Tag Archives: romance

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.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Anniversaries

IMG_0098-1

Young and foxy Middle-Age Butch in 2011. This is the part where W shoves cake up my nose.

W and I are celebrating our anniversary this weekend.

We had a commitment ceremony on Oct. 1, 2011, and a wedding three years later on Oct. 11, 2014, when such a thing finally became legal.

Typically, we celebrate the entire month of October because why not. Besides, it’s our reward, or spoils, for not being able to marry back in the day.

In 2011, we had a carnival-themed commitment ceremony in a small live music venue a few miles from our house.

W and I went back there last weekend for a concert.

IMG_8663-1I was struck by how small the place looked with its tiny wooden stage jutting out in front of a bright blue backdrop dotted with white lights in imitation of the sky at night.

At our commitment ceremony, it looked like that blue background had stolen all the stars in the galaxy.

IMG_9774-1

Candy!

That night when we said our vows, the place looked so big. We had a full-size pasta buffet and a candy bar with empty bags declaring, “Love is Sweet.” We brought in an old-fashioned popcorn maker and a photo booth.

Everything fit and there seemed to be so much room for all of our family and friends.

What changed?

Maybe the world changed.

Our lives seem larger now, filled with bigger possibilities as we go through life not as partners but as wives.

Maybe we changed as we found ourselves wanting more from life and started believing we deserved it.

* * *

Hope you find something to celebrate this weekend. 

Happy #butchappreciationday

images (1)I hope you have someone in your life who:

Likes to run her hands over your slick-as-velvet head after you get your hair cut real short.

Calls you “baby.”

Tells you she gets turned on when you wear that ball cap backward. You know the one.

Likes when your necktie matches her dress.

Rubs your back when you’ve pulled a muscle.

Thinks every flannel shirt you own makes your eyes shine.

Is okay with you wearing your “dressy” T-shirt to that event you’re going to.

Tells you you’re cute and you believe it, even though you’ve never felt cute a day in your life.

Is the yin to your yang.

Asks you what you’d like her to wear when you’re going out on a date.

Still flirts with you regardless of the fact that you’ve been together for more than a decade.

Traces your scars (the ones you can see and the ones you can’t) with her fingertips when you’re lying in bed at night.

Makes you feel like a rockstar, even though you don’t play any instruments.

Tells you your tattoos are sexy.

Appreciates the hell out of you. Not despite those things that make you you but because of them.

 

Mullets, lesbian bars, forbidden love, oh my

imageshl3fdmtxI’m participating in National Novel Writing Month this year. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days and have a first draft for a novel. Kick-off is today.

“What’s your book about?” my editor asked.

“Lesbian romance set in the 80s. Big hair, big love, something like that,” I wrote back.

“I’m feeling nostalgic,” she wrote. “But mullets.”

So, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. If you don’t hear from me in November, I’m busy writing about the 80s and lesbians and quoting lyrics from songs sung by the big hair bands. “And, baby, talk dirty to me.” Like that.

Because lesbians rule and the 80s were the best and if you’ve never rocked a mullet you’ve never really lived.

If you want to help a writer out, I still need a name for a really great, fictional lesbian bar. Best answer will find its way into my novel.

Anything else that needs to be in there? Trivial Pursuit, Pac-Man, a Rubik’s Cube …

Oh, and if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, e-mail me and we can be NaNo buddies.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

images[6]When it comes to Valentine’s Day, you either love it or you’re a hater.

Me? I’m all about romance. I’m a flannel-covered marshmallow. It’s true.

I figure if there’s a day on the calendar earmarked for love, why not take advantage of it?

Sometimes W gets annoyed. “I thought we weren’t going to exchange this year,” she says.

I can’t help myself.

All my life as a person obsessed with romance, I thought I wanted to be swept off my feet with long-stem red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, surprise picnics in the park, poems written just for me.

As it turns out, I like being the one that does the sweeping. Who knew.

“She should let you be the man,” a friend of ours said.

I know what you’re thinking. We’re lesbians. We’re both women.

But I enjoy acting like an old-timey gentleman, holding open doors, carrying the heavy packages, sending the flowers and buying the chocolate.

Like the bumper sticker says: Chivalry isn’t dead. She’s a butch.

I sent W Valentine’s Day flowers last week. I’m all about Bouqs these days. If you buy flowers for your girl, do yourself a favor and check them out.

20160211_114235

Her favorite color is purple.

Today, she got breakfast in bed. And a little basket I made for her with candy, lottery tickets and bottles of cherry soda called Cheer Wine. Cheers!

IMG_0194

Check out these cute pillowcases I found on Etsy.

IMG_0190

We’ll have to trade our pillows back and forth. Even a butch can be a little spoon sometimes.

At the end of the day, maybe I’ll score a few extra kisses.

It’s good to be butch.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!

* * *

What are your Valentine’s Day traditions?

 

Tying the knot

Keep CalmW and I are counting down the days. We are getting married one month from today.

We got our marriage license last week. Yay, P-A!

There’s a lot more to do. W has taken the lead on most of the preparation because it is a wedding and she is a girl.  Besides, she is the one with the vision.  Not some creepy-scary vision of werewolves or bloody fingerprints but a vision of vintage tablecloths and fresh-cut flowers in antique mason jars.

As for attire, she has to worry about a dress and undergarments, jewelry, nail polish, a shawl or around-the-shoulder wrap of some kind.

I am in charge of a few things. Purchasing a Polaroid camera and film for a mock photo booth.  Outfitting myself.

We are keeping it casual. I am planning on wearing a pair of jeans and a white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

I am usually a necktie guy. I love ties.

I am thinking about changing things up and wearing a bowtie for the wedding. See, I can be crazy and spontaneous (as long as the spontaneity is planned).

Jesse Tyler Ferguson has his “Tie the Knot” collection that he sells through the tie bar.  Each bowtie costs $25, and $20 from each purchase goes to organizations fighting for marriage equality.  Count me in.

Which bowtie should I buy?

My favorite color is red, so that’s my go-to color for accent pieces.

I’m thinking about going in a whole new direction.

Navy blue.

Crazy, I know.

The Delacorte caught my eye first. It’s a navy blue bowtie with floral accents in emerald green.

The Delacorte

The Delacorte

Or, I could go all Brokeback with the Jack & Ennis, a classic bandana pattern in navy.  I can yell out during the vows: I can’t quit you, W!  It would be real romantic and all.

The Jack & Ennis

The Jack & Ennis

I’m definitely thinking navy.  But, I also like this light blue one.

BT087_l[1]

The Kushner

Take the poll, below, and tell me what you think.

That only leaves a few details.

1. Learning to tie a bowtie.

2. Buying a new pair of matching kicks.

Right now, I’m thinking:

Nike Blazer low

Nike Blazer low

Or,

Classic Checkered Vans

Classic Checkered Vans

Ah, butch fashion dilemmas.

Help me out!  Calling all butches and anyone else with an opinion.

 

I’m a sexy beast

It’s true.

I’m a sexy beast.

It says so right here.  On this purple velvety card that W gave me on Saturday.

Sexy beast

Do believe everything you read.

Especially if it makes you feel 10 feet tall and all tingly inside.

 

 

A love letter

“Do you know your blog is a love letter to me?” W asked me one day.

I had never really thought about it like that.

And then people started commenting about how hopelessly romantic my blog is. Amid swoons and sighs, they responded with awwws and how sweets.

xx

Really?  The Flannel Files?  An Internet hub for love and other mushy stuff?

To borrow a line from Amy Poehler, really?  The ultra-tough, uber-studly Flannel Files?  That place where it’s cool for girls to talk about neckties and motorcycle boots, cleavage and butchdar?

It seems to hit a nerve every time.  People are either searching for true love or in the middle of a love-filled relationship and realize how very lucky they are.  At the end of the day when the sun is going down like a big red rubber dodgeball in the sky, we all want to be watching hand-in-hand with someone who makes our hearts beat like a bongo drum.  Bong bong.

So, why all the talk about love, Middle-age Butch?  What about baseball and beer?  Tattoos?  Mila Kunis?  The upcoming Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition?

W and I seem to have located the sweet spot of love.

Sometimes I wonder when it will all end.  When we’ll have hit our limit, used up our magic.

We are soft and pink like this.

We are soft and pink like this.

But we continue to grow together, and I think that’s the key.  We are constantly growing, learning, stretching ourselves.  Sometimes we are reaching for the same thing and sometimes not.  Right now, we are pliable like fresh eggs of silly putty.

We seem new again.

I tell her in the morning that she has sexy morning hair.

She crinkles her nose.

I tell her in the evening that she has sexy night hair.

“No, I don’t,” she says.  She bites her lip to keep from smiling.

She looks sexy in her new gray nightgown.  And the pale blue one.  And the black one.

I love you this much.

I love you this much.

This is when I know I am in love.

Not again because I was in love last month and the month before that.

I start to wonder if this love is stronger or deeper or truer than the love I had for W in April or January or 2011 or 2009.  Or has it been there all along — this deep, rich love that is new and old at the same time?

I’m not sure that it matters.  Just that I feel it.  And acknowledge it.  And tell W that I love her.  That I always have and always will.

I am reminded of this quote by Alice Walker from The Temple of My Familiar:

“Some people don’t understand that it is the nature of the eye to have seen forever, and the nature of the mind to recall anything that was ever known.”

What about the heart?

xx

Open to love.

I imagine my heart an advent calendar covered in cardboard doors.  They’ve been there forever.  They were just waiting for the right person to come along and open them up.

Maybe W was right.  This is a love letter to her.

It has been the whole time.

Falling in love over and over again

Last weekend, I whisked W away to the city for two days of fun and romance. Or maybe she whisked me away. I can’t be sure.

xx

You and me in our Italian restaurant.  Yes, it’s as darling as it looks.

Anyway, we saw the musical Mama Mia, dined at a cute little Italian restaurant, browsed the shelves of a gay bookstore, caught a movie, did some shopping. It was restful, rejuvenating and romantic.

Plus, it was my birthday, which made it super sweet like the tiramisu in a little teacup that we shared for dessert.

The weekend got me thinking about this quote:

“A successful marriage requires falling in love over and over again, always with the same person.”

— Mignon McLaughlin

Sunday morning, W and I were lying around in our king-size hotel bed all wrapped up in each other, and I could feel them: the butterflies in my stomach, the tingles in my toes. We could see the sparks in the air like we were huddled under the covers and we both had a major case of static electricity.

That’s when it hit me.  I’m still in love with W.

It’s not that I had doubts or had forgotten. Sometimes there’s no time for being in love in the rush of our ordinary, everyday lives.

Sometimes you have to slow down and take the time to see what’s been right there in front of your eyes the whole time.

xx

The weekend ended with this monstrosity — a skillet breakfast called “The Bacon Sink.”  Yes, that is bacon gravy that you see.

Love conquers all, even evil cats

xx

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?