For me, there has never been a question that I’m straight. Even by the age of five it was clear, my moistened lips smooching the cover of Andy Gibb’s latest vinyl offering. Okay, it seems my fondness for gay men also surfaced early on as well. Anyway, no matter how obvious my sexual orientation, I’ve been known to attract women.
“What the fuck is this?” I asked my college roommate as I pulled a purple tulip out of my mailbox.
“Somebody loves you,” Jenny sang with a nervous giggle.
This would have made me happy save for the fact I was enrolled in a school that had no male students. The closest penis was forty-five minutes and two bus rides away at Amherst. Meaning the flower perched in my box was from a gal. I dumped it in the trash and prayed the tulip was a fluke. Like it was really meant for the hairy, Birkenstock clad girl two mailboxes over.
“Oh sweet Jesus,” I grumbled as I pulled a chocolate Easter egg from my mailbox. “No pun intended.”
“Is there a note?” Jenny asked, her face mimicking my expression of unease.
“No. And clearly this girl knows nothing about me seeing, um, I’m Jewish. That’s it,” I announced as I walked over to the service window, slammed the confection down on the counter and demanded to know the identity of the admirer.
“I’m sorry but that’s not available.”
“Well clearly the egg I received today and the tulip I received last week didn’t just walk across the quad and settle into my mailbox without some assistance.”
“I’m not at liberty to share that information. It’s private.”
“If these unsolicited gifts were from a man, you’d tell me his name. So maybe I’ll just go to a dean to complain about being stalked?”
Yeah, I know that was way beyond where I needed to go with my threat but it worked. I never received anything else.
I got hit on by a bunch of women a few years later. But that was expected. I went to a local gay bar with a lesbian coworker. Ironically she met no one but I couldn’t keep them off of me. The moral of the story for all my painfully single lesbian readers is this - femme it up ladies. Sure, I have a nice rack but hands down, I was popular that night because I looked like no one else in the joint. I looked girly with painted lips and pointy toed pumps. Take notes.
Anyway, yesterday I was bombarded with a welcome packet from my graduate program. The cover letter summarized what to expect and what to prepare in anticipation of the July session. It also noted which accomplished authors I was slated to workshop with. I immediately Googled names and studied bios, recognizing certain publications and drooling over their collective literary talent. And then I dropped my head into my hands and collapsed in my chair. Because one of my mentors writes with a strong lesbian slant. In fact, she has received extensive praise for her children’s book about a little girl with two mommies. I probably had to read it during my college tenure in a town fondly dubbed Lesbianville, USA.
Listen, I know this woman’s an extremely talented writer. In fact, I read one of her stories back at Smith for a (wait for it) Women’s Studies class. And I have no issue with a gay lifestyle. Personally, I am a tad envious of the doubled wardrobe. But after having lesbianism repeatedly shoved down my empathetic throat for four years straight, I really was ready to be done with it. And maybe my fear is baseless. Maybe I am just having flashbacks to the antics I was subjected to at Smith and nothing more. I suppose stepping around chalked sidewalks reading 'I am a vagitarian' and 'Got Pussy?' left more of a mark than I thought.