I finally have time to upload video & pictures from October’s concert, so that’s happening now. Sufjan’s right though, even if you’ve got pictures and video, it’s still not the same experience as being there. Sorry for the crummy quality. Not sorry I wasted a little bit of my in-the-moment experience to take pictures/video.
Many years too old for a what-I-got-for-Christmas post
…but too bad.
Tangible Assets: A Mr. Bento lunchbox and my inheritance from my grandpa.
Intangible Assets: I’m no longer embarrassed by my mom’s family and I’ve finally realized how lucky I always was that they put up with my snobbery and elitist attitude. I pushed them away because I thought they didn’t like me. They couldn’t tell if they liked me; they hardly knew me. I have fourteen cousins, most of whom I knew better than siblings growing up. A good number of my cousins have kids now, and they’re all such nice, good-hearted people. We don’t really agree on anything but we have a ton of history together, and we all just want to remember the fun that happened when we were kids and forget all the horrors.
Hahahah. Yes I take donations, straight to my pocket. I get a lot of these thanks messages that I don't answer cause I don't like cluttering people's dashboards with them but yours made me laugh. Anyway, thanks! I will persevere so long as Sufjan keeps giving me a reason to post. So if that's the only stipulation I think we're safe for a while.
Outstanding. I’m ridiculously invested in his success, so here’s hoping he takes care of himself well enough to avoid a major breakdown. Thanks for the answer, and you’re welcome to clutter up my anything any time you like. I’m highly adaptable to distraction.
My Sprawling, Indulgent, Flowery End-of-the-Year Music Essay
I’m not a list fan in general. Katy Henriksen sums up my thoughts pretty succinctly with her article on Year-End Lists for The Brooklyn Rail. But it’s the end of the year whether I like it or not, and 2010 was a special music year for me. I was incredibly fortunate to see many of my all-time favorite musicians perform live, and some of my favorites also put out my new favorite albums. I don’t know from *best* album of the year. I hope that won’t be known for decades. But I do know exactly which new albums I couldn’t stop playing on repeat, and it is those I offer you here.
My Gay Rage is Fluffy and Pink and Wants to Be Loved
I started this post three weeks ago and I’ve been sitting on it, waiting to make sure I understood my motivation for posting it before I hit publish. But I saw this link on Twitter this morning, and we noticed we got a new neighbor in the gayborhood earlier this week, so I’m feeling extra motivated today. Enjoy!
A Monday morning, at our house:
Laine, trying to get her stuff together so she can leave for work, says, “Spoon!” while digging in her lunch bag. She clarifies this exclamation with, “I mean, I need a spoon for my soup, it’s not a battle cry.”
I proceeded to lose my composure, giggling, chortling and chuckling until she rode away on her scooter. Stuff like that happens about every half hour in our house.
Why am I telling you this? A week earlier, I went to a birthday party for a friend, held at a bar downtown. I went alone because Laine was covering a coworker’s evening shifts all week. I ordered her a meat & cheese board to go, so she’d have a delicious supper when she got off work at ten. My friends [all straight] saw me do this, and were all Awwwwing me. A peripheral person I don’t really know, but who was friends with my friends, heard the awwwws and asked whyfor the awwwing. One of my friends told her I was bringing dinner to my girlfriend, who had to work late. The gal assumed “girlfriend” meant platonic BFF and commended me for being such a good friend, in a pitying, kinda smarmy way. I’d only had one beer, so I let it slide, but it’s been bugging me ever since, so Imma say something now.
I don’t walk around waiting to be offended by people. I’m fairly difficult to offend, actually. I’m afraid, however, that my lenience in this area of my life is leading to an increasing number of incidences in which I smooth things over to make my offender feel okay about offending me since I must be cool with gay slurs and taunts and stereotyping.
I’m perfectly likely to run dinner out to a late-working friend. My friends are my family and I like to fuss over them. I didn’t take umbrage to the assumption that I’m some kind of pushover. Being a pushover implies passive aggression behind the pushing, and I have none. I like making my friends’ lives easier. My pattern of umbrage and righteous indignation generally revolves around hetero women assuming I’m some sad, lonely charity case who can’t get a husband. And my irritation isn’t only about excessive pride in my luck of a life partner, but also the accuser’s assumption that everyone single is to be pitied. I’ve got lots of single friends who are perfectly whole, happy human beings.
My point is, you cannot go around assuming things about people; it’s rude. My other, even more important point is, it’s immature of me to feel too uncomfortable to tell you you’ve made an incorrect assumption about me, to let you believe what you want to. Every time I swallow a correction, I walk away from a teachable moment. I walk away from a chance to make it a little less likely you’ll make that same assumption again, a little less likely you’ll be *shocked* when you find out someone else you’re talking to isn’t hetero just like you.
And my third point is, gay people don’t “come out” to make *you* feel uncomfortable, or to rub your face in their gayness. Gay people come out so they don’t have to feel invisible, so that the assumptions you make about the similarities we share will be a little more accurate, but most of all, so that we don’t get attached to someone who is only going to reject us later for being gay.
I’m a fully-grown, functioning adult. I have a delightful and charming circle of friends and a satisfying and absurdly happy home life. For a large-ish city, St. Louis often feels like a small town. Our block is split 50/50 gay for straight, and I feel totally safe at home. We don’t really hang in gay bars anymore (we’re too old for that), we don’t go to fancy gay fundraisers (we’re too poor for that), and responsible adult socializing here just isn’t built for gay/straight segregation. I feel fortunate when there’s a mix, but I often find myself representing alone. This is usually when my straight friends feel the most comfortable to say ridiculous things. Things like, “My life would be *so* much easier if I were a lesbian,” and “I’m not surprised he cheated. Everyone knows gay men are sluts.” When you say things like this to me, I go from :) to :| and I no longer feel safe around you.
We’re barely the kind of “in your face” gays that conservative people complain about. We don’t have rainbow stickers on our car because Laine works for a religious university and we like our car. We don’t hang out the pride flag on our front porch in June anymore, because somewhere around when the economy tanked, our gayborhood lost a lot of its openly gay pride, and we took the hint and hid ours, too. But these things aren’t sitting right with me anymore, and I’m going to do something about that today.
I’m rambling, so here’s your warning, kids: I’m sorry I let you think I agreed with you all these years. Confrontation leads to healthy conversation and the airing of grievances helps them to heal. Let’s talk, okay? And know that if I care enough about you to correct you, to confront you, it means you’re an important part of my life and someone I cherish, someone I don’t want others to think ill of because of your unchallenged, uninformed ideas about gay people.