Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Enjoy Being a Girl

We're taking another trip into the slightly musty hall-closet which is my past.

We had a mutual friend who assured me I would find Jasper handsome and funny; he was right. We laughed and chatted throughout appetizers. I wasn't naming our children yet, but I was starting to think how nice he would look on New Year's Eve.

[I know. Cut me some slack. I was twenty-two, fresh out of a two year relationship and still hopeful. In the dating world, I had that new-car smell.]

As our entrees arrived (Caesar salads for each of us), Jasper leaned over and gently took my hand. He leaned in further and said intently, "I just want you to know how nice it is to see a woman wearing a feminine outfit. I get so sick of seeing women in pants."

I looked down. I was wearing a flippy sort of skirt and a sweater. I'd chosen this outfit for cuteness, sure, but I can't say the adjective "Feminine" came to mind. Since I wore pants 90% of the time, did that mean I was usually masculine? I smiled a little weakly but, luckily, I didn't have to say anything because he was off on a tangent about how a real woman wears a nice skirt, a ruffled blouse, pumps. A brooch. I tried to remember if I had ever seen anyone in that outfit whose husband wasn't running for the Senate.

We talked fashion for a while; he had very strong opinions about women's and men's fashions. It seemed that each gender should be recognizably male or female from a very long distance away, possibly from Neptune. Unconsciously, I was chewing a little faster now, trying to bring this date to a close. Yes he was funny and he was lanky and pale in the way I found appealing (Ideally, anyone I dated should have kind of looked like they were haunting me), but there was something strange going on. To get him off the subject of how women should never wear sweatshirts, I said, "I never asked. Where did you and Mark meet? College?"

Jasper got very still. He finished swallowing, carefully wiped his mouth, took a sip of wine. Took another sip of wine. "Well," he said, looking deeply into my forehead, "it's funny you should ask. I...dated his brother. But I'm not gay."

We all enjoyed the silence. I grew up in a gay neighborhood, went into the entertainment industry and was a ballet-dancer in my teens; I knew gay. One the markers of being gay was dating someone who had the same parts as you. But, according to my date, this had made him not-gay.

I went with the always-classic, "Oh?" and he nodded vigorously, seemingly relieved that I hadn't flung a plate of anchovy-glazed romaine lettuce at him.

"My analyst and I have discovered that because my mother worked full-time as an engineer when I was a kid and my father wrote from home, I didn't develop a full identification with being a traditional male. For years, when I thought I was attracted to large, masculine men, I was wrong. It wasn't that I wanted to have sex with them but that I wanted to be them."

I nodded. Jasper smiled, pleased. I wondered if I could get his analyst's name and possibly report him to someone. I wondered if I could sneak off and beat our mutual friend to death for assuming that I was the kind of girl who hangs out with gay boys who always secretly wanted to date one. Jasper took my hand and looked more deeply into my forehead.

"I'd love to go out with you again. You're exactly the kind of woman my analyst has been hoping I'd meet."

Now, there's a phrase which never grows old. On the plus side, if I could just ignore that he was a big old gay homosexual person, we'd have a lovely life together. Jasper was very successful and would keep me in all the ruffly dresses I wanted and our house would always be full of exquisite furniture and perfectly-made dinners. Of course, we'd have no sex and eventually I'd catch him in the guest-house with the yard-man. But he would buy me something cloyingly feminine and I'd have a bottle or two of wine and we'd sit down at watch "The Women" and tacitly agree to never speak of it again.

But, wait. The children. The children I wanted to have, the children Jasper and I would never have because touching me in a reproductive way would cause Jasper to cry and hyperventilate into a paper bag. The children we would have to adopt, to whom I would say things like "Mei Mei, please don't touch Daddy's nude Roman bronzes." And "Oh, those noises? Well, Daddy is just working out with his private trainer in his private exercise room. Which we never go in to. Ever."

Yeah, too much work. And ruffled blouses did something weird to my neck. I politely passed on dating him. But I did give his number to an acquaintance of mine who was funny and attractive. Best of all, once when she was drunk, she confided in me that she didn't care if she ever had sex again.

They dated for months.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Karen said...

There you go...good for them!

10:28 AM  
Blogger Legallyblondemel said...

"You're exactly the kind of woman my analyst has been hoping I'd meet." You live in LA, yes? That is the only possibly explanation - well, that and one deeply delusional gay man - for that glorious sort of line.

10:37 AM  
Blogger kate said...

I think I went on a blind date with that guy's long-lost-twin.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Died laughing. At so many different places in that post. I think this one was your best ever. O.M.G.

11:28 AM  
Blogger badrhinogillett said...

I had no idea you dated my ex-husband!

1:08 PM  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

This. Is. Hilarious.

One of your best posts yet.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous --Deb said...

"I'd love to go out with you again. You're exactly the kind of woman my analyst has been hoping I'd meet."

This is perhaps one of the funniest lines I have EVER read!

6:22 PM  
Anonymous kirsten said...

quinn, after reading this in public and laughing so hard that i spewed my beverage all over the coffee shop and ended up leaving before i could be kicked out....i gave in and signed up on this blogspot thingamajig so that i don't have to bug you on other social networks like i did when i wanted to know where, in my fair city, the pie happy hour took place. if you remember that incident, that was me. thanks for always making me laugh...and embarrass myself in public while doing so.......

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.....after all of that, i posted without being signed in.....does everyone have this much trouble figuring out this blog thing or am I just a knucklehead?
kirsten

10:30 PM  
Blogger Maya said...

I have to know, did Jasper ever dump his analyst and just accept himself for who he is or is he still hangin' out in the closet, admiring the very feminine skirts?

10:33 AM  
Blogger laura linger said...

And here, I just stopped by to glimpse yet again that gorgeous little kitty cat's photo.

Your writing is a real hoot. And it's funny...one of my dearest friends is very happily married to a gay man. They have kids. I don't ask questions. They love each other very much and have what I would say is a terrific marriage, except for the sex part. Again, I don't ask questions. There are those who manage to make it work, even without the frilly ruffled blouses! LOL

6:40 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

"we all enjoyed the silence"

I think that's my favorite line. What an understatement!

What a good laugh!

8:50 AM  
Blogger Fishy Busyness said...

My children are wondering why I'm crying with laughter. Thank you!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous FurBabyMom said...

You're exactly the kind of woman my analyst has been hoping I'd meet." CLASSIC!! :)

Still laughing...
~Elise

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

This *almost* makes me wish I could go on a date like this, just so I would have a story to tell. Mine are not nearly so entertaining, although there was that wonderful girl who told me about her mom who had the farm, but her mom didn't want to farm so much as she loved animals, so she kept the sick cow in the back bedroom.

And no, Kirsten, you're not the only one who has trouble with this blog thing. For the life of me I can't figure out how to sign in using my Wordpress login.

10:18 AM  
Blogger ariel.carpenter said...

Brilliant.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous La BellaDonna said...

Is it sad that I would... kind of like to go shopping with him?

12:38 PM  

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