What they don't tell you in lesbian school is that when you get involved in a relationship, you also get in a relationship with your new girlfriend's friends. This can prove to be a strain on the relationship. Let's use my current Lady Friend as an example. My Lady Friend's mother died when she was quite young and her motherless upbringing has made her an easy target for older, domineering women who want to run her life. There is Melody, a Joni Mitchell look-alike who wears flowing caftans and is on a first-name basis with her homeopath. Melody sends daily emails demanding that my Lady Friend try a new herbal supplement or cut down on dairy. Then there's was the leader of my Lady Friend's knitting circle-Christa, an imposing woman with a blonde pompadour, who once invited me to a private lunch at her home, where I endured several painful hours of questioning about my romantic history. I left the luncheon confident that I had failed to meet Christa's rigorous standards, which my Lady Friend later confirmed. 'She says that you are flighty and that you don't know the proper way to hold a fork,' my Lady Friend reported
And, of course, there is Nadia, the nuclear chemist. When I first met Nadia, I suspected that she was at least slightly mad—possibly the result of spending too much time around radioactive chemicals. Nadia dotes on my Lady Friend in a distracted, haphazard manner. She forgets her birthday, yet she'll call in the middle of the night to warn her to dress for severe weather the following morning.
On Sundays, we attend brunch at the mansion Nadia and her husband, Bernard, bought with money Bernard received from one of his inventions. Bernard's inventions have no practical applications in the real world. Rather, they are complex equations meant to manipulate tiny fragments of space. Bernard tried to explain them to me once but it was as hopeless as attempting to describe the concept of color to a blind person. Once, when I was on the verge of comprehending a particular aspect of Bernard's theory on the continuum of deformable bodies, I felt my soul slipping from my body and I feared I was being sucked into a quantum netherworld ruled by odd little quarks and leptons. That was the last time I asked Bernard about his work.
Nadia presides over brunch as the madcapped mistress of ceremonies. She sweeps through the house in one of the crisp field general-like suits she favors, sprinkling confusing non-sequiturs into the conversation, and ordering her guests to try the Wackadoodle, a dessert of her own creation that I am at a loss to describe.
Occasionally she puts us to work, demanding that we vacuum a bedroom or paint the garage. She cites high-minded Socialist principles when sending us off to our chores, claiming that the only way to get to know people is by working beside them. But I suspect she's simply too stingy to hire laborers to do the work.
Yesterday, after a particularly exhausting brunch at Nadia's home, my Lady Friend and I got into an argument over whose friends are more impossible. She finally conceded that my friends—or, as my Lady Friend likes to refer to them, 'that bunch of drunks you call friends'—are easier to take because, although they may pass out on our floor on occasion, they would never make us clean their gutters or eat anything called Wakadoodle.
Hey! I wrote a book. It's a novel called Dateland. In the words of the great showman Mike Todd, 'It ain't Shakespeare, but it's Laffs.' You can buy it at Unabridged Books and on Amazon.