An Auburn State of Mind

This is where it all began, my life that is as a single woman, after 27 years of marriage.
I never thought of myself as a person who would love living in Auburn, Alabama. When I was brought here, against my will, in 2003, I was kicking, screaming and rebelling all the way. I had loved living in Wisconsin, between Chicago and Milwaukee, in a place where people spoke their minds and you knew where you stood with them.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga. The Midwest had been a refreshing change for me. Hey, I even learned how to drive through Chicago traffic and could beat my former husband to our destination by almost an hour.
I digress in my story about Auburn. From the day I arrived, I was plotting my escape. I became active in several woman’s groups, wrote about food for the local newspaper’s food page, and got my youngest daughter through high school and seeing my oldest graduate from college. There was a lot of stuff that happened in between, but it’s boring.
My dr. discovered I have psoriatic arthritis, like the golfer on TV. The only difference is my body rejects the treatment and it almost kills me.
I met a woman named Gloria at one of those craft fairs and the next morning she was sitting beside me in the new church we were attending.
She ended up in the ER holding onto my life with all her might a couple of times when no one else was around. She’s a wonderful healer and mentor.
That “church” ended up being another life line, the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, a welcoming congregation. It was perfect for a mother whose beliefs had altered over the years and whose daughter had come out in high school a few years before.
Being in the Bible Belt scared the hell out of me, literally.
So, the former husband found a way out in 2007, and the marriage ended in Virginia in 2009, but I came back to Auburn where my baby girl lived and it was close to her sister too.
My friends rallied around me. They patched me up the best they could. It took several years and a lot of work on myself to get to the place I am today.
I have fully embraced Auburn as the place God has planted me. So, I may as well go ahead and bloom.
This is where I founded and was president of PFLAG Auburn, where I started back to college to get a degree, where I went on my first date as a new single woman, and where I became a member of a congregation who sent me to the Mountain. It’s where I learned where there is light there can be no darkness, it’s where Deborah got her h back, it is where I learned to be still and take one day at a time.
I’ve learned it’s the people who make a place home. Those people don’t have to have the same blood running through their veins, they just love you for who you are, not what you can do for them.
People in Auburn are a unique bunch and the bonds that are formed run deeper than those I’ve experienced anywhere else in my life.
I’m a very blessed person to have a home like this one.

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Is Loving Someone of the Same Sex a Sin Akin to Murder?

lover notfighterLast week a debate raged on my Facebook page while I was in the middle of moving. A gay friend had posted a sign on my page that said, “If you believe homosexuality is a sin, unfriend me now and save me the trouble.” I’ve posted similar status updates, but 1,500+ people have stayed around, so they are either waiting to see what I’m going to say next, or they think homosexuality is okay.

Not so when I shared this post. A father of a lesbian answered that it was the same as saying if you believe murder is a sin, unfriend me. I was hurt because my daughters are both lesbians and he was equating them both to the level of murderers. I had a lot of questions.

First, I answered him in the public forum. I was so stunned,  I sent him a private message because I know his daughter is gay and didn’t want to out her to everyone. We went back and forth with the discussion. He sees everything as black and white. No sin is greater or lesser than another and he thinks we’ll all have to answer for them one day. I totally disagree, so I told him we were going to have to agree to disagree and left it at that.  My compassionate communication’s training has taught me there are some people whose minds you cannot change and you’re wasting your time trying.

I don’t believe the God of my understanding would put people on earth, only to send them to a horrible place called hell for being in love. Living on earth is bad enough at times. Why would an all loving and all-knowing God punish people for being born to love a person of the same-sex?

My friends who have children who are LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) and my friends who are LGBT took exception to his stance too. There was name calling involved and a lot of back and forth while I was in transition from one state to another with my belongings in a U-Haul truck. I checked in when I got to Alabama and couldn’t believe my eyes. He had called a fine lady, and my adopted mother, an old woman and idiot and dared to laugh in her face. It was just rude. I’m glad others were there taking up for her because she was taking up for me.red human rights

If he had copied and pasted his answers that he said to me in the private message to them, then they would have understood there was no use trying, but he just wanted to trade insults. He then told them they represented the argument in a way that was not legitimate. Well, considering he never posted his argument, they didn’t have much to work with in the first place.

When I spoke up, he attacked me for not being available during the move. My adopted sister had to take up for me with a logical explanation of the moving process. It was down right ridiculous. I was wondering where everyone else was during this battle of words. All of the people who claim to support LGBT people or are LGBT themselves. Maybe they saw there was no arguing with him too, but they all are friends of the other three people who were being insulted too. We all should stick together in times like these.

I seriously think that’s why nothing changes in the political world too. People are afraid to come forward and fight for what they believe in.  Don’t you guys get it? If you want same-sex/marriage equality, you have to speak up and stand out. If you want DOMA repealed you have to fight for that repeal. You can’t sit by and just watch the politicians grease palms and spout rhetoric. You can’t just let preachers spout outdated, misinterpreted scripture from the pulpit. You’ve got to educate yourself and speak with authority. If you don’t do it, who will?

I had another guy tell me I needed to take my LGBT messages and start another Facebook page. The picture of two men kissing turned him off. (Of course, he wouldn’t feel the same about two women kissing.) No way in hell! That’s why my Facebook page exists in the first place. I’m a social activist. Hello! I’ve told him that many times over and he knows about my daughters. I’m not ashamed and I will not hide away.

We do have a private group that people are invited to join. They can go there to express their opinions, and find support, without fear of retribution or public ridicule.

I am very picky about who I date now. If I can’t invite them to be part of this supportive group, then they don’t pass the test. If they don’t accept LGBT people, then I don’t accept them. I’m very fortunate to have someone in my life right now who gets it. I love it! He’s even a good Samaritan.  Wish me luck on this relationship working out, because it’s difficult to find a special person who understands the unconditional love I have for my daughters, friends, and family who are LGBT.

My daughter is in love and I’m so happy for her. Her life has changed in so many positive ways. The day those two get married will be a day to rejoice and celebrate. I can’t imagine a murderer’s mother feeling the same happiness for them.

Don’t Ignore Those Feelings in Your Gut!

Sometimes, I know way down deep in my bones when I’m about to make a huge mistake. My stomach has a giant knot inside it and my mind is very conflicted. It’s because I’m not staying on the path intended for me and listening to outside influences.

You would think by now I would have learned to listen to my instincts. Those gut reactions are never wrong because I have developed a strong sense of who I am and where I am going. When I’m straying from that, all those internal alarms start going off.

They were going off back in January, when I let someone talk me into being their roommate. I’ve lived alone since my divorce and I love it. I never thought about having anyone live with me unless I found the “perfect” man. I went from living with my mother to living with my husband when I was 20, so being single and living alone for the first time in my life has been a novelty.

I truly treasure my down time. Yes, I admit I’m talkative around people, but being quiet and still with no one around is a must for me. My privacy is valuable to me too. I don’t like people poking through my things, looking through my text messages on my phone, or going in my bedroom without asking first. This is a simple polite boundary issue and I thought most people recognized it without being asked not to snoop. I was wrong.

Above all else, I ask for peace and tranquility in my home. People screaming and threatening me or becoming violent, that’s totally unacceptable! I can’t live with drama. I am not supposed to have any stress in my life, and since February, there’s been a lot of stress.

There were some fun times, but I was always the designated driver for a reason. I’ve been in the Al-Anon program since 2010. My recovery means a lot to me and I stepped into another situation of having to save someone. I don’t think I did it intentionally, there’s been some speculation about it. The lectures and “I told you so’s” have been plentiful and are not fun.

The wild rumors and lies that have been spread about me are interesting, but slanderous. After I hear them, I’m amazed that I can live such a wild and crazy life. It takes a vivid imagination to invent some of the things I’ve allegedly done.

In my previous marriage, my husband and I were supposedly swingers. Considering I almost died three times and was in a power chair, being a handicapped swinger is quite an accomplishment. Maybe I should add it to my resume.
The one guy I went out with in the past year called me and said he was told I slept with four men in one month and wanted to know if he should get himself checked. Wow! Four guys! I missed that part. Was someone else was in my room while I was away? I definitely wasn’t part of the action.

I also supposedly had the police called to her boyfriend’s house. Strange, I don’t even know where her boyfriend lives, except the name of the city. Then I’m wondering how I have the power to get the police to go there in the first place. There are other wild stories, but when you talk about them, it magnifies the problems even more.

I’m too afraid to go back there to live. I had to call the police to help me pack my clothes for a weekend trip.

My things are finally out, but not without some drama of course. I was given an eviction notice via e-mail. Fine by me. The police were called on the nice people helping me move. I had already been in touch with them for my own safety. It’s around $70 per hour to have an officer present when you’re moving. It took us six hours to move. That would have been a lot of money.
We were just moving my things and were not even speaking to her. The officer told her if she wanted me out, then they needed to be there. Luckily, she shut up and went to her room.

I don’t wish this person any harm and I don’t hate her. Actually, I feel sorry for her. That feeling, and desperately needing a place to live, is what got me in the mess in the first place. I’ve learned a valuable lesson. I have to respect myself enough not to put myself in these situations. I realize the people who really matter in my life know who I am and don’t believe the rumors trying to besmirch my character or morals.

I’ve been on the couch and extra bed tour this entire month. I really appreciate my friends for lending me a place to stay instead of in my car. Sammy says thanks too. 😉

From now on I will listen to those feelings in my gut and go with their instincts.

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Girl’s Night In

Since Blondiva, that’s me, and Hollywood have finally settled into domesticated roommate dramatic bliss, we are officially broke. Going without food for a month was difficult.

Hollywood needed a comforter set and items for her bathroom. It set her back some. Luckily, I have great friends who helped me out and we managed to squeak by without starving.

We got sick and our hearts were bruised, but we are survivors!

Hollywood Drama Dude, at least that’s his name right now, he has many depending on whom you’re talking to at the time, broke Hollywood’s heart. I deleted and blocked him from Facebook after he said some nasty things about me.

He has long bleach-blonde hair and Hollywood thought he would look better with some low lights added and cut into a contemporary style. We were thinking Keith Urban instead of the old wrestler look. Customarily, when someone foils highlights and cuts your hair, you offer to pay them, take them out to eat, or even barter services. I worked on his hair for several hours and he didn’t offer one thin dime.

Hollywood had made the arrangements with him and I trusted her to get enough for gas money. I had gone to buy groceries that day and was even feeding everyone that night! This is how I get taken advantage of and ran over. Lessons learned the hard way. Blondiva style. My heart is too big!

I hope you guys know what a booty call is by now. There’s a difference between friends with benefits and a booty call. When you have a friend with benefits, you are both in mutual agreement.

A booty call, means the other person is stringing you along to get sex when it’s convenient for them without putting any real effort into a friendship or a relationship. They’ll even resort to playing mind games like teenagers and say those three little words,”I love you.” Very early in a relationship to get sex.

Unfortunately, there are vulnerable women, girls, men, and boys who fall for these lines. Bull crap!

So much has happened since we moved into the Hot Mama flat. Between heartache and guys causing more drama, our lives have been interesting to say the least.

The best nights have been when Hollywood and Blondiva are having Girl’s Night In. I have to laugh out loud because Hollywood posted it on Facebook and a friend of ours corrected her. She was calling it, “Girl’s Night Out,” but we were staying home. It was so funny. She also posted that we were drinking wine. Anyone who knows us, knew we didn’t have money for a bottle of wine. Now sweet tea is considered the house wine of the South, but she was drinking Diet Dr. Pepper.

We were rolling on the floor laughing our asses off. I seriously think we were slap happy after all the drama we had been through with men that week. We watched a couple of chick flicks, and then I introduced her to some comedies that weren’t on her viewing radar. The language was more graphic. I’m afraid I might be corrupting poor little Hollywood, but then again, she’s coming out of her shell and seeing what the world is like again.

That one night was so much fun. It beat going out and partying any day of the week! All it took was one word to send us back into peals of laughter. No subject was off limits. Everybody needs a night like this to sit in your p.j.s, eat comfort food, share stories, and speak what is on your mind. It gives you courage to send that long over due text message to your boyfriend/girlfriend and tell them what’s really been eating at you. It also helps you reconnect with that special someone you were afraid would reject you. Friends who have your back give you that needed boost and when you’re having a Girl’s Night In, all kinds of things seem possible.

So, Hollywood and Blondiva did all of that on Girl’s Night In. We were broke, but we managed to forget our problems and live in the moment. That’s the biggest lesson we have to learn. Yesterday is over, we learned from it, so it’s time to move on. Tomorrow will take care of itself when it gets here. Living in the present and being in the present is a gift to ourselves.

I’m learning so much every single day from the people around me. Hollywood and Blondiva don’t have to go out and be the life of the party to have fun. The fun is just being ourselves without the drama. We love to help other people in our own ways. Both of us are very different as individuals, but the things we have in common have brought us together as friends and sisters.

We’ve started to notice that some people are jealous of our friendship. The Girl’s Night In brought out some negative comments from a couple of men in our lives. Others were laughing along with us and were happy that we were having a good time. People should be happy for us. We weren’t hurting anybody. Blondiva is kicking negativity to the curb and taking the road to happiness and contentment. For all of you who want to join me, jump on for the ride. I’m not promising it won’t be bumpy at times, but it will be fun and adventurous.

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Accepting All People and Embracing Diversity

I just finished taking my first online class. Yes, there was a big sigh of relief following that sentence. I have many more to go to get my degree, but I’m proud of what I learned about myself in this course. It was designed just for that reason. PSY 202 is a course to help you learn about yourself and how you can improve upon your weaknesses.

My major weakness is not being motivated. I have to find a way to get motivated and keep myself from being sidetracked by other distractions. Distractions are more plentiful now than when I was a child.
I always thought it would be the opposite. Of course back then there was no cable TV, Internet, Facebook, video games, text messages, e-mail, cell phones, etc to distract adults. Now we have just as many toys as our kids do. I have a weakness that really gets me. My roommate will say, “Hey, let’s go over here for a little.”
After being cooped up in the house for the past few years, I’m ready to go anywhere to get out of the house.

This does pose a problem for me on several levels. We end up in a bar. First, I don’t have money to buy a drink and tip the server, next men want to talk to you, and then they want to take you home. I don’t do that kind of thing. I am more into having conversations first. I want my brain stimulated. Men don’t like that, if they’re looking for a one night stand.

A few weeks ago I went with my roommate on her first date with this guy. He was almost two hours late, I would have gone home, but she doesn’t think the same way about men that I do. We went to a local place because this guy had been inviting her to come listen to him play music. He sings and plays a decent guitar. He was off-key in the few places. He’s no Tom Hodges, Dale Harrison, or Fred Hoerr. Those are men who were in my congregation in Auburn. He’s definitely not Keith Burns or Keith Urban by a long shot.

We left the place he was playing and went up the street to a place we could actually dance. A few hours later, he showed up there. We danced a few times and, when they closed, we decided to go to Waffle House.

There are just some things you don’t talk about in front of me. One of them is African-Americans and the other is LGBT people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) for those of you who have been living under a rock 😉
This man proceeds to show his prejudice toward black people, Hispanics, and every other race who live in America. I’m surprised he was waving his rebel flag. He asked for my number. I gave it to him despite my misgivings because I thought once to explained things to him, he would calm down. Laugh out loud! That was a joke. He did a friend request on Facebook a saw I supported Obama in this last presidential race. He Unfriended me on the spot. I’m glad because it saved me the trouble.

I put a disclaimer on my Facebook page that goes something like this: “If you don’t know it by now, i’m accepting of every race, religion, and sexual preference. I have two daughters who are lesbians and I love them unconditionally. I also have family and friends who are gay and they mean more to me than acquaintances on Facebook. If you cannot be nice about this and avoid making derogatory contracting, please remove yourself from my friends. It is not nice to judge people.”

I don’t give unnecessary details. Just the facts and a request. It’s easy enough to understand, but every now and then someone will pop up and say, “That is just pure evil.” Evidently they missed my monthly memo. They get deleted.

First off all, I have family members that are biracial and I love them, but I also have friends and classmates that mean the world to me and their skin is brown too.
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I sent a message to the guy who dropped me because I was “liberal” and told him he had got to know me, he would have discovered my daughters are lesbians and I support same-sex marriage for them and my friends. I’m actually between a moderate and a liberal. You can’t judge a book by its cover Or a person by what you see on their Facebook page. I go into my private group to discuss things other people don’t want to read.

Just to reiterate, I love my daughters unconditionally and they come first. If you mess with them, you’re messing with me.

Today love is in the air…. Happy Valentine’s Day!💜

Too Much Hollywood for Blondiva

I never thought in a million years that Blondiva would meet the male version of Hollywood, but I did. Ironically, he’s dating the female Hollywood and she is all giggles and grins these days. You would think she is 17 again from the way she acts when he’s around. 

ImageOf course, he’s blonde and has muscles. Lord help the girl! She’s going to fall head over heels in love and I just hope he doesn’t break her heart. It’s amazing how quickly relationships move when you’re over 40 and you really like someone a lot. I’m talking serious like, maybe some lust is mixed in there too.

Blondiva’s psychology book says all of this dopamine goes to your brain and it takes over your thought process. I always thought men were the ones who thought with the brains below their waist, but now Blondiva knows differently. Hmm.. you learn something new every day. 😉

Blondiva went to the store to buy the things we needed for dinner. Our deal was that I would cut hair and Hollywood would cook dinner. I got back to the house a little earlier than both Hollywoods. I was starving because I didn’t have lunch. Did I mention I’m broke this week? After the adventure with Hollywood’s Toy Boy, Blondiva’s pocket book got hit hard and the little scoundrel disappeared before paying me back. Lesson learned the hard way.

When Hollywood got back to the house with her male counterpart, her brain was in a different world, maybe not even in this universe. They had gone to eat lunch, to the beauty supply, and made a stop at the mill on the way back that sent her into outer space.

Blondiva was trying to show her the groceries and what all she needed to do to make dinner, but it wasn’t sinking in. Hollywood took over and I started cutting hair. I went over to check on the slow cooker and she had put it on warm instead of high. Blondiva knew she had a hot mess on her hands.

It all started on the Saturday night before, back in the same tavern we went to on New Year’s Eve. Blondiva played the third wheel when Hollywood wanted to meet her hot guy. She wasn’t going to go it alone the first time. We’re both pretty smart that way. It’s a good idea to have a friend along when you’re a single woman meeting a guy you’ve just been talking to on the phone and you’re only connection has been on Facebook.

Blondiva thought Hollywood was going to blow a gasket when her date was really late. We were sitting there sipping water and listening to some great music at the pizza place while waiting for the hot guy. We had been wanting to meet the the Music Man for awhile, so we enjoyed his music and would have danced if there had been a dance floor.

After an hour and a half of calming Hollywood down, Blondiva was in the ladies room when she got a text from Hollywood saying he had arrived. I thanked God and went out to check out the hot guy. Hollywood was looking a little calmer. That was a good sign and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Funny thing about Blondiva is that I have a memory for faces. Cannonball always said I remember the womb.;) I knew the male Hollywood from jr. high and high school days. He was really shy back then and didn’t talk much. Hollywood stud use to hang out at the skating rink and was still in good shape.

We moved from the pizza place to the tavern. Blondiva drove the Toyota on her own. The tavern had a band and Hollywood was upset because she wanted to dance to contemporary music, not oldies or big band music. This didn’t look like a good night out. I talked her into staying and it got better.

It got really interesting when Hollywood dude got on the dance floor with Hollywood and flipped her in midair. The look on her face was priceless. I sent a text to Prince Charming and told him I was sure she probably got over stimulated from it. She was definitely surprised. Image

Being the third wheel was no fun, but I danced a little bit. It got better when Music Man showed up and joined us at our table. It turned out he knows a lot of the same people I know from my former life. He even asked me to dance. Blondiva hasn’t been held in a man’s arms on a dance floor in years. It was nice.

At some point Hollywood ended up sitting in her date’s lap and they were getting along really well. I think the wine helped her get over being mad at him for being late. We were having fun. It was time to leave the tavern, but Music Man had two coupons for slices of pie at the Waffle House. We took our little party there. Blondiva had been drinking water all night, so I wasn’t as relaxed as Hollywood. She was entertaining us with her mannerisms and the things she was saying.

Waffle House reminds me of our younger days and where we ended up after being out partying all night. Back then, I would have ordered a huge meal, but I just shared an omelet and had a few bites of chocolate pie with Music Man. Yummy!

The big moving day is Friday! Hollywood has had her head in the clouds all week. She’s keeping her feet grounded about some things and is worried about getting her heart broken too. Hollywood stud has offered his services to help her move her things. He’s very considerate in that way.

Charming has offered to drive his 44 ton truck over a crucial part of a man’s anatomy if Hollywood’s heart gets broken. He still thinks we’re both to be treated like princesses. Blondiva still adores him. He is a true prince.