Tuesday, October 11, 2005

straight girl soaps up

"And I asked Henry, my bartender friend
if I should bother dating unfamous men
And Henry said, 'You're lucky to even know me.
You're lucky to be alive.'"

Isn't that brilliant? In the middle of a carwash, flipping through my tired books of CDs, I rediscovered Liz Phair and fell in love again. Of course, it started to rain ten minutes after I drove out of the lot -- and not sprinkle, mind you, but real "the Rapture is coming" buckets -- and normally I would have felt oddly discouraged about having driven to Brooklyn and paid for my car to be covered in water beforehand but I totally didn't mind. I felt, in fact, like I was on a date with an old girlfriend. Oh, Liz!

Speaking of old girlfriends, I have done something very, very, very bad and I don't know how to un-do it. (Which is such a lie, by the way, because I know exactly what I need to do and am just going to pretend that I need advice because I'm embarrassed and don't want to own up to it.)

My ex-girlfriend, Shannon, used to introduce me as "Straight Girl" and her best friend, Ursula, always had this small fake smile on her face when she saw me and once I even overheard her saying to Shannon, "I've just never seen you with a woman who acts so straight." The truth is that I was head over heels in love with Shannon and had been since we met in 1999 (I'll save you from the poetry I wrote); the truth is also that I'd only ever been with guys before Shannon (except for my high school girlfriend, Sarah, who doesn't count, I think, because we met at an all-girls high school and the choice for object of my affection was between a Coach Springer and Sarah. Coach Springer eliminated himself by saying things to me like, "I can tell that the wheels in your head spin around a lot" and generally doing gross things like encouraging his volleyball team to practice is binkini bottoms. By comparison, Sarah looked like an Adonis, one who just happened to be wearing a kilt and penny loafers.) Outside of the relationship that Shannon and I had when we were alone, I felt overwhelmed by insecurities about not being "gay enough" and wanting to prove it.

Shannon and I dated on and off for more than a year and towards the end of that year, I met Robert, who, at the time, seemed like a nice guy who was irrlevent because he lived on a different continent. So, when I assumed that nothing would come of spending time with him, I described him to Shannon as, um, a woman. Named Ro. And I thought, "Maybe if she and her friends know that I date other women, they'll start introducing me by my real name."

Fast-forward two-and-a-half years. Shannon and I are still good friends, although she's moved to Connecticut and we see each once every few months, at best. I am still with Robert and have told Shannon that I have a boyfriend but I've never mentioned his name.

Shannon: So, how's...your boyfriend?
Sarah: Oh, great. He is doing really well, we're happy, I'm going to visit him next week in the city where he lives.

I should come clean with her.


Anonymous camille said...

Ro? As in Rowena? or Roberta?
This is asinine. You don't have to tell her, it is important enough that you are honest with yourself.

9:17 AM  

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