Two upper middle class, housework-shunning, career women sit down to lunch, order martinis and the topic of their children come up. A common complaint is discovered and a plan is hatched.
When I was 13 (ish), my mother announced I would be going out on a date. Imagine the internal spit take that generated. My mother… the matchmaker! I was appalled for a moment at the thought of her talking about my inability to socialize with strangers. And my social ineptitude… Wait… What? With a girl?
Holyshitwaitaminnit… A date with a girl??! Would I have to kiss her?
At this time I had already had sex with a man. I knew it was right, my hard wired brain was just doing what it was genetically told to do. But somewhere in my chest, a voice said “Oh fuck it! Give it a whirl!” So when you hear earfucks saying “Gay is learned!” or “Gay can be behaviorally eradicated from your system!” punch those fuckers in the nuts for me. It makes me physically ill to think that people can “cure” you by rote (or disfiguring electroshock). I digress. I decided to give it a whirl, despite the huge fear that was in my goolies.
She was my age and slightly gangly and while she was not the most popular girl in school, she was smart. Near genius smart for her age. I was more intimidated by that, than her sex. My mom stood just outside of earshot (which, by the way is physically impossible) while I made the call:
Let’s stop right there. I am sure the reason Dorcas was so intelligent and wise beyond her years was purely based on the need to constantly explain to people her name was not a vehicle for child-like slurs. Get it out of your system now, I’m sure she had heard them all well before she was 5 years old in numerous playground and recess gatherings. Dork Ass; Door Knob; Dork Face; Dumb Ass etc. Years after our date, I had seen her verbally rip the skin off of some drunk fucker who called her out about her name, during a illegal teen drinking party. While her words were venomous, her eyes were dead set and almost blasé. She had her name defense response honed to an art.
Of course, her name was the first thing we talked about on our date. I thought I asked politely but my question still riled her. “It’s from the bible,” she told me, “Not that I’m religious or read it at all.” We then tore into how embarrassing our mothers were: from naming conventions to matchmaking. We were friends then.
But throughout the evening there was a voice in my head. “You gonna kiss her when this is over?”
I admit that the night was a blur. I do know we went to Star Wars. I do remember her telling me that hand holding was not required. I do remember at the end of the evening, after walking her home, standing at her door, (thankfully without any parent in view – we lived in an age when 13 year olds could walk the streets unattended) we did kiss. I think I kissed her teeth.
We became friends after that. Like “holy Christ we will never, EVER talk of this again” kind of friends. When Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back came out, we went on another “date” much to the amazement of our parents. I remember my Mom reeling like being hit by a slap when I mentioned Dorcas and I were going out on another date, three years after the last. We laughed hysterically at the end of the evening when I kissed her hand.
Two upper middle class, housework-shunning, career women sit down to lunch, order martinis and awkwardly avoid talk of their children.