Friday, August 27, 2010

Name That Character!

I had several correct answers via e-mail to the last "Name That Character" post. It was Reuben, the band's manager, from The Partridge Family played by Dave Madden.

This week's character was played by Lorraine Bracco. No fair cheating. I already gave you a hint by showing you the movie title - Medicine Man, one of my favorites. The scenery is wonderful. Wish I had the guts to go up into the rain forest canopy. The humor is quick and to the point. The realization of defeat is gut wrenching but the ending is hopeful. Watch it if you haven't already. You can even let your tweens watch it and learn about the plights of the rain forest and the cure for cancer as it is rated R due to topless tribeswomen. Think National Geographic. You can currently catch Lorraine Bracco on
Rizolli and Isles
on TNT, Monday nights:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sitting on the Edge of Your Seat?

Have you been sitting on the edge of your seat? Well, first let me make an announcement. Last night I texted K20, "Goodnight, K20. Sleep well. I love you." Are you ready for it? She texted back, "Goodnight. Luv U 2."

Hooray! Not only did I get a reply to my text, she said she loves me. So I guess you could say our talk went well after all. Tuesday night I picked her up at her house and drove to the restaurant. I was planning to talk to her in the car in the parking lot after dinner, but when we left the restaurant, the parking lot had filled up. We would have had to have rolled the windows down in this 100 degree heat, so there would have been no privacy.

So I took her to Walgreens. Again, I parked far away from the building where there were no other cars. This is a Walgreens basically in the country. We got into Walgreens and some of her neighbors were in there that I had not seen since I left. The woman waved at me when she came in and I just knew she was going to come over. We paid quickly and left. Wouldn't you know it, they had parked right next to us out of all the empty spots in the parking lot?

So I proceeded to drive her home, and as we approached the lake/park, I said, "I'm just going to pull over her for a second. I have something I want to tell you." I could hear panic in her voice when she said, "What do you want to tell me?"

Well, let me tell you, this conversation did not go as smoothly as the one with K17. I knew it wouldn't, though. K20 and I had a lot more things to talk about and because she hardly talks without being physically poked in the ribs to do so, it was slow going for at least an hour until she was able to spill her guts to me.

I'm pretty sure I covered the major topics that I had discussed with K17 (see post below), minus the part about meeting J. She is nowhere ready to do that. She is really stuck with the whole gay idea. She said, "You know it is wrong; don't you?" I think explaining to her why I raised her the way I did had a big impact on her. I think taking responsibility for all the drinking I did, as well. She said that she feels like she lost her mom four years ago, not a year and a half ago and that we had reversed roles.

She told me stories of things that I would do or say when I was drunk. She said I used to blame a lot of the drinking on my OCD. I asked her if she was ashamed to be seen with me. A woman came over to our table at dinner and started talking to us. We have known her for years. She said she doesn't feel ashamed, just "weird." She said that holidays are hard because afterwards, she, her dad, and her sister get into one car and go one way and I get into a different car and go somewhere else. My therapist once told me that after a traumatic event you have to go through a one to two-year cycle for things to feel less than weird. We have been through two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, etc. You have to see what it's going to be like so you know what to expect the next year.

We talked about how she takes on all the responsibilities in the house and shouldn't, how she has every right to move out, but I know she won't. She just doesn't want to hurt her dad's feelings. She is 20 years old and has a 10:30 p.m. curfew b/c he is afraid he will sleep through the night not knowing if she made it home safely or not.

She asked me if I was happy. I said, yes, about as happy as I will be until I have a relationship with her. I told her about all the times she hurt my feelings, intentional or not. How I not only lost her and her sister, I lost all my friends. She said my "friends" ask about me, but I explained that's not the same thing as being a friend. I told her it was hard to tell if she was intentionally trying to hurt me or if it was just her personality to do/not do things. I suspected that a lot of it was her personality and I was right about that.

I told her how hurt I was to not be allowed to help plan her graduation party and how I could not go as a participant because that would have been wrong having the other mothers plan everythign. I told her how it hurts when she doesn't thank me for gifts, a plane ticket to Florida, flowers on her first day of college. I just want to be acknowledged that I am alive and trying to be a mom. I told her it would be nice to get a "thank you" once in a while, an answer to my text or phone call, even though I know she is not comfortable using the phone. Growing up she would never talk on the phone. When we got her her first cell phone, that's the first time I remember her talking on a phone. It's just not her thing, but like I told her, it's really the only way I have to communicate to her, to tell her I'm thinking about her and love and miss her, that and Facebook or e-mail.

Every time I thought we were done and I mentioned, "Have you said everything you want to say?" she wouldn't answer so I knew she had more stuff inside. Unlike K17, I believe she thinks I am going to hell. I can't fault her for that; that's how she was raised. I offered to let her view "A Fish Out of Water" to get a different perspective on the seven Bible verses that condemn homosexuality. Got no response so far.

I asked her who does she believe goes to Heaven. She said if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died for your sins, and then she added, "and live your life the way Jesus teaches." I told her later in an e-mail that I do live the way Jesus teaches, and that if he has such a problem with me loving J, don't you think he would have at least mentioned homosexuality in the Bible at least once?

I told her that no one took my picture with her at her graduation. The next day this was in my e-mail box. It's a terrible picture of me, 25 lbs heavier, but I will cherish it always.

So when I finally drove her home, I held her, really held her, and she didn't back away this time. She told me that talking to me helped her. I told her we might need to talk about this stuff again sometime. I think things can only get better. And as she gathered her things before exiting the car, I kissed her on the face and said, "I love you, K20," and she replied, "I love you, too."

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I love spooning with J! I can't decide which I like more, her behind me or me behind her. Curling up in bed with J's arms around me is about the best thing in the world I can think of. Sometimes she whispers "I love you's" in my ear; sometimes she strokes my hair or kisses my neck. I love the softness of her body and the strength of her arms encircling me, safe and secure. She reaches for my hand and our fingers entwine. Gives me goosebumps as I type.
And then there is the point in the night where we each roll over to the other side, as if on cue, kind of like flipping a pancake at the exact moment when it is ready. We just know. I lay as close to her as I possibly can, my chin between her shoulder and her head, that perfect place where I belong. I manuever myself over and over until finally every possible inch of the front of my body is touching hers, including my feet. I usually put my arm around her, but sometimes I lay with my arms parallel to my body so that my arms are against her back, all the way down. I kiss her upper arm. I fall asleep thinking how blessed I am that she has chosen me and only me out of everyone to hold her at night and that God has brought us back together after a quarter of a century - A QUARTER OF A CENTURY! - apart.
So here's to spooning! ( I can't believe I wrote this entire post with my boss standing on the other side of my desk!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Galveston, Oh, Galveston!

I had a great day with my girls! More pics later. Was not able to have the talk with K20; maybe Tuesday or Wednesday night of this week, though. We were just too tired so they went straight home.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This is going to be a long post...

Last night I had “the talk” with my youngest daughter, the talk I had been dreading, but it came out better than I thought it would. Saturday I may be having the same talk with my oldest. K17 told me I need to tell K20 everything I told her, to write it down. K20 doesn’t understand how I raised them one way and then did the exact opposite. So here, as best as I can recall, was our conversation. I am trying to commit the important points to memory. I am leaving some things out, of course. It was a 1 ½ hr conversation. I know that Saturday’s conversation will not go as smoothly:

Me: I want to talk to you about something. I want to apologize to you.
(I can tell she thinks I am going to apologize for leaving. Wiggles in her chair and a tear drops already.)

Me: I never should have let Daddy and L go back to the house October 10th without me. I should have been the one who told you I was leaving, not them. I was a coward. I don’t even know what they told you. I was too scared to watch my beautiful girls crying and break their hearts. I had already watched their dad and it was also unfair to put him in that position. So now I am going to tell you in my own words why I had to leave. And you can yell at me, cry, hug me, cuss at me, whatever you need to do.

I have known I was gay since I was five years old. Well, I didn’t think about sex or anything, but I just knew I was not like all the other girls. I felt very different. And by 11, I DEFINITELY knew that I was gay, even though I had never heard the term or any other term that meant homosexual. I want you to know that I tried everything to make it go away. I dated boys, I prayed, I went to therapy, I had people pray over me who thought they could “heal” me. Nothing worked.

I want you to know most of all that I did not marry your dad to hurt him, deceive him or even use him. I cannot say that marrying him was a mistake because that would mean that you and your sister are mistakes, and you are not. I loved you both before you were born. I got married twice because I wanted to be like everyone else; I wanted to be what society thought of as being “normal.” I really thought that getting married would cure me. So when I met your dad, I knew he would be a good husband and father. I loved him, but not the way you are supposed to love your husband.

I also want you to know that J is not the reason I am gay, but she saved my life. About five years ago, before J even came back into my life, I decided that after you graduated from high school (which will be May 2011), I was going to leave. After I had “raised” both of you. I felt that you needed a mother at home at least until then. I only told a couple of people about my plan. I was going to leave because I had been putting your dad in bondage. You see, for years, he had known something was wrong, and he always assumed it was his fault. He tried everything to make me happy, but nothing worked. He felt like he was a failure, and I just couldn’t mislead him any longer. It wasn’t right. So I waited for the five years to get here.
Only I started stuffing the feelings and what I was doing to him and you with alcohol. I started taking pills and, as you know, almost died twice. K14, I was not going to live much longer. I just could not stuff it all down any longer. I felt like I could be a better mom to you alive than dead.

Her: I know, Mom.

Me: Anything you want to say?

Her: Well, we discussed it about a week later and decided that it was kind of a good thing, what you did. We were more at peace. We didn’t have to worry any more about whether Mom was going to drink tonight or if you would wake up the next day.

Me: You know that we raised you in a fundamental church. That was my fault. When we lived in Houston we were going to a liberal Presbyterian church. The choir director was gay, and we even let K20 stay at his house for a party once. Then we moved to the country and I started going to a Bible study there. I asked your dad if we could start going there. It was extremely conservative, and I thought that maybe it would cure me or that at least I could hide my sexuality better if everyone that I was a fundamental Christian. I honestly thought I was doing the right thing. But then it backfired.

Her: You need to tell K20 this because she doesn’t understand why you did that.

Me: Remember when I stopped going to church about four years ago? It was because I just couldn’t sit there any longer and be around people who thought that my Jesus, my Saviour, loved me so much (sarcasm) that he would send me to hell for being who I am. I was baptized as an infant and again as an adult. Everyone celebrated and thought that was wonderful. But then when they found out I was gay, it was like my baptism never took place. And now for the big question. Do you think your mother is going to hell?

Her: No, I don’t. People at church ask about you. They are glad when I tell them you are doing better.
(shocker there)

Me: Well, you know that the church sent me a letter and told me that I was no longer “allowed” to take communion and that I was going to hell?

Her: (She hadn’t heard about the note that I could tell.) I think they had the right to tell you that you could not come back because you didn’t agree with their beliefs but they didn’t have the right to tell you you were going to hell.

Me: It took me about eight months until I was able to take communion without crying.

Her: (crying) And this weekend on the way home from retreat they were bashing Catholics (really crying). (Her paternal grandmother is Catholic)

(She said that her adopted mom and family that she hangs with also don’t think I’m going to hell.)

Me: We raised you in a bubble. If you believe what they are teaching you, that’s my fault. There is a whole other world out there. Your church is in the minority way of thinking.
(and then I told her about our church, the organ music, the old hymns, the people, about some of the teens who have been kicked out of their homes because they are gay while their pregnant 16 yr old sisters get to stay home. I told her about Prayers for Bobby, about how God didn’t heal Bobby because there was nothing wrong with him. How he killed himself and that could have been me. How there are probably quite a few closeted gays in her church and that there are definitely some gay kids in her theater group.)

Her: Yeah, at least two I can think of.

Me: I don’t want you to think that you are better than other people. I told her that when the church is gay bashing, there are gay kids in the congregation who are listening.

Her: I don’t.

(She proceeded to tell me about how she is tired of the way her church talks about other denominations and that the Bible says if you take Jesus as your savior you are a Christian. Yes, people worship different ways and believe different things, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t Christians. I reminded her about the time the people across the street told us we weren’t Christians because we let our kids watch Disney movies. I went to their door one time and the kids were playing in the living room while Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom was on the T.V; you know, the one where they have a live sacrifice and take the guy’s beating heart out of his chest?)

Me: Remember how I used to get you two to watch Rosie O’Donell’s movies and Ellen? I wanted to see how you would react when you found out I am gay. I told you about Clay Aiken coming out so that his son would always know his real dad.

(I also told her about A Fish Out of Water and what it is about. I told her she could watch it one day with me if she wanted to.)

We talked about J. She thinks that someday in the future she will be able to meet her but not right now. I’m sure I left a lot out, but that’s all I can think of right now. If you made it to the bottom of this post, congratulations, and please feel free to comment!

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Mother Writes

Here is a quote from Mary Griffith nine years after her son's death:

To all the Bobbys and Janes out there, I say these words to you, as I would to my own precious children:

Please don't give up hope in life, or in yourselves. You are very special to me, and I am working very hard to help make this life a better and safer place for you to live in.

I firmly believe - though I did not, back then - that my son Bobby's suicide was the end result of homophobia and ignorance with-in most Protestant and Catholic churches, and consequently within society, our public schools, our own family.

Bobby was not a drunk, nor did he use drugs. It's just that we could never accept him for who he was - a gay person.

We hoped God would heal him of being gay. According to God's word, as we were led to understand it, Bobby had to repent or God would damn him to hell and eternal punishment.

That I ever accepted - believed - such depravity of God toward my son or any human being has caused me much remorse and shame.

What a travesty of God's love, for children to grow up believing themselves to be evil, with only a slight inclination toward goodness, and that they will remain undeserving of God's love from birth to death.

Looking back, I realize how depraved it was to instill fals guilt in an innocent child's conscience, causing a distorted image of life, God, and self; leaving little if any felling of personal worth.

Had I viewed my son's life with a pure heart, I would hav recognized him as a tender spirit in God's eyes.

I would have seen a life that, for the most part, parallels the heterosexual life: being; learning; working; loving and caring for another human being; having someone to grow od with, someone to share the joys and sorrows of life with, someone to share God's wonderful world with.

We never thought of a gay person as an equal, a lovable and valuable part of God's creation. What a travesty of God's unconditional love!

Is it any wonder our young people give up on love, as Bobby did, and the hope of ever receiving the validation they deserve as beautiful human beings?

Is it any wonder sucide statistics are increasing among young people, and even more so among young gays and lesbians?

Bobby dropped out of high school in April 1981, two months before his graduation.

With the right help to fight the homophobia surrounding him, he might have found the hope and encouragment he needed to finish school.

As a result of my son's death, I have joined other caring people to try to make a pathway with knowledge and understanding within our public school system, a pathway that in time may be traveled with dignity and freedom from fear, for gay and lesbian students, and any student who is subjected to discrimination.

Promise me you will keep trying.

As Tina Turner says in her song, "Love and compassion, their day is coming; all esle are castles built in the air."

Bobby gave up on love. I hope you won't. You are always in my thoughts.

With love,
Mary Griffith
Walnut Creek, California

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Name That Character

No one guessed last week's character. It was Benita Bizarre from the Bugaloos, played by Martha Raye.

Here is this week's character. What was the character's name, the show he was on, and who played him?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Screwed Up

Okay, I had been on Weight Watchers about 10 days and had lost 6 lbs. Yay for me! But then last night I told J, "I want some tequila!" It had been a looong day, my brain was fried. So not only did we go out and I had two margaritas, I had two fajitas, charro beans, and sopapillas for dessert! Ugh!

So it's back on the diet horse today. You really do have to get back on RIGHT AWAY or you fall back into the same junk food routine, at least I do! Besides, I keep telling myself, if you don't cheat once in awhile you are denying yourself foods you love and that's not right. I have to be realistic about this. I am going to cheat once in awhile. If I don't, I will lose my sanity!

J is out of town today; miss her so much. Tonight I am going to a melodrama and throw popcorn at the villain. Tomorrow, J and I plan to go see Despicable Me in 3D. Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

20 Questions - Thanks, Joey!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? Yuck
2. Do you miss anyone right now? I miss J. I miss my girls. I never thought I would say this, but I miss my paternal grandfather.
3. If you could move anywhere else, would you? Yes, I would move near San Marcos, probably Martindale.
4. If you could choose, what would your last meal be? Barbecued ribs and a loaded baked potato
5. What famous person, dead or alive, would you want to have lunch with? Jesus - dead or alive, depending on how you look at it. Alive, Donny Osmond, so that J could spend time with him
6. What was the last book you read? Wicked
7. What was the last movie you watched? Who is Clarke Rockefeller?
8. What was the last song you heard? On the Street Where You Live sung by Dean Martin
9. What's your dream vacation? An Alaskan cruise, preferably a lesbian cruise line
10. What is the next trip you'll take? Probably to Louisiana, Biloxi, or Branson. Well, in reality, probably San Antonio before that.
11. Did you ever go to camp? Yes, church camp and Girl Scout camp. One year at Girl Scout camp, our bitch of a leader made the entire troop sit out in the hot, Texas sun for over an hour because of something one girl had done. We were all sunburned to a crisp and probably close to dehydration when the assistant leader arrived and made her let us up. Someone could get seriously sued for doing that today.
12. Have you ever been in love? I have been in love with J since I was 17, so 31 years.
13. What do you want to know about the future? I just want to know if my girls are going to find mates and be taken care of for life. I want them to find their soulmates from the very beginning and not make a mistake and marry the first person who comes along. I see my oldest in a very big rush to find a serious relationship. She's only 20. I keep telling her she has lots of time.
14. Where is your best friend? J is at her mother's birthday dinner right now.
15. How is your best friend? Happy, I hope.
16. Who is the biggest gossiper you know? I don't think I know any real gossipers right now. On the other hand, maybe they are all gossiping about me.
17. What does your last text message say? I just gave it to her, like, two second ago.
18. What are 3 things you've always wanted to do, that you still plan to accomplish? Finish my novel, get legally married to J, retire off the streets (I have a fear of becoming homeless)
19. What is one thing you've learned from your parents? Denial. Oh, you mean something good? Still thinking.
20. What is one thing you hope to teach your own children? More than one thing: to be who you are, that being gay doesn't mean you are going to hell, that I never meant to hurt them or their father, that having them was not a mistake

A Different Kind of Pride

I think my daughter has a heart of gold, I really do. She has a second mom, a second family, really. I used to feel jealous until J reminded me that in high school many of us had second families. J's family was mine. So even if I had not left, she would probably still be close to this family. And I thank God for them, really, I do. They have been there for her in many instances when I could not.

Somehow today K17 found out that the family's bank account went under and that they would not have any money until the weekend to live on. They have three kids to support. So K17 got all of her birthday money together ($40). Then she told me, "Mom, I have been saving quarters and stashing them in my closet for two years." She added them up today and that came to $33. So she is now over at their house giving them $73 of her own money. I reminded her that when you "give" someone money, you don't expect it back. She said, "I know, Mom. There have been many times when they have paid my way into the movie or bought me dinner, etc. I don't expect it back anyway. It's not much money, but what if $73 is all they need to bring their account back into the black?"

Then my oldest daughter decided that she might get her cash together and add to the amount. I am so proud of my girls. They don't have much but they are willing to help another family in need.

BeZombied Game

This is my newest addiction. I play it on my phone whenever I can. It is like Bejeweled except that when you get a row of three or more, the phone vibrates, and I absolutely love that feeling, and that is what I am addicted to. I've only made it to the fifth level, but I don't care. I just start over so I can feel that vibration in my hand. And, best of all, it's free!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Name That Character and Show

While you're eagerly anticipating my return in a few days, here's another character to ponder. If you know her name, then you DEFINITELY know the name of the show she was on! And as a bonus question, do you know the name of the actress who played her?

I Was Blessed Today

Today I volunteered like most Sundays with homeless teens, many of whom are LGBT. One young man who usually joins me for journaling after lunch does more talking than writing; but, oh, how he blessed me today! He told me things about his past that he has hidden away for a long time. It was a privilege to be there for him while he wept tears; not many, but it was good for him.

I am not going to name any names, but we have a real problem down the road with one of the Catholic shelters. They are not treating the LGBT youth with respect. They are allowing hate speech and some of the workers and volunteers are involved in it. At our program, hate speech is NEVER TOLERATED for any reason. You will be kicked out of our program and told not to return if you engage in it.

There was a film recently of one of our transgendered youth who "lived" at that shelter briefly, briefly because she was persecuted for who she is. She was put in the male sleeping and showering areas and was also beaten by fellow residents.

In this day and age it is shocking that this still goes on, especially in an institution sponsored by a "Christian" organization. Needless to say, she received help from another local facility that specializes in housing transgendered people.

I am so glad that I volunteer for an organization that is a safe place for these young people. I am learning about a lot of things: drugs, survival sex, couch hopping, Lady Gaga, and more. My hope is to one day go out on the streets with Stand Up For Kids, but I am just not able to do that right now.

I have been getting a lot of hits on my blog recently. Keep coming back! And don't forget to visit my OCD Blog, Around and Around.

Mondays and Tuesdays I am unavailable for writing, so see y'all sometime this week!

Oh, and Camlin was right. Last week's Name That Character was from H.R. Puffinstuff. She was Witchipoo played by Billie Hayes.

I will post another character for you to guess this week!