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I was raised to want a ring on my finger and to keep it there. It’s unheard of in my family of Virginia and North Carolina cousins for anyone to ever get divorced. As proof, family marriages have survived a spouse losing all the tobacco crop money in a poker game at the club. And I do mean all of it.
Does this make my family one of incredibly forgiving people, or is it solely their aversion to the shame they associate with divorce? I wonder, more than I’d like to, what deep roots and archaic traditions of my upbringing are still buried way, way in the back of my mind.
I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing whenever I go home to North Carolina, where no one suspects me of being anything other than their happy cousin, living all the way out here in California. Where I’ve told them I have a job I love.
It’s a tale I’ve spun gladly. I date and go to the beach and from 9 to 5 everyday I work to save the environment, from all kinds of horrible people threatening the food we eat, the very air we breath.
It was so natural, as if running the scales on a piano, how I went from straight to bi to falling in love with Bette.
Is that why I’m still uncomfortable, all these days later, when the topic of bisexuals had entered our conversation with Shane?
”What Tina? Your wool’s not completely dyed, yet?” Bette had asked, before moving onto another ridiculous topic. Alice dating vampires.
So, why am I still in the closet?
I’d like a drink, but it’s too early and I’m riding my bike, getting much needed exercise. Unsteadily, I turn into the parking lot of a coffee shop. While locking my bike, I consider calling my cousin Susan or Meredith or my cousin Sam and saying – after the hellos and how’s the crop this year – Guess what? Ten days ago I had a biracial baby with my lesbian biracial lover.
Then I imagine the line going dead or them taking the first Delta flight out of Raleigh to give me a good old fashioned talking to. Or worse, trying some kind of Protestant intervention.