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A lot of things about the computer confuse me and are simply over my head. If it weren’t for Sinclair I’m not sure that email would be a thing I did, let alone having a blog (which, for quite awhile, I thought was the term for when someone responded to an email- like, “Hey, I blogged you back”). But my newest confusion is this facebook/myspace thing. I have an account on both sites for the purposes of allowing people to find me and also to have the ability to screen which persons of my past that I will and won’t make contact with. But as it should turn out these spaces are used for much, much more.
Yesterday I checked myfacespacebook for the first time in quite some time. I checked it because myfacespacebook emailed my gmail email account to tell me that I should check myfacespacebook because it had something to tell me. So I did. And so, in myfacespacebook I had over 22 “requests” waiting for me.
Two of these “requests” were the familiar “friend requests” from people I did not know but who claimed to know “friends” of mine on my facebook space.
Ok, sure – click- accept - we are now “friends”- great- fine.
The other 20 requests were beyond me. Just a few to note were as follows:
take a ‘how hot are you’ test
past life invitation request
six degrees of gayness quiz
special blessings invitation
what flower are you test
lil’ green patch request
…and several more that I clicked “ignore” on and they just went away.
By the time I got through looking at all of them I wished there was a way I could have forwarded the whole thing to Sinclair (and I tried), like I do with stuff like this, with a simple little email titled “WTF. Please fix.” (Sinclair is the one that taught me what WTF means. For quite awhile I thought it meant “white tall femme.” Turns out this is not the case.)
On myfacespacebook I saw that one of my “friends” had purchased a thing for me to have on this space of mine. She paid money. This “gift” that I received was a “golden egg.” And herein lies another fine example of my ongoing frustration and severe ineptitude for this computer cyberness:
I did not receive a golden egg. What I received was a 1 inch by 1 ½ inch, 2 dimensional picture of a golden egg on my facebook space. This leads me to two very simple questions: Why? And white tall femme? My hope and assumption is that you know you did not actually send me a golden egg. Regardless, I am so confused by this foggy line of distinction between real golden eggs and small computer generated pictures of golden eggs that I have no idea what to say. I haven’t blogged you back yet and my plan at this point is to just let it go. Or maybe I should write a quick ‘thanks for the egg’ on your “wall”.
I also received a request to slay zombies with a “friend” that I haven’t spoken to (on mutual purpose) for a few years now. So, again, white tall femme? How does one respond?
“Um, thank you for the invitation to slay zombies with you, however, no thank you.”
Or the truth:
“We have not spoken in over two years now. The reason you are my “friend” is because you “requested” to be on my facebook space and I felt like this strange cyber forum allowed for nothing won, nothing lost. But because we are “friends” does not actually mean that I think we should be friends.
p.s. even if we were friends there aren’t really such things as zombies, and even if there were you know I won’t even kill spiders, thus making zombie slaying totally out of the question.”
Another repeated “request” included sending “plants” back and forth to help stop global warming. What? We both know you did not send me a plant, right? Much like the golden egg, what I received was a very small, cartoon like picture of a ground-cover-looking plant. And it is my understanding, which could be off (I will ask Sinclair later), but as far as I have ever found, global warming is not influenced, effected, helped or hurt by computer generated pictures of plants sent back and forth to facebook spaces or any other cyber destinations.
Point is: My dear “friends” on myfacespacebook,
Find me here, let’s potentially reconnect, let’s use this space for reminding each other of upcoming birthdays, invitations to our next art gallery show, cool new music venues. But seriously, can we be clear on the line here? Like, a real line? Not a two dimensional computer generated picture of one. The line that seperates myfacebookspace from all of the moments where I am a real, eggless, person not staring at a computer? If we can mutually agree on that I will take your hotness quiz.
Dear Angry Anonymous Girl,
Its been a few weeks now since I ran into your post on Craigslist and responded. Ever since I read your words I’ve had the same two lines from a song stuck… stuck… in my head. My brain won’t stop chanting the first two lines of Dairy Queen by, that’s right, the Indigo Girls (it’s always a song that acts as my lesbian default-defense mechanism for that costume changing period in-between the thin and thicker skin maneuver). Anyway, it goes like this:
“I heard that you were drunk and mean down at the Dairy Queen. There’s just enough of you in me for me to have some sympathy.”
You’ve inspired me on so many fronts and as ironic as it sounds I owe you some thanks:
Thank you for inspiring me to write again. Thank you for reminding me to gauge my level of personal awareness, impact, language, output, and intake. Thank you for helping me brave my way through some of the many dark boxes I carry around, all of the time, just like you. Thank you for waking me up and getting me to look into my own rage, insecurities, anger, loneliness, hopelessness, mistrust, fears, hurts, remorse, grievances, and prejudices. Thank you for reminding me that my level of tolerance needed a check in, a tune up. Thank you for encouraging me to celebrate my inner and outer queerness, which you refer to as “a sore thumb”. Thank you for helping all of us freaks check in with each other and find new mediums to support each other. Thank you for helping me brave wearing who I am even louder and prouder, and being even less afraid and more prepared for you, because you are everywhere, in all of us, somewhere. Thank you for softening my brow in general. Thank you for helping me find new and creative ways to let my hurt out because, man, you have got to get it out somehow, right?
I realize that you probably just felt so alone in all of your hurt that you finally boiled over and your explosion was that public post on Craigslist. Probably so that someone, anyone, from anywhere, would hear you.
I heard you. We all heard you. And I’m so sorry you carry all of that around.
Violet loves to say, ‘you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.’ But I like vinegar. It stings a bit but it is refreshing and helps with digestion (i.e. processing). I’m not condoning your choice of outlet, but it was obviously old, fermented hurt and you woke me up.
In my mind you’ve realized that you don’t really mean what you said, maybe some of it, but certainly not all of it.
In my mind you’re standing outside the proverbial window of every freaky queer who had their feelings hurt by you, wearing a trench coat, in the pouring rain, with a boom box lifted over your head, blaring the song “If I Could Turn Back Time” …but that’s just how my mind keeps the sun locked in.
My offer still stands, if you’d ever like to talk.
My brother gave me his old tv for my birthday. Violet and I agreed not to have a television in the house for 2 reasons. 1. most of what is on is total crap and 2. we know this and would watch it anyway.
For two months the tv has been in our loft upstairs, hidden in the corner, covered with a sheet because Violet says it’s a feng shui void thing that sucks energy or something like that.
Last night, while I was on the phone downstairs i heard the zzzzzap sound a tv makes when being turned on or off and then heard the channels flipping around. I was on the phone for at least an hour; all the while I could hear the tv in the background. I got off the phone and hollered upstairs:
“Hey Violet, are you watching tv?”
“Really?!? What are you watching?”
“Oh, some PBS documentary on public health policies… and, um… shvivsh shvommmp.”
“Ya, I heard that part. But what else are you watching?”
“A really interesting documentary… and Wife Swap, ok!”
I’ve been waking up every morning at 3:30 a.m. for months now. After I wake up it takes and hour or several for me to fall back to sleep. But just recently a new sleep disturbance has started taking place. This seems to be happening somewhere around 5 or 6 a.m., right after I finally fall back to sleep.
Violet has a very particular sleep pattern. I know this because I have plenty of time in the middle of the night to observe. She starts off sleeping on one side, curled up like a sweet little hedgehog.
Next, she’ll move her arms up so that they curve and curl around the top of her head. This pose looks quite delicate and artful really, but as I’ve come to learn, this is just a pretty looking launch position.
At some point, and you can never know when exactly, she’ll start to shift back into her original hedgehog pose. This is the final phase… the strike:
As her body begins to curl and turn towards me her arms attempt to shift with her. But as they have been above her head for quite some time they are even more asleep than she. So as they begin to unconsciously move with the rest of her body those two lifeless limbs begin to wobble with a sloppy, drunken stagger towards me. And then, all of a sudden: BOOM! Elbow in the eye.
An hour later the alarm goes off and I say, “You know, I’m really starting to hate waking up to your elbow clubbing me in the head,” and she replies, “Oh ya? You hate it?”
This is the girl who comes home with 9 bottles of unsweetened cranberry concentrate because 1. it was on sale and 2. if we ever get bladder infections we will be prepared.
This is the girl who calls me ‘mushroom-shrimp’ in public.
This is the girl who finds out our new house has a 1 foot by 3 foot fish pond and says, “Perfect. Now we can get ducks!’
This is the girl who gets really upset with me when I buy green grapes in December because “They. Are. Not. In. Season!
This is the girl who signs us up for a 9 hour goat cheese making class that requires an eleven hour drive to and from.
This is the girl that assures me I could never be a plus size model… because I am too short.
This is the girl who believes that kale goes in/on/with everything.
This is the girl who says “I’m as wound up as a yo yo!”
This is the girl who has no idea what a ‘well drink’ is.
This is the girl I wake up to.
This is the girl.
Sunday my girlfriend, Violet, and I went to an Easter-ish dinner party. We were invited by one of her old college friends, Adia, to have dinner at her moms’ place. Her hippy dippy goddess loving moms hosted a lovely gathering. During dinner someone started a conversation about their upcoming travel plans and I mentioned that I had spent some time in Eastern Europe. I was telling them about my experience being an American dyke overseas and how I was ‘read’ by others… which was everything but as a lesbian.
I started my travels in Poland and 4 months later ended up at the southern tip of Croatia. And never, not once, did anyone from these regions guess or assume that I was a lesbian… My blue eyes and (short faux hawked) blonde hair received a lot of attention from men in Hungary especially. I had never had so many free drinks offered, let alone the offers to dance and once of marriage as I did by the men in Budapest on one single Saturday night.
I went out dancing with a crowd from the hostel where I was staying. This crowd included 3 incredibly gorgeous women from South America. All three were stunningly attractive and quite feminine looking… but I was blond. And as it went that night- short blond boi dyke trumped tall, dark, sexy South American woman.
One by one, and a few times two or three men would come over to our table and ask me to dance. Flattered and uninterested I would answer, “no thank you.” Some of them would hang around to chat with me for a bit.
It was always a lot of the same sweet and entertaining back and forth that went like this:
“You have beautiful eyes!”
“You have beautiful hair! Why so short?”
“Where are you from?”
“You don’t have a guess?”
“Oh sure, you are Swedish girl.”
“No, not Swedish.”
“Well then, tell me your name.”
“My name is jesse.”
“Oh jesse, what a beautiful name. Nice to meet you jesse.”
“Uh huh, nice to meet you too.”
“So jesse, why don’t you want to dance with me? You are married? Have a male friend? You don’t like the dancing?”
“No, no, I just don’t feel like dancing, that’s all.”
“Will you dance with my friend?”
“Is your friend a girl?”
“Ha ha ha… no.”
“Um, no thank you.”
“You are stubborn, yes? Strong woman, yes?”
“Oh jesse, I know you! I know who you are.”
(still smiling and quite amused) “Oh ya? What do you know?”
You are Gerrrman girl, no? Yes!! You are Geerrrman! Ha ha! Strong Geeerrrman woman. Ha ha ha!”
(bigger smile) “No, no. I’m not German… I’m gay.”
(pausing with genuine curiosity) “I don’t know where is Gay.”
(completely charmed) “That’s alright… do you still feel like dancing?”
The South American girls ditched me – I would have too.
I read Dooce daily. It is a successful, world famous blog for a reason. Heather, the author, is incredibly open and frank about her life and adds an edgy, witty spin on everything she writes about. Last week she posted some of the hate mail she’s received and her responses to a few. The comments she received were drenched in hate. Their content had no substance, just cheap and dirty shots targeted directly at her. And it wasn’t that these strangers had such angry hateful things to say to another human being that surprised me, no, I was surprised at how acts of hate don’t surprise me.
I guess after thirty one years of hearing about hate, watching hate on television, seeing it happen to strangers, friends, family, experiencing it, carrying hate around, dreaming about it, reading stories about it, talking about hate, using it, feeling hate, and assuming that hate has happened, happens, and will continue to happen, like how Tuesday keeps happening, has sanded down what I hope was once my natural ability to feel surprised, at least, when hate happens.
I was talking to one of my very favorite people, Sinclair, about Dooce’s hate-mail and we were trying to decide if the people that throw around this angry anonymous hate are aware of their impact? Two weeks ago Sinclair posted an ad on her blog that she ran into on Craigslist that some angry anonymous girl had written. Should you chose to read it, I warn you: it is a long and hateful rant and it got me. I was surprised. And honestly it felt refreshing to be shocked and hurt by the hate I was reading. I took some time to respond to this girls post (also posted on Sugarbutch).
So, where do I go with all of this? I have no desire to become a pacifist, and walking around with a bucket over my head won’t work for obvious reasons. So, my experiment for all of this week, starting right now, is this: I will not participate in or with hate. I am removing the word h*** from my vocabulary and when it tries to hit or grow inside or around me I will first try to defuse it back into its natural state of ‘hurt’. If hurt presents itself to me I will engage, if h*** refuses to disarm I will simply walk away.
I will keep you posted on how this goes. If you’d like to join me in this weeks mission let me know how it goes for you. I can imagine that this mission would look very different person to person and that the challenge level would differ as well. It may be that for some, avoiding h*** from the outside could be impossible, so what do you do about that? If you join me in this I would love to hear about your techniques and experiences trying to go seven days without… ah! not even gonna say it.
(a recent phone call with my brother)
brother: Dude, I’m so excited! My vacation starts this Friday.
me: Ah, well, it is long over due. What are you gonna do?
brother: I think I’ll drive the ‘Stang all the way down the 101 to the Mexican boarder.
me: Oh, that’ll be a beautiful drive. But, what are you going to do when you get there?
brother: Um, turn left, I guess.