Tuesday, March 27, 2012

meowing up the wrong tree

Another crazy cat lady that I know, whom I have grown to like and enjoy, has always taken an interest in the Sober Husband.  The first time we met her, we went to her house to pick up a troubled, undersocialized cat, and after we left, Iris uber Alles said bluntly to her father, "That lady likes you.  She was flirting with you."  The Sober Husband, as usual, was completely oblivious.

Recently I ran into this woman again, and after we caught up by exchanging anecdotes of our current foster challenges, she started asking about the Sober Husband.  "Does he help with the cats? "  Looking very intensely into my eyes, she asked, "Does he have a favorite cat?"

When I came home, I repeated this to that famed cat-hater, the Sober Husband.  "And she asked me, 'does he have a favorite cat?'"  I was laughing so hard I was at risk of choking.  

He shook his head.  "Clearly she doesn't know me.  She may like me, but she doesn't know me."

Tears came to my eyes as I laughed and laughed.  "I felt like saying, 'Sweetie, if he ever wriggles out of this marriage, he's not going to sign on with another middle-aged crazy cat lady.  It's gonna be a cat-free life for him!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

homophobia, near our home

The house just two doors up from ours is being sold, and naturally all of us who've lived here longer than a couple of years are terrified that it's going to be gutted and we'll have to endure another year of construction.  Our collective nerves are still frayed from the psychopathic little contractor who gutted and rebuilt the bungalow a bit further up on the block.

My next door neighbor B. and I were gossiping about the sale the other day, sharing stories of potential buyers we'd met.  Just that day B. had met the couple who are the fall-back buyers, who came by to yearn at the almost-theirs house.   "It's a lesbian couple; they'll get it if the sale falls through," he said.

"That's nice.  Maybe they like cats," I said, thinking of the various crazy cat-lady couples I've met (it's a very special thing, when two crazy cat ladies fall in love).   I live in fear that a cat-hater will move into our block and get annoyed that two of my cats roam through everyone's yards.

B.  made a face.  "Lesbians can be awfully noisy."


He burst out laughing.  He's a gay man, living with his long-term love.

I pressed the point.  "Homophobia, right here in the Castro!  I should report you."

Through his fit of laughter, B. asked, "Report me?  To whom?"

"GLAAD."  I walked up my stairs and turned back. "The HRC.  I don't know.  I'll find someone to report you to."  I could still hear his laughter as I let myself in my front door.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

mother's little helper

In the grocery store today, I mused, "What else do we need?"  Sweet little Lola murmured solicitously, "Gin?  Do we have enough gin?"


I cannot believe that in the year 2012 contraception is controversial and one of the big issues facing America. I was just a baby when the Supreme Court decided Griswold v. Connecticut,381 U.S. 479 (1965), forbidding states to outlaw contraception, and now I have to worry about my daughters' access to contraception in an increasingly woman-hating society. It's like science fiction, like Margaret Atwood's dystopian "A Handmaiden's Tale" is coming true.

 When I had a horrendously painful ovarian cyst as a teenager, my doctor put me on the pill to prevent further cysts. The pill was expensive, and it was difficult for me to pay for it. I remember one terrible day, where I stood for a long time in a drugstore, shifting from foot to foot, while I pondered whether to get a refill on my prescription or not. I didn't have enough money for both food and my medicine, despite the fact that I had two part-time jobs and an austere student lifestyle (no cable to cancel, no expensive shoes). It was either the pill or being able to eat for the next several days, and that was not a pleasant choice.  When I hear a politician condescendingly state that there is no such thing as women who can't afford birth control, my blood pressure skyrockets.

 There's a terrible shaming of women who take the pill, who are supposedly sluts and prostitutes. Why does getting a prescription change someone's sexual activities into "prostitution"? A variety of people, most notably Rush Limbaugh and Deborah Heaton, seem to be confused over whether the price of contraception goes up the more often a woman has sex. My theory vis-a-vis Rush is that he, a known Viagra user, is confused by the fact that he himself needs to take more pricy pills the more often he can manage to find a sexual partner. That's not how it works for women, honey. The price is the same, whether the woman has sex even once.

 And unlike Viagra, the pill is medically needed for a variety of painful, non-sexual conditions, such as endometriosis, hypermenorrhea, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. I shudder for my daughters and everyone's daughters. How frigging pathetic and immature we are as a country right now, when we can ignore true crises (climate change, the horrendous violence in Syria, etc..) and instead shame women for responsibly taking contraception as directed by their doctors.