Well that wasn’t what I expected at all.

30 May

I’m in love with a woman.

And the best part about it is that she’s in love with me, too.

Surprise couple!

I’d say I never thought I could be with a woman but 1) that’s clearly  not the case and 2) I’ve been living on a happy little island called “Denial,” population: me and a liter of wine. I know I talked about a square peg and a round hole before. It all makes so much sense now why I’ve had so much trouble finding someone.

I found land — and struck gold — with her. It’s like fighting an icy cold current and succumbing to the acceptance that this is my life, and then suddenly I can stand on my own two feet on solid ground.

We met on my birthday last November. Barista Boy #2 brought her with him. I distinctly remember the second I met her because she has the most amazing smile. She calls it “malleable” and I think that’s a pretty fair description of her face. I was standing at the bar in my silver dress, several shots and a couple cucumber vodka waters into the evening, when they walked up. She wore red and has short, black hair that changes shape every day. I adore it.

She added me on Facebook a few days later, and I would catch myself feeling jealous when she’d post about going on a date with a girl, or post about someone flirting with her. It drove me insane. Then I finally realized that I wanted to be on the date with her.

I didn’t see her again until January when we had a writer’s meeting. We both write for the same local magazine, and I tend to write feminist prose pieces (surprise?) while she writes the horoscopes and video game reviews. We laughed through the entire meeting — which is why there’s a “no eye contact” rule our publisher bestowed upon the two of us — and exchanged numbers. Over the next month, we’d text periodically, but those messages started gaining frequency.

We’d go out to lunch, strategize about articles we collaborated on, and get drinks together. We even explored the tunnels under the city we live in. We never run out of things to talk about. She speaks in puns.

Next thing I know, it’s mid-March, and we’d spent nearly every day for two weeks together. I went to Las Vegas for a conference with BFF, and she was all I thought about. Her birthday was the weekend I got back, so I told her I’d cook for her. I made her Guinness beef stew and brownies from scratch. We went out and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and took our first picture together from a friend’s phone. He sent it to me so I sent it to her in a text and said we looked good together and should take more pictures; we’re painfully attractive. She agreed.

The first time we held hands was after we compared the sizes of our hands — the exact same size — despite our height difference (I’m about 5 inches taller than her and have freakishly small hands. Seriously. It’s abnormal and hilarious to watch me play the piano. Or type. Or do anything people with “normal” sized hands can do).

I can honestly say without a shred of doubt in my mind that this is by far the healthiest, most beautiful, most supportive relationship I’ve ever been in. She’s beautiful and brilliant, and we can laugh for hours about nothing. Nearly everything we say is an inside joke that we both find delightfully hilarious. She loves my goals, and each day, we both end up pointing out one more thing about the other that we love.

She told me she loved me first. We hadn’t become official — and really, still aren’t “official,” although we have agreed to not see other people — but it just fit so seamlessly into our conversation. I told her I loved her, too. I realized it the night I picked her up from work and took her out to the lake to watch the sun set. I brought a bottle of wine and two glasses. We laid on a blanket, watching the stars come out, listening to the water lap on the cliffs and the crickets chirp. I wanted to tell her then, but I didn’t know if I was rushing into things or if I was making this into something more than it was. It wasn’t even a week later that she told me she loved me.

The hardest part with us is that I’m moving. I was accepted into a PhD program a 15-hour drive away. I have to go, and she has to stay. We both have commitments here, so we’re spending this summer loving each and every moment together, and hopefully, paving the way for something down the road. Who knows where we’ll be six months from now. Hell, who knows where we’ll be tomorrow.

I hadn’t planned on telling my mother when I did. I spoke to my younger sister about it all — about Smiles and how happy I was — and she was ecstatic for us. Then our conversation turned to telling the family. What do I tell them? How do I tell them? When? Who all can know? Certainly my strict, southern Baptist family wouldn’t approve. Would my picture be taken off the family wall? I was indignant. I am indignant. I don’t care if they choose to disown me. My mother is having a tremendously difficult time with it all. She has it in her head that I’ll never marry or have children. I told her before I even met Smiles, I wasn’t convinced I’d get married or have children. I don’t know how to help her cope, and I’m not entirely sure it’s my job to do so.

Little Sister’s focus — and what’s been the primary focus for my immediate family who have since been informed of my “life decision” — is what am I? They want the label. Am I a lesbian? Am I straight but just experimenting? Am I going through a phase? Am I just so lonely and desperate that I’ll jump into the first relationship that comes my way? My mother’s never believed in bisexuality, that much I know. I wasn’t ever convinced until I started realizing little things in my past and letting myself accept it.

Like when I was in the fourth grade, and my friend held my hand when we watched a scary movie. I felt the same way, lying in our pajamas in the dark and holding hands, as I felt holding the hand of my first “boyfriend” who ran for class president in the third grade (I was his “first lady.” How fucking cute was that). I kept it out of my mind because girls like boys, and boys like girls. I learned later that sometimes girls can like girls, and boys can like boys. But both? That’s just being greedy.

To be honest, I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if it really even matters when it comes down to it, because at the end of the day, we’re all just a conglomeration of atoms somehow interacting with other chunks, all whirling around on this tiny planet, in this tiny solar system, in this great big universe.

The only thing I know is that I love her. And that’s enough for now.

— AM.

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