“I don't know any of us who are in relationships that are totally honest - it doesn't exist." Richard Gere
Hate the Sin, not the Sinner. Advice from Dr. Laura
I have raffled, bingoed and bakesaled my way to the good Lord better than the next guy. I begged tolerance, but I myself had conditions.
While married to my second husband Jack, I had an extraordinarily close relationship with his little sister Anna’s
She was fourteen when I married her brother. We made her Godmother to our first child. She kept all my confidences, I kept hers. She had an exceptionally volatile relationship with her father, but then, who didn't.
My in-laws Jack and Lee were the best and worst examples of "the in-laws". Lee was a saint. Jack (William Jack Lindsey Sr.) was a letch
He was a Jack ASS (no pun intended. Get it? Jack Sr.). He was a pig as well. He thought women were attracted to him, such was not the case. Fly's were attracted to him. He had a beautiful wife, Lee, who was more a mother than a mother-in-law to me. He had little respect for women.
We discussed this often in whispers over coffee and late night poker. It must be Jack Sr. who drove Anna's proclivities for androgynous dressing and special fondness for the fairer sex. It seemed Anna went out of her way to not embrace her femininity.
After Jack Jr. and I were married about 7 years, Anna “came out”. I was mortified. We found out by discovery. She needed a place to store her extra belongings until she could move into a larger place. When she showed up, she had a bevy of women with her. We sat at the kitchen table trying to be inconspicuous, our necks stretching to see this most unusual sight.
"Were these all women?" I thought out loud ""No, I think two of them are men"
We watched searching for breasts, because there were no identifying accessories or cosmetics.
Oh my God, here she comes.
I rushed to the sink, washed and rewashed the one dish that was in there... One was very “gay-apparent” dyke. Overalls, short mullet hair, almost 6’, and tremendous girth. Or maybe it was a man.
"Jackie, Di, this is Debra"
Okay, there it is. Where is Ms. Manners when you need her?
They made haste and left after watching my jaw slam to the counter and Jack leaving the room, restraining a laugh. Why do men laugh?
The next day I questioned Anna and she came clean. I was shocked, upset, bewildered. She told me that the woman who helped us draw conclusions, the large overalled woman was her “lover”. Debra... I was incensed. I fought all the issues, including religion. I told her I would love her no matter what.
“Love the sinner, hate the sin”
I recited rhetoric from Dr. Laura. I told her orange juice would never be the same without Anita Bryant. I would soon gnaw on those words with a bittersweet after taste. I used every tactic I learned at a Ku Klux Klan meeting. (Just kidding, they kicked me out for wearing designer sheets). To no avail. So I issued the trump card and told her she would not be able to bring “that woman, or any of them” into MY house. She took no insult, but I imagine Debra did.
As time went on, over the following months, Debra endeared herself to the family. Dr. Laura, Anita and II had no leverage. We all had to accept the inevitable.
Anna's brother, (my husband) as well as her mother and – GET THIS- Jack Sr., (porky, male chauvinist, redneck, bigot (and I have some BAD things to say as well) all loved Debra. I tolerated the situation. However, my kids adored her. I realized my road was going to be paved with shit and I was going to be the odd- (wo)man out if I kept this up. She was golfing with Jack Sr. On the weekend.
Eventually I let up and allowed Debra and Anna to spend time with the children. They would take them overnight when Jack Jr. and I went out.
Jack Jr. was finally settling down into a half decent husband, but it had been too late for some time. I just never had the courage to step away. I did not want my kids to contend with divorce as my oldest did when his father and I had a bitter breakup. He no longer used physical force to get what he wanted, but he still was emotionally disconnected and insulting. I did not know it was possible to be ignored and violated at the same time.
I was always receptive to any positive treatment that came my way. Much like a puppy.
This played into the instruction manual (Queers for Dummies) and as time went on Debra and I became fast friends.
Every time a family event occurred, it was Debra that contacted me. One instance in particular that will always stand out, she had commented on Trey's grades and made innuendo that we needed to address it. Debra was extremely sensitive to negative comments. She did not respond well to questioning or constructive criticism when it came to everyday life. She did not argue, she just didn't talk when she felt she was being attacked... However, on a professional level she was quite the contrary.
I had a company that was quite successful, very quickly. Initially, I had made curtains for my neighbors. This turned into a commercial mini blind company. I supplied window treatments to PMS (Property Management Systems) and Epic/US. Homes. In the beginning, I had lofty goals. My husband and sister ridiculed me when I came up with a name and insisted on business cards. They thought I was a joke. Within 3 weeks, my husband quit his job to work for ME. I had to hire help.
My sister and her soon to be deadbeat husband were freeloading. This was the opportunity for him to be of some financial help. That never happened. He collected his paycheck and continued with the free grabbing at the grocery store much to my sister’s dismay… but let’s save that for another blog post
Additional employees were needed. Debra and Anna asked if they could work on weekends. I AGREED and everything was fine with the world.
Anna took advantage of the nepotism and went “river rafting” on a weekend when an already very impatient customer become so irate he almost cancelled a quite sizable order. She sauntered in around 5pm and went to get her equipment. I stopped and asked her what had happened. With absolutely no attempt at apology or excuse, she laughed and said, “We went down the river, I told everyone I needed to be home before dark .I fired her.
Debra spoke to her and told her how inappropriate it all was and for one of the very few instances…Anna apologized!!! And asked for her job back.
When it came to personal matters, Debra was quite hypersensitive. On a weekend when we all planned an excursion to Galveston, Anna brought up, over the phone, that my son Trey had questionable grades on his report card. I could hear Debra in the background sizing up her end of the diatribe. .I became quite incensed. What business is this of hers?
OMG!!!! I could have cut off her right tit and done no worse harm. This just seemed odd.
I gave it no more thought. I did mention it to Jackie in passing who in turn asked to see Trey’s report card. He made his decision on what was to be done and everything seemed fine. Forgotten. …Or so I thought.
The afternoon started out dreadfully. Debra was not her usual jovial self and I was clueless. It was not until Jack made a rude remark to me that Debra decided I needed to accompany her on the four-wheeler.
She let me know that she found his comments unforgivable. Again I felt like this was a bit of overkill, but I was a sport and played along notching it up to the peculiar lesbian trait. No harm. If anything, I was embarrassed. Anna said this was typical Debra. It seems she found this sort of thing intolerable with her sister and brother-in-law as well. Debra was preoccupied with me. It made me ill at ease, yet I allowed it because I do not know how not to.
I held on to her from the back, one of her hands went up to mine and she held it, tightly as we soared over the dunes.
When she stopped, I saw the blood rush up to her face, she still held my hand. Letting go she reassured me she just wanted to keep me from falling.
falling down? falling apart? falling in...
I stood there for an eternity, shivering in the heat.
"What are you thinking about?" Debra asked "you're standing there pretty deep in thought." "are you thinking about ...never mind"
How does one respond? If I answer in agreement, what am I agreeing to?
Was this her line in the sand? My heart must have been beating noticeably. This was my life as I knew it. Introducing any change was difficult. I had spent years trying to work out what I was, who I was
I would be lying if I said I had no idea of what was happening. What if I am misinterpreting? If I showed a negative or positive response, either way, this could be innocent wishes of wellbeing gone amok.
Beginning of Book
Some of the names of characters in this blog are fictitious. This is an account of actual events. Some of the events have been compiled together for the flow of the story.TRUTH HAS WITNESSES
This material is the copyright Dianne Schuch Lindsey and cannot be duplicated in any fashion without the express permission of the Author. All rights reserved