Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Lesbian Recognition Nod

She was cute. In a teenage boy kinda way. The girl across the coffee shop. Her hands were shoved down deep into the pockets of her baggy jeans and her head tilted shyly toward the floor while her eyes looked up in my direction.

I looked behind me to see if there was another lesbian in sight. There wasn't. This sort of thing happens when I'm with Tracy. The lesbian recognition nod. Tracy plays the part well. I become visible as her wife but on my own I tend to blend into the heterosexual background.

There was a brief time in my twenties when looking gay became high priority. I quickly learned that it was all about the hair. It's hard to find a girlfriend if you have straight hair (as in not-gay not not-curly). So I dyed it random colours that can't be found in nature, shaved bits of it, and faux hawked it from time to time. It worked and life got less lonely.

Once during that time some man yelled dyke at me while I was walking down the road in Kingston Ontario. When I looked around and realized that he was talking to me I felt a strange amount of satisfaction. I must be having a good hair day. 

With my friend Jon at an academic conference on the 60's. Check out my faux hawk and t-shirt that reads "Best Female Performance." I was all kinds of Post-Modern-Judith-Butler cool. 

Pink hair and sitting next to transgender activist Leslie Feinberg. Doesn't get much queer-er than that. 

But then I got married, and became somebody's mother, and stopped using my energy to find the perfect lesbian haircut. So it seemed strange to me that this girl was still staring in my direction.

She was already on the other side of the Starbucks line waiting on her order. I placed mine and moved over to where she was standing. I'm a happily married woman. Of course. And this girl looked at least a decade younger than me. But still. It was nice to be noticed. I straightened my coat and ran my fingers through my hair.

"I'm sorry to stare, but it's just, you look really familiar." Her eyebrows crinkled while she tried to place me. "Have we met?"

I knew we hadn't so I thought maybe this was a new kind of pick-up line that the kids were using these days. I half expected her to follow it up with "maybe it was just in my dreams."

I told her that I didn't think so and she continued to look puzzled. She introduced herself. Amanda. And then got her coffee and took a seat. I wondered if perhaps she became less interested when she saw me up close. A year and a half of parenthood have etched lines under my sleepy eyes.

With my coffee in hand I was headed toward the door when I heard her call out my name.

"Kristin! Do you write Mondays with Mac?"

So I'm not young and cool. And she wasn't checking me out. But people read my blog. Which is way more flattering.

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