And, I could rest one Doc Marten on the bottom part of the rack and look casual.

Now to find just the right magazine to leaf through.  Curve.  Too cliché.  Maxim?  Too distracting.  I needed to pay attention to the front door while looking like I wasn’t paying attention to the front door.  A magazine filled with breasts wouldn’t help me do that.  Muscle and Fitness?  Too manly.  Cosmo?  Too girly.

I ended up “reading” some French book review magazine that had an article critiquing Stephen King’s latest work.  Look, I’m sophisticated and smart, this choice said, but not pretentious.  Yes, I am reading in le francais.  But, King is very accessible.  I mean what’s more down to earth than cannibalism and burying people alive?

So, I planted myself at the magazine rack and waited.  And, waited.  Glancing at the front door every 30 seconds or so.  So very casually.  Oh, who, me?  I was just reading le critique.

Finally, W came through the front door.  The first thing I remember seeing was her smile.  Or, maybe it was her big brown eyes and the way they reflected the light.  Or, how time stood still when she entered the store.  For just a second.

She didn’t even ask what I was reading.

I think of the voice-over to the lesbian classic Go Fish:

Don’t fear too many things, it’s dangerous.
Don’t say so much, you’ll ruin everything.
Don’t worry yourself into a corner; and just don’t think about it so much.
The girl you’re gonna meet doesn’t look like anyone you know.  And when you meet her, your toes might tingle or might suppress a yawn.  It’s hard to say.
Don’t box yourself in; don’t leave yourself wide open.
Don’t think about it every second but just don’t let yourself forget.  The girl is out there.

My grandmother always said there’s a lid to every pot.

I’m not sure who’s the pot and who’s the lid in our relationship.  I have an abnormally small head (think Beaker), so I might be the pot.

Anyway, I found “the girl” that night and I haven’t let go since.