Pretend Their Names Are Greta and Ann, Part 1.

A few years ago, I joined one of those free dating sites. When I decided to slowly share with others that I found myself attracted to women, I simply listed on the bottom of my profile that I was interested in people who were interested in bisexual women.

Within about a week, I got a message from a woman whose name we’ll pretend is Greta. Greta thinks I have gorgeous eyes, and she has thought-provoking questions for me related to the contents of my dating profile! Greta was so promising! She worked in one of the helping professions, which I adored, because I was planning to go to school for nursing, and I’ll swoon all day long over someone who lives to help others. Greta seemed eight kinds of delightful, and we soon started tossing around the idea of meeting.

I worked up the nerve to also message a woman named Ann. (Rule number 1 of online dating is to message as many people as you can. I think. Actually, rule number 1 probably has a great deal more to do with safety. This might be worth a google later.) Ann is just lovely to behold. Think Gwyneth Paltrow meets Jennifer Aniston, with a profile detailing work serving others, an inclusive view of Christianity, and a handful of witticisms that I no longer recall. Ann chatted with me, and we soon started talking about meeting up.

Schedules aligned in such a way that I was able to meet with Ann before ever meeting with Greta. Ann knew about a coffee shop I’d never heard of, so we met there. She wore mustard yellow gloves she’d made herself. They were modeled after Alice Cullen’s gloves from Twilight, she shared. We had a really cool conversation during which we talked about kids (two each), religion (PCUSA, baby!). her work, which made her seem super human, and my schooling plans.

Oh, and she was close friends with Greta. So, Ann had to keep everything platonic with me because of Greta. They’d discussed it ahead of time and decided.

They had discussed it. Between the two of them. “Who’s going to date her?”

They came to a conclusion…and that’s not even the end of the story.

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Pretend Their Names Are Greta and Ann, Part 2

Within a couple weeks of meeting Ann, Greta and I met at a coffee shop. (Side note: I adore this coffee shop. It’s local, and it manages to feel both crunchy and like it caters to academics at the same time.) I ordered an Aztec mocha, which is a mocha with chile powder and cinnamon added. If I recall correctly, Greta ordered a chai tea latte, but I may not recall correctly. 

We sat and chatted on the shop’s couch for the better part of two hours. We talked about her work, which was primarily with handicapped adults, and about my nursing related plans. We talked about religion! Oh, did we talk about religion. We had similar upbringings; her parents didn’t handle her coming out well. Mine didn’t know at all at the time. She told me about feeling lost in the church but wanting a church family; I told her that I wasn’t sure I even believed in God anymore.

It was a good talk and a good time. Eventually time ran out, and we walked outside. She was going to the right, and I was going to the left. We hugged and she lingered. I stepped out of the hug and went to my car. I hadn’t been in the car for five minutes before I got a text message about what a good time Greta had. 
It was an altogether successful evening, really. 

Except that there was no chemistry, at least for me. I felt no spark, no “I need to know more about this woman and maybe sit closer to her,” no magnetism. 

So, naturally, we kept texting daily, and this is still not the end of this story. 

Her Storm

If she leaves a mark at all

You won’t notice it.

I didn’t.

It was like the ring left

On a saucer after a weak cup

Of coffee.

I could see through the mark,

But I couldn’t pretend it wasn’t there.

I don’t think I’d want to anyway.

Anyway.

She confused me.

She used all the wrong words

To describe a sunset.

I wanted to travel to where her eyes wandered.

I wanted to see the light bend

Across the atmosphere with

Her rose-colored glasses.

I wasn’t ready.

She was like a storm

I watched on the news

And everyone who knew better

Warned me that I’d better not

Go near her.

She was a gale force wind

For which I was not prepared.

No one understood though

That I would gladly have let her

Flood my Main Street

Undermine the foundations to

My most hallowed halls

Break down all my walls

Until the swell of her

Swept me away.

But I never ventured into her storm.

She never let me in.

 

“B” is for Badass (and Bisexual)

The first time I ever dreamed about sex, I was 11 years old. In the dream I’d married a boy from church whom I didn’t particularly like, and he left to hang out with some guys after we were actually married. In my dream, I ended up having sex with a female friend while my dream husband played paintball. 

I kept it to myself, of course. When a fundamentalist Christian who has already pledged to keep her virginity (well… her hymen) intact until her wedding night experiences feelings of lust of any kind, she is ashamed. If the lust is homosexual, well, she might as well denounce her religion and move out of her house; neither one will be warm or welcoming places for her. So, I kept quiet about the dream and the thoughts and feelings I experienced. I told my mom about boys I liked, but never girls. I cut out magazine pages with pictures of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, but not Salma Hayek. I prayed about and for my future husband on a regular, if not obsessive, basis. I didn’t let myself think about ever actually dating a girl. 

I didn’t tell anyone that I was oriented toward other women until I’d been married for a few years and had two children. My husband was surprised, but he agreed that it didn’t actually pose a threat to our marriage. I found lots of opportunities to talk about how gay people should choose celibacy, how I could love a gay person but hate their sin of a gay lifestyle, and how God expects people to change as they seek Him. There was plenty of evidence that I wouldn’t ever actually consider doing anything about my sapphic leanings. 

Then, we got divorced. (That’s the short version.) I eventually started dating; I joined a dating site and went on several really terrible dates and one or two tolerable dates. I had a handful of sexual encounters with men. 

Nine times out of ten, though, when my subconscious went somewhere erotic in my sleep, my partner was soft like me, with a smooth inner thigh and a curve to her hip. 

I reveled in those dreams, and I eventually decided to bring that reverie into reality. It wasn’t simple, and there was more than a little internal conflict related to my religious upbringing, my family of origin, my children, and my ex husband, but I started being honest about my orientation. Dating as a bisexual woman is weird and difficult in its own way, and others’ expectations of me certainly vary. I continue to be surprised by the assumptions potential partners have about me automatically because of my bisexuality. (Apparently I’m supposed to have commitment issues, and I should really like threesomes.) 

Weird ideas aside, though, the honesty has been good for me.