Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

My father is the oldest of his mother's five children. She had him when she was all of 15 years old.  He has one brother and three sisters.

I was born when he was 20, so my grandmother became a grandmother at the ripe old age of 35.  I'm the oldest of 15 grandchildren, and many of us have children of our own now.

My dad's second sister started dating her eventual husband when I was still a very little girl. Years later, my uncle would often tell stories of how I'd stare at the two of them as they sat on my grandmother's couch together. I'd just stand there, silent and staring.  He'd finally say something to me, anything, to break the ice with this little toddler. My response?  I'd holler, "I'm telling my daddy!" and run away.

My dad is big man, with the presence and stature of John Wayne.

This young man didn't want me telling my daddy anything!  So, I scared him.

I grew up with this uncle around, though.  They had five children, and we were all playmates.  Their youngest daughter was the flower girl at my wedding.  She's still very special to me.

You could describe my uncle as a redneck, and many have.  Theirs was the house with the car on blocks in the front yard.  I heard him talk about the troubles with the "Mesicans" at work.  Not an uncommon pronunciation in their town in New Mexico.  Incorrect, yes.  Ignorant, probably.  However, he's the first one to take up for you in times of trouble.  When I got married, he told me that if that fella ever hurt me, he'd have to answer to my uncle.  He'd take care of it for me.  Rough, yes.  And loving, in his own way.

Recent years have been hard.  He and his youngest son (named for my father) have had to take construction jobs all over the country, away from their families.  That's hard on a marriage.  He and my aunt divorced recently, but still had a great love for each other.

He moved to Arizona, which I gather caused some hard feelings.  But he came around.  He moved back to where he would be close to his children and grandchildren.  The other day, he even went to his youngest son's birthday party.

Last night, they gathered again.  He left on his motorcycle.

My phone rang just before midnight.

It was my sister.  Talking about a drunk driver.

My aunt got to the scene and held his hand while the paramedics worked on him.

He died at the hospital.

My uncle is gone.

Now, we remember.  We memorialize.

And another soul's story is told.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you...."

Or so the song goes. I feel like I'm finally getting to know all about Jacob.  I've had this feeling for so long that there was a secret.  And I hate, hate, hate hidden things.  They scare me because I have no way of preparing for them or combating what happens behind my back.  I've had my fill of things happening behind my back.

The funny thing is that I keep lingerie in Jacob's closet.  So, I've been in there.  I just never turned around, or I would have seen the rack of women's shoes.  He prefers higher heels than I can wear in practical situations.  I mean, he's 5'6". I'm 5'9".  Too much of a heel makes me an Amazon.

So, one afternoon, we're lounging around on the bed in silky bathrobes.  Well, mine's like a kimono.  We'd just finished looking through the closet.  He'd asked me to come try on shoes.  Did I mention we were the exact same size?  Anyhow, I'd kept a pair on that was particularly comfortable and flattering on my foot.

"Would you find it off-putting if we went shopping together some time?" he asked.

I thought about it.  "No, I wouldn't," I said.  "Sounds like it could be fun."

"We could go shoe shopping," he said, grinning at me.

"Yes, we could," I said.  We'd talked about this.  He can't try on shoes in public without drawing stares.  So, if he saw something he found appealing, I could try them on and see how it fit.  And I could borrow, too.

"See, you get a two-for-one here," he said.  "A boyfriend and gal-pal, all in one!"  I laughed.  His face changed.  "Are you sure this doesn't weird you out?"

I paused and did a quick internal check.  "Nope, not weirded out," I said.

He smiled his wanton smile.  "So, then is it weird that I find it really hot that you're laying here with me, wearing my heels?"

"What? Like I'd be bothered that something I'm doing is turning you on?  Heaven forbid!"

That was a good afternoon.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I've been debating for weeks about whether or not to blog about this.  Yet another twist in my dating life, and it might lose a few readers and might gain others.  In any case, since it happened, it's sent me off on an unexpected journey of self-discovery...which again, might lose or gain readers.

But this is about what's in my head as a result of my dating life, dear Diary.  I haven't shied away from honest topics before now.  So, I've decided it will be blogged.

It apparently started when Jacob and I were having one of our conversations, sitting on the couch.  I don't remember the context, but I was saying that if someone tells you all about themselves, secrets and all, before you get involved, then it's "full disclosure."  You know what you're getting into and can make the choice of whether or not to get into it.

I guess Jacob thought about that and decided the next day that it was time for full disclosure.

We were having another of our conversations, in the kitchen.  He seemed a little distracted.  I knew something was amiss.  He has this gesture he does when he's unsure, and he was doing it a lot. 

"You mentioned 'full disclosure' the other night," he said.  "There are things you don't know."

That buzzing in the back of my head started.  The white noise feeling that starts when something painful is happening.  I think it tries to protect me, not let me get overwhelmed when something really hurts, and I need time to sort it out.

I'd had suspicions that there was a secret, something hidden.  WYSIWYG was too good to be true. I just had a feeling that something was brewing under the surface.

"So, tell me," I said, calm as I could manage.  "What is it you think I should know?"

He was holding his phone, messing with it.  I could see the screen from the top edge.  My eyesight isn't sharp.  From that angle, I can make out forms, but not details.

He was staring at a picture.  Holding it in such a way that I couldn't get a clear look at it.  But I made out forms.

It seemed to have been taken in the same room we were standing in.  I could make out a human form.  With a halter-style bikini top.

A woman.  He was looking at a pic of a woman. 

Was I really at this point yet again?  Another woman. Hanging out here with him.  Just like I did.  Another relationship, parallel to mine.  Another woman.  Again.


My heart started to break instantly.  Was I really not enough to Jacob, too?  What the hell....

He sighed one of those "here we go" sighs.  Then, he turned the screen to face me, so I could have a better look.

And there she was.  Blonde. Pretty.  Leaning against the antique stove, with a smile to Jacob behind the camera.  I felt the tears welling up. The buzzing got louder.  I wanted to puke.

Then I noticed it and froze.

She had a little tattoo.

In the middle of her forehead.

Identical to Jacob's tattoo, in the same place. 

And the light started to dawn....

She wasn't smiling to Jacob.  She was Jacob.

The buzzing ceased. The tears subsided.  In this moment, Jacob was not betraying me; he was trusting me.

"Oh," I said. But it was more an expression of intrigue than anything else.  "So, tell me about this."

He retreated.  Jacob is a very non-confrontational person.  He was uneasy.  "What do you mean?"

"I mean, tell me about this.  Tell me what it means.  Tell me what role this plays in your life," I said.  "Tell me what to expect."

He cocked his head at me, like he didn't understand.  Then, he started talking.  In short, he likes to dress as a woman, now and again.  After seeing Rocky Horror, his ex admitted to being excited by the image of Tim Curry, in women's lingerie.  So, Jacob obliged and found he enjoyed the feel of it himself.

"Basically, half of my closet looks like it doesn't belong to me," he said.

"And what should I do?  What can I expect?"

He thought.  "Just don't be shocked if you climb into my bed and find another woman there." He laughed. Jacob handles awkwardness with humor.

"Are you totally freaked out now?" he said.

I took a step back and examined what was happening in my head.  The heartache stopped.  The buzzing stopped.  I felt...relief.  Really? 


To my surprise, I found that what I felt was...peace.

"No," I said. "Actually, I'm not freaked out at all.  Surprised, but not freaked out."

He smiled.  He looked relieved.  "You know, I was really happy when you said you wear a size 10 shoe," he said.  "Same size as me. I have a lot of sexy shoes.  Want to try some on some time?"

Did I mention Jacob has a bit of a foot fetish?