Becuase my parents were so restrictive and afraid of everything, as far I knew, the word gay meant happy until i was in college when i would learn that peers i had had in high school had "come out" and i saw the gay kiss between Rachel and Melissa on 'Friends' (College got weird for me, after that). I was always taught that men loved women and women loved men and there was nothing else. Nothing else was REAL. Anything else I would ever hear of or see would be fictitious or between two people who were just playing around like two drunk girls on spring break in Miami, and that those people were misled, or acting out or bad!, but most especially, that those people were definitely not in love.
I kissed boys in my late teens, I dated men in college. I felt attraction, I liked big, hard, muscle bodied men. I loved/STILL love my male friends and number them among the most loyal I've ever had. I have an ease with males that has always been difficult with females.
I've felt drawn to women since I was 12. I was never allowed to go to friends' sleepover parties but dreamed of being able to make what Anne Shirley of 'Anne of Green Gables' calls, a "bosom friend'! (no pun seriously intended) When I was younger, females made me nervous. I was quiet and self conscious around them, always wanting to stay cool and collected, but I simply came out, instead, the quiet, sweet girl who never spoke.
Years later at the age of 25, I had renamed myself as a friendly, outgoing woman and involved myself in lots of activities with other women.
I was married and living in Philadelphia with my husband of 4 years and my first baby girl. I had a best friend. A woman, even! She and I had met while our husbands went to graduate school in Michigan and when they both got hired on by the same company in Philly, we were thrilled. She even had her baby girl a month before I had mine.
It was at this time that I had openly claimed female celebrity crushes, Scarlett Johannsen and the incomparable Julie Andrews. (YES, I'm serious. she is one classy lady. besides, her as Mary Poppins, mee-oww!) and I was beginning to admit to myself that I truly was attracted to women, although I kept it a deep, fantastical secret that revealed itself in my dreams often.
My friend and I became inseparable. Gym, shopping, hanging out, movies, baby stuff, walks, parks, we even went and met one of the cast of 'Twilight' at our local Hot Topic during the 'Twilight' craze. I loved her. And then I realized, rather terrifyingly, that I didn't have just friend love for her, but I was attracted to her.
I dreamed sexually about her. I looked away at the gym when she changed, I looked away when she was climbing in the pool in her bikini. I looked away when she washed her gorgeous long hair in the shower afterwards... So much looking away. So many feelings. So much wanting.
She divorced her husband and moved back to her parents house in California. I had my second baby and moved to a little town outside of Houston, Texas.
That's when I fell in love. With her. With the girl of my dreams, and there was no awkward, scared 19 year old, fumbling over words, but a brave, confident woman, ready to be who I really was.
The first time I saw her, she was at the community swimming pool, sitting on a pool chair in her bikini, impossibly tan, impossibly cool, impossibly sexy! I was mesmerized and drawn as if by an invisible electric tentacle. When I saw her I thought 'I want to be her friend' and Before I knew it, i was saying, "Hi, I'm Mina."
And she replied in her impossibly adorable accent, "Hey. I'm Veronica".
And the rest... Is for next time.