Monday, June 20, 2005

No room for singles on Noah's Ark

Why is it that women travel in packs? Droves, really.

As a woman, I’ve never really bought into that whole girls going to the bathroom together thing. I always go alone. When in a lesbian bar, I will use the men’s room to avoid a line. But then, I’m not a typical woman I guess. There is a masculine side to this femme’s brain!

When I started working in IT 16 years ago, I fell in love with it for many reasons – one of which was due to the fact that there were few women in the industry – let alone Unix Engineers such as myself. I work better with men. I don’t do that whole “water cooler/hen session/let’s have a pot luck” bullshit.

This weekend was Gay Pride here in Portland.. Or what I prefer to call “the biggest shopping day of the year!”

I knew women would be out having a great time and this year I was really looking forward to it. I’m not in a relationship, my kid was at her Dad’s and I wanted to cut loose.

What I found was no different than what I usually find when I go to the only lesbian bar in Portland on any other night – except there was just more of it.

Everywhere I looked there were throngs of women all gathered together in their usual little packs. The hard part is figuring out who the hell is single and who’s paired up. For cryin’ out loud, it’s like Noah’s fucking Ark.

Even the single gals are engaged in conversations or dancing with one of their buddies. It makes it hard figure out if it’s their friend or a girlfriend.

So I’d hang back and observe trying to get a feel for who’s with who. Just about the time you think the woman who’s caught your eye is alone, up walks Little Miss “gonna-screw-with-your-plans-to-hit-on-my-woman” woman and you realize they're not just friends.

This is one of the reasons I don’t care for bars. I was talking with Hot Toddy and Thor about it this weekend. I’m not a bar person especially when it comes to seeking companionship. My standards are too high. I won’t go home with just anybody. Regardless of How. Bad. My Body Wants It.

On the flip side of that, I’m an energy person. I have to be able to get into someone’s energy to feel what they’re all about and you can’t do that in a bar where the noise level is too high or there’s too much alcohol involved.

Though on this particular weekend, Miss Right Now would have done just fine but, again, I have a lot at stake – namely, my self-respect.

When I was younger, scoring with women (or men) was a non-issue. I was never alone when I didn’t want to be. Now things have shifted. At 42 years old, I don’t want to waste my time on pointless relationships. Does this mean I’m willing to wait for Ms. Right?

Anyway, amidst all the eye candy Portland has to offer, I found myself moved to tears a few times. I see groups of parents marching with signs that say, “Closets are for clothes, not for people, I will not hide my gay son” and I am moved by that unconditional love.

I wish my parents had felt that way when they were alive. Instead I lived as bisexual hiding the women in my life from them but keeping a man around to cover it up. My parents were proud of me, but they were proud of a woman they never truly knew.

I see the booth that sells floggers and single tails and I get a lump in my throat.

I see women that spark an interest and weep inside because they are with their girlfriends. Dirty Noah’s-Arc-paired-up-mo-fo’s.

I see women walking around topless with nothing more than tape covering their nipples and I want to cry…not out of sadness but to keep my eyes from bleeding. Why is it always the women who SHOULD be covered are the women who feel they need to show the world what we’d really rather not see?

I see the bartender toss out the Margarita that won’t fit into my glass and a little piece of my heart breaks that Patron ever has to find its way to the sink never to touch my lips.

Yes, overall it was quite a weekend filled with highs and lows. I’m always glad to see Pride come and even happier to be a part of this wonderful community. Portland is weird, indeed, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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