Yesterday the debate over same-sex marriage was moved to the Supreme Court where justices heard arguments for and against such unions nationwide. I am not about to even touch this subject for the simple fact that I don't give a rats ass about anyone else's opinion on this matter. Sorry to be so blunt and rude, but the love I share with my partner, and what we do in the privacy of our home, is not anyone else's business and doesn’t change the fact that I am a sarcastic bitch! Dislike me for that reason, but not because I’m in a same-sex relationship. No matter what the decision is, I'm still going to love my woman and I'm still going to get married. It's not up for debate. Well...perhaps she needs to propose first. Then it's not up for debate.
No, what brought this post on was that I was reading the news about this issue and reminiscing on the good times I had dealing with my sexuality all alone and at a young age. On the fun it was to wear a dress, go to the prom, slow dance with a boy and the whole time pretend he had a nice rack. And then there was my favorite experience of all which was coming out to my Mom. Now THAT was awesome!! Nothing like coming clean to a nice Irish Catholic woman! Almost as fun as coming out to my cousin who was convinced that my uncontrollable sobbing was because I was knocked up! Almost as fun....but not quite.
Silly me for thinking that this process would be easy. After all, I did leave a few subtle, albeit questionable, hints. Let's see...we had the baby carriage loaded up with GI-Joe men and those little green army guys. I was always pretending to be the single Dad looking for a nice wife. Then we had the more subtle, what I like to call "Barbie Bangin'." One Barbie had her head shaved while the other ladies all had awful bangs (minds out of the gutter people!) A hair dresser I was not. They seemed to be naked early and often, and Ken's only use was to either drive the Barbie Corvette or to take photos of the gals make-out sessions. Like I said, much more subtle than the "GI-Joe needs a baby Momma" drama. Still not convinced? Perhaps the line-up of Care Bears, all with their bellies exposed, can do the trick. Actually, that won't help. I just wanted an excuse to bring the Care Bears into the mix. I have a hard-on for the CB! No, I think the most subtle hint of them all was just me being me. Full-on, throw-down, tantrums when forced to wear a dress; dressing up in my brothers clothes and playing with toy guns; shaving the bottom of my head sans the "Jordan Knight" braid; cut-off flannel vests; and, yes, a mullet! Yet...it was still a shock to family and friends when I came flying out of that closet. Interesting.
We could be here all day so I'll share the three most memorable and exciting coming out stories. We start with my best friend from high school. I figured, what better person to share with than someone supportive? I drove to her house one evening, we played some pool, drank a few beers (not gay at all!), and I fessed up. She said all the right things, yet refused to come near me all night. I drove home a few hours later and we never spoke again. I'm not sure the friendship broke down because she was pissed I was a big ole homo, or because I was just not attracted to her. Which, by the by, is probably a perfect space for a timeout and quickie lesson for you gals out there: Just because I'm flamin' does NOT mean that I am automatically attracted to you because you have boobs! I'm not just going to stare at your naked ass in a locker room or want to hug and squeeze on you for a cheap feel. You ladies need to earn that shit! If I hug and squeeze on you it's because you're my friend and I actually like you as. a. person. If I'm busted staring at you, sweaty and/or naked after a workout, it's because you're hot and my inner man has been ignited. Still. I don't want to bed you. I have my own fine woman at home for that. Moving on....
Next up was my cousin, Celeste, whom I ADORE! I just had to tell a family member so I could gather advice on how to break the news to my Mom that she essentially had three sons (at least when dating was the topic.) I worked myself up into a fucking frenzy before Celeste got into the car. I did everything to keep my composure but the minute I saw her I broke down. In between sobs I managed to tell her that I had some news. Poor thing looked frantic and asked if I was pregnant. Had I been arrested? Am I ill? Is it cancer? The whole time I'm like "WHAT!?? Pregnant!?? Ew! I'd need a penis for that. *choke on own vomit* Hell NO!" I just blurted out "I think I might be gay!!" THINK I MIGHT be gay. Really? It was the best I could do. I remember her response like it were yesterday: "Honey, I could have told you that when you were 5 years old and playing on the soccer field. Have you told....oh look....look....it's Dykes Lumber!" (Dyke's Lumber is a store on Route 17 in New Jersey. And people say that the Universe has no sense of humor?!) We stopped for gas, a Root Beer, and the rest is history. Celeste, if you're reading this, I friggin' LOVE you!!
Assuming you're still with me at this point, I will end with the most heart-warming story of all. My Mom. I love the hell out of my Mom. Jude and I are like two peas in a pod for good, bad or indifferent. I get my mouth, my attitude, and my strength from that woman and, no matter what has ever happened between us, I would not trade her in for the world.
That being said, her reaction to my news was not exactly worthy of an episode of "Leave it to Beaver" (wink wink), however, in fairness to her, I did not deliver my news in the most lady-like of fashions either. I was home for Thanksgiving with my then girlfriend. We had been hiding our relationship for about a year at that point and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with my own lies. Let's just say she almost walked in on us a few times too many. It's college. Young and horny. Don't act like you can't relate. It would just have been nice if Mom's surprise visits to the dorm were less of a surprise. I lost a good bra out the window one day. Supported me like no other. What a loss.
Back to Thanksgiving. Mom was unhappy that I was spending so much time with my "friend" and gave me an earful on the one drive that we had by ourselves. Again, in fairness, I was all about the love and not about the family so I can appreciate her being upset with me, but the digs about how my "friend" was dressed and carried herself were uncalled for. Looking back I think it's pretty safe to say that it was my dress (or lack thereof) and the way I carried myself (pretty badass if I do say so myself) that she could not stand. Either which way, it caused a huge shouting match in which she was screaming and asking me what it was I saw in her as a "friend" and, what came out of my mouth next, was appalling even to me! The only detail that matters at this point is that my toilet mouth shocked her so much that she took her eye off the wheel and drove head-on into a bush (there's the Universe's sense of humor again!) Without missing a beat, she put the car back in reverse, cried harder than me, and drove me straight to church to confess. Poor Mom. The poor Priest who tried to coax me out of the car. Color us all losers! There's obviously much more to it, but I'm going to stop at this point in an effort to protect the guilty.
So now, 11 Melissa Etheridge studio albums and one Melissa Etheridge tattoo later, at 40, I am in a healthy relationship with a femme, settled down in a ‘red’ state and living directly across the street from a Mormon church. I don't attend mass, my "phase" hasn't passed, and my relationship with my Mom is better than I could have ever imagined! She will call to offer (to which I will politely decline) to buy me QVC's Today's Special Value (available in 7 easy payments) of "Marsha Brady's lace-infused, blush colored, scoop necked blouse, matching purse and bonus wristlet" BUT... when I think back and can hear Momma Jude say such things to my niece as "ask Aunt Pam...", it makes me wish that blush and bashful really were my signature colors.
Just for fun, here are some photos to back up my claims. Notice how I was all smiles in my baby beater, and with my rosary beads and race car. More smiles with my guns and ammo. I'll give you one guess who the sad sack in the blue dress happens to be.
And there you have it!
Before you get all perved out by the title, let me say this: if you're only familiar with the one, non-Crossfit related definition of the word "snatch", I suggest expanding your horizons because it's not what you think it is. Well, it is what you think it is, just not in this use of the word. I did, however, come up with the title while I was showering. You can figure that one out yourself.
No. This is about team "Can't Catch That Snatch". A Crossfit team running Ragnar. Or just plain ragged if you're me. If you've not heard of Ragnar this is it in a nutshell: You gather up 12 crazies, pile 6 of them in one van and 6 of them in another, and you run a relay style race. Van 1 starts at a particular location, each team member runs a set course and a set amount of miles, and then van 2 takes over where they left off. When one van is running, the other van has time to grab some food, find a place to shower and kill some time for a few hours. It's like Woodstock but on 4 wheels. So now, let me clarify one thing right off the bat so that we are all on the same page. I am not a runner. If I am not being chased, or there is not a pizza slice just a few feet ahead of me, I find no need for it. I do it because I have a Crossfit coach who deems endurance necessary. Whatever. He's cute. I listen. Anyway....the team was in need of one more person and I got the pity ask. You know the one. "Hey, time is running out, Ragnar is in one week, we can't find anyone else, so how would you like to be on our team?" (That's how I heard it anyway. Remember, poster child for self-sabotage.) Being that I am fairly new to Arizona, hadn't really come out of my shell, and wanted to be a part of the community, I set aside my feelings of dread at the thought of running, 3 TIMES, and said yes. I figured, how bad can it be? I get to spend time with people I enjoy, get to know them, have a few laughs, and run a little on the side. It's not like it's the Marine Corp. Marathon that I ran in 2007 (which, by the way, I said yes too while I was drunk and eating a sleeve of Oreo's. I hated running then as well. Perhaps my next post needs to be about the art of saying NO!) Well....it was bad. The running sucked!! It sucked so friggin' bad that I said yes to the Trail Series in November (back to the art of saying NO!) simply because our van was, and IS, #TheBestVanEver!!
First, the ugly! Here is a snapshot for those of you who are visual.
See my team? See those amazing, in shape, bods of steel? Then you see the layer cake in the middle? Blue glasses and feathers on her head? That's me. That's the woman who you don't want to "kill" you on the run because you will be the laughing stock of Ragnar. That's what my team was working with folks. (To back up slightly, a "kill" is when one runner passes another on their leg of the race. I guess it gives you something to focus on other than wishing someone would just come up and shoot you in the face and end the misery.) What I did not know, other than how many damn pictures of my fat ass was going to end up on Facebook, was how kills were tracked. You have your name ON THE WINDOW of the van so that EVERYONE can count your check marks. My team members each had about, oh I dunno, 25 or so, if not more. Not that I compare myself to others or anything, but are you fucking kidding me!!??? It's not enough to be athletic and easy on the eyes, but now you have to 24 up me!? Notice I didn't say 25? That's because I got my kill, baby!! #ONE! And yes, the use of the hashtag came into play early on during this trip because I wrote out my kill as #O.N.E. so that the letters would extend as far out as everyone else's marks. How do ya like me now, Snatches!?
Which leads me to Raul. Dear, sweet, #OneKill Raul. I would estimate that he was a cool 300+ lbs. of man meat. He was bustin' a move ahead of me and I had my eyes set on him from the start. You should note, however, that if Speedy on our team didn't run so Goddamn fast, and if I was actually prepared for her arrival rather than being screamed at by spectators "WHERE IS #77!!??? YOUR RUNNER IS WAITING!!", I would have started out running in the proper direction and this kill wouldn't have been such a challenge! Nonetheless, it was a challenge and I almost didn't catch him. The Universe felt my pain at being kill-less, however, and Raul started walking! YES!! Now I got him right where I want him!! As I moved in I was playing out in my mind what I should do. Do I smile? No. Then I look like a pompous asshole and, being that I was killed about 19 times on that run alone, I didn't want to inflict the same pain on him. Do I wink? Nah. Then he will think I'm interested in him and, being that we are the only two alone on the road, I could be asking for trouble. I've seen SVU. Do I say "good job?" Nope. Still not a good look. So, I breezed on by him, gave myself a mental high-five, and knew that nothing else that happened on this adventure would matter. I got my kill. Sorry buddy!
The rest of the runs didn't get much better. It was pitch black because it was about 2:00am on my 2nd leg and I was pretty certain I was going to shit my pants. People were sprinting by me and now I know why. Hell, I almost gassed myself out! It would have been nice to have van support at that point if for no other reason than to take my mind off of the shooting pains in my stomach, but, for as amazing as my van was, they SUCKED at van support. Van support is when you get to pull to the side of the road, cheer your runner on, offer water or toilet paper or what have you. That kind of stuff. Numerous vans were pulled over. It was so lovely to see runners smile and know someone on the road cared. I just knew it was only a matter of time before MY van pulled over. Knew. It. Yeah, that never happened. I did, however, get one lone woman on the side of the road look at me quizzically and then shouted "Go, Runner!" Turns out she had no fuckin' clue if I was a man or a woman! If my tits weren't lost in my belly-button she would have had an easier time. But seriously.... this is clearly the face and body of a lady!!
Whatever. No van support.
The 3rd and final leg was just straight-up bullshit! It was in the high 90's (but add in 60 extra lbs. and menopause and it easily became 120 degrees), again, no van support, and again, Speedy was friggin' speed demon on the the hills! She was supposed to be about 15-20 minutes slower than anticipated so of course, I was not prepared. Again. Actually, I was pissed. Here is proof.
If my face doesn't say it, allow me to tell you exactly what was on my mind: "Just give me the fucking band already!" Really, there isn't much more to say there. I ran my last leg, wished I were anywhere else, and swore I'd never run again unless I had too.
I would be remiss though if I didn't take time to say how awesome team "Can't Catch That Snatch" actually was. I can't remember the last time I laughed until I cried and wheezed both at the same time. So many memories and friendships were created and, apparently, I also found my long lost #SnatchSister. A woman working the headband booth was kind enough to point out that we should be related. (I'll make a mental note to speak with my Mom about that.) When I looked at my twin of the same name, I noticed that she, too, was white, had freckles, easily sunburned and had hair. I knew immediately that headband lady was right! #Twinsies
I am actually really looking forward to the #BestTentEver on the Trail Run. I know I just bitched and moaned at the horror and injustice of it all, but the reality is that I am a glutton for punishment and, in some sick, twisted, fat bastard way, I actually enjoy these crazy adventures. Besides, I won't have to worry about van support and I already know a few people who said they would spoon with me. So thank you "Can't Catch That Snatch" for inviting me to the party...even if it was out of desperation!