Tuesday, July 13, 2010

someone please tell me

What was I so afraid of?

My 45th birthday has come and gone. Okay, well it's not quite gone because the mystery weekend starts Friday. But my actual, official birthday is over.

I decided a few weeks ago that if I had a family birthday party, that the girl would be there with me - if she wanted to be there. My superficial reasoning was that if I couldn't invite my girlfriend to the party, then I didn't want to be there. But the logic behind my desire is deeper.

You see, for the past two years my family and I have drifted apart. This was my choice - not so much because I want to distance myself from their beliefs or behaviours,  but because I realized that they were only seeing the smallest part of me, the me they knew 10, 15, 20 years ago. The person who couldn't cook, the person who wandered cluelessly through relationships because she didn't know who she was. They were seeing the old me, because that's all I was revealing of myself. The hardest transition to make was to be open in front of my family. I'm still working on it...it will be much easier to be open at work, especially now that I've shoved the door aside, with creaking hinges and all. But my family - I chose to keep my real authentic life away from them - the life I treasure, the life I gain the greatest pleasure from. I am a woman who loves another woman.

I reached an epiphany the other day, with the help of a good friend. Not only do I deserve to be open about my relationship, my family deserves it, too. They deserve to see who I really am, to know and love the person that I have become over the past two years. Because I am strong, artistic, talented, funny and wise. And sharing myself with anyone is a gift, for them and for me.

My sister ( I am out to my sister, and able to be completely open with her, she has shared almost every aspect of this journey with me, bless her) called my youngest brother and explained my dilemma - because I had hesitated about even setting a date for a family birthday. I wanted a party, I wanted my family to celebrate with me, but I also wanted my girlfriend there.

As far as he was concerned it was no problem. He and my parents share a duplex, and we could use the back yard, and my parents' house, which has central air. Or so he said - whatever doubts he had about inviting her were set aside in order to make me feel more comfortable.

Still, I was oh-so-nervous. So was the girl. How would they react when they actually saw us together?

I arrived late, because I do that. And discovered that in addition to my family (minus parents, who are off on a retirement travelling adventure) my best friend from high school (whom I was not out to) and assorted, non-related kids were also there. Increase of nervousness...

I introduced her. We were all casually polite with one another as the awkwardness seeped in. We went inside to eat lunch, because it was too hot out...and I made a point of sitting beside the girl. Because she's my girl. And because there she was, in a sea of family members, including my middle brother - have I mentioned that my little brother is one year away from ordination as a catholic priest? So things went along swimmingly, if rather awkwardly...

until my sister in law accidentally threw a grape at my bff from high school. Being the mature, reasonable adults that we are, we proceeded to have a food fight.

A small one - but see what happens when your parents are away? All hell breaks loose. The last time we had a party when my parents were on vacation, we were much younger, and there was a lot more alcohol involved, but still, a food fight?

It broke the ice. She was a lot more comfortable after that, seeing that my family was a bit kooky and sort of fun. Sort of the kind of people you'd want to have around...they have accepted anyone I've introduced with open arms up until now, but I was so afraid it would be different this time. It wasn't.

A while later, my oldest brother reminded me that his birthday bash (annual big party) was coming up - his birthday is just after the Girl's, and I looked at her in confusion - I wanted to go, but I want time with her, and our summer is so busy...My SIL looked at her and said "You are coming too, aren't you?" I said "Well, her birthday is two days before" and she replied "That's fine, we can add her name to the cake."

There you go.

All that angst for nothing. I have given them lots of time to get used to things - and maybe they're not so sure about what's happening with me, but I know one thing. We are still family, and we are as tight as we used to be.

Just one question remains...do I look 45 to you? I feel like I'm about 29.

Me and the Girl at Toronto Pride.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our Big Gayborhood - July post

You can read it here.

I have a lot to write about but less time than I would like. Between work, witchcamp, tantruming children and having a girl to spend time with, I am not here as much as I should be. But I will be back! I have photos of Toronto Pride to post! It was awesome! See you soon!