Saturday, April 15, 2017

A concert, an urge to write, sexuality, racism and raising children

I do not write every day.  Perhaps I should.
I write the way I attend church--when the spirit moves me.
If I don't feel the need or urge to go, I don't go.
If I don't feel the compelling urge to write, I don't write.
I have begun and deleted many, many, many things because I wasn't really feeling it, but I did it anyway, and it sucked.
I have gone to church many, many times when I didn't really want to be there, and that sucked, too.

Last weekend, N and I attended a Panic at the Disco concert (which was completely great, by the way). I really enjoy this part of her growing up--the fact that we can share music together and get in mom/daughter time.

On the way to the stadium, N and I walked past the law office of a gay couple I know.  Their son is in 3rd grade with G and has been in the same class before.  I also happen to have gone to college with one of the dads.

During the concert, one of the songs Panic performed was "Girls/Girls/Boys." I had never heard it before, and given my old lady ears, I didn't really understand what he was singing.  But the crowd broke out their phones with colored discs in front of them, and gay pride flags were unleashed.

And then on the drive home from music class last night, of all places, I guess everything congealed in my head, and I remembered a time when I felt attracted to another woman.

I'm not writing this because I think it is a big monumental deal on the order of making me question my sexuality.  It is not.
I didn't act on the attraction, and I don't know if it was shared.  But I felt it while married to D.
(I should add that I felt...and feel...attraction to plenty of other guys while married to D and didn't/don't act on those either.)

I'm not sure if sexuality is a continuum or categories or something far more complicated than we can ever imagine, but I think it is probably like most everything else--from religion to feelings about pizza.  People are all over the freaking map, and there is no one right answer for everyone.

Even if you like pepperoni and pineapple, not everyone else does.  What you find distasteful on pizza, someone else finds scrumptious.  Even if you predominantly like your pizza with pineapple and pepperoni, there may be an occasion when you really feel the hunger for a vegetarian pizza.  Whether you actually decide to order that pizza, I guess, depends on how strongly the feeling hits you.

Attraction to others is as unconscious and uncontrollable as hunger.  Sometimes from out of nowhere, I really feel like having tuna and tomato soup for lunch.  I don't intend to want it.  It isn't a conscious "decision" but that is what I really want to eat for lunch.  And I can eat something else that isn't tuna and tomato soup, but I still feel the desire to eat that combination of food.  The peanut butter sandwich might satisfy the physiological hunger pang, but it doesn't satisfy the desire.  And I could try to eat peanut butter all the time, but that desire for tuna/tomato soup keeps coming back so that eventually I eat it and it satisfies me.

I read an article recently about how racism hurts white people, a concept that doesn't get a whole lot of attention.  The basic premise is that racism keeps white people from developing contacts, relationships and experiences that might be wholly beneficial to them.  This really stuck with me because I was, more or less, forbidden to date black boys.

I don't know that I ever actually broached the topic, but the general premise at the time was that dating someone vastly different from me--skin tone and culturally--would be difficult because of other people's racism.  (Of course, not ever actually going to school with a black person until I was 14, living in an all-white neighborhood, and going to an all-female high school made my chances of actually dating a black boy pretty slim.)

Anyway, my impression was that the best thing to do was date a white, Catholic boy.  Which I mostly did.
And then I married a white man who is an atheist.
But I sometimes feel attraction to men who are black, like the boys' bus driver, who is a very fine-looking black man with great teeth as well as super friendly.
Just like that time I felt attraction to a woman.

I guess the whole point of this rambling is that as a parent, I really think it is valuable for my children that I not limit them (and myself) by imposing any kind of dictate of what they should and shouldn't do....beyond killing someone and doing drugs.  Just because I prefer pepperoni and pineapple doesn't mean they do.  I can eat the pizza I like, and they can eat the pizza they like, and ultimately the most important thing is that we sit down together and share a meal.

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