Be a damn flower!

 

You’ve heard the analogy, right? The idea that in a relationship there is a gardener and a flower. I heard about this idea years ago from a friend. I don’t remember how it came up or giving much attention to it. I just said, “huh,” and moved on.

Recently, this idea has come up a couple of times, mostly on TV dramas strangely, but it made me stop. I started thinking about this idea in the context of my own relationships and the transitions that have been taking place since the start of year.

What I’ve realized is that, holy shit, I have definitely been the Gardener. In so many of my relationships, I have taken care of the foundation and watched others grow and bloom and find success. To be clear, this is an important role, and it’s definitely not a bad thing, especially if being a nurturer is something that fulfills you.

Here’s the deal. At the start of the year, I started singing with a choir. I used to sing in choirs, a cappella groups, and perform in shows around town (usually there were Drag Queens, costumes, and songs from Rent involved). I’ve loved singing since I was a little kid, and I have  missed it so much. It has been a struggle to find the right place for it in my life as I’ve gotten older and more introverted because the things I was doing before stopped feeling right, but this has been the perfect fit.

For the last several years, I’ve been stuck in a routine of work, home, occasionally yoga, and going to Harrison’s shows. For a the first few years of our relationship, it was his various music projects, and now it’s his comedy shows. I have for sure been the Gardener in this relationship. And again, there is nothing wrong with that. I have loved watching everything Harrison has done, and I’ve loved even more when I can help him manage his many side hustles by hauling sound equipment, working the door, or critiquing a joke. Basically, I’ve made myself EXTREMELY available. My routine became the deepest of ruts, and while I have loved being there for Harrison, I wasn’t being honest with myself about the things I was missing.

Harrison is going from being basically the sole receiver to having to give a little bit, and sometimes take the role of the Gardener. And it has not been easy. So much so that I have felt an ever-so-slight bit of guilt for being less available for him or for asking and even – dare I say it – demanding support. It doesn’t help that women are professionals at this kind of guilt. There’s this silent struggle over whose commitment is more important or who gets to use the car we share to get to the thing they need to get to instead of taking the bus or a Lyft.

It’s a work in progress. Sharing sun is hard when someone has been making sure you get as much of it as possible for years… since we’re using a flower analogy.

My relationship with Harrison isn’t the only relationship in which I have been the constantly available and reliable person who can definitely pick you up from the airport because I definitely don’t have anything else going on. As life has become busier and filled with more commitments, it’s given me clearer picture of which friendships in my life are mutually supportive, and which ones have existed on a foundation of me being available for favors. That’s not to say there isn’t more to those friendships. There is, but you start noticing who shows up when you have something to show up for. Some of the people who show up might surprise you, and the people who don’t might surprise you just as much. It’s a big deal when people show up.

I made a quiet commitment to myself to get back to the things that have made me feel most like myself, and I’m taking small steps in a direction that finally feels right. I’ve always been hyper-aware of the time I ask of others, and it’s generally made me uncomfortable to ask a lot of others. But listen, it’s my damn turn to be a damn flower. Just sometimes. Is that cool?

I hope so. Because I think I was well on my way to becoming something much, much, much lower than an overly available and less than fulfilled Gardner – the doormat the work boots sit on.

giphy
Via GIPHY

It’s Pride weekend in Denver, and it feels a little different.

This week has been a little off for me, and if you’re a living, breathing, human, maybe you’ve felt it to. When I woke up last Sunday and picked up my phone to see the news of what had happened in Orlando, my heart sank. I spent the morning crying, and the rest of the day was spent trying not to cry.

I spent a significant part of my early 20s in gay bars with my gay friends. They are the people who I’ve shared some of my life’s most complicated and fulfilling friendships with. What happened in Orlando may have been on the other side of the country, but it felt so close and so personal. I could picture what that club looked like at that hour. I could picture the people waiting to get one more drink at last call or pay their tabs. I could picture the clothes they were wearing, the dancing, the smiles. I could hear the laughter. When the names of those who were killed started being released, I felt like I was hearing the names of people I know.

I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about the ugliness of the world and trying to figure out how I can channel how I feel to something positive and helpful. It can be so paralyzing for someone who just wants to fix things. I’ve thought about what more I can do. I even felt guilty for not being as present and involved in the LGBT community as I once was. When Paris was attacked, I wrote about how easy it is to feel helpless, and the one thing we can control is how we treat other people. That’s still true, but it only goes so far.

I don’t want to make this a political post. The only thing I’ll say is that getting rid of hateful ideas is near impossible, but it is possible to get rid of or severely restrict the tools that hateful people use to unleash their hate on innocent people. I’m talking about guns if you didn’t get that. Write your representative, and most of all, vote in November.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been a full participant in Pride festivities because I have a harder time with crowds of drunk people in 100-degree heat than I did in my early 20s. I still think of my friends every year. I hope they are having fun, not getting too hammered, and staying hydrated. Seriously you guys, it’s called water. Drink some.

I want to wish all of my LGBT friends a Happy Pride. Know that I am in your corner, and I am here for you. I may not see all of you as much as I used to, but nothing has changed about my love and support for you. I will support you with my words and with the way I  cast my vote. I vow to never allow anyone to speak hatefully about you in my presence and to promote love in all its forms.

gay-pride-1009-1280x960.jpg

Beer + Fireball = Bloated Fire-breathing Dragon

I haven’t posted here in almost 2 weeks. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, people. Sorry about that, but here I am to tell you a story of how I was reminded why I don’t partake in certain activities and drink certain kinds of booze.

Remember this post from WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY back when I started this thing? I’ll wait.

You good?

Great. Let’s talk about Saturday night.

I went to a yoga class at 5:30 (more on this topic later). I was feeling pretty damn amazing about myself for getting to a class on a Saturday, at a studio that I don’t particularly enjoy, due to the height of the horse the yoga-bitches who work there seem to be on, so I wanted to get out of the house and take advantage of my momentary confidence. I ended up with a friend who was out celebrating with her friends celebrating a birthday.

This is a big fucking deal for me? I spent several hours with a bunch of strangers. Catch me on the wrong day, and the thought of this makes me curl up in the fetal position and sob.

We left a perfectly acceptable restaurant/bar with a lengthy beer list and moved to an awful place in the middle of Downtown where the worst people in Denver and ill-advised tourists go on Saturday nights. At this point, I had consumed 2 beers in 2 hours – the pace of someone who prefers to remain mentally intact. But I was in shithead territory, so of course, a couple of 21-year-old twerps plowed into me as a result of a hug turned tackle, spilling part of beer number 3 onto my friend’s husband.

I’m going to take this moment to address all the young, peppy, bar-goers who still have energy after 11pm. Stop. Please stop. Yes, I was on your turf, but someone needs to help you before you bring your shit behavior to the places adults go to drink. If you are in a crowded bar, it is not the time to run to your friend and aggressively hug them. They’ve probably been drinking for a while, making you the bowling ball to their wobbly pin. People will topple. I would also be pleased if I never saw a group of girls take a selfie in the mirror of a bar bathroom again. You look ridiculous, but at least that doesn’t cause injuries.

Later, my friend’s friend, whose birthday party I sort of felt like I crashed, REALLY wanted to do shot with everyone. Fireball. I don’t remember the last time I did a shot of any kind, but I didn’t want to be rude. And as much I loved the craft beer I’d been drink all night, craft beer comes with a price. You will pay in the likelihood that someone will mistake you for pregnant. See where I’m going with this? Bloated fire-breathing dragon.

dragon
This seems like an accurate representation.

I left that bar with a beer baby and cinnamon lingering on my tongue, but I was mentally intact even after the shot. I had an engaging conversation about feminism that I clearly recall. I came home and went to bed, feeling proud of myself for not sitting on the couch all night and for socializing with strangers.

At about 6:30am on Sunday morning, I was hovered over toilet.

Thanks, body. And also, fuck you.

The End.

The Jane to my Daria

Everyone should have a friend they can text some straight nonsense to at any hour; someone who moves at exactly your speed when you need them to, brings out your less inhibited self when appropriate, and appreciates the 90s as much or more. Maybe that’s just our thing. But seriously, the 90s were fucking rad, and if you don’t think so, you’re a fucking weirdo.

Her name isn’t actually Jane, but she’s saved in my phone as Jane Lane because of course she is.

Jane: But really…Iron & Wine groupies?

Me: Something. I feel like I’m in a perpetual rut.

Jane: I’m over this week.

I’m tired and being pulled in 500 directions.

Me: I basically feel two emotions at work; boredom and something on the anger scale.

Jane: Did you guys start my fundraising jar? – So we can be Iron & Wine groupies and not have to work, obviously.

Me: Lol. No. Not sure how to pitch that.

Jane: Bahahhahahaha

Me: I just want to experience life, and I feel like I’m not.

Jane: I just want regular sex and a sandwich.

Me: Sorry Harrison is taken.

Jane: I’m old enough to be Harrison’s babysitter.

Me: You’ve slept with younger.

Jane: Yes, I’m aware I was sleeping with someone younger than Harrison. 

Me: Lol.

Jane: 30s or bust.

What about a sandwich?

Me: Harrison makes sandwiches and puts weird things on them.

Jane: Stop trying to pimp your bf out.

Keep and eye out for a 30-something with a sandwich.

Preferably literate.

…..Later…..

Me: Oh my god. The Secretary of Energy might be a real live Oompa Loompa.

I’m watching Colbert.

Jane: Haha.

Jon Stewart and a sandwich…life goals.

Me: I miss him.

….Later….

Me: Fuck is it Friday yet?

I kept thinking tomorrow is Friday because I’ve only worked 3 days the last 2 weeks.

Jane: 😦

I really want to date a guy with a man bun just to piss you off.

Me: Well, that’s awfully spiteful.

Jane: Bahahaha

Me: I would cut it off in his sleep.

Jane: What is this? Samson and Delilah?

Me: Oh shit. He would lose his strength, wouldn’t he? That probably includes sexual strength. There goes your regular sex.

Jane: Well, he better make good sandwiches then.