Tag Archives: emotions

Angry butch

As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to show anger. When I was angry, I was supposed to express it in some silent way far removed from my parents.  Even a raised voice was considered talking back.

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#1 in moping and sulking

I became an excellent moper and sulker.  Like Olympic gold medal moper and sulker.

I learned how to punish people with silence.

It was polite.  It didn’t violate our family’s code of conduct.  And I soon learned that it cut deeper than a string of cross words shouted in anger or a clenched fist.

It just took patience and perseverance, two of my best qualities.

When I got older, I learned that anger turned inward is depression.  That made so much sense as I have suffered from depression for most of my life.

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This is what I look like when I’m angry.

When I get angry these days, I don’t know what to do with this strange and foreign emotion.

Last night, I was angry.  I felt it in my body but mostly in my trembling hands.  I wanted to put my fist through a wall.  I thought about it.

I went outside and raked leaves as the sun went down.  The physical activity felt good.

I came inside and still wanted to punch something.

Instead, I used my adrenaline to bake a cake.  A tiny lemon cake with lemon frosting.

W and I split the cake before bed and rinsed it down with hot cups of tea.

I ate too much lemon cake.  I ended up with an upset stomach.

Tums

“Do you want some Tums?” W asked.

“Yeah.”

“How many?  You can have as many as four.  They’re big.”

“Two,” I said.

I chewed them.  They were sweet and chalky.

“One of them was lemon,” I said.

I think W rolled her eyes, but I couldn’t be sure because it was dark in our bedroom.

“This is probably why you shouldn’t eat lemon cake baked with anger and bitterness right before bed,” I said.

So, that’s the moral of the story, folks.  Never eat a slice of angry lemon cake before bedtime.

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What about you? What do you do when you’re angry?  Do you have any tips for mitigating anger?

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Even butches get choked up

Marry Me?If you read my last post, you know that I proposed to W on Sunday via cupcake.

Of course, she said yes. I mean, what woman could possibly resist the sexy, handsome beast that is this butch.

Anyway, here’s what I failed to mention:

After I decided to go with a cupcake proposal, I drove to the cupcake place by our house. I had some ideas and wanted to run them by the baker and get her opinion.

I started out strong.

“I have an odd question for you,” I said.

“My partner and I had a commitment ceremony a few years ago, but we haven’t been able to get legally married in the state of Pennsylvania until last month.”

I sounded like this guy.

I sounded like this guy.

Somewhere in that sentence my voice broke, causing me to sound like I was channeling Peter Brady in my 47-year-old body. Not a pretty picture.

That’s what happens. I keep everything tamped down so tightly that every once in awhile some emotion trickles out. It’s inevitable. A side effect of being a butch, perhaps.

Deep down inside, I do feel emotionally about last month’s court ruling that opened up the possibility of marriage in Pennsylvania for all couples.

The cynic in me will tell you that, for those of my generation, gay marriage will always be a political statement of sorts.

Or maybe it’s not the cynic in me but that place inside that houses my fears.  I hide them underneath the bravado and the bluster, the flannel and the thermal shirts.  It’s the tender spot that pulses below the big words and the carefully articulated theories.

The other day I overheard my son talking to a friend.

“My mom’s a writer. She knows everything,” he said with a giant sigh.

Of course, I took it as a compliment.

xx

Perhaps the greatest non-lesbian movie ever made (back when Nic Cage was a cool dude).

I know tons of weird things. Like the year that Hershey’s Whatchamacallit candy bar came out. 1978. And all the words to the movie Valley Girl. But I don’t know how to enjoy the moment. I don’t know how to not overthink things. I don’t know how to show emotion. I don’t know how to be vulnerable.

So, yeah, sometimes it trickles out of me. A single tear streaking silently down one pink cheek. My face slowly turning red like a garden rose. My voice cracking mid-sentence.

I wish I could have said something like this to the cupcake baker:

I’m sorry, but I get emotional thinking about how I’m finally able to marry the woman I love.

In the end, my voice betrayed me — cracking like a scratched 45. It was a small slip hinting at the emotion that bubbles inside me.

Because I really am grateful that I got another chance at love. And I’m grateful that W has agreed to take this step with me.  The fact that it’s all going to be legal makes it that much sweeter.