Walter came over today. I was talking about being frustrated with the blog writing of the day. Hadn’t come up with anything good yet. He squirmed in his seat.
You want the truth?
Yeah, I want the truth.
It’s too grim. You need to lighten up a little.
You’re saying it’s like Angela’s Ashes. Can one more baby die? Can it get any worse? OH MY GOD, there goes another!
Yes, he said. I can’t bear it.
Walter, you talk to me every day. You listen to me every day. Maybe that’s why.
No. It’s too much. You have to lighten up.
Okay. I did write about the cat the other day… that was funny.
Yes, it was. You still need to lighten up.
Hello? I’m a lesbian. I process things to death. It’s part of the code- one-piece Speedos, keens, gym shorts and long sessions of processing. Lesbian’s process.
And it reminded me of when I played on an all-lesbian volleyball team. It’s hard to imagine, quite honestly, ever taking myself that seriously again. It was an experience I’ll never forget. It was a long, long time ago.
I was a little nervous the first day I went to play. I wondered how they checked out to see if each new participant was actually a lesbian, barring any ringer straight people. But being newly single (hey this was almost twenty years ago!), I was fully prepared for any type of sexual preference test they might put me through.
I was young, awkward and really had no idea how to act casual in the company of beautiful women. Walking in the gym the first night, everyone looked at me, and smiled the knowing smile. There's a part of me that would like people to be shocked to find out I'm a lesbian-when I was in college and finally got up the courage to come out to my friends, I was truly disappointed when most of them said, “Yeah? And?” I could always grow my hair out, wear make-up and paint my nails, but I'll never be able to change the look in my eyes when I walk into a room full of women. I sat down to take off my sweats, trying not to blatantly check the women out. As feminists, we don't believe in viewing women as objects, or as pieces of meat but as lesbians we're attracted to women, leaving us in a difficult situation of wanting to check out those beautiful legs, that nice ass ·and wanting to be politically correct. Not always easy.
The first team meeting was a lesson in lesbian subculture and why we still don't have civil rights in most states. After practice, we went over to one of the player’s house and gathered. “Mary's” apartment was decorated in the minimalist approach, which was neat, and sparse, with the expected 'two women holding' pictures on the wall, along with a festival poster. Setting up households for lesbian couple's can be very hard, generally without the support of parents, no wedding gifts to fill the china cabinet. That is, unless you’ve sprung for the commitment ceremony, which is a nice way to get Crate and Barrel gift certificates, but no real legal commitments. The first item on the agenda was the type of pizza to order.
“What do y'all want?” Mary asked.
“Sausage,” I said. Everyone looked at me in disbelief. “What? Doesn't anyone like sausage?”
“Katrina” spoke hesitantly, “ Well... it's...it's meat, Sara, let alone a very questionable meat. Do you know what sausage comes from?”
At the time, I really didn't care, it was eight o'clock, we’d all came from playing volleyball for two hours- I wanted food- “O.K., how about pepperoni?”
“Yeah, that sounds good,” Mary said, writing it down. Somehow sausage was disgusting but pepperoni was acceptable? Did they know where pepperoni came from?
“One with peppers and onions,” said Mary's girlfriend.
“You're going to eat onions?” Mary grimaced.
“Mushrooms, I want mushrooms,” another called out.
“Now, should we order a couple of large with half of each kind of topping or many smalls with each single topping?” Mary asked, looking around the room.
“Well, I don't want any meat on my pie at all,” “Katrina” sniffed.
“What would be cheaper?” asked someone.
“Do we need a consensus on this or are we voting?” asked yet another.
“Oh, man,” someone moaned, grabbing her belly.
“Just order a few smalls, I'm starved,” I said, growing irritable with the hunger.
“Does anybody have any strong objections to this?” the vote counter asked, looking around the room.
“Just order the pizza!” someone shouted.
“Now, that’s a pepperoni, a mushroom and a pepper and onion, right?” Mary asked.
“And sausage,” I was going to be firm; besides, I could eat a small pizza by myself easily at this point.
“But that's not fair to order if the money is collective and no one else wants it. I object to that order,” Katrina said.
“I second the motion, it's not fair,” the now evil vote counter said.
“How about a plain cheese? Is that O.K.?” asked someone, hopefully.
“Yeah, we should order another, three isn't enough for all of us,” Mary noted.
I was going to waste away before consensus was reached.
“O.K., so a pepperoni, mushroom, pepper and onion and plain cheese, right?” Mary asked.
“Oh, man,” the belly rubber moaned again, leaning back into the corner.
“All in favor?” the very evil vote counter asked.
“This isn't a voting issue. Is that O.K.?” Mary asked again.
“YES!” A few yelled. This was going to be a long night.
In the end, the pizza was finished, voting was changed to a two-thirds majority by consensus, and I was a new member of the team. I loved and hated playing on that team. The horror of constantly getting thumped by straight women’s teams- we were as bad on the court as we were ordering pizza- was eased by the weekly infusion of pride, hanging out in a group large enough to make it safe to be loud, out and proud. The weekly meetings always took too long, bogged down by ridiculous process, but sitting on Mary’s hardwood floor in a half drenched tee shirt, I met my true love.
A woman with the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen. Took a while before she’d talk to me but eventually, she married me.