A “funny” story

Kim was the first person that I was aware of being homosexual. Her father owned the convenience store across the street from where we lived, and she would often work there as a clerk.

I don’t remember how I knew that she was gay, but it might have been from something I overheard from my parents. Mom had probably referred to her as “funny,” which she apparently thought was a more polite term to use than “gay.” She had a certain way of phrasing the word so that the listener would have no doubt that being “funny” was an undesirable thing to be.

Anyway, Kim was in her twenties and very athletic-looking. She had what we would now refer to as a mullet, but it wasn’t an entirely uncommon hairstyle for the time period, which would have been somewhere around 1985. She usually wore a t-shirt that advertised some tobacoo product, manly jeans, and tennis shoes. She was butch in every sense of the word, and I adored her.

I don’t know what it was that drew me to her since I had practically no understanding of my own sexuality at the time, but perhaps I was already feeling different and needed someone that I could somehow identify with. I don’t remember ever having a real conversation with her aside from small talk when my parents would send me across the road to pick up a gallon of milk, but I do remember listening and observing when my dad would take me along to hang out with the regulars. We’d all pile in behind the counter and feast on deep-fried potato wedges, chicken strips, and sodas, and I’d listen wide-eyed at the gossip and profanity.

Kim soon met Sarah, a tall, slender blond with an outgoing and flirtatious personality. They quickly moved in together and even adopted a tiny dog. Sarah would walk into the store with the puppy cradled in her arms and declare, “This is our baby!” Looking back, I think they were both pretty brave.

Kim had a Pontiac Fiero, a small vehicle with two seats, and it wasn’t long before I decided that I would have one when I was old enough. I cut an advertisement out of one of Dad’s auto magazines and dreamed of the day that I would have my own Fiero, just like Kim. That is one of my childhood dreams that actually came true, although it was several years later when I was seventeen.

We moved out of town and away from the little convenience store, and I don’t think I’ve seen Kim since. I would occasionally hear things about Kim and Sarah (like when they broke up), but what really surprised me was the news that both had went on to marry men and have children. I just couldn’t understand how two women could move on with their lives as if they had never been attracted to the same sex. But then, I’ve never been able to understand why gay people suppress their sexuality and marry the opposite sex.

In a way, I guess Mom was right… people are funny.


Caffeine – I’ve done pretty well with cutting caffeine out of my diet. In the last week, I’ve only had two Dr. Peppers and a few glasses of tea. Other than that, I’ve mostly had water.

Cats – I’m a big softie when it comes to starving or needy creatures, so it wasn’t a hard decision for me to start feeding the skinny feline who showed up outside. She typically shows up for kibble after I get off from work, and she rewards me for being big-hearted by pooping in the driveway.

She must have kittens tucked away somewhere, as she appears to have been nursing. I wonder how long it will be before she brings the kids over for dinner?

Wal-Mart Buggies – Every stinking time I go to WM, I get a faulty shopping cart – one that squeaks, rattles, wobbles, or wants to veer to one side or the other. I suspect those smirky door greeters are to blame, since they always select which carts are up front. I bet they pick out the most raggedy buggies they can find and laugh behind their false teeth as we try to push them into the store.

Prilosec OTC – Two words… miracle drug. It’s made a huge difference in the way I feel and pretty much eliminated the pain that I was feeling in my chest. I always assumed that acid reflux would have a burning sensation, but it turns out it can feel like pressure, too.

Dr. Pepper: Not what the doctor ordered

My absolutely favorite drink in the entire world is Dr. Pepper. I usually have several a day, even though I often get picked on for only drinking half of a 12 ounce can. I think that’s because I like them very cold, and they don’t have quite the same appeal after they’ve been out of the fridge for more than a few minutes.

dr_pepper_logoI’ve been having some unexplained stomach pain on my right side over the past week, so I decided to try to make some changes to my diet to see if it improved. I started eating whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, and even cut back on the caffeine, but saw no improvement. In fact, I went to the ER on Sunday with chest pains.

The tests they ran on me pretty much ruled out any heart or lung problems, but were unable to explain my pain, elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and low-grade temperature. I was instructed to follow up with my regular doctor.

Dr. thinks the problem might be my gallbladder, but wants to rule out something more serious first. I will have a stress test and ultrasound on Thursday. For now, I have been placed on pain and anti-anxiety medication and a bland diet.

I’ve heard the expression “bland diet” before, but thought it referred to eating healthy. Turns out, it’s a very unhealthy way of eating. After rattling off the list of foods I can’t eat – dairy, fresh fruits, vegetables, spicy dishes, sugary foods, caffeinated drinks, nuts – I was told that I could eat things like potatoes, pasta, and bread. You know, carbs.

I can live with most of the (hopefully) temporary changes in my diet, but the one thing that is driving me crazy is going without Dr. Pepper. The beautiful burgundy cans beckon to me from the refrigerator at work, but I know that I’m better off to leave them be. Maybe, just maybe, I can lay off caffeine for good.

In the meantime, I’m off to drown my sorrows in a glass of ice water.

Married with children

A gay couple visited our church on Sunday and brought along their beautiful little girl. I noticed they were each wearing what appeared to be wedding bands and they seemed like the perfect representation of domestic bliss. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was briefly struck with a sharp pang of jealousy.

Not long after Honey and I took our seats, I leaned towards him to ask if the kid was theirs, somehow thinking that he would magically have more knowledge of the situation than I. He told me he didn’t know, and I immediately blurted, “I want one!” He laughed and offered to request prayer for me, and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to asking God to give me a child.

Even though I might be somewhat delusional, I’m keeping hope alive that one day we too will be married with children.