Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Quite the Pair

I was desperately trying to sleep last night when I suddenly sat up in bed. I was struck by a random memory. And all I could think was, "What the hell was I thinking?"

Back in college, one of my best friends was named Erin. She was the very first person to stick her head in my dorm room on the first day of college and introduce herself. She was lively, outgoing, and really cute. She was tall and thin and had blond hair cut in a short bob that really complimented her features.

My husband's best friend at the time was Dave. Dave was a fellow ROTC cadet. My husband and Dave hit it off when they both decided to pledge for the same honor society freshman year. Dave was one of those guys who is both cute and handsome. But mostly cute. He was a bit shorter than my own 5'4" but he fit right in with a class of short guys.

I think it was junior year when we decided that Erin and Dave might really hit it off.

On a Friday afternoon, Erin and I threw our stuff together and headed off on the two-hour drive to their college. The four of us went out for Chinese food. I vaguely remember laughing a lot. Erin and Dave got along fine, but there didn't seem to be any real strong connection there.

Erin and I spent that night talking and bonding in my husband's dorm room. If I remember correctly, all the giggling sent my husband off to find a quieter place to sleep.

The years went on. We stayed friends. Erin was a bridesmaid in my wedding and Dave was my husband's best man.

A couple of years ago, Patrick and I were perusing some of my old photos. As he thumbed through our wedding pictures, he looked up and asked me, "Your husband's best man was gay?"

"What? No!"

Patrick gave me one of his looks. "Sweetie, if he isn't gay, then neither am I."



Suddenly all those little things that never seemed to add up about Dave made perfect sense. I didn't have any gaydar back then. At least not for men. But looking back, it makes so much sense to me.

And did I mention that Erin came out not long after her date with Dave?

So yup, that was me, Ms. Gay Sensitivity, setting up a big ole' lacrosse playing dyke and a fag.

Suddenly last night I couldn't get over the fact that I was so freaking clueless.

I've read that kids today are coming out younger and younger. It is giving them a chance to date more significantly at a younger age. Where my friends were all coming out in college, many teens today are coming out in high school.

I think that's great. And I hope it is true. Not only will it help straight kids understand and be more tolerant when they are still young enough to have ideals, it will keep gay kids from having to deal with doltish best friends like me.

Erin and I are always just missing each other in Provincetown. Next year we need to make firmer plans. I'd love to know what Dave is up to. I'll have to see if my husband can track him down.

I feel the need to apologize.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Writing the Rain

I broke my own cardinal blogging rule without even realizing it. Twice!

I blogged about the weather.

You see, I think blogging about the weather is the blogging equivalent of conversing about the weather. It's something you do when you have nothing else to say. And if you have nothing else to say, why are you still writing?

But, I want to write. I want to be the old Tuna Girl. Tuna Girl might not be all of me, but she's a huge part of me and more real than the person I play every day.

But I'm afraid.

I'm afraid, as I always am, of turning into Tuna Girl's Broken Record.

A mentor once told me that when you just can't make the words come, tune into your pain. Write the thing you would never write. Let the chips fall where they may.

Fine. Here goes.

Before my husband left for Iraq I told my best friend something. I said, "I would never utter this to a soul other than you and you'll never hear me say this again, but..."

I'm scared.

I'm not really scared of him being gone or something bad happening to him. Believe it or not I have faith. I may not believe in a higher power but I believe in the equipment, training, and my husband's own common sense. And since equipment, training, and common sense can fail, I have faith that if something were to happen, I could handle it. With the support of my friends and family and probably some professional help, I could handle it.

I'm not even scared of being alone here. I've been alone before. I'm not scared of the responsibility or sacrifice. It's all old hat.

I'm scared of being too needy.

I hate needing.

I thought I had learned this lesson with his last deployment. Once my jaw was unwired I was able to open my mouth and let my need bleed everywhere.

But I'm stuck again.

I don't want to get out of bed or leave the house. I do, but I don't want to. I already miss being casually touched by another human being. And it just hasn't been that long.

I need people right now. I need friends. I need to not be so alone.

And I need those people to reach out to me, because if were just up to me, I'd never call out to a soul.

It's raining today, and it seems appropriate. Writing about the rain is appropriate too, because I have nothing else to say.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reflections of My Father

We're home again.

But not until after I reached a stage five mom meltdown on the car ride home.

I yelled.

I mean, I really yelled. People, I yelled so loud and so hard that not only did I strain my throat, but my ab muscles actually hurt.

And yes, I hate myself for it. Of course I do. We were on vacation for over a month. We had a great time. We made memories. We drove for 22 hours in relative ease, and then we had to end it with me having a complete fit in the car.

My kids have had just about enough of each other. I've had just about enough of their fighting. And I fear that I have completely turned into my father.

I also fear that years from now, the thing that they'll remember most about that summer that dad was deployed was mom completely losing her shit in the car. Because when I think back on my own childhood my clearest memories are of my father losing it in the exact same way.

Damn it all.

There are exactly eighteen days until school starts.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Heading Home

It's pouring in New York City today. And how do I know that? I know that because last week I completely gave up on the idea of everything related to Cape Cod, summer and vacation.

I want to go home.

On Thursday morning, I packed up a month's worth of supplies and clothes and cleaned up a month's worth of mess in record time. By 11 a.m. we was on the road headed South.

But as much as I wanted to be home, I wasn't really ready for the marathon drive. And the kids wanted to see Uncle Patrick. And Uncle Patrick wanted to see Buffy the Wonder Puppy. So we decided to spend a very long weekend in New York.

I'm more than glad that we decided to stop here. I was stressed about parking the van, but after one night in a garage (and a fifty dollar hole in my pocket) I worked it like a real New Yorker and staked out a spot on the street in front of Patrick's apartment.

The kids love Uncle Patrick so much. I know it helps ease their Daddy pangs just the smallest bit to have a man around. Not much though. They're still making their periodic "I miss Daddy" announcements. I actually think it is good, both that they miss him so much and that they are able to express it.

Patrick has been a great host. On Friday evening, he suggested we go to the Harry Potter Place street fair-type thing they were having in front of the Scholastic Store. Seeing as I've only read the first three books and the kids are too scared to read any of the books or see the movies, I wasn't sure how interested they would be.

But Uncle Patrick hit a home run with that one. They loved it! Now I suppose I'll have to keep reading the books.

On Saturday, Patrick had a race to run, so we signed the kids up for the kids' races scheduled after his easy four-mile jaunt.

The kids loved that too! I was so proud of them. My son moved up an age group since November, but he was able to keep up with the pack. After my daughter's emotional ending during last November's race, I was a little worried about her this time. She could have been dead last, but as long as she didn't cry I would have been happy. But she kept up with the pack (or at least the back half of it) too. And she didn't cry at all. She was all about the intensity.

They have both declared that they love racing and I am determined to keep them going with it. With soccer starting soon, and swimming classes starting again, I'll have them whipped back into shape in no time.

On Saturday afternoon, Uncle Patrick had another crazy idea. He wanted to take the kids to Coney Island, especially since the majority of it will close after this season. My daughter was heartbroken that she was too short to ride the Cyclone, but she quickly recovered.

Do you have any idea how expensive the rides are at Coney Island?

I told the kids they could each pick two rides. They picked the log ride and the Tilt-a-Whirl. They didn't complain a bit about only being able to go on two rides, so I surprised them each with one more ticket for a kiddie ride. They chose the kiddie coaster.

Uncle Patrick and I thought the subway ride back took forever, but that was my son's favorite part of the day. He loves the subway, no matter what.

Yesterday we spent the day in Central Park letting the kids do pretty much whatever that wanted, including getting their clothes soaking wet in the water playground. And today they got soaking wet just walking to the luncheonette, poor things.

I wonder if Patrick has any idea how wonderful he is with kids, or at least my kids. I know it must be hard for my husband to hear all of these stories about his children having fun and bonding with another man. But knowing my husband, he's just happy that they have more love in their lives.

Part of me wishes I didn't have to leave here in the morning. But we need to get home for so many reasons. I wish I could take Patrick with me. I wish we lived closer to each other. I wish I could afford a private jet to whisk us back and forth as often as we liked. I wish a lot of things, none of which can ever come true.

But mostly right now I wish I was home again, with my life back to normal and my husband safely with me. Until that can happen, I'm thankful that I have friends who are family who can help us through it all.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Men on a Mission

For the last couple of years, I've been hearing stories about the beach in Provincetown.

You see, as a breeder, I only really knew about Herring Cove Beach off of the highway. Herring Cove has bathrooms and parking and is apparently only for families and straight people.

But a winding path through the dunes leads to the gay beach.

The start of the path is easy to find because it is surrounded by hundreds of bikes. And poison ivy bushes. I'd heard that it was quite a hike to the beach, but when the guys were here I found out what an understatement that was.

The guys (Patrick, Charles, Brian, Jase, and Jase's coworker) were excited to get to the beach on the Fourth of July. We started the day with brunch and in preparation for my hike, I forwent a yummy mimosa.

I knew it would be a long walk, but I figured we'd chat and rest every once in a while and it wouldn't be so bad.

I've never been quite so wrong ever before.

You see, I was doing okay. I was keeping up with the guys to start. Considering that they're a bunch of skinny, little, running-for-fun bitches, I was feeling pretty okay.

Then the sand got soft and thick.

I fell back a bit, but I was determined to get to that fucking beach.

And the guys were chatting and joking and having fun. And they were waiting for me too.

They were waiting for me to catch up to them, and then they'd start walking again!

So the fucking skinny, little bitches were getting a rest and the fat chick wasn't!

As we neared the end, they stopped waiting at all. They were men on a mission. I could almost hear them chanting, "Shirtless men. Shirtless men. Must reach the shirtless men."

Once we crested the dune and were among the men, I put my foot down. They wanted to venture farther down the beach where the men were more scantily clad and more cruisy. Considering I had already been teased about being a female sacrifice, I was pretty happy with the shirtless men smack dab in front of me.

If the guys had continued on, I would have headed in the opposite direction and found a nice lesbian couple to adopt me.

I was having a perfectly nice time laying on the beach and reading my book and barely ever glancing at the continuous parade of gorgeous men (ahem) when I encountered a problem.

I had to go to the bathroom.

If I were with the straighties at Herring Cove, I could have walked to the toilets. But, oh no, I had to hike to the gay beach where there are no facilities.

I had no choice but to wade out into the water. Except I had one more issue. I had left my bathing suit at my parents' house. I was wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt.

My plan was to oh-so-casually wade out, quickly dip down to the waistband of my shorts, do my business, and stand up with no one but the fish the wiser. But, oh no.

As soon as I started to dip, a huge wave crashed into me and knocked me in the water up to my neck.

At that point, I figured what the fuck and I dove into the next wave.

But now I had to walk back to the car and my dry clothes, miles and miles away in soaking wet clothes. I was so damn sexy, I could barely stand it.


I sat in the sun to dry out a little. But before I even stopped dripping the skinny little bitches decided they were cold.

I had a strategy for the return trip though. First I threatened Patrick. "You'll walk slow with me and wait for me, or I'll fucking kill you." Then I headed out first. I figured if I had a head start, I wouldn't feel so desperate.

My strategy worked out well because the skinny, little bitches were slowed up by the tide pools we had to wade across. They may have been concerned that their designer swimsuits would dissolve in the water or something. I don't know. My Target shorts were holding up fine.

By the time we got to the car, I was feeling pretty good, until I realized something. I had forgotten to pack a dry shirt!

So I trudged my wet self to a shop and bought an extremely unflattering, but cheap t-shirt. I returned to the car and stripped right in the parking lot.

I wonder how many people I scared that day.

Guess how I spent the rest of my day in Provincetown.

That's right! I spent it getting fucking drunk off my ass with the skinny, little bitches.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Where, oh, where has Tuna Girl gone?

Here I am! The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.

When I arrived back to Massachusetts from New York City I was definitely feeling very down. My husband and I had one marathon phone discussion in which he basically told me to fuck it. Fuck it all. He told me to do whatever I needed to get through these months, even if that included letting my parents win. He suggested that I give my parents a firm date on when they could keep the kids, and then taking advantage of the time and having some fun.

So I did.

I twisted Patrick's arm up way behind his back and convinced him to come visit me on Cape Cod. Then I twisted a few more arms and got Jase, his boyfriend Brian, and their friend Charles to come visit from the 4th through the weekend.

I'm so glad everyone came.

We spent most of every day in Provincetown and we had a blast. P-town is one of Patrick's favorite places and it was very nice to be able to enjoy it with him. We dined on some amazing food and probably drank way too much. Luckily, moderate Jase was able to drive us back to my shack every night. We walked the beach, walked the galleries, and walked the shops.

By the way, the shops in P-town sell some tiny, little bathing suits. I'm just saying.

I also got to see my first drag show. Cashetta claims to be the world's only drag magician. Let's hope. Actually, the show was fun and Patrick took a turn on stage as Cashetta's lovely assistant.

Have I ever mentioned that Patrick is a bit of a ham?

I have no photos to share because my husband took our camera on his deployment with him. But that may be for the best. Planter's punch goes down way easy.

All in all, I had a blast. I was especially glad to get to know Brian. I'd met him once when Patrick and Jase ran the Race to Deliver but I had no idea how much fun he could be. There's just something about a Midwestern boy.

I have a couple of stories to tell that I'll save for another day. For now, I'm enjoying having my children back where they belong. These lazy summer days filled with miniature golf, afternoons on the beach, and more trips to ice cream parlors than we probably need are absolutely priceless. I wouldn't trade them for anything.