Well, you can learn a lot when you try a new route.
I walk every day. And have taken the same route for over a year. I decided to shake it up yesterday and instead of going to the end of my driveway and turning right, I turned left.
I walked along. I am supposed to race walk, but I never do. I meander.
I saw a guy working in his yard. He waved at me. His little white dog came yapping up to me, so I leaned down to pet him. The man came over and picked up his dog.
"Killer! Leave the nice lady alone!"
Killer? I smiled at the name and repeated it.
"Well, we want him to have a strong sense of self. Something to live up to," the man said. "Ignore his bad haircut. We will NEVER use that groomer again."
Well, that was all it took. My gaydar went into high gear.
The man smiled at me. "Hey, are you Bing's partner?"
I was surprised. Bing had never mentioned meeting a new neighbor, but she does run every day.
I said yes.
"Well, tell her that we tried the mole scat she suggested and it worked!"
I said I would. He introduced himself as Kelly and invited me into his house for the "five cent tour."
I went in. And immediately decided that this man is NEVER going to set foot in my house. His house was immaculate. Fresh cut flowers on his dining room table. Vacuum swipes still present from a recent workout.
He showed me his garden, mentioned that Bing had said that I was a gardener too.
I admired his flowers. He had calla lillies. Daffodils. Bachelors Buttons. Ah.
Kelly introduced me to his partner, Dan. And then they asked if I had met Wilma and Betty from up the hill. No, I said.
"They are family too," they told me. "And both of them are vets, so if you ever need one, they are the ones to take your Fido to."
And then, a man ran by and they stopped him. Introduced me to Artie. He and his partner had just bought the house up the street. Interior decorators.
Artie and I shook hands. Artie said, "Are you Bing's partner? You two have that sweet little child who likes to swing on her tire swing and scream that she is Tarzan, right?"
I said yes. I said that I was sort of shocked to see so much family in one place. I mean, usually I'm the token lesbian in the block.
"Wrong block, sweetheart," they told me.
I guess so....
I ended up with an invitation to Kelly and Dan's 4th of July party. We are to bring rolls.
I walked home and confronted Bing. "Why didn't you tell me that there are so many gay neighbors around us?" I asked her.
She shrugged. "I guess I thought you knew," she said.
No, I didn't. But, I am so thrilled. I mean, I LOVE this.
We are always the only ones. I don't think anyone knows what it feels like to always be the only ones. Sounds kind of odd, I know.
I once knew a black lesbian whose partner was a Jewish lesbian. She said that she felt like they were exotic animals or something.
"Think about it," she told me. "I am a triple minority. I'm a woman. I'm black. I'm a lesbian. And now, I live with a Jewish lesbian. I feel like we are poster girls for the whole neighborhood."
I have always felt like that too in a way. I've always felt like I was the one that the neighbors pointed out to their relatives when they visited.
"A lesbian who has a child lives there!"
But, not anymore. We are here and we are queer. And we are everywhere.