Life? During Wartime...Read Now
You oughta know not to stand by the window. Somebody see you up there, I got some groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days...
Well, alright sportsfans (as my father used to love to say) I guess I got my wish (sorta) something to write about besides dating apps...
If you're reading this from your digital bunker (as I am writing it) you're hunkering down, waiting for the apocalypse that the White House continues to insist will just "go away." The Carana-virus as the Orange One likes to call it, has wreaked havoc across the world and at this writing threatens to make this spring an indoor version of it's former self.
It's not the virus itself that has affected me personally, but the fear that seems to be gripping everyone except the real humans with whom I interact. Someone has been been ripping through stores in my immediate neighborhood like locusts, someone has been gouging consumers for everything from hand sanitizer to face masks. Someone has been pulling out of their reservations forcing the outright canceling of annual events. We just don't know who those someones are...
Well that's not exactly accurate -- the pulling out are some of the biggest companies in the world - whose full scale withdrawals from their commitments have forced the cancelations of everything from SXSW, to E3 (largest annual Electronics show) NAB, TriBeCa Film Fest and the TED Conference so far. NBA season is suspended, March Madness will live up to it's name playing in empty arenas -- it's flat out nuts. (Today's new parlour/drinking game: https://www.isitcanceledyet.com/).
But, nobody I know has lost their minds... yet - but a sh*t ton of people have and they live in my zipcode or at least they thought we were a market ripe for the picking...
As you know, I live alone. (Except for course for my fur babies - Aria & Bella) I have occasional guests. But where I'm going with this is, I have significantly changed (or had it changed for me) my "consumer" habits. In other words - I only buy toilet paper from Costco about twice a year.
The cost difference is really why I do it. TP in a regular store costs about as much for 12 rolls as it does for 12 packages of rolls (givertake) at "the Costco." I'm no financial genius, but I know it's a better buy. And truly speaking it was my beloved Marcy who even got me to think about the stuff in the first place. She was the one with the sensitive skin. She wanted the good stuff (trust me, she was Scottish to a cliché'd fault and if she was going to splurge on herself anywhere - I'm glad she at least did it there!) So, Charmin' and the Costco it was -- many times we considered canceling the membership but we saved that much money in TP, so my girl was worth it.
Now, ever since the first day of Spring 2017, her wisdom about the softness of said paper became... well... personal. And real. Okay, and yes, she was right. (about so many things - but this was critical). Thank gawd, I listened to her.
So... it's still on my house essentials list. Right up there with dog food, red wine and jalapeńos. (okay there's a few other things that are always on my "must have" list - like my hair colored, my nails done and the mortgage paid) but you know what I'm talking about.
The point is, I keep my eye on the stockpile. And yes, I've been busy lately, and I knew I needed to get some. But I got into writing binge last week and I thought, "I've got two rolls, I'm good..."
Now, yes, I've been watching the news (in my in-box, not the tube, I haven't watched TV news since Mylove had it on 24/7, it was the only thing that could distract her from the pain besides the Golden Girls. I save my TV for Mrs. Maisel, the Crown, Chernobyl and the best pic noms) but, yes, I knew the world was bracing for impact, China was tapering off, but Italy was flaring, 8 cases had been reported in Washington state. But it was still "far off." And one day, when I needed gas, I thought, "hey, I'm not in any hurry, I'll run up to the Costco, grab some gas, some TP and maybe a few other things for the house..."
And it seemed o.... kay? There was a an eerie calm over everyone -- they seemed to be almost hushed in a place that is usually cacophonic in its consumersthenics -- but I was in an hurry and didn't pay it no nevermind. I should've clocked that something was amiss when there were no carts. I had to go back out to the parking lot (which if you've ever been to the Costco, you know it could almost be the distance of two football fields) to find one lone stray cart and return to the store. I picked up some organic chicken thighs as I made my way to the extreme back of the store which is like a warehouse inside of warehouse where the paper products and water and dog food is...
... it was cleaned out like Costco had lost their lease.
That's when it hit me, the veiled calm o'er everyone was the silence that poker players exude when they stare at their cards. Everyone had merely been pretending to be calm as they maneuvered their carts in front of each other to "box out" the "competition." If they had the sacred paper, they were protecting it. Like the Texas Hold 'em all-stars, they weren't giving up their tells, they weren't telegraphing how or when they were gonna take the pot.
Only here there wasn't a pot to piss in, (or wipe after). I put my chicken back in the cooler, abandoned my cart and headed for the manager. When I found one I asked when they would be getting more TP and he laughed, "Darlin' we get a truckload every morning at 10. It's gone by 10:15. If you wanna get some you have to be here and get in line.
I smirked that I'm not gonna play into the hysteria... but he went back to restocking M&M's and those funky rolled Rice Crispies tubie thingys.
I thanked him and left, grumbling under my breath about the chicken-littles who are messing it up for the rest of us.
It took me two more days before I could bring myself to try again -- apparently, I had enough (TP) to afford to be mad. First world problems...
And I was mad -- as the news of the lunacy started to escalate, I realized that there are two people in the world. Those who care about each other and those who care only for themselves, and the latter group weren't any of the people I personally knew, so just who were these faceless hoarders who were sucking up all the TP from Costco... I could just imagine these faceless somebodies, garage full of paper gleefully rubbing their hands together waiting for the extort light to flash, preying on those of us who thought it was better to ration so everybody would be able to wipe.
And my sister Lib said it best. Even of you swear you won't buy into the hysteria, it does mess with your thinking. When she went to her Trader Joes (we all have 'em, do we not?) and the shelves were starting to be cleared by the hoarders, she thought I better stock up too -- who knows when the hoarding will stop? Lib keeps a great pantry having raised three children and an athlete-husband. So if she's second guessing herself, it's bad. But there were only black beans left so she "had to get 'em" only to get home and discover she'd already had 6 cans.
But she hit it on the head. Mass Hysteria (veiled as "thinking prudently" or "common sense") adds to the fear. And I don't like it when I see some woman stuffing an extra dozen eggs into a carton so she can get around the 1 dozen eggs per customer rule, that I start to judge that woman. She could have five boys at home who eat three eggs at a whack or be baking the cake for her niece's wedding. The point is, I'm willing to stop looking on her with compassion just because she cut me off on the way to check-out aisle.
I will not be that person. That person who hates first and asks questions later... but it's requiring more vigilance lately than I have...
Over toilet paper.
I was recounting this tale of whoa, (sic) to my friend Jill as she was shopping for some ready made meals so she could get back to her studies (she had just come up for air -- working on her second Masters degree) and she said, "You're right, I'm here in Gelson's and they have some paper must be because everything is so expensive here anyway, but the aisles are pretty scarce..." We laughed at how cray everyone was, and agreed to talk after her next paper...
And, realizing that I might be playing a harsh game of TP roulette, I finally got off my tookas and set out in search of paper...
It was even worse in the smaller stores -- Ralphs looked like a bomb hit that aisle but every other aisle was perfectly stocked. Musta been a Neutron Bomb. I was going to hunt down the manager and give him a piece of my mind for allowing hoarders to decimate the store. But then I thought I was going to protest by NOT giving them the business (let them fall on their own swords). And I walked out of the store. Sprouts? Same story. Sprouts, REALLY? Who shops at Sprouts for TP????? I left in another huff. Not even gonna try Smart and Final. Skunked at Pavilions. Shut out at CVS. Shut down at Vons.
I couldn't believe these managers (and stores) were playing into the hysteria too. Money was more important than the people who were hoping to spend it, I grumbled, as I turned my car onto Mulholland Highway to head for Gelsons.
Once in, I wasn't going to drop and run over to the TP, I still was digging in my heels -- I would not capitulate to fear. If I had to use old rags and paper towels, so be it (says she now in the comfort of her clean cotton panties... )
And... there was a half-stocked shelf. But the only paper left came only in packs of four. I wasn't about to become the girl I was mother-fing earlier at every other store. But it was a half-stocked shelf. So I grudgingly took two packs, grabbed some butter, some epsom salts and some red wine and headed for the check-out. My total?????
$55.00 - Are you F-ing kidding me?
"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco -- This ain't no fooling around. No time for dancing, or lovey dovey, I ain't got time for that now..."
For the years since I transitioned socially - which means I've officially (through court order, SS change, CDL, passport & constant reminders of proper pronouns) declared who I've always been to the outside world (all you outside Mylove's and my sacred bubble) I've been un....un...un-em...unemployed. Which is weird for me -- I've always been a freelancer or a project based contractor. I get hired by the network & the production company to deliver a show. When I was between gigs (truly speaking, you never know when the other side of the tween is... but you get into a rhythm) it was the blessed calm that allowed me to catch-up on personal writing/projects -- it's why I am so disciplined with my writing - I never know when it's time to go run a show again.
But this time the "tween" has stretched past 3 years of un...un...un-em, employment. We never say that out loud in LA LA Land - cuz that means you're a leper. We have a whole bunch of cute phrases for a situation that the rest of country uses to get a check, some assistance, or even just a free drink at their local watering hole. "Taking some personal time," "Hitting the pause button," or the above or it's even more vague step cousin, "between opportunities." But no matter how you slice it in this land of superstition and mystery, for us it says failure. Stay away. Nobody ever really knows why anything in this town is successful, (The Bachelor? The Masked Singer, really?) so, we then never really ever know why we've failed. Everyone has skills. Everyone is creative. Brilliant? Yes, there are some. But, they make up about 1% of all the work that's ever been done. No, the safest and truly most accurate response is to regard it as "a calling" or "a spiritual quest." And I'm not being facetious, it is really is.
But then, if your destiny dictates your success what do you do when you're... not success-ing...?
If you're not in charge of your success (which, let's be real you're really not) then you're also not in charge of your free fall...
So then what? Will those prayers deliver the parachute by drone?
I have always been known for my creativity and my tactical brilliance. I've been able to invent whole shows out of the fantasy of others and bring them into reality on ridiculous budgets. And I've been able to enlist my crews into this effort. Yes, it's a superpower -- but it's the crucial superpower that all showrunners must have. I'm not special in that regard -- we're a... breed, if you will. Or mutant works too.
But my tactical foresight never saw the blindspot that I'd fallen into once I started wearing lipstick. It's funny what people will say out loud to you when you suddenly become "other."
Well, it's not us, but we're just afraid your crews might not want to follow "a you..." So, suddenly, I'm ... "a you?"
Was that how everyone felt? I will never know. I just know that I haven't had a gig in three years. But I never really had time to investigate... when Mylove got sick, I turned my superpower to making her life the best it could be. I stopped looking past today. Because all my tactical brilliance couldn't cure cancer. But my love and my hands could give her some relief.
Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks? They won't help me survive. My chest is aching, burns like a furnace. The burning keeps me alive. Try to stay healthy, physical fitness. Don't want to catch no disease...
And I must admit, that between grief, mourning and outrage, my immune system has been taking it on the chin for the last 3 years. (Let's be real, for the last year of Mylove's life here on earth, I was dancing on shattered glass.) Life for the last few years in the country and abroad has been one of bile & fever, and I haven't been the best at applying my over thirty years of a meditation practice as well as I should. Choosing the sound of one hand clapping...
... and/or out & out disgust rather than love and light.
I'm not proud of it.
It has made me "at effect" in life rather than "present." But is hasn't been all darkness and dread. There are many in my life, my sisters both blood and chosen and a small cadre of brothers have rallied around me has kept watch over me. Of this I am grateful and humbled.
So when this world loses it center, I have a hub that keeps me rolling forward.
Mylove and I used to always debate the very notion of sisterhood - a magical almost ethereal "state" that Mylove swore didn't really exist but I had craved my entire life. I have sisters. She did not. I knew what was possible having grown up with them. And I am so grateful to say I have that now especially with my Lib. Though when I dig deeper, I see it's something I never ever didn't have. It's just that at our age now with the last "untold" chamber of my heart revealed to her, we're closer than ever imagined - certainly, she's the closest human to my heart on the planet.
But Mylove was raised by a mother of a different era who taught her that "ain't bitches women" and "never trust another woman, especially when a man is involved." The good news is that Mylove never let that get in between her and some amazing women. And their relationships were strong - but she did not believe in the magick of sisterhood that I knew had to be there.
And is... here. My coven is actually quite large filled with powerful women who have tied their hearts to mine in a golden shawl of sisterhood. I have named these names many times. And you know who you are. They are raising me to be as strong, as smart, as brilliant, as Gracious and as kind (Indira!) as they are.
And as fabulous.
One night as I wasn't so much leaning in to life during wartime as cliff diving into the abyss -- having been stood up again (or is it still?) by some "right swipe" from Bumble, drowning my sorrows in my second Margarita while watching Joker (Yep, girl's got it bad) I texted to my dear friend Ruthie, (who is my "lifeline" when I go on dates) that I had been stood up. She could, therefore, stand down. I wasn't going anywhere, fast. And, I didn't want her to worry. I finished my marg and tried to get invested in the Joker's origin story (which never really happened) ... suddenly my phone "dinged," Ruthie had gotten my text and texted back for me to "get my butt down to the Rabbit Hole!"
Remember what the dormouse said...
So I did. We danced, and danced and danced - it was Ruthie's friend's Patti's birthday, and we laughed and danced some more ( i was trying to wash the Joker stain from my veins) and suddenly the birthday girl was hungry so we left... since I was the one with the car, I drove us all home. Ruthie immediately yells "SHOTGUN!" forcing Patti and Karen into my back seat (which usually requires both pilates & yoga to accomplish). Once in, Ruthie turns on my radio and we sang all the way home...
... Unseasonably warm winter breeze, good friends "scringing" (screaming + singing) ABBA and the wartime suddenly started to fade away... we turned the corner onto the dirt road above our neighborhood, and were suddenly blasted by the full moonlight...
Ruthie leapt from the car shouting,
Now. The only people who've ever seen me topless are my mammogram tech, my gyno and Mylove. And as I'm getting out of the car, trying to sort out my feelings, my top is yanked from my body by Ruthie while she's arguing with Patti who's protesting that she's not getting into this crackerbox twice! I'm still trying to figure out if I'm going to even know how to dance, let alone do it topless, when my bra is suddenly off and all four of us are rocking to the last strains of Dancing Queen still playing on my car radio...
As the blue-white rays bathed my bare skin, Ruthie grabbed my hands to dance, I was grateful, shocked, giddy and... sistered...
Yes, it's life during wartime, and it's as cray as it's ever been - superheated by the national fever of bipartisan chaos and white nationalism. I do need to keep my eye on the ball, but even so, I know I need life, real life to keep on so, I can keep on, keeping on.
I realized, this was the lyric missing from the David Bryne's, treatise of life when's there's no Mudd Club or CBGB...
Yes. It's the essential ingredient that Seal pointed out was far more valuable than some peanut butter to last a couple of days...
No, we're never gonna survive unless we all get...
... a little Ruthie.
Technical? Foul.Read Now
Am I naive? Or just new? I keep thinking that “my next post will be the happy ending(?) of my posts about online dating… or lack thereof.
Dating, I mean.
This is crazy. It can’t be this… silly. Someone asks someone else out and they go someplace to chat and learn about each other and see if there’s a there, there. Right?
Maybe it’s my target demo. As a 57-year old woman going on the edge of seventeen (Stevie!) I set the age parameters at 45 to 65. I’m a reasonable, mature woman, I don’t expect to be some forty-year old’s mid-life crisis. And anyway, my forties sucked. From 36 to 45, I thought my body was in the worse shape of my life – using work and stress and any other excuse I could find to justify not working out. The truth is my ancestors (Irish & Scottish on my father’s side, Finnish, Polish & Swedish on my mother’s ) are prone to many things of which I am most proud – Storytellers, Poets, Scrappy Warriors who never back down (look across the histories of all my pedigrees, none of them have ever let anyone hold them down for very long) but exercise and eating right? Our diets will always start after the next whiskey.
So, I set the bar a little higher on the three (at last count) dating app profiles but I always swipe left for anyone under 49. I am already struggling to find things to talk about — I don’t wanna get called out for not knowing an entire decade of pop culture and other small talk… and maybe that’s the rub. Three dates (so far) pulled the rip cord hours before our pre-negotiated meeting time by playing the illness card. (making the above case) One “back thrown out,” one “tummy-ache,” and one was “just not feeling well.”
It didn’t help that each time I was already into “date pre-pro” which is a three hour process of trying on and discarding half my wardrobe in utter disgust – finally settling for “something, somewhat cute” then hair and make-up (I’ve gotten eyeliner down to a maximum of two complete attempts.) And each time the red abort light went on, I was stopped somewhere between shapewear and curlers…
Maybe this is why these guys are single? (Ya think?) Do they know how much we’ve got in on this stupid coffee or measly glass of wine? They can pull a shirt form the dryer (still damp) and run out the door and we’re supposed to smile and think “Awe, boys will be…”
Gimme a break – put your back into it guys and push even just a little… I’m a freakin’ catch, bitch!
But okay… that’s not what I’m writing about today. And so spoiler alert, this isn’t the happy ending either, it is a slightly different cul-de-sac encounter on my way to one (please God, I’ll even settle for slightly amusing at this point.)
No… today’s post is about collateral damage.
For those of you who’ve been following this thread, you met “Aubs,” Aubrianna, a young woman I met as her mentor in the SDSU TV & Film Production Mentorship Program. She’s an amazing person, who made the jump just this month to come to Hollywood and pursue her dreams (despite my warnings that only the strong survive and we eat our young, bladdity bladdity blaaaaa – I never listened to these warning either when I was her age. so good for her, she passed test one).
She has been a gracious house guest (despite her love for the Batchelor – which is like watching a car crash for me, and our enabling of each other of drinking wine on a school night). Aubs must be born under some powerful stars, because inside of the first week of being here she found her new apartment, she got an interview with a Producer on a hit network show and was standing next to me when I got invited to a real bonafide “Oscar After Party” – and was “Taft-Hartleyed” into the invitation as well. She should buy a lottery ticket – she’s on fire!
Now, for those of you outside the ‘Studio zone” (the thirty mile radius of Hollywood the unions use to determine additional compensation for its members that all productions adopt to stay competitive) – The Oscar After Party is the mythical chimera that you have to pretend you’re too cool to want, or so bored you have to go to… again, but is for all intents and purposes the annual Prom night for Tinseltown. You’re either going, or quietly envious.. especially if you’ve… never gone.
Fair disclosure? I have watched the Oscars and the Emmy’s mouthing my own acceptance speech along with each winner. Marcy and I would always dream-up “the dress” we would wear to the awards when the day came that we would be walking the steps to the podium, (she was prone to Thrift-store vintage, me, I’m holding out to wear the hottest designer du jour). I have never watched the broadcast without waiting to exhale for the three hours, not because I had a horse in the race, but because one day, I will (for reals) .. and it just hasn’t happened yet.
So when we got the invitation, I went all in. This was a “red carpet dresscode” and I ask you… do you have a real honest-to-goodness evening gown? I’ve acquired a lot of frocks since I became everyone’s favorite Barbie. Many generous souls have created my wardrobe. I am supremely grateful. It’s one of the most beautiful and tangible examples of acceptance from the divine women/angels in my life. Audie, Robyn, Auntieji, Ana, I have everything from LA casual to St. John’s Palos Verdes fabulous.
But I’ve never even tried a real, evening gown on, let alone had one.
So it was off to Santee Alley. The famed “dress row” of the downtown fashion district. And 40 dresses later, I had my frock. The next day I was guide (now thst i”m an expert) for Aubs came (and I had pick mine up from being was altered) and…
…she nailed hers on the first freakin’ dress she tried on. I wanted to hurl. The dress practically jumped off the rack onto her body! (bitch!) and then she found the perfect shoes next store. It was over so fast we even had time to celebrate with a trip Phillipe’s (famed french dip sandwiches) since we were stil one day outside of the “carbs?-are-you-insane-you-have-an-Oscar-Gosh-Darned-Party-to-go-to” zone.
And Aubs had a friend who stepped forward to do both our hair and make-up. On the “day of,” we went down to hang with Cassidy, who, in between “bong-rips” mades us both fabulous. (Look I’m not judging – she was great!) We raced back from El Segundo (hey, I will drive for contouring!) got dressed – were smart enough to shoot some quick pics in case tonight’s rain ended our Cinderella night before we could prove it happened, and jumped into our Uber…
Now, If April showers bring May flowers, Oscar Awards bring torrential rains. Many use this as a way to prove the Soddom & Gomorrah thingy, but we prefer to see it as the blessing from the Universe that our work is sacred. Potato-Tomato. So we sloshed across the hastily laid astroturf that was better at protecting the Beverly Hills Mansion’s lawns than the hems of our full length frocks…
…when we got inside the Best actor Award was being announced (even though our invitation was for the after party only) and we were in Oz, down the rabbit hole – thru the looking glass all in one. Magic. Excitement. The air was electric…
And we looked good.
After a few cocktails, some flirting, some dancing, and lots of air kisses, hanging out with the party’s host, the Fabulous MacAfrica (not enough time to describe this force of nature) and the divine Ruthie (the star of last blogs post), more selfies,
a mini-concert with Dennis Quaid’s band the Sharks.
… yes, it was time to try to find the ladies room.
When I returned, a forty-going on sixty something man was chatting up Aubs. I joined in and Aubs introduced me as her aunt (we’d agreed – it was lovely) and the man graciously acknowledged my intrusion. But we all settled fairly quickly into a nice chat and somehow I got on the subject of my career in “reality tv” to which, he said, “well it’s kinda like what’s going on here…”
Aubs and I were both confused by his suddenly going all meta on us, breaking the “fourth wall” on what seemed like a conversation. “Sorry?” I said, whiplash just beginning to bruise my neck from the sudden left turn (with no signal!). The air seemed to freeze and I swear the music stopped…
He blinked a moment, and looked at me and said, “well, we’ve got a fake woman, here,” and he pointed at Aubs, and said, “…and a real woman, here.”
We were both stunned.
Well, he said, without any compunction whatsoever, “You’re a transvestite, aren’t you?”
Gobsmacked… my minded stopped like Wylie Coyote in that half second in the air, thirty feet past the edge of the cliff, right before gravity yanks them by the tail into terminal velocity …
I managed to stammer out, “… no.” trying to sound as calm as possible. Desperately teetering on the tightrope between dignity, protecting my transiblings, and a possible murder conviction.
You’re not? He pressed.
Now I am getting weightless. That sickly, disorienting feeling of surreality that comes and you no longer have any connection to your own body or reason.
This is where Aubs stepped in, my Champion, astride a shining stallion red off-the shoulder gown flowing in the unseens winds… “This conversation is over.” She said, with the surety of a death sentence.
Is it? He challenged, with the utter unshakable gall that is white male privilege.
“Oh, yes,” replied Aubrianna, The Red, with fist balling and pupils narrowing to predatory malice.
He slunk away without another word.
Are you alright? She asked, the malice instantly replaced with gentle concern. Yes, I nodded. And bucked myself up with all the cliche’s — I didn’t care about that assclown’s opinion before we started talking why do I now?, He’s a typical doooooosch. etc. etc.
But it stung like hell. But, I took a breath and put it away — I was not going to blow Aub’s first Oscar Afterparty in what I hope for us both will be a long string that will blur into blasé.
We finished off the evening with a few more trips to the Vodka Ice fountain, more dancing and another Lfyt ride. Then it was sweet Oscar dreams for us both and I’m sure she was as giddy as I was when oxygen finally hit my brain after peeling off my shapewear and getting my first full breath in hours…
But my dreams were short lived – I was still stung.
But, you would’ve been proud of me. I waited three whole days until we were safely away from the after Oscar glow to ask Aubs, “Be honest. Is there anything that could’ve…”
I couldn’t find the right words – cuz here’s the thing about me and some (not all, we are not and never will be, one size fits all) I DO, finally after 48 years of hating, ignoring and eventually not seeing what is in the mirror, like what I see.
Even tho’ I can see all my imperfections.
And before my cisters jump to my defense, you must understand this – YES YES YES all women must deal with society’s expectations and mysogynistic, patriarchal standards of beauty. Yes we’ve all been taking one step forward and ten steps backward at self-love, self-care and not anything-shaming, and some days are better than others but here’s where we, my trans women and I have an added element that many of our cisters still have a hard time understanding (while others get it right away). Our bodies were forged in the crucible of testosterone. And despite all of the surgeon’s skill and inner meditation and self-love, we can still see where we were and where we aren’t, on top of all the above mentioned beauty issues that every woman deals with. It’s a triple whammy. A three-headed Cerberus waiting for us in every mirror.
And for me. I know that the tag-team wrestling match between enlightenment & acceptance and self-consciousness & cynicism is a no-holds-barred match which IS the journey. And I’ve been winning more often than not through the love and acceptance of my family blood & chosen.
So… asking this question without selling myself out was a tricky affair… and thankfully, Aubs stepped in before I tied the noose.
“Nothing. Not at all. I have no idea what could’ve possibly given that idea.”
“Was it… my… voice?” Which, truth be told, sells me out on every phone support call. I have a prepared speech that doesn’t even work thirty seconds after I give it… so, I get it. If you cannot see the lipsticked mouth saying it, you will naturally infer sir.
“No,” said Aubs, trying really hard to help me. “Maybe… honestly, it’s your height?” She could be right. I was never tall when the world regarded me as Scott. But now? I’m the tallest in every group photo… sigh.
As my wounds started to heal (licking does actually help, mom!) I was ready to dig into why this was still bothering me days later… when I was interrupted by the ding of a bumble message coming in… Apparently, Someone was all abuzz about me… (their words not mine.)
Yes. He was handsome. And (sigh) he was “in the biz” (a grip) making me suddenly “Get it” guys in my biz need Bumble, Tinder, and Plenty of Fish because they’ve been shiite at relationships, working too long on my and my fellow showrunner’s sets…
After some playful banter back and forth, I got…
“WHOA – I just saw that I missed a very important aspect of your profile… but I actually do think you are amazing and I would still like to get to know you.”
He was talking of course about my trans-proclamation:“I don’t want to be the first transgender woman that you’ve dated, and if you cannot take me home to meet your family, then we can’t be friends, let alone lovers.”
As I’ve said, I don’t want to be someone’s teacher or hold someone’s hand while they dip a toe “into the wild side,” and I for sure, don’t want to be someone’s fetish. I also don’t want to state any of the above with any apology, any shame, or any anything, not me.
But his WHOA… pissed me off.
I tried to tell him that saying it in that way made me feel like it was everything I tried so hard to make sure it wouldn’t be. And that his saying he would “still” like to get to know me makes it sound like I’m “less than,” and he’s making it seem like he’s making a concession, deigning to meet me.
I tried to be gracious and thread the needle between standing up for myself and making it a teachable moment.
He shot back, “Well, come on, give me a break,
Like the Oscar assclown, I felt the air literally sucked from lungs. As a zillion retorts jumped from the ropes into the melee to be the first to tear him a new one, grace and decorum quietly snuck through the roiling chaos, and I watched as my fingers typed:
“You could not be more wrong or offensive. I am a woman. You are right. I am an amazing person. And when you can understand that, come find me.” I then unmatched him – Bumble’s way of flushing the toilet. A digital mic drop.
And that’s when the lightbulb went on – I could see why this and the Oscar dooosch had gotten so far under my skin. They both had the unshakable faith that they had done/said nothing wrong. Even when it was pointed out to them. They doubled down. They never once took a breath – listened to the world and said, gosh, maybe I got this wrong. I’m sorry.
It’s so cray, because this is not a subject that is new. Trans is a word that is all over the news (the good the bad and the republican), “they” as a reference to non-binary folx is Webster’s word of the decade, so how could these clowns be sooooo fucking ignorant? Arrogant or both?
Oh, Scottie Jeanette, bless your ever loving heart. The answer my friend is blowing in the wind…they’re both fucking dudes.
Now. I can hear the throats clearing and the eyes rolling from here. Everything from isn’t she charming patting of my head to resigned sllghtly sympathetic eyebrow raising to out and out denials and excuses made for the testosteroned ones… but, you all know what I’m talking about. The depth of their privilege and the lack of even a flash of awareness was stunning. Startling. Depressing. And it made me feel hopeless.
Because of our work, and the folx I run and hang with, my life can feel like it’s a fantasy. If I shut out the constant news cycle, and ignore the shenanigans in our nation’s capitol, the world feels like a fantasy come true, progressive, diverse, beautiful and thriving.
Not everyone is Queer, but we are sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces, nephews, uncles, brothers and sons of everyone, so you might not be us, but you know us and how to respect us.
But these are encounters in L-freaking-A, for phuc-sayk! Are you kidding me? And where do we start to get these perfect specimens to open their hearts or even try to understand…?
I realize that it may never happen. Those two idiots explain why we have to fight for the rest of our lives to be human. Because somebody’s gotta do it, and it clearly ain’t them.
So wtf to do? WTF… to do?
I set out on Bumble (and Tinder and Plenty of Fish) to find someone “man enough to love me as much as I could love him, strong enough to hug me harder than I could him.”
I never knew I was looking for a unicorn.
Everyone tells me that I’m going to meet someone who’s going to literally fall out of the sky.
Cuz it ain’t happening on my phone…
Scottie Jeanette Madden
Screenwriter, Author, Cook and Lover. Author of "Getting Back To Me, from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years" & "Recklass In The Kitchen" a year of light, laughter & love... oh. and food!