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Most cruise lines will have a few Friends of Dorothy (FOD) meetings throughout a cruise trip, which is basically a semi-organized meeting for queer people on the ship. They put the meeting time in the daily newspaper that is delivered to your stateroom and if you can make it, great. If not, there will probably be one tomorrow. It’s a great way to meet people and hang out with family (see some history here).
When we went on our cruise in September, we met a few ladies at this meet up who we clicked with. They were a little put off by how much younger we were (and they’ll even tell you that now) but they quickly changed their minds when they got to know us, of course I’d say they are somewhere in their fifties, but still, age ain’t no thang. We really really connected with two of them and decided to stay in touch and so we did. We became facebook friends and have visited them at their house in Maryland and write occasional emails and are up to date on each others’ happenings.
So we were really excited when we were invited to their wedding reception a few months ago, which happened this past Sunday. They were having this party with two other couples, and all three couples got married in DC within the last few months since it’s became legal there recently.
I can’t tell you what it was like to walk into that banquet room. It was a room filled with women – almost ALL of them in their 50′s and older and the majority of them probably in their 60′s and 70′s. Mostly all short, gray and white hair. Wrinkles and clothes I can’t imagine wearing – ever. The other two couples who got married were much older (one of them had been together 25 years – 25 years!!!). We sat at a table with a couple who have been together for 28 years. Oh my god, that’s how old I am. You know? The lesbians in this room were dating when it wasn’t that OK to be a lesbian. These women are history, right here. I’m able to be who I am today because of them. I felt so emotional almost immediately. It was truly a sight to see.
Our friends were so happy to see us and so happy that we came. They doted on us and on how we were such a “handsome” couple. They were introducing us to everyone as either “Our young friends” or “The kids from the cruise” or “Our young cute lesbians.” We were the youngest people there by far, and we just couldn’t help but be conscious of it. We got quite a bit of looks, and I can’t help but wonder what some of the women were thinking. What do they see when they look at us?
One of the other couples we met on the cruise was there and they did a powerpoint picture show of all three couples and I just couldn’t help but cry – and hello, I only knew one couple there! I tell you what though – seeing two wrinkled, gnarled hands with shiny gold matching wedding bands holding up a certificate that finally gives the love they’ve had for the last quarter century some rights behind it – it was overwhelming.
Then, to see them slow dance together. Lovingly holding each other, arms wrapped around and heads leaning on chests. Adoration and love still in their eyes. Free to be who they are, to dance with their wife if they want to, to kiss without judgment. It was better than any pride parade I’d ever been to. I really cannot accurately describe what it was to see my people that far along in life. The only older or elderly couples I ever see are heterosexual, or so it seems. This was me in 50 years. It makes me emotional thinking about it now.
I wish I could do a better job of explaining it, explaining what the women were like and what this community of lesbians were like. Truly. I feel very changed by it all. And lucky. Lucky to have such good friends from such a chance meeting and lucky to have celebrated with these women.
Last year I wrote a post on the eve of my 27th birthday, which you can find here. I re-read it today and wow, it’s great to see where I was and where I’m at now.
I love that my house was up on the market a year ago and has already been sold and I’m moved out and all is done. Also interestingly enough I talk about disassembly and the process of taking apart the relationship bit by bit – and today EJ has a court date for the finalization of our divorce (which I didn’t have to show up for because I’m not contesting anything). So hooray, the disentanglement may be completely finished quite soon. Not a bad way to end the year. Talk about coming full circle.
I’ve not had the greatest week – in fact, that’s a gross understatement. Still, I’m trying to focus on the positives and for the nice long weekend I have coming up. If this 27th year has taught me anything, it’s that I am strong enough.
This might have been the most defining trip around the sun I’ve had yet. The evolution continues.
I brought my laptop to the Starbucks two minutes from my house; I had a free drink postcard that I got in the mail for my birthday, so that was added motivation. I need to work on my grad school application, which I have a lot of anxiety about. I go from working on it nonstop to not working on it for three weeks. I came here because there’s too much distraction at home – too much to be done, too much to play around with, too many other priorities waiting there. I’m not super pleasantly pleased with being here because it’s just not quiet enough for me. Since when did I become someone that needed lots of quiet to work and concentrate? Maybe always?
It is interesting to people watch, something I don’t normally have time for. Hell, I don’t have time for it now (hello, I’m here to work!) but sometimes it can’t be helped. I have on super comfy clothes. When my clothes are comfy, I’m comfy, and the more comfy I am the more relaxed I am and the more I can get done. I have on a cotton v-neck t, one I got from the gap at K’s suggestion, so there’s some skin showing. My tattoo half showing. I’m used to people staring at it, but, you know, for like 20 seconds. This guy – THIS GUY – would NOT stop staring. I kept looking up at him, catching him, keeping his stare. Finally, I switched seats at my table so he was looking at my back end instead. Fuck you asshole.
Anyway, I’m on a difficult part of my app, one where I have to write about an event, person, or experience that has been important in my development. Ugh. Back to the grind.
Although, seriously, I’m probably not going to get in. And then I’ll have to quit my job, sell my belongings, and drive around the country for a few months, being completely irresponsible and crazy.