Saturday, February 13, 2010

Two holidays in one

"Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out."--Hafiz quote, and part of my e-mail sig

Been a while. The sports stuff will only be a few paragraphs. As I type, I just finished watching the Penguins get beat by the sorry-ass New York Rangers in overtime. I hate the Rangers, and I have loved watching the Pens stomp on them this season. Tonight, Sidney Crosby scored two goals and set a new personal best for goals in the regular season, but it just wasn't enough. So now the Rangers fans in my office, most of whom are execs, will have all weekend to come up with witticisms for me and be smug as hell on Monday.

L'Ailee had to watch the opening ceremonies for the Olympics first. We're still stunned by the death of the Georgian luger on the track during practice. I remember when Dale Earnhardt died at the Daytona 500 in 2001. It was horrible to be there and watch that crash, horrible to leave the track knowing that he was bound for Halifax Hospital and not leaving the infield care center all pissed off that his car was wrecked, horrible to hear that he was dead on the way home. My Ex-Boy had to pull his truck over so we could cry on each others' shoulders, and when we finished, we found that other couples had done the same.

Though I love that race and would never dream of skipping it, I felt awful that another human being had died for my entertainment. And if the athletes weren't pushing themselves to their limits, there would be no pleasure in it for them or the spectators. I missed the next few months of racing. But I was back in Daytona for the summer race, called the Pepsi 400 at the time, and I watched the 500 in 2002 with an almost clear conscience. This year, we'll still watch Olympic hockey, womens' and mens', and she'll still watch figure skating, and we'll hope like crazy that the luge track is fixed and the athletes are safe.

The middle of February contains two of my very favorite holidays: Valentine's Day as well as the Daytona 500. (Gods, I want Tony Stewart to finally get it this year, but that shouldn't surprise anyone!) This year, NASCAR went a step further by actually having the race *on* Valentine's Day. So L'Ailee and I, and several of our friends, will be having Valentine's night tomorrow night.

We realized that we haven't gone on anything one could call a "date" in a very long time, so we're doing the most cliched thing and going to dinner and a movie. We haven't seen a movie in a theater recently, either. We still don't know exactly what we're going to see. Probably "Wolfman," though that got horrible reviews. Defo not "Valentine's Day," even if there is supposed to be a nice little queer subplot in it. We have different tastes in movies, but thankfully, neither of us like romantic comedies.

For those of you who are wondering, my surgery is scheduled for the 18th. I have three and a half days off from work not counting the weekend, and BossLady told me I can have a couple more if I need them. I'm grateful for that. I think I timed it perfectly--Gods willing, I'll be healed by my birthday. I have to stay overnight at the hospital--hate that. Once again, L'Ailee reminded the surgeon that we have the same blood type and told her she'd donate a pint if I needed it! L'Ailee didn't tell me this. My straight male surgeon did, cracking up laughing as he said it. "That is a special woman, and she loves you very much," he said. All I could say is, "I know, of course I know." "Treat her right on the 14th," he advised me, but I didn't need him to remind me.

It's more than the big gestures, though. Last weekend, the Penguins played the Washington Capitals in a much-hyped match. We had her best friend and his husband and daughter over to watch. The Budweiser Shootout, the start of the new NASCAR season, had been on the night before. Last year, I engaged in a bit of sympathetic magick for Tony Stewart--I had my toenails done in red to match his car, and kept them red until he won. I decided I'd do it again this year. L'Ailee gave me a recession pedicure on the couch, my feet in her lap as we watched the game and my favorite cocktail, the one I ironically named Crosby Sucks on my other blog, in my hand . Life gets no better, I thought. A reference was made to the Capitals' fans "rocking the red," and I muttered, "Great, now my foot's rocking the red."
L'Ailee gently squeezed the foot she hadn't done yet. "You are such a superstitious..." She searched for the word. "...dork!" she concluded triumphantly.
"Yeah, I am." Our friends laughed.
"Come on, I might as well finish." I just smiled at her as she finished and the Pens threw away their 3-goal lead. I went to take care of the dishes during a commercial break when she was finished. "You cooked for us," she said. "Let your toenails dry." She and one of our friends took care of the dishes.

I know not everyone is going to have a happy Valentine's day. I know some people just want to treat it as another Sunday night, and not all of those people are single or unhappy in a relationship, either. I understand, I do. I hope I don't offend anyone. But I'm happy, and I'm proud of it. It sounds almost brazenly immodest for a woman to say that in this society--as with our bodies, we're expected to complain and commisserate and admit our happiness only in quiet little whispers, if at all. To hell with that. Things even out, and I have problems in other areas. In love, I have been both lucky and hard-working.

With the debates over Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Proposition 8 trial, we have had straight people treating us as, like the Queer Chamber of Commerce and asking our opinions. I have been reading about open admissions from right-wing political leaders that they want to make same-gender sex illegal again so we can be imprisoned. I have been reading absolutely horrific international news. We have to fight so hard to love and live openly that it's easy for love itself to get lost in the shuffle. Just like with mixed-sex relationships, love dies when you treat it like it can take care of itself.

It's going to sound weird, maybe, and not at all heartsy-and-flowery romantic, but one reason why I cherish Valentine's Day is that it was born out of the triumph of love over suppression. In the Middle East and India, some religious fundamentalists have tried to ban it, but Valentine's Day is becoming increasingly popular. It's not just queer people who have to fight like hell to love. Tomorrow night we'll hold hands at the restaurant and the movie theater and be grateful.

Links, if you can stand to read more:

Some suggestions for distinctly bisexual things to do on Valentine's Day. "Deep-kissing your wife because Tony Stewart's leading the 500" isn't one of them! I love the bit about bubble baths, but we think it's dirtier to keep kids' bubble bath in the original packaging...

Advice for Pagans in interfaith relationships It does focus on Christianity as the "other" religious belief, though I'm far from the only Pagan I know who is in a relationship with an atheist. Worth checking out anyway.

L'Ailee and I were both disgusted by this, but in her words, "These girls have the right to show how mean-spirited they are, and other girls have the right to try a group that is more tolerant." To quote another smart woman who commented, "And yet they would just die if the school made them wear uniforms." Check out a Cornell sorority's fashion and beauty rules for pledges.

Finally, since I last blogged, sweet Tai Shan, the 4-year-old panda born at the National Zoo, left us and was flown to the Bifengxia Reserve in China for breeding. I've discussed this lots at the Pandas Unlimited group. That said, I saw this update on how he's doing in China. As I suspected, he seems to be coping better than many humans who loved him. :-)


bluzdude said...

Regarding being treated as "the Queer Chamber of Commerce," I have a gay friend in Canada that tells me how when she finds herself at a party and people learn she's gay, she says it becomes a game of Ask The Lesbian.

I guess the liquor loosens them up and they act on their chance to ask the questions they've always wondered about. She says it's like performing a public service.

BostonPobble said...

"It sounds almost brazenly immodest for a woman to say that in this society--as with our bodies, we're expected to complain and commisserate and admit our happiness only in quiet little whispers, if at all. To hell with that." Blessed BE! Shout it loudly. Sad days that our happiness is something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. I'm happy, too ~ with my body, with my relationships, with my work, with my life. Ain't it grand? And you so kick ass for pointing this out and standing up.

As for Valentine's Day, broke as we are, Lithus and I exchanged completely non-sexual, relaxing massages. His back; my feet. Ahhh...

Keep us posted on your surgery. You're loved.

Carie said...

I hope you are well, thinking about you often...