Dear Ms. Behavior:
Stacey and I are getting married, but her family doesn’t want her to invite her beloved grandmother to the wedding. Stacey never specifically came out to her grandmother, and her family is now telling her that Nana will keel over if she hears the words “lesbian brides.”
Also, Nana gives all her grandchildren $10,000 on their wedding day. How can I convince Stacey that she is just as entitled to the ten grand as her married brother and now-divorced sister? I don’t want Stacey to have to hide our relationship, but I also don’t want her to start our happy life together with any regrets. Can you advise us?
Dear Stacey’s Betrothed:
“Don’t tell Nana or she’ll die,” is effective emotional blackmail. But if old people really dropped dead every time they received “shocking” information, no one would have grey hair and we wouldn’t have to worry about the state of Medicare.
How close can Stacey and her grandmother really remain if Stacey has to hide her most meaningful relationship? The sacrifice of intimacy with someone so close seems like an even bigger loss than the potential $10,000.
Stacey should risk the murder rap and introduce her beloved (you) to the old lady. Once Nana survives the initial news, Stacey should invite her to come dance at your wedding.
Dear Ms. Behavior:
I have recently just started hooking up with other lesbians through dating sites. This is a first-time experience for me. Is it me, my 40-something age, and values of integrity and honesty, that leave me open to the rampant dishonesty in the lesbian dating world? Promiscuity in today’s world can be dangerous and I am not into it. How does one find womyn of the same values and not be left home dateless because of more conservative values?
Dear Forty-Something Lesbian:
Who are these rampantly dishonest lesbians in the dating world, and what have they done to you? Did someone show you her insensitivity by seducing you without inviting you to move in?
The fact that you are looking for “womyn” at this point in time suggests that you might be happier advertising in a Sapphic or warrior-feminist publication, where you’re more likely to run into a natural-fiber clad womyn who dances to the beat of your drumming rituals. (It also suggests that your letter arrived through some sort of 1980s time machine.)
Dating sites can be a great way to meet someone, but people often describe themselves too generally. Ms. Behavior’s advice to anyone placing or answering an ad is to be as specific as possible. For example, nearly everyone describes themselves as attractive, sensitive, and funny. (Would that it were true.) Those sorts of descriptions don’t really say much. You’ll more likely attract someone suitable with a more accurate ad. Remember (unless you’re a gay man), it’s not quantity you’re shooting for here.
Below, Ms. Behavior has created descriptive and focused examples of personal ads for lesbians and gay men. Perhaps these are based on profiles of her friends:
1) “Green-eyed, buxom, bon vivant, 1940s starlet-type lesbian writer seeks creative dyke with a good vocabulary, who looks great in jeans and equally lovely in a silk dress. You prefer “South Park” over “Downtown Abbey” and cupcakes over mousse, but you’d much rather vacation in the South of France than a campground in Maine.”
2) “Muscular lazy GM, great cook, smoker with lots of bad habits, seeks an easy-going man with several vices who knows how to have a good time. Our idea of a great date would be sex in the sun, then a huge steak followed by homemade chocolate cake, beer, and a long nap.”
3) “Stuffy-by-day, passionate-by-night, lesbian lawyer with secret interest in herbs, People Magazine, trashy novels, and the supernatural, seeks warm, spiritual femme for gardening, foot rubs, film noir, and…well, buttfucking.”
4) “Striking articulate GM seeks handsome Semitic lover with cute tuchiss for walks to temple, bagels and lox, and kishkes. Cut or uncut okay.”
Ms. Behavior also created a personal ad specifically for you. Since you didn’t provide many details, she filled in her own. Feel free to replace any which don’t apply:
“Lesbian feminist seeks conservative, responsible, rigid dyke for predictable relationship. You must enjoy camping, traveling through the woods with several cats and dogs in a Winnebago, and listening to country music created by lesbian farmers living on the land in underdeveloped countries. Sex must be preceded by hugging, must occur in the dark (candlelight okay), and involve no penetration. Facial hair okay, but womyn with laugh lines need not apply.”
© 2013 Meryl Cohn. Address questions and correspondence to email@example.com.