I was at an event recently where I ran into an old friend. It was so nice to see him, and as we were catching up, he asked, “So, are you married yet?”
That’s a question I’m used to. I think it’s just part of societal small talk.
So, as I took a breath to answer, my old friend threw me for a loop with this continuation of the question:
…or did you finally come out?
I’m used to the psychological exchange no matter what words are used: Are you married yet? No. But I’m okay. Sorry I didn’t mean to be crappy. It’s okay, just pay attention next time.
The part that threw me off was the “have you finally accepted you’re a lesbian?” part.
I’m in my 40’s and unmarried. (Taboo, apparently.)
I’m childless by choice. (I’m not passing on my disability. Period.)
I can only wear sensible shoes (again, disability-related.)
And this apparently equals lesbian in his brain.
And then I had to think about what his question meant to me.
If someone assumes the wrong thing about my sexuality, what does it matter to me?
Why did his question make me angry? (Because it did.)
Does this actually mean I’m not desirable on my home team? (Sigh. I was born this way.)
A few years ago, I apologized to my Mom. I know this isn’t the life she dreamed for me…or her. She wanted lots of grandkids, and, likely in her mind, I would live 1/2 mile down the road.
Instead, she got a ridiculously creative daughter who hasn’t accepted a marriage proposal, who has 4 dogs (a TOTAL heart for rescues), and who moved 7 hours away.
I am accidentally unconventional.
I told my Mom it wasn’t what I’d expected my life to be, either. Still, it’s the one I made for myself.
The truth is I wouldn’t trade it.
This is all mine—the good, the bad and the ugly.
This happens to be my road.
I don’t know where I’m going.
I have a few friends who are extraordinary in their marriages. (And if that’s your pursuit, check out my friend Maggie’s work here.)
I know terrific mothers.
I am surrounded by brilliant women.
And with all due respect to my dear lesbian friends, I am straight.
In my 40’s.
And childless by choice.
It may not look right to some, but it doesn’t have to. It just has to look right to me.