I just received a note from a reader who's having trouble communicating with her butch DGF ("dear girlfriend"). She asked if I could "translate" some common butch idioms.
One mistake many butch-lovers make is assuming that butches are just like the stereotypes they have of heterosexual men. If you Google "what men really mean," you'll find hundreds of sites purporting to explain exactly this. Let's leave aside for a moment the offensive nature of most of those articles, and assume for the sake of argument that there's some truth to them. Even so, [non-male-identified] butches are not men, and "rules" of "understanding men" apply to us only sometimes.
It's impossible to write something like this without giant, whopping dollops of stereotype. I figure I'll get flak for this, but I went ahead and made a list anyway. I'll will be interested to learn whether any of it resonates with you.
IF A BUTCH SAYS:
"Nothing is wrong."
"I guess you could invite your friends."
"Are you tired?"
"I was not checking her out."
"Nah, she's not hot."
"I'm not looking for a relationship right now."
"I'm not looking to commit."
"I'm going to go take a walk."
"Sarah is so cool!"
"It's more romantic with the lights off."
"We should probably get going soon."
"I'll fix it later."
A BUTCH MEANS:
"I'm not ready to discuss it."
"But I wanted it to be just you and me!"
"Are we having sex tonight?"
"I'm embarrassed--can't you give me a pass this time?"
"Maybe she's hot, but you're the one I find attractive."
"I don't want to date you (but I might sleep with you)."
It could mean exactly that, or "I'm just not that into you."
"I am mad or sad, but I have to think about it alone for a while."
"Why are we still talking about this?"
"Maybe Sarah can be our friend." (Note: this is not the same as "I want to sleep with Sarah.")
"I'm self-conscious about my body too, you know!"
"I am faint with hunger and my stomach is digesting itself."
"I have no idea how to fix it, but I'll Google it in secret."
(Writing this, I realized that while I would like to think that I'm incredibly straightforward and literal practically to a fault, that's not always true...)
How about you? Did any of these examples sound familiar? What's some other "butchspeak" that needs to be translated?
You've probably heard of the "half your age plus seven" rule of age differences in dating. The idea is that you divide your age by two, then add seven; that's the youngest person you're "allowed" to date. It's silly, but functions as a supposed "guide" to "acceptable" age differences.
Tons of people reach Butch Wonders by searching for things like "lesbian age differences," "age difference formula gay," and "what's the rule for gay age differences?" I can yammer on for days about how it's silly to have a "formula," how all relationships are unique, and yada yada yada. But at the end of the day, people want an easy answer.
So here's your easy answer. In the gay community, we get a bit more leeway. The acceptable age difference for us is wider than it is for straight people, and the difference grows as we age.
The age difference formula for same-sex relationships is graphed below. We are in blue; opposite-sex relationships are in red. (I know this doesn't take into account bi-gendered people and many other shades of queer, but that involved parabolas and was just too complicated.) The formula is one-third your age plus ten years.
This took extremely difficult, comprehensive, and painstaking research on my part--not to mention, many sleepless nights. Now let's practice.
If you're straight and 30, you can date a 22-year-old. If you're gay and 30, a 20-year-old. 48 and straight? A 31-year-old. But 48 and gay? a 26-year-old. Ka-bam! You've got it!
So, now you know. There's your formula. One-third your age plus 10. If you deviate from it simply to make yourself "happy," or because you've "fallen in love" or whatever, know that you're contravening science itself.
, author of How to Choose a Husband and make Peace With Marriage
, wrote a short column on foxnews.com last week
that incapsulates a whole bevy of misunderstandings about how gender works, what the goals of the feminist movement are, and even about the logical interpretation of evidence.The column's central claim is that the feminist movement is responsible for the supposed "decline" of heterosexual marriage. Because women have been "told" that they are equal to men, they pursue goals ultimately incompatible with their greater desire to have a family. As
Venker says in the video interview posted above that column, "Women have become overdeveloped in their masculine side... because they have been groomed for a life in the marketplace, rather than a life at home."
At their core, she writes, men and women are different. People with children "know [that] little girls love their dolls and boys just want to kick that ball." Men and women are different creations, and as a matter of biological determinism, they inherently want different things. Venker then cites continuing gender inequality as proof that men and women are different: "
Men and women may be capable
of doing many of the same things, but that doesn't mean they want to. That we don't have more female CEOs or stay-at-home dads proves this in spades."So, let me get this straight: Gender inequality is proof of inborn gender differences? What a useful concept. Now we know why there are so few obese movie stars: obese people don't want to be movie stars. And why there are so few out gay politicians: Gay people don't want to be politicians. And why, proportionally, there are so few black partners at big law firms: black people have little desire to be partners at big law firms. See how easy life can be if you just ignore social processes and assume that all human outcomes are solely a product of personal choice?
Venker posits that the whole notion of "equality" is problematic. She writes that "the problem with equality is that it implies two things are interchangeable – meaning one thing can be substituted for the other with no ramifications. That is what feminists would have us believe, and anyone who contradicts this dogma is branded sexist."I don't know where she got this notion of equality, but it's not one I've ever heard. I've always thought equality meant two people had the same amount of value, the same opportunities, the same rights. I didn't know it meant we could just swap one person, willy nilly, for another.
I thought it meant that I, a youngish white lesbian, and Thomas Sowell
, a straight black 80-something conservative, each got one vote, the same right to counsel, and the same chance to protest a government decision in a public location. Under Venker's logic, equality actually
means that you could swap Sowell and me in virtually any circumstance "with no ramifications." To this nonsense, I doubt either Sowell or I would agree--and I don't think it would make us racist, sexist, or any other "-ist" (any more than I'd be bucking feminist notions of equality by giving my seat to an elderly woman on a bus). Venker's argument would make more sense if we lived in a world where men and women weren't socialized so differently--a place where little boys and little girls were treated the same, where parents-to-be weren't gifted with different sets of toys based on the sex of their child, where
there were equal numbers of male and female role models in every profession, where women's "formal" clothing didn't constitute teetering heels and displays of breasts and skin, where there wasn't one collection of traits associated with masculinity and an entirely different one associated with femininity. We do not live in that world. And because we do not, we are foolish to assume that anything we do is just a product of biology.
we are influenced by our genes. (Heck, all the socialization in the world didn't stop me from being a dyke.) But our genes merely set the stage. We grow into a version of our selves based on how we are socialized. A little boy jumps around and he's told, "You'll make a great basketball player!" A little girl jumps around and she's told, "You'll make a great dancer!" From day one, we are mired in social experiences--and many of these social experiences are heavily, heavily gendered. It is not as simple as parents forcing little girls to wear dresses or making little boys play baseball. Each of us is born with a hundred different possible, valid versions of our "selves" inside, and t
he collection of possible selves is different for each person. But which version we actually grow into is a complicated dance between predisposition and socialization (and I'd wager that socialization is doing a lot of the leading).
On one level, arguments like Venker's are easily dismissed because they seem so patently sexist--it's easy to chuckle at someone who thinks society is going to hell in a handbasket because we're ignoring biological destiny. It's also easy to roll our eyes at the (thoroughly and measurably absurd) notion that women are being "groomed for the marketplace" and have overdeveloped "masculine sides."
But I think it's more invidious than that. By misstating and oversimplifying the arguments of feminist and gender theorists, and by downplaying or ignoring the vastly different ways in which men and women are socialized, Venker becomes an apologist for material inequality. Why, after all, should we work harder to equalize opportunity if existing disparities prove intrinsic differences? If equal rights on paper make opportunities equal, then anyone who squawks and protests about inequality and wants to improve the world is just engaging in a silly, anachronistic waste of time.
Last March, I wrote a three-part Field Guide to Butches, which you can check out here if you missed it: Part I
, Part II
, Part III
. I decided it was time to make some additions:
The Butch Class Clown
Example: Jane Lynch
Pros: Hilarious, great with your friends, quick to reconcile after arguments.
Cons: Sleeps in late; may be slightly self-centered; financial stability varies.
Looks Especially Good: Smiling, which is nearly all the time. (Seriously, check out the pic--is there anything in the world cuter than Jane Lynch with a puppy?)
Care Instructions: If you don't understand her sense of humor, the relationship is doomed. May need occasional assistance juggling projects and managing household tasks, but a quick learner. Ego more fragile than first appears.
The Oblivious Butch (not pictured)
Pros: Unconcerned with her identity (and possibly yours), has no interest in discussing related topics, even though everyone else considers her butch.
Cons: See "pros."
Looks Especially Good: If you can wrangle her into slacks and a tie.
Care Instructions: Unusually low-maintenance. Fashion sense may vary, so be vigilant. May grow bored in conversations about LGBTQI-related topics. Probably does not know what the "I" stands for and doesn't particularly care.
Example: Michelle Ragussis
Pros: Excellent hair, great tattoos, creative, spunky.
Cons: Works long hours, may not want to cook at home (check on this factor before committing).
Looks Especially Good: Sampling your sauces.
Care Instructions: Whether she's a line cook or the head of her own restaurant, Chef Butch is committed to her trade and will expect your support. Works crazy hours. Ensure that she doesn’t just cook veggies; she also eats them occasionally. Low-maintenance with little need of wardrobe assistance.
Barista Butch (not pictured)
Pros: Can make a mean latte, has great fashion sense; creative.
Cons: Moodiness; varied reliability; easily bored.
Looks Especially Good: Steaming up your foam.
Care Instructions: Hard to engage in casual conversation, the barista butch is every bit as creative and mysterious as she first appears. Many in the species hold a PhD in the humanities or social sciences and may be starved for intellectual discussion; provide literary or other conversation as needed.
Example: Jack Halberstam
Pros: Smart, well-read, patient and attentive (if occasionally forgetful), finds most things interesting.
Cons: Her hotness makes it hard to pay attention in lecture; everyone in the class has a crush on her (straight women, too); may use words like "hegemonic" in casual conversation.
Looks Especially Good: On her couch during office hours.
Care Instructions: Requires steady diet of books and caffeine (switch diet to baked goods following paper rejections). If weather is temperate, set outside at least 20 minutes daily to infuse with Vitamin D.
The Sports Fan Butch (not pictured)
Pros and Cons: This type doesn't occur in isolation, but co-occurs with any other kind of butch, and may emerge only on weekends. Identify one or more other species and refer to those pros and cons as applicable.
Looks Especially Good: Wearing a jersey... Just a jersey.
Care Instructions: Follow her instructions while her favorite team is playing. She may believe that she can somehow affect a team's performance through elaborate rituals such as wearing "lucky" clothing Play along. Do not block the television. Though she may appear inflexible, the Sports Fan Butch is an excellent bargaining target and will agree to anything in order to watch her game uninterrupted. (Q: "Honey, when the game's over, will you take out the trash, then take me to a movie?" A: "Uh-huh, whatever.")
Example: Edie Falco as Nurse Jackie (Yeah, she's straight, but she’s totally butch. Plus, we all know she'd go lesbo for Dr. O'Hara).
Pros: Straightforward, decisive, quick-witted, employable.
Cons: Unapologetic, reluctant to express emotion, works long hours.
Looks Especially Good: In scrubs, barking out orders.
Care Instructions: Will be exhausted after 20-hour shifts; don’t expect her to engage in conversation. Instead, give her a shoulder massage and send her to bed. Plan fun for days off. Be firm; she may try to boss you around.
A number of you have asked what you can do for your butches to let them know how special they are. Here are some sweet everyday gestures that say "I love you." Though the list was written with butches in mind, most of these apply to pretty much any object of your affections. (And thanks to the excellent BW Facebook fans who contributed some of the ideas on this list!)
#1: Love Notes
I don't usually pack my DGF's lunch, but when I do, I like writing a little note or silly poem for her. My mom used to do that in my school lunches when I was a kid, and the idea stuck with me. It just makes a girl feel special.
You can also leave a note around the house for her (e.g., fridge; bathroom mirror), or send her an email in the middle of the day mentioning something you love about her. If you go to sleep after her, leave a note for her to find in the morning. If you get up earlier, leave one she'll find later that day.
#2: Food Many butches say they love when their DGF cooks them a meal. Whether it's beef bourguignon or peanut butter and jelly, there's something special about being cooked for. (I swear, even coffee tastes better when my DGF makes it for me.)
One butch wrote, "I get a special little tingle when I come home to the smell of fresh baking." +1.Not a kitchen wonder? Check out some food blogs, starting with A Butch in the Kitchen (pictured above, right is her latest creation, low-calorie blueberry scones--yum!). You can also have a picnic in the middle of the living room, complete with blanket, bread, cheese, and music.
For many of us, being pampered is awesome. This might take the form of a foot rub (with eucalyptus lotion, mmm), a back massage, a bubble bath (for one or for two...), or a scalp massage.
Of course, while I love all of these things (as did most butches I asked), not every butch is cool with feeling passive, so know your boi or grrl before plunging in.
Pampering can also take other forms: making a batch of hot buttered rum and sipping it together by the fireplace, insisting she play one more round of Angry Birds while you bathe the dog, or doing a chore she usually does but dislikes (hm, I bet my DGF would love if I dealt with the recycling for once).
This post is about gestures you can perform, not stuff you can buy. Still, a small, thoughtful gift can be a gesture in itself--especially if it's something you make for her.
Some cool stuff to give your sweetie:
- Homemade coupons for things she'd love: breakfast in bed; an at-home movie night where she gets to pick the movie (yes, even if Jonah Hill is in it); a foot massage... use your imagination!
- A surprise detailing of her car or truck.
- An interesting new kind of beer, coffee, or whatever she likes to drink.
- Get some pictures--yes, physical photographs--of the two of you developed, and make a surprise collage on the fridge.
- A behind-the-scenes tour of a place she really likes (e.g., the stadium where her favorite team plays, her favorite theater company, a wildlife refuge, a concert hall).
- Flowers! Yep, some butches like flowers (or other plants), too--if yours does, don't forget it. My favorite is orange tulips, though I also have a weakness for (read: obsession with) succulents, and my DGF made me swoon a couple days ago by bringing me a cool little aloe when I'd been in a bad mood.
#5: Adventures, etc.
More than anything, we want to do (1) stuff we love doing with (2) the woman we love. Sometimes those two things don't mix--so mixing them is a surefire hit.
Offer to go somewhere with her that you'd usually turn down (and don't complain while you're there). Does she love action movies, but you hate 'em? Take her to "Skyfall." Does she like arcades, but you think they're dull? Take her to an afternoon of video games and air hockey. Dates like this are a big deal; they tell her you're willing to do things you don't normally like just because she enjoys them.
Other ideas for adventures include high-adrenaline stuff (like skydiving or off-road quad biking), activities that will make her feel like a kid (think laser tag, paintball, sledding, or batting cages), or something sexy (e.g., go on a blind date: tell her where to be, both show up separately, then hit on her!). (Some smash-hit sexy ideas if you guys have the butch/femme thing going: new lingerie for her to see you in; a lace bra/garter belt set; a sexy lap dance; picking her up from the airport in a trench coat and stiletto boots. Are you a butch-butch couple? Awesome: two pairs of silk boxers!)
The bottom line? No one knows your DGF better than you do. Especially if you're not naturally observant, pay attention! Make mental notes about what she likes, stockpile your ideas, and brainstorm ways to make her feel special. Even if your idea isn't a home run, she'll love the effort. One reader put it perfectly: "Simply having the woman you are with think that you are amazing just as you are and precisely as you are is the best gift of all."
What have you done to make your butch feel special? What has she done that's made you feel special?
On a whim last week, I posted a question on my Facebook page
: "What do butches do that bugs you?" I invited anyone--butches, non-butches, whoever--to answer, and got over 200 responses from BW readers. Responses varied, but some distinct themes emerged. (To be clear, I'm not saying that butches have these traits--or that I'm not guilty of any!)
Whether there's truth in any of these is highly debatable. But these are some stereotypes people hold, and I think it's worth knowing about them, engaging with them, and taking them seriously. For example,
- Ignoring other butches. Several butch readers said that they'd love to have more butch friends, but that other butches ignore them or are unresponsive when they reach out. I've had this experience--but on the other hand, I've had the opposite, too (which is how I became such good friends with my buddy C). Check out my post on butch-butch friendships.
- Too much time in the bathroom or on their hair. [BW averts her eyes.]
- Dressing too sloppily. One reader wrote, "I love butch girls but [it] bothers me it they wear their pants super baggy and walk around grabbing their crotch. It's disgusting when a man does it but when a sexy, beautiful butch woman does it it looks ridiculous." Another reader opined that there are many butches "who think that tracksuit bottoms, a t-shirt and wearing the same deodorant as a 15 year old boy is acceptable first date attire." No BW readers, I hope! (Oh--and a few readers specifically mentioned that they've seen a lot of butches in bras that don't give them enough support. That's no good. If you wear a 38D, a $15 sports bra from Target doesn't cut it.)
- Excessive "swagger" or cockiness. This was a big one, mentioned by more readers than any other trait. One butch wrote that "super rude, cocky, puff-out-your-chest butch women irritate [her]." Another said she disliked the "hyper-ego." she occasionally saw among butches. I agree that arrogance--which is very different from confidence--is never attractive. And I hate that so many people associate this kind of behavior with the word "butch!"
- Trying to police butchness. This includes telling soft butches that they're not real butches and stating "rules" like, "You can't be butch if you have long hair" or "If you wear women's underwear, you're not butch." What? I acknowledge that it's hard to define "butch," but I believe that identity policing is rooted in insecurity. (One butch reader wrote, "I hate when femmes think I'm too butch and butches think I'm too soft. Can't we just agree that I'm cute and will make your mom love me and make your dad wish I was his dyke-in-law?")
- Hating on butch-butch couples; hating on trans men; hating on bisexual women. You don't have to understand (or even like) people who are different from you, but why not try to be kind to them?
- "Puffing up" when they see another butch. Another big one. When you pass a butch you don't know, there's no need to glare at her (or studiously ignore her), pull your girlfriend closer to you, and use your body language to let everyone know that it's "your" McDonald's.
- Being too butch. Of all the critiques I read, this was the only one I really got annoyed at. A handful of people wrote things like, "I know you wear guys' clothes, but don't overdo it," or "Stop wearing men's pants," or "I once knew someone that wore men's underwear! Can u imagine?" (Uh, yes. Yes, I can.) This is another form of identity policing. Please don't tell me the "right" way to be butch. Geez.
- Being chauvinistic. This garnered the second-largest number of complaints (right after the swagger/cockiness one). Readers wrote that some butches want too much control in the relationship, or want to be "the guy" (or a hyperbolic, cartoon version of a guy, in any case), or expect "their woman" to wait on them, or belittle their girlfriends. No one claimed that it happened often, but most said that when it did, it tended to be in the context of a butch-femme relationship. One person wrote, "I don't want my Dapper Gentlelady... to save me, or treat me like I'm weaker or lesser than her... Just because she has an impressive tie collection (no, seriously; it's something to behold) doesn't make her the 'man' in the relationship. There isn't a man here, just two equal women; one in a bow tie, the other in heels."
- Cheating or being a player. (Most readers acknowledged that this isn't specific to butches; it's just that I asked about butches. Maybe I would have gotten the same answer by asking about femmes.)
- Wearing dresses just because it's what's expected of them. Readers weren't exactly "bothered" by this--more like "disheartened." It made them sad to see butches conform to social norms when they clearly didn't want to (although readers also acknowledged that sure, some butches might feel comfortable in a dress).
- Not respecting their elders. This quote summed it up: "I would like to hear less [sic] derogatory comments about older butches. I hear too often insults about their clothes, their mannerisms, and even their looks. I think we all forget the struggle they went through, coming out in a much less forgiving era. They essentially paved the path we all so 'gayly' walk now."
- Playing it too close to the vest. Many people commented that butches seem more difficult than most to get to know. They used phrases like "ultra protective of everything" or "not letting people know them." Hmm... I can certainly relate to the disinclination to make oneself vulnerable (once bitten, twice shy, and all that).
one straight reader (I LOVE that straight people read BW--you rock, straight readers!) wrote that in contrast to, say, gay men, she finds butches a little intimidating. I was surprised at first--me
? But I appreciated her honesty. And although, sure, I wish people didn't assume things about butches based on our appearance, it also reminded me that I might need to go out of my way sometimes to make myself approachable (I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to do this--it just matters to me personally).Do any of these ring true? Can it be productive to talk about them?
Last week, I had a Facebook contest
in which I asked readers to send their favorite pictures of themselves with their pets. The best photo wins a collar charm from Pooch Park Wear
. I received photos from nearly 100 readers! I'll put at least one photo from each person in the slide show below. (Warning: make sure you're sitting down, because the sheer cuteness is likely to turn your knees to pudding.)I had a lot of trouble deciding on the winner, so I thought I'd share my top five and let you guys vote on the best pic! Here are the contestants:
Butch and puppy at left, then same dog and butch a decade or so later.
I love how this photo shows the connection between a butch and her dog.
This one's just darling.
Carrying her pup on the trail (at least one of them's getting a workout).
A butch hugging her baby goat.
...And there were SO many other great ones, too! My brain was paralyzed by cuteness overload!
Vote for your favorite, and whoever has the most votes by 11:59 pm EST on Tuesday wins the prize.
Check out the rest of the awesome entries in the slideshow below. And HUGE thanks to all the wonderful readers who shared a pic of themselves and their pets--from cats to dogs to bearded dragons!
Sometimes I get questions from readers in which the reader is essentially asking me if he or she is some kind of weird outlier. For example:
- Do some gay men find trans men attractive?
- Do some femmes date other femmes?
- Are some people mostly attracted to older lesbians?
- Are some FTMs into bi cis guys?
Due to the sheer, huge, incredible range of human interests and preference, whenever you're asking if some people X, or whether some people of type Y find people of type Z attractive, the answer is always the same: yes
.In fact, we could make a mad lib of it:Do some [type of person, plural] find [adjective] [gender or sexual orientation] attractive?Yes, yes, yes. Some butches are only into other butches (BW raises hand). Some non-binary trans people only want to date femmes who wear leather. Some guys who identify as gay are attracted to masculine cis women. Whatever your preference, identity, interest, or sexual proclivity, I feel safe saying: you are not alone. Just because you haven't met anyone in your town who's like you doesn't mean that there aren't tons of them in the wider world. Heck, it doesn't even mean there isn't anyone in your town like you. Many people are scared to be out and proud about their preferences because they're afraid other people will laugh at them, or tell them they're weird.Well, I'm here to tell you that there's nothing "weird" about knowing what you like. There's nothing odd about having preferences that seem different from other people's (assuming those preferences are legal and don't hurt anyone, of course). And there's nothing wrong or strange about having your attractions change over time. After all, you didn't come out as queer to be like everyone else, did you? Why the heck would you want to start now?
I've been troubled lately by some writings by butch authors. Things like:
I'm paraphrasing, but not by much. These kind of sentiments strike me as sexist/misogynistic. I mean... we all have the right to preferences--I don't dispute that. But imagine that a heterosexual cis man wrote the things above. ("Women are so emotional. I'm not. It's a guy thing." Or insisting that only he gets to BBQ or fix things.) Sure, he has the right to prefer those things, and they would probably lead me to suspect that he was a sexist, and someone I wouldn't like very much.Why should these kinds of sentiments be different when a butch expresses them about a relationship she wants with a femme? Is it inherently different simply because they're both female? I'd argue that it's not.
- I want my femme to look good all the time. I expect her to dress up, put on makeup, etc., whenever we go out.
- Don't open the door for me. I'm the one who opens the doors, BBQs, and fixes things, thank you very much.
- Femmes are so emotional. I'm not. It's a butch thing. Don't expect me to know what you're thinking, and quit crying all the time.
When mentioned this to my DGF (dear girlfriend), she laughed. "Don't you know that's how most people think of butches?" she asked. "When people think butch
, they think of people who want to play a traditionally 'male' role in a relationship." She went on to explain that this is part of the reason she doesn't identify as butch herself, even though (trust me) she totally is.This all gave me pause. Sure, my DGF is more than a decade
older than me, so maybe her sense of people's perceptions of "butch" are different for that reason. Or maybe there's just something I'm failing to comprehend about butch-femme relationships, since I don't prefer to be in them myself.What do you all think? Do the kinds of comments I bulleted above strike you as sexist or misogynistic
? Are they the kinds of things you assume a person thinks when she tells you she identifies as butch?
Hey all! So I've been in bed with mono for two weeks. I'm definitely starting to feel better, but DANG mono can last a long time. Being sick has gotten downright mono
-tonous. Har, har. I've eaten boatloads of saltines, grown tired of red Gatorade (the original kind--this G2/G3 business is cray cray), and played dozens (hundreds?) of rounds of Gems with Friends.Meanwhile, the out-of-doors has become downright fall-ish in my neck of the woods. Though I've yet to consume my two favorite autumn foods, candy corn and pumpkin pie, I'm in a November mood. Some people are posting one thing for which they're grateful every day this month (thanks for the tipoff, Bee Listy).
But I thought I'd shoot my proverbial gratefulness wad all at once (yes, I really did just write that sentence) and list 30 things here and now. Boom.
What's on your gratefulness list, dear readers? Comment below and list at least three things, large or small.
- The election results! A president who isn't scared to mention The Gays in his acceptance speech! Elizabeth Warren! Maine and Maryland! There is much to celebrate.
- Fiction! The pleasure of reading stories, of turning pages, of becoming subsumed in the printed word. Right now I'm reading Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and Bolano's The Savage Detectives, and am enjoying both very much.
- My DGF (dear girlfriend)! Her mischievous smile, her dancing, her sense of humor, her curiosity about the world--all of these things make me happy, and I love her more every day.
- A sense of relative security! Sure, I have student loans up the wazoo and earn a rather wee salary, but on a day-to-day basis, I don't wonder if I can afford groceries or heat, and that is an incredibly comforting feeling that many people do not get to have.
- Succulents! Recently my DGF and I have gotten addicted to succulents, and have been having a lot of fun growing them. You can propagate them from leaves! How cool is that? (Answer: very.)
- BW readers! I love that I get to write something a lot of people enjoy reading. I am very grateful that you read this blog.
- Friends! BB, CB, KC, MK, JG, DD, SJB, E&E, MT, LR, TH, and many others. Friends give me perspective and make me feel loved.
- Warm showers!
- Being a butch lesbian! I'm grateful that I can present the way I really am, be out, and be me--fleece vests and all.
- My dog, Scout! Scout is my buddy. Loyal, smart, playful, and absurdly well-behaved. When I go running, she goes with me. When I'm sick, she never leaves my side. Especially if I'm eating something.
- Dr. W! My therapist is amazing. She helps me understand who I am, gain courage, work on my strengths, and be a better person. She also has a fabulous BS-detector (important when working with me).
- Projects! I love having projects going. Research projects, art projects, writing projects. Projects, projects.
- Fruit! Particularly pomegranates and Fuyu persimmons (the flat kind).
- Trail running! I want to work up to doing a lot more of it, because I find it exhilarating and challenging.
- Rainy days!
- Sunny days!
- Music! Music can elevate my mood, stir up memories or make me dance. I am also grateful for the ability to make up my own songs (something which is almost certainly not on my DGF's gratitude list).
- My new shoes! They're making my plantar fasciitis feel a little better. Plus, they are orange, and I love orange.
- My parents! I am absurdly similar to them in some ways and absurdly different in others. My relationship with them has evolved a great deal and their support for me has been unwavering. I love them immensely.
- My friendship with my mom! This deserves its own list item.
- Home! I live in a place I really like--both the house and the region.
- Writing! Of all kinds. Words to paper. Words to screen. Words to napkins in ballpoint pen. Words words words.
- My brother, sister-in-law, and niece (+1 on the way)! They're an awesome family, and I can't wait to hang out with them next month.
- The smells on my drive home! There are all kinds of trees on my way home, and I love how they smell: piney and earthy and dewy.
- Humor! God, I'm grateful for humor. I find many things amusing or silly or ironic, and I love seeing the world this way.
- My DXH! I've written a whole lot about him in the past, but suffice it to say that I have an incredibly loving, supportive ex-husband, and I'm grateful that he's such an important part of my life.
- Second chances! Whether it's a relationship or a writing rejection or a dozen push-ups, second chances are the best.
- Things to look forward to! I love having things to look forward to. Vacations, down time with my DGF, books to read, plans with friends, cool work projects... There was a time in my life when I lost the ability to look forward to things, and I think that makes me especially grateful for it now.
As many as you want.