One of the weird things about being a lesbian, and I assume the same holds true for gay men and others of a non-heteronormative persuasion, is that there’s really no societal rules to obey or milestones to reach. For instance, I’ve never looked at my watch and thought, “Oh shit! I didn’t realize how late it was. I better hurry up and find a husband!” And although things are much different now, it wasn’t all that long ago that no one would have thought to ask when I was going to get around to birthing some babies. Back then, lesbians just had dogs. Now we’re collecting babies like they’re on sale at J. Crew.
We’re basically free to roam through life deciding which roads to take and goals to tackle without any external pressure or expectations. I can’t say for sure that living a free-range life is better, maybe those looming, arbitrary deadlines help people concentrate and stay focused in life; personally though, I’m glad I haven’t had to deal with friends and relatives continually asking things like, “Sooo … when are we going to see a ring on your finger?”
I’m sure some lesbians who are still mostly in are nagged by their friends and associates to come out, but there’s no real timeline on it. It’s mostly about the difficulty of living a genuine life without being honest about who you really are. It’s also about what a pain in the ass it is to remember which personal pronouns to use in the presence of a closeted person’s family, friends and co-workers.
Seriously, if you know a woman who refers to everyone as “they” when discussing dating, weekend activities and other socializations of which you’re not a part, then chances are very good that you’re talking to a lesbian person. And if you want to be sure, find out what kind of car she drives. If it’s a Subaru Outback, you’ve got your answer.
I actually e-mailed Subaru with my idea for a great marketing campaign … “The Subaru Outback: You don’t have to be a lesbian to drive one, but if you drive one you’re probably a lesbian” … but I never heard back from them. Nor did I get a response from Home Depot with my suggestion that they start referring to their warehouses as The Lesbian Sephora.
Anyway … as much as I’m grateful not to have had to run the expectation gauntlet that so many of my straight sisters face, I can see the benefit of some societal influence. Specifically, as I now find myself fully immersed in what I choose to call middle-age (I might live to be 100 … you don’t know), I realize I have no idea how to be an aging lesbian.
I poked around on OurTime.com to see if I could gain any knowledge from the profiles of the single women out there, but all I came away with is that I’m not ready to date anyone my own age. Or, at least not the ones the website’s algorithms picked for me … it’s like a never-ending parade of retired PE teachers out there.
I had a plan years ago. The Ex and I were going to be the quirky, funny old ladies that added some interest to our otherwise dull suburban neighborhood. That is, when we weren’t doing meandering driving tours around the US, meeting charming locals and experiencing the things that really make this the greatest place in the world to live.
Of course, that was before a certain friend (and by “friend” I naturally mean raging cunt) decided that despite already having a husband, she also needed my wife in order to be happy and fulfilled because, and I quote, “What can I say? The heart wants what the heart wants.” Of course, that’s when I should have gone all medieval on her ass, because what my heart wanted was to punch her in the mouth. But I’m not bitter …
I am kind of kicking myself for not having any kids, though. I was so focused on the sleepless nights, the expense and the risk of them being the type of teenager I was, that I forgot to consider how handy they’d be for taking care of me in my old age … even if “taking care” turns out to mean “outsourcing me to Shady Acres.” While I don’t look forward to ending up in assisted living, I do find it preferable to sitting dead in front of the TV for years because no one noticed that I died.
Although, finding my mummified corpse entombed in my house, television still tuned to the Discovery ID channel, would certainly bring some interest to my otherwise dull suburban neighborhood.