Tuesday, August 04, 2009

T is For Touch & Taste

Friday night, when J got home from work (at 8:30, meaning a 15-hour day-she has GOT to hire a new supervisor!), she suggested that instead of having dinner at home, we hit the bar she discovered while I was in Wisconsin. She'd been wanting to take me ever since I got home the previous Saturday night, but kids & work barred that. So, we popped over to Lady Z's. I was extremely skeptical when I saw the neighborhood (largely industrial) and was pretty damn sure I wasn't going to like this place. I am a boring lesbian, as it is, preferring lovely restaurants to the bar scene at almost all times, no matter how cool the bar. I am simply not a bar girl, much to J's chagrin, even though I gave every indication of it the first night we went out dancing. I am infinitely more comfortable in church and feel fidgety and awkward most of the time when I do the bar scene. J, on the other hand, loves the people-watching & the loud jukebox, especially when she can inflict Ani DiFranco or Tom Waits on unsuspecting patrons. At least, she assumes it's affliction. I don't know why she assumes they don't like it. Could be the rapid feeding of money into the machine by baby dykes while her songs are playing, a quick remedy of the situation with some Lady Ga-Ga or Kanye West.

Anyway, I was expecting to feel awkward & uncomfortable & want to go home immediately. J was expecting me to, as well, saying on the way over, "Let's just go home. You don't have to pretend you want to go. You hate bars." I continued to pretend because I don't think it's fair for my lack of interest in the bar scene to keep her from getting to enjoy it with me sometimes. And I'm glad I did. It was surprisingly large and pleasant inside, with friendly bartenders and a decent bar menu. We sat at the bar and chatted, looked at Billie's (one of the bartenders) family pictures (her baby niece), played J's usuals plus my eclectic song selections going from George Strait to the Sex Pistols in the blink of an eye, had a couple drinks and some dinner. The pierogies were great, made by a couple of ancient Polish women, according to the owner's wife. Before we knew it, the time was after 11 and J had to get up early for work the next day. So, we made our way home to bed. It's funny to think that just 8 years ago, on that first night together, we probably didn't even get to the bar until midnight. Now, it's "Cinderella, your pumpkin awaits" if it gets much past 10:30.

I did get up and make coffee, although 5:30 was awfully early and I crashed back into bed after J left. I slept quite late and J was ready to come home right when I was about to head for the farmer's market. I knew I'd miss the eggs, being that late, but there's still plenty of good things to be had there later. J met me at the market and we happily prowled the stalls looking for the yummiest deals. We got a huge green pepper strictly for munching, a yellow squash for last night's confetti burgers, a fat tomato for same, a basket of peaches (mmm), fingerling potatoes (the Amish guy who always helps us gave us extras on the sly), a scrumptious-smelling melon and, at the last minute after a heavenly sample that took J right back to her dad's garden, some gorgeous green beans. She told the guy that she used to eat about as many as she'd pick when she was helping. He laughed and murmured, "Strawberries." I can just picture him, a tiny boy in a big hat, walking along behind his elder brother with a berry-stained mouth and not-full-enough basket! J also indulged in a little vial of lavender oil from our favorite purveyors of soap and shampoo. I love their products and they have very good energy. The oil was shockingly cheap, too. Yippee! She intends to wear it on work days, taking a big sniff every time she starts feeling waxed out. Good plan.

After the market, we did our usual Trader Joe's and regular grocery time. I love grocery shopping! Bar? Nah. Grocery store? Oh, yeah! Boy. I should feel old or stodgy because of this, but I just don't. When we got home, we had some chicken salad sandwiches and J laid down for a nap. That nap extended several hours. She'd planned to arise at 6 so we could have dinner and then hit the bar again, this time for some live music on the patio. That, frankly, sounded okay to me. But, she was so tired. I took a bitty nap, but spent the bulk of the time reading and writing. I didn't wake her until 7:45, when supper was ready. Then, I suggested that I bring her dinner in bed. So, we ate our Italian sausage & spinach pie, Caesar salad & chocolate cake (Ruth Reichl's fabulous "last-minute" cake with both coffee and orange liqueur) on Lenore-trays in bed (recipes at www.lunacooks.blogspot.com). We spent the remainder of the evening watching house porn on HGTV and Style Channel. I am positively drooling for a "spa-like" bathroom. Maybe we'll get a parsonage with just that. Ha!

In the morning, J was rested enough to go to church with me. Alas, the problem she had with her back when I was in Disney last year has recurred, so she was not very comfortable. She started the service slightly disgruntled at being there. She ended the service in a towering rage when they announced that they've chosen a new youth leader and he is not me. Of course, we basically knew I wouldn't get the job (and, truly, I'd rather work with the pastor who's going to be my boss, even if the job is much further and pays much less---he is a perfect mentor, someone I respect immensely, and the folks there are splendid), but it still hurt. J is positive that I wasn't chosen because I'm gay and because I don't have a penis. That may be a factor, but I think the main reason is that they are afraid (and probably rightly so) that if I am offered a pastor position, I will bail. Still, it hurts. To add insult to injury, this guy has a BS! No theological background at all, education-wise, and not even a BA. I obsessed on it all day, ridiculously. I checked out the website of the church where he's been serving as interim youth director (should I apply there?) and pondered why he would leave that position. I also am rather puzzled as to why they would choose a Presbyterian rather than a UCC youth leader. Not that there's anything wrong with Presbyterians, but he's not even UCC! Rant, rant! I found myself hoping the kids didn't like him, his A/V presentations sucked, the youth group dwindled even further and so on. Very immature of me, and certainly unChristian. Of course, what I really want is for these kids I love so much to have a fabulous youth group experience and for the spiritually-ossifying church to be revitalized by his presence. But I am jealous. And spiteful. Sigh. Fallen nature rearing its ugly head for sure. I think I just might believe in original sin, if not in the sense Augustine meant it. I surely evidence it far too often. The good news about going to church was the hug from Lori, the excited greeting of Angie, the CDs of my sermons Marjorie gave me so I can send them out to churches who are interested.

Brooding all through it, I served J some leftover spinach pie for brunch and we formulated our T date plan. J suggested we trade in the books a Freecycler had no-showed on to Half-Price Books and get ourselves new books. She said that since we weren't going to the Science Center, we were saving $9 each and therefore had $9 for books. I predicted that we'd get 50 cents for the books we took in. J came up to me after getting her offer & said, "You were way off. We got $1." Hee hee! She got a couple of fantasy novels, I chose Nigella's "How To Eat," a book on Christianity and pop culture and a Violent Femmes CD, which we listened to all the way to the beach. We'd never been to this particular beach before and it was just perfect, aside from the water warning. The perils of Lake Erie. We hadn't planned to swim, anyway, in fact weren't even so sure the weather would hold for our picnic. Since the theme was Touch & Taste, we did plenty of both, starting in the amazingly grogeous rose garden. Did some sniffing, too. We spread out our blanket and enjoyed some snacky things while listening to the waves come in, looking at the lighthouse and reading our books. J's back hurt too much if she laid down, so we didn't laze about as long as we might have, but it was wonderfully relaxing nonetheless.

After we'd put up our things, we went to the concession stand for ice cream. A tough-looking black guy in Harley gear cracked up at J's "No One Knows I'm A Lesbian" t-shirt and said, "Right on! I like your shirt!" I love people. You never know who they will turn out to be. We got vanilla cones (I should've got a Popsicle-the cones were entirely too buttery for me) and sat on a wall enjoying them while baby-watching and dreaming about a possible Lucie-girl someday. A seagull perched on a nearby lamp post and watched us avariciously until J gave him some of her cone. She's as bad with the gulls on the beach as she is with the dog at home! Then, we strolled by the water's edge holding hands until we came to the steps back to our car. I took the long route home, wanting to take in the summer landscape and feel the breeze in my hair. J was remarkably calm about the extra time in the car. Having her nose in a book for part of it probably helped. The long ride in the car just about knocked me out! I was simply wiped by the time we got home and collapsed on the couch in front of an Eddie Izzard DVD. It was hilarious, but I found it hard to keep my eyes open toward the end. Finally, it ended and I got on dinner, a rather bland rendition of bacon & basil pasta that I won't be making again. Ah, well, you never know unless you try it.

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