Where’s My Parachute? – Lessons In Love and Loss (Undercover in the Suburbs One Year Anniversary!)

Where's My Parachute?

“Love is like plunging into the darkness toward a place that may exist.” – Marge Piercy

It took me a long time to let myself love, especially when there were penises involved.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of men now, but the first one I knew made a pretty bad impression.  As a smart, cautious girl, the most prudent way for me to avoid re-creating my dysfunctional relationship with my father was to avoid men until I had had enough therapy to be able to trust myself around them.  Of course that didn’t stop me from re-creating my dysfunctional relationship with my mom.

That’s right, during that time I was avoiding men, I dated plenty of women.  I didn’t call it that at the time because we dated in all respects but one… there was never any sex.  That would be too dangerous.  One can never be entirely certain a woman is not one’s dad wrapped up in the body of a red-head, tomboy.

None-the-less, these sometimes enthralling, sometimes volatile, and always heartbreakingly ambiguous relationships taught me how to love, and how not to love.  I even tried one with a man, eventually.  Still gut-wrenchingly ambiguous, of course. Finally, in my early twenties, I had to admit that I had a problem.  While these relationships were “safe” in some ways, they were mind-fucking me, badly.  Trying to shield myself from intimacy for fear of getting hurt was getting me pretty badly hurt.

So I swore them off!  If I was ever going to be really ready for love, I was going to have to go all in – “plunge into the darkness” without a parachute. But instead, I hid out.  I avoided everyone.  When I was 24, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer.  Just before she died, my dad and I stopped speaking.  I assure you, he deserved it.

After I lost my mom, I felt raw, exposed, and yet opened up from the pain.  I took a lot of time.  I had the twenties I’d missed out on while I’d been researching cancer treatments and battling with neuro-oncologists and brain surgeons.  I traveled around Southern Africa, to Costa Rica, and backpacked for 8 days in a remote part of Wyoming.  I waited tables… very badly.   I applied to graduate school.  I went on real dates with boys who were auditioning to have to acknowledge we were more than just friends.

Almost a year to the day after my mom died, I met Seth.  After all the drama and soul-searching, and years of tearful nights with female friends wondering if there was something wrong with me that would never be fixed, it was… easy.  I had these surreal moments where I’d look at Seth and think can this really be happening, and how long until I lose him too?   A few months before our wedding my Gram died.  We had been planning for her to walk us both down the aisle.  We were devastated.

Around that same time, my father showed up on my doorstep.  It had been three years.  He cried until he was almost sick.  He didn’t deserve my forgiveness, but I knew withholding it would hurt me more than him.  My therapist always said, “We don’t do well without our tribe.”  Why did my tribe have to be so fucked up?

Seth and I’s partnership ceremony was the most authentic, radical thing I’d ever done, and the people in my life accepted it joyfully.  It was so disorienting, I literally lost my balance.  I started having these inexplicable and quite horrible dizzy spells.  It was like my world was spinning on a different axis that my body wasn’t used to yet.  Still, I felt like I was building something, finally, instead of sifting through ruins.  I even invited my dad, and he was strangely behaved.

Getting married for me was like stepping into a strangers life.  It was the first time I felt like I wasn’t fighting like hell just to continue to exist.  Was this what it was like for “those people” I saw walking around in the world?  It finally occurred to me… I did have a parachute.  I was my parachute.  I’d gotten me here.  I’d been the one who padded my fall, got me back up, and plunged again into the darkness.

When Seth and I started talking about children, the idea that I could actually add people and not just have them be slowly stripped out off my life was intoxicating. I couldn’t change the past, but I could create a better future. Then we discovered Seth had a fertility problem.  Then we discovered I had worse one.  We were told we would never conceive.  My husband once read me a quote about your family or origin being your roots and your children being your branches.  I already felt like my roots had been cut off, and now I felt like I’d lost my branches.  The babies that would move like my mother or laugh like my Gram would never exist.

This is my life, I thought.  This is the life that happens to me.  Not the strange, surreal fairy-tale life where I meet a soul-mate, form an egalitarian partnership, and finally feel like I can be who I truly am in the world.  That was indeed some kind of fantasy.  Reality was back, and it was harsh.  My eggs were more than ten years older than I was.  It felt fitting.  I felt awfully old.  We grieved.

Then things started happening so fast I could barely catch my breath.  Just a few short months later I found myself wandering around Soho, confused and delirious, my hippie gynecologist’s words echoing in my ears – “You have a line.”  I must have sat there looking stupefied for a good half hour, while the doctor and phlebotomist tried to impress upon me that I was pregnant.  A few weeks later, we saw two yoke sacs on an ultrasound.  Twins.  “Whoo-hoo,” I heard myself cry.  Fear be damned, this was probably my only shot, and I was more than okay with a two-for-one deal.  Who knew how long this stretch of miracle would last!

This isn’t a post about loss.  It’s a post about how loss can make it hard when you don’t lose.  For eight weeks I held my breath every hour of every day.  I wasn’t just scared to miscarry.  I believed I would.  That’s what I’d been told.  When the doctor at the fertility clinic found out I was pregnant she looked at me suspiciously, like I was some kind of witch or something.  When I hit that Sunday – 12 weeks – I had that dizzy feeling again.  Can this be real, I wondered?  I was already showing.

There I was in that other woman’s life again.  Like all those pregnant women who’d made me cry inside just a few short months before.  I began to open my heart to my babies.  I could feel them kicking, hiccuping, and squirming.  At 16 weeks I was told I had a boy, but the other little stinker was hiding.  That was a long week.  Then I was told I had a girl.  I wept for joy.  I think I knew that was the closest I’d come to getting my mom back.  I saw every little body part at my twenty week ultrasound times two.

Then one day we went to brunch with some friends.  In the bathroom I saw two tiny spots of blood.  Every little twinge I’d felt for twenty weeks had me panicked, but this was different.  This was the real deal. Then the waiting game started again.  Counting down the hours, until they became days, until they became weeks.  21 weeks – I may not get to keep them.  24 weeks – still hardly any chance I’ll get to keep them.  I remember my OBGYN giving me a stern talking to – warning me that my cervical shortening was unpredictable, and there was no guarantee I’d make it two more weeks.  28 weeks – hallelujah, I will probably get to keep them!!

My babies were born healthy and strong, almost 5 pounds each and breathing on their own, at 33.5 weeks.  We were told numerous times they were the healthiest ones in the NICU, but the reminders not to get too hopeful were everywhere.  I’ll never forget one night during their 19-day stay.  We were leaving very late with some family.  The babes were already in the step-down unit, and as we walked back through the main NICU, we could tell something was very wrong.  A huge crowd of doctors and medical personnel were huddled around a tiny little girl.  You could tell by the looks on their faces the situation was grave.  The next day, the little girl was gone.

Now take these babies home and love them.  Love them like none of this ever happened, like you weren’t told you’d never have them, like you didn’t almost lose them, like your mom didn’t call you that day from the hospital and ask you if the plumber came to the house before nonchalantly adding, “They found a brain tumor.”  Take these babies home and love them like you have no idea that every moment of life is spent walking on the edge of death- like every path toward the light hasn’t led back into the darkness.  

This post was inspired by a post called It Took Me 18 Months to Fall in Love with My Daughter.  Sure, I loved my babies from the moment they were born.  I loved them even before they were conceived.  Why else would I have grieved so hard when I’d been told they were never going to come.?  I love them so much it terrifies and sometimes paralyzes me.  On the other hand, a part of me feels like I’m letting myself love them little by little everyday as I slowly let go of my fear.

The past two years have been like a roller coaster ride back through all the things that terrify me.  Sometimes I feel like I’ve been holding my breath since they told me about that “line.”  After 9 months, I finally felt like I was getting out of survival mode.  I was doing it.  I was keeping them alive, and myself sane.  My worst fears hadn’t come to pass.  I even found myself having fun now and then.  Seth and I marveled at the two stunningly perfect lives we created.  “Our roots are a bit gnarly,” we agreed,” but our branches are spectacular.” Then it happened… another “line.”

This time I was equally thrown but for totally different reasons.  This one wasn’t planned, and I knew on some level I’d been holding back connecting emotionally with my babies.  I was already overwhelmed by trying to love more than I ever had despite all that loss-baggage.  But I’m already fucking up with the ones I’ve got, I thought to myself. Miscarrying was a major set back.  It didn’t just set me back to when my babies were born, or even when I’d been terrified of losing them.  It set me all the way back.  Back to when I was terrified to jump at all.

Suddenly, I felt completely unsafe.  Unsafe in my marriage.  Unsafe with my babies.  Maybe this was all a big mistake, and the universe knew I wasn’t supposed to have them, either?  I think on some level I believed I’d killed my baby, and I was poison.  Perhaps I thought on some level that the clarity of knowing for sure that I was dangerous and deadly would feel better than accepting the randomness of when I’d lost and when I hadn’t and when I’d been told I would but didn’t.

I wanted safety, even if it hurt.  Even if I risked destroying everything  .I spent the months after my miscarriage working together with my husband to drive our relationship to the brink, feeling overwhelmed and ill-equipped with my friends, and becoming way too dependent on a friendship that I eventually also ended up nearly destroying.

In the midst of all this, I was still trying to figure out how to be queer.  I guess I always thought by time I had kids I would have found myself.  I didn’t realize finding oneself happens again and again.  If we’re lucky.

Turns out I didn’t lose my parachute last winter at all, I was just falling faster and harder than I had in a long, long time.  The truth is it was there all along, because as close as I came to the edge, when it came down to it, I did the work I needed to do, I stuck with therapy, I held my marriage together, I was there for my kids, I realized just in time that my focus wasn’t where it needed to be, that I was acting out of terror and had lost clarity, and I started slowly, slowly pulling it together.  This blog was born a year ago today, during a time of darkness and loss, only a couple short weeks after my miscarriage.  I did give birth to something after all, this blog turns out to be Baby C.

In my first post on this blog, I talked about feeling like a snow-globe with all the parts of me shaken up, not knowing where they would land.  Motherhood will do that.  Over the past year, Undercover in the Suburbs has helped me reclaim and re-order those parts.  The truth is when we become uprooted (as we inevitably do when we become parents), when we lose ourselves for any reason, as I did last winter, when we find ourselves again, we are never quite the same.  I’ve lost a lot in my life, and sometimes it’s felt like losing myself.

Still, I feel the most fully me I’ve ever been right at this moment.  Perhaps the truth is that every path into the darkness eventually leads back to the light.  Undercover has helped me find that light.  It’s been a chance to come back home to writing, to feminism, and come home for the first time to being queer.  It’s helped me let go of damaging cultural notions of motherhood and define the role for myself.  It’s a space where all the parts of me can co-exist, peacefully for the most part.  It’s a space where I can connect with others who are travelling similar paths, and be comforted, and learn from those who’ve made different choices.  It’s a space where I can make myself more whole, recover from my losses, and thus make more room for love.  I’m still working at it.  That’s what I’ve learned.  I will always be working at it.  For me, love may always feel like plunging into the darkness, but I’ve got this parachute.  Me.  I’m the parachute.  Thank you for reading.

So what will the next year bring?  Integration.  My next step must be bringing my “real” life more in line with Lyla Cicero’s online existence.  Stay tuned this year as I work toward that integration.  Stay tuned for posts on coming farther out, honoring my inner teenage lesbian, battling mono-sexism in myself and the outside world, egalitarian/feminist/non-heteronormative parenting on a collision course with SCHOOL, and thus, the large society, and many other subjects.  

My main goal for the blog this year is to get more of you involved.  Despite the catharsis of writing these posts, the greatest joy and fulfillment I get is from reading your comments, getting your emails, and dialogue-ing with you.  I hope to get more folks reading, and more of you commenting and making your voices heard.  Undercover isn’t just for me.  It’s for anyone searching for themselves and working to create a more LGBTQQIAPK-friendly, sex-positive, identity-fluid, gender-egalitarian world.

“Opened the door, knew what was me, finally realized, parachute over me.” – Guster

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How Queer Saved My Soul From Motherhood’s Closet

Seth has been amazingly supportive since I came out as Pansexual last fall.  It wasn’t a shock by any means.  He knew I was attracted to women.  But now I was asking him to embrace an identity I hadn’t really had when he married me, and he did.  He keeps asking me the same question though… why now?  What about having kids created this impulse to embrace a queer identity?

All I knew was the possibility of being queer no longer felt like an intellectual exercise, but a necessity.  I wondered if it could be hormonal.  My attraction to women felt stronger than ever, could this be some kind of bisexual hormone surge?  But that didn’t feel right, because my need to identify as queer was about so much more than just finding women sexy.  The truth was, that need did grow out of the mommy role.  It grew out of months of feeling isolated and lonely, attempting to connect with other moms, but feeling thoroughly unsatisfied and unseen.  For the first time in my life, passing as straight felt like being invisible.

When I got “married,” in some ways we had a rather queer wedding.  We called it a partnership ceremony, took communal vows which included working toward marriage equality and creating an egalitarian family which celebrated diversity.  I kept my name.  We eliminated anything gendered from the ceremony, as well as from the marriage itself, setting up the structure of our relationship based on other aspects of who we were.  I never felt erased or closeted by my marriage, because I never felt forced into a hetero-normative, un-feminist role when I became a wife.

In fact, during my marriage I actually became more fully who I was.  I felt the safety and stability which allowed me to explore my sexuality and sexual orientation.  I was able to be open with Seth, and felt truly known by him.  During the years between marriage and becoming a mother, I was getting my doctorate in psychology, a role which fit my sense of myself as an independent, ambitious, intellectually curious woman.

Before graduate school there was a period of years when I waitressed for extra money.  I can remember feeling utterly invisible, seen by most patrons as uneducated, with nothing to offer other than serving their food, and in some cases, being a sex object.  But I have never felt more erased than when I became a mother.  When people look at me, they see everything society ascribes to a mother, and erase everything it doesn’t.  Intellect, erased.  Sexuality, erased.  Curiosity, ambition, creativity, desire, activism, politics, raunchiness, erased.  The creepiest part was the distinct feeling of suddenly becoming asexual in the eyes of the world.  But I could deal with society labeling me, rendering most of me invisible.  I could even deal with relatives and friends who ignored me as if only my babies existed.  I could understand that, my babies were, in fact, quite captivating.

Pride Onesies for the twins!

What I couldn’t deal with was trying to fit myself, a square peg, into the round hole of mommy culture.  I saw other moms not only accepting this invisibility, but imposing it on themselves.  I’ll never forget a mom who had been an accomplished professional before having children advising me to make sure I left the house sometimes because she waited three years to leave her children alone with her husband, and he wasn’t comfortable with them now.  All these smart, educated, skilled women seemed unable to connect around anything other than babies.  It was as if they were trying to convince each other that yes, in fact, those other parts of their identities had been neutralized.  I felt so lost, so unseen, so different after these gatherings, that I was left asking myself… what am I?

I have always been queer.  Even before I was sure my sexual orientation wasn’t straight, I was queer.  I was queer when I stood up to my misogynist father when my mother wouldn’t.  I was queer when I devoted myself to studying gender and identity, and became an activist against discrimination and in favor of human rights.  I was queer when I created relationships that didn’t fit neatly into platonic or romantic, straight or gay categories.  I was queer when I met and fell in love with a man, and we created a nontraditional, egalitarian marriage.   I was queer when I spoke up and spoke out in situations where other women were unwilling or unable… when I allowed myself as a woman to be competitive and ambitious.  Yes, I was queer when realized I was attracted enough to women to no longer consider myself straight.  But I have never been as queer as I am as a mom.   I have never had to be.

I am a mother.  I am a loving, devoted mother who has moments of sheer bone-shaking, organ-trembling terror, like any mother, at the thought of harm coming to her babes.  But I am so much more than that.  And I am different.  Not just because I like girls, but because I don’t accept the role society tells me to take on as a mother.  Queer is not just a sexual orientation.  It is not just about one part of one’s life.  It is a perspective, a stance, a refusal to fill the role society dictates, and an insistence on being who we truly are.  Just as I got married, but did it the way that felt right to me, and just as I am a woman in the way that feels right to me, I have to do mommy my way.  And I am going to need every piece of my soul for this one.  The mommy juggernaut is just too powerful.  I can no longer afford to be quietly queer.  I am banging down the door of motherhood’s closet.  This is my coming out party.

Copyright 2012, undercoverinthesuburbs.com, All Rights Reserved.

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My Husband Does Do That – My Journey out of the Equal Parenting Closet

Seth holding the twins.

Originally Posted on RoleReboot.org, also featured on Feministing.com, and Offbeat Mama:

The first time it happened, I was at a Mothers of Multiples Club welcome brunch.  My fantasy was that my terror at the impending birth of my twins would dissipate as soon as I met the wise kindred spirits who would be guiding me through the transition to multiple-motherhood.  Much to my surprise, however, brunch soon descended into a husband-bashing session, replete with the kind of ominous warnings I would receive over and over during my pregnancy.

“Make sure you leave the house when they’re a few months old.  I waited three years to leave my kids alone with my husband, and now he refuses to babysit,” one mom insisted.  My initial response was confusion.  I was planning to leave the house the first week.  I had written my doctoral dissertation on equally shared parenting for frig’s sake!  Caught totally off guard, I responded, “That’s not going to be a problem for me.”  Several of the women chuckled sweetly, shooting me the pitying “you’ll see” glance I would receive time and time again.

What was this strange land I was entering?  These were smart, accomplished moms –some working, some stay-at-home– all of whom swore that when kids came into the picture, roles changed overnight.  Were the brilliant, creative, feminist women I’d known in college really now accepting such arrangements?  My twin terror was quickly compounded by the fear of losing the egalitarian marriage I so valued.

Well, fourteen months into motherhood my marriage is as egalitarian as ever.  However, the “our husbands suck and don’t do anything” motif turned out to be rampant at the mommy meet-ups and play-dates that were supposed to help maintain my sanity during the first year with infant twins.  Now don’t get me wrong, my husband can be an ass.  Then again, so can I!  But the truth is– (hushed whisper) I like my husband.  He is a fantastic husband.  No one has the perfect marriage, but it was the gendered aspects of the husband-bashing which eluded me most– husbands not “helping” around the house, never “watching the kids,” oblivious to routines and childcare tasks.

Despite my relief that my own marriage hadn’t followed this path, my own parenting experience felt utterly erased during these conversations.  I would feel like a total asshole if I sat there repeating, “My husband does do that,” and adding obnoxiously, “My husband cleans more than I do.”  So instead I just passed, keeping my identity practicing equally shared parenting hidden.  I was also a queer mom passing as straight at these gatherings, but amazingly, stating, “My husband taught me how to swaddle,” orSometimes Seth is more comfortable with our kids than I am,” felt more threatening than announcing I was queer.

When I really examined my fear, I realized it felt like I would be “coming out” as a bad mom.  Had we somehow gotten the message that fairness and equality were okay for us to enjoy in our marriages but to be good mothers, we had to be the ones drastically rearranging our lives to make room for children?  If my husband was parenting as well as me, must I not be parenting well at all?

Seth Wearing Babies

I desperately want to be accepted by my peers.  After all, this mothering thing is hard, and I am going to need them.  Then again, am I really even there if I just hide out at playgroups , nod and pass, not only as straight, but as June Cleaver?  And the truth is husband-bashing isn’t the kind of support that I need anyway.  What about adult stimulation?  What about moms who can talk politics, who are activists?  What about discussing how the hell we are going to give our kids the space to explore flexible gender identities and orientations toward love and sex while media and culture steer them onto narrow, limiting paths?  What about the massive, profound transition that is becoming a mother?  Let’s talk about the guilt, the ecstasy, the terror, trying to find balance, trying to hold on to ourselves!  Some moms I’ve met seem so burdened with the lion’s share of childcare that they’ve had to lose the rest of themselves to manage it.  Is this the culturally-accepted ideal of motherhood?  No selves allowed?

I’m still trying to work out why my husband and I never walked through that time warp back to the 1950s that all those couples who “swore it wouldn’t happen to them” walked through.  I ask myself if these women complaining about their male partners’ traditional responses to parenting were themselves willing to be flexible in their own gender roles.  As long as we have the attitude that we can do it better, men probably won’t step up, because what man enjoys feeling incompetent?

That mom who didn’t leave the children with her husband for three years obviously didn’t see him as a competent caretaker, but now seems bitter that he’s not one.  We have to believe men can care for children and manage homes, just as we believe we can run companies and nations, rather than expect them to “help” while we maintain control over the private domain.  How would we react to that kind of attitude toward our work in the public sphere?  Imagine men expecting to supervise and micromanage our works as CEOs?

So why are moms so hesitant to view their male partners as full, competent parents?  Is it just that hard to picture?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s because deep down there is a part of us that believes if we demand equal parenting, if we demand holding onto ourselves– as our husbands do when children come into the picture– then we are not good mothers.  I can understand this fear.  When I really sit and think about it, I have it, too.  When I work, when I take time to write, when I keep up with friends, go out with other adults, and spend time fantasizing about things I’m passionate about, there is always this little nagging feeling that a “good mom” would have let go of these things.

I’ve held onto my egalitarian marriage and my sense of self, but I haven’t managed to not beat myself up about it.  So my husband has all the parenting skills and responsibility I do, but I still look at him and he seems unburdened, free of the guilt and self-doubt that plagues me.  If he can be a full person and also believe he is a good parent, why can’t I be out and proud as an egalitarian mother?


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Why Should You Care? Confessions of an Anti-Blogger…

Okay, full disclosure time.  In addition to being technologically challenged and still grappling with concepts such as the internet (but what IS it exactly?), I used to think blogging was really kind of self-indulgent.  It seemed everybody had a blog, could we all really be that interesting?

I still find myself perplexed by the post-modern predicament in which we are all able to access each other infinitely.  With reality television and social networking and youtube and twitter (#whatevertheheckthatis,) and the like, we find ourselves spewing everything from the most inane to the most intimate aspects of or lives, communicating endlessly and to the point where communication loses all meaning.

I find myself wishing to God that I did not have to know that you went for a run this morning with your dog, that you have an ingrown toenail, and that you’re thinking about trying a new recipe tonight, a link to which I’m also subjected to.  And yet I find myself checking and checking and reading and waiting for that one critical post that I just wouldn’t be able to stand missing.

And just because that’s what I do, I take such experiences to their logical conclusions in my mind.  I envision a world in which we will all be utterly and irrevocably interconnected and my brain will simply broadcast into yours and yours into mine until at some point I won’t know if, in fact, I’m the one with the ingrown toenail.

It’s hard enough figuring out who the heck I am without experiencing this techno mind-meld with the rest of humanity!  And yet, here I sit writing a blog, after asking myself so many times why you should care. How many of us really are that interesting that we have something worthy of being read or shown on tv or listened to, etc.?

When I was in college (there’ll be lots of these) I spent a lot of time walking, by myself.  I didn’t have a car, so I wandered around and often found myself pondering the fact that no one knew where I was.  Of course I’d see this person here or that person there, but there was no one to witness the big picture.

I was in that vacuum of known-ness -between parental supervision and partner-hood, where hours, even days can pass and no one will wonder about you.  I understand the desire to be “followed,” through a blog, on twitter, anywhere.  To have a witness.  As Ani DiFranco put it, “What if no one’s watching?”

We all want to know someone’s watching… and the truth is, I’m no different.

So why should you care?  The sad fact is you probably shouldn’t.  What do I have to offer you?  A willingness to say what others won’t or wouldn’t think to, a depth you may be craving, a snarky sense of humor, a perspective on the world that’s a little different?

I guess I could hope that perhaps my words will help someone.  That you will read this blog and feel understood and somehow your life will be better.  But, truth be told, I think that’s unlikely.  I think one could argue all writing is a selfish enterprise, all art, for that matter.

So for now, I’m going to allow myself that indulgence.  So maybe this whole blogosphere thing is really about quid pro quo.  I need a witness, you need a witness, so we’re not all just wandering around for days and years with no one really seeing us.

Copyright 2011-2012 undercoverinthesuburbs.com. All Rights Reserved.


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Undercover in the Suburbs

I never wanted to get married.  I never wanted children.  I was sure I could have a wonderfully succulent life without these instruments of the patriarchy, and I’m certain I could have.  Okay, in all honesty, I still thought boys were icky well into my twenties, so it was downright hard to envision marriage and children would ever happen to me anyway.  Thus while my feminist ideals were entirely sincere, they also helped me avoid being disappointed.

Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I walked into a clothing store in New York City and fell in love with a girly pink dress with just a teeny bit of lace trim around the bottom.  Instead of squelching my desire as I normally would to quell the inevitable cognitive dissonance attached to such urges, I walked out of there wearing the dress.  Screw the fact that I didn’t have the right shoes or bra to go with it, or anywhere fancy enough to wear it.  My mother had just died a few days before, and I was feeling a bit like a snow globe whose little white bits had gotten all shaken up, and it was yet unclear where they would land.  I wondered who I would be without my mom, who would I be if I wore this dress, who I would be with all these contradictory parts of me floating around in a little glass orb…  Was I suddenly just like all the other girly girls or a tomboy enjoying one aberrant evening in my new pink dress and sneakers?

So here I am seven years later, and my whole life feels like that dress.  Definitely what I wanted, but also not me.

This blog is about feeling like a radical and looking like a soccer mom.

This blog is about maintaining one’s creativity in a cookie cutter world, and being a smart girl at a time when everyone seems enamored with idiocy.

This blog is about feeling not quite conventional, a bit too eccentric, not straight enough, and way too feminist to hang with the other mommies, but not quite out there enough to take my kids and move to some kind of collectivist commune or join that lesbian separatist movement after all.

This blog is about being a mom of twins, as if I didn’t already feel like a freak!

This blog is about trying to live a holistic lifestyle without relocating to a giant bubble on the moon where no one has ever heard of McDonald’s.

This blog is a tribute to the love of my life, a true partner in every sense.

It is about sustaining an egalitarian marriage while systemic barriers force us into traditional roles.

This blog is my anthropologist notes from a culture that is both mine and yet deeply foreign.

This blog is my answer to such frequently asked questions as “Where’s your minivan?”

This blog is my study on whether to speak up and say my husband DOES do that, or just smile politely and pretend I’m also living in the 1950s.

It is about wanting and not wanting and trying to reconcile all the different parts of myself.

This blog is about acknowledging that I love my kids with a kind of passion like nothing I’ve never felt before, then admitting that the endless days of repetition are turning my brain into a pile of poo-poo, and that I skip out the door on my way to work.

This blog is about who I will be as wife and mother, and who I will be apart from a wife and mother.

This blog is my coming out party, and my attempt to figure out which closet I’m in anyway.

This blog is about waking up one day, undercover in the suburbs, trying to reclaim all those little pieces of myself, and watching to see where they will land.

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