Monday, January 3, 2022

TWO GOOD THINGS! (plus Addendum to "Confessions") sent as email on 12/31/21


The response to "Confessions of a Disappointing Daughter" was greater than I had for any other blog, both in number of readers and number of letters written in response. I feel a rush of joy when I read your letters, when you tell me that my words and pictures actually meant something to you.

So many of us have suffered from our families' refusal to truly embrace the human being that they delivered into the world. One bloggelini wrote that she regretted never confronting her parents about their harsh judgment of her while they were still alive. But she felt that when I spoke up to my father, I was doing it for her too, and it was healing.

Thanks to everyone who wrote a letter in response to my "Confessions."

Another Bloggelini wanted to hear MORE family stories, and she suggested a write a BOOK! And this Bloggelini is Kate McDermott, who had the idea for and edited Places, Please, which is only the first anthology of plays by lesbians in the history of the universe! So I take her suggestions SERIOUSLY. Truly, I have never considered a book of stories about my family. But there is one story about my sister Nancy that I've never figured out how to put into a play .... Hmmmm....

An Important Addendum to the "Confessions Blog"
I also left something very important out of my story. The day after I returned to San Francisco from the Thanksgiving That Will Live in Infamy, I went to a demonstration in front of City Hall in memory of the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. It was the anniversary of that terrible tragedy, November 27 -- which also happens to be my birthday. I was living in San Francisco when it all took place, and I also identify very strongly with Harvey Milk, a queer Jew with a nose job, like me. So going to these memorials is important to me.
Harry Britt, who had taken Harvey's place on the Board of Supervisors, was speaking. I loved Harry. He was a very soulful man. Ultimately, he lost re-election because he had so many absences because he had to take time off to care for his mentally ill brother, and his opponent used that against him.

Harry was a very powerful speaker. That night he spoke about the reality that many of us could not count on our birth families for love and good times during the holiday season. He said that we needed to create our own families, to replace the love and nurturing that had been withdrawn from us because of the homophobia of the families in which we grew up.

Sometimes a great speaker can move you to a new place. After what I'd just experienced down in L.A., I felt like Harry was speaking directly to me. It was as a result of his loving words that I decided to temporarily disown my family, which was a very good thing indeed for my relationship with them. Thank you, Harry. May your spirit be at peace. You gave a lot of gifts to the world while you were with us, and that speech was a very small part of your work.

Second Good Thing:
Holidays with My Chosen Family

I had an absolutely wonderful Christmas this year. Although I don't in any way celebrate the birth of Jesus -- an event that didn't turned out to be such a great thing for the Jews -- when everyone else is getting together with family, I do that too! And I've taken Harry Britt's excellent advice, and now I spend my holidays with my chosen family.
I spent Christmas Eve watching old movies at the home of Tara and her amazing service dog Nella. Here's Nella opening the fridge door for Tara, while Nikki looks on in wonder. Sorry, Nikki, I think you're too much of a goofball to have a future as a service dog.

Tara actually drove across the Bay to pick me up so that Nikki & Loulou could be part of our Christmas Eve. (I don't have a car, have stopped driving,)

I've been a big fan of Doris Day ever since Christmas Day in 1993 in Amsterdam, which I spent with a buncha dyke friends & one gay man watching a triple bill of Day's movies, followed by going to a Chinese restaurant. In fact, we were so enamored of Day then, that we started the Doris Day Gay Fan Club that very night!

So I've always wanted to see what I considered Day's comic masterpiece, Please Don't Eat the Daisies again, particularly on this holiday. I remembered it as being so witty and wonderful. And it turns out that Tara is a HUGE fan of Ginger Rogers, who I also love. AND Tara knew of a movie that BOTH stars were in -- Storm Warning! Plus, she told me, "We HAVE to see Ginger in Batchelor Mother.

So we had a veritable Christmas Eve movie feast of THREE films!

I confess, my Doris Day fandom did not survive the viewing of Daisies, which we mostly fast-forwarded through desperately searching for the divine moments I vaguely remembered. In retrospect, I think we just had an absolutely wonderful time together, the five of us back in 1993, and the glow suffused our experience of the film.

BUT, as a result of the other two movies, I am now also a HUGE fan of Ginger Rogers. I believe a description of the two very different Rogers vehicles deserves its own blog.

Chinese food -- including take-out -- is a sacred Jewish tradition for Christmas. So we ordered in. The food proved to be a little too exotic for me.
We had a great time watching Loulou & Nella careening around the house chasing each other, and then flopping down to rest. Nella of course gets the chair because it's HER chair. And the next morning Tara made the most delicious scrambled eggs & vegetables, with the assistance of the special garlic sauce she's discovered. I'm going to mail order some! I have to wait, though. They're completely sold out ( Then Tara drove me and the pups back home.

And then Elizabeth arrived that afternoon, and we forced ourselves to go out in the cold. Having dogs does that to you. We took a walk down Gingko Alley aka Eureka Street. This time of year, it is SO spectacular, with the gingko leaves doing their bright golden thing. Malena who lives upstairs said,
"Wherever I'm going, I drive down Eureka Street on the way." We must savor our golden gingko days while we may.

After dinner, which was a lot of little tasty things that Elizabeth had brought, we had our Christmas Day traditions -- yes, this is the second year and they have now become traditions. We read poetry aloud and ate chocolate. Actually, ELIZABETH read poetry aloud and I absolutely stuffed myself with chocolate. She is one of those admirable people who is not driven to eat all the chocolate within her range of sight.

A friend had sent her a book of poems about flowers. Secretly I thought "Oy vey," but it was really good. There was Wordsworth's classic about daisies. There was a very contemporary poem about flowers blooming in an alley amid all the suffering of the poor. There were flowers we were not familiar with. We googled them to see what they actually looked like. I see a garden carpeted with blue gentians in my future.

Dear Bloggelinis: What a special Christmas holiday with my two close friends. We're all single dykes & we've created our own holiday traditions!

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