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IMG_6851Some years ago, I got home at 4 in the morning and wondered (for at least two pages of tight handwritten text) what the other kids were doing.  Were they going to the shore?  Were any of them really in love enough to go do the things those songs were about? (Granted, it was charmingly naive of me to think that love was required to get teenagers to do that…)  But I didn’t spend nearly so much time on that kind of wondering, because most of my brain was occupied trying to splice the experience that I had: fancy dress, fancy food, elaborate setting, dancing — at first in the assigned place with my date, and then later at a much less legal setting with a friend who eventually became a splendid drag queen — with the rapturous descriptions of what THE PROM was supposed to be like.

I did not have the magical phrase “WTF?” at my disposal.  And I wasn’t angry, or desperately disappointed… I was just …bemused.

That night, I felt as if I had ticked a checkmark into a box on a form that was required for The Standard U.S. High School Experience. Pictures had been taken, and clothes had been bought/rented, makeup applied (by others, because this was still theatre)… I watched people eat very rare prime rib from each other’s plates, I endured a very long slow dance with someone who I hope has long since found a nice straight girl, etc…

In subsequent years, there have been other dances, and other occassions for fancy dress.  But even my own wedding didn’t really combine these ingredients in a way that felt like I’d had all the pieces in hand.  I could dance with the wrong person, with a somewhat not right person, I could get a decent tux, I could identify which music I liked, I could look fierce and fine, I could be with the RIGHT person, but not get all those ‘right’ details together at the same time.

And yet.

The hope of surpassing what was possible in the past, particularly in the face of things that threaten to make things worse, is always there.

So when the opportunity does, finally, come around, you get your tux and fancy dress in order, buy the bid, get the hotel room, have a sumptuous double-dating dinner, get well-wishes from the bartender….

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You see other queer couples walking through town, and everyone is smiling and waving at each other.  We see you, you see us; we’re here!  The music is loud, the lighting is dramatic, there is glitter EVERYWHERE… People are happy.  People are fabulous. Couples disco, and tango, and line dance, and kiss. Not everyone is there as a couple, but it’s a different kind of grouping or singleness than what we remember from trying to go to dances as a group, or stag, or in any unconventional configuration that would let us thread the needle of access without too much compromise.

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No compromises tonight.  No kings or queens are chosen; we each earned our crowns long before we walked through those ballroom doors.

Local street repair advocate uses doll’s heads to mark places where potholes have been lingering: See here.

Your results may vary

Method and madness

“A friend who writes for television says her writers’ room has an expression for any trite, overly familiar idea — basically, anything that feels too much like TV. She calls ideas like that “tied with a chive,” after those inane bundles of green beans that caterers used to serve. Something that is tied with a chive is manipulated in order to express elegance and care, but in fact only communicates their absence. That’s how I feel about most of the sundaes in New York now.”

See the rest of this somewhat deflating grumble about un-inspired ice cream confections here: This Ice Cream Sundae Must Be Stopped!

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“Okay, so what screen are you looking at now?”

“There are lots of little pictures, and none of them say Messages.”

“Well, swipe to the right or left until you find it.”

“Not ‘up’?”

“No, up isn’t going to help here.”

“Oh!  There’s a message from you!”

“And what does it say?”

“It disappeared.”

“Err.  Did you click on it?  Wait. Are you in the Messages program?”

“I don’t see messages.  I see News, Weather, Health, ….”

“Okay, you’re still at the top level menu.  Find the Messages icon and click that.”

“I can see Messages, but there’s a red circle with a 3 in it.”

“Yes, that’s because I’ve been sending you messages.  Please click on that icon”

“Okay…oh, wait, I clicked something else that was green….”