For Lesbian Visibility Week, A Lesbian and Her Laptop will be releasing a series of 8 lesbian guest posts all week long! This post by Cat will simply make you laugh as a lesbian mom in a rural community tries to determine if her new neighbors are also lesbians. Read all identity posts here.
I live in a rural area.
It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong. It’s peaceful, safe, friendly…
There aren’t many lesbians.
I don’t mean on a dating front, for reasons that will become apparent. But I have been hunting lesbians because I would like that more elusive of prizes: friends. Even just a friend. A gay friend. A friend who is a queer female.
I have friends, let’s not get too depressing. I have experienced friendship. But my friends are all either straight, or far away. I have good straight friends who live nearby, and good gay friends who live far away. And what I would like, are good gay friends who live nearby.
If you are gay you understand this. If you are straight, let me explain; it’s different. It just is. I don’t know how to nail down this feeling in something as mundane as words, but basically, lesbians and queer women are the only people who can appreciate women of a certain age of a certain jawline in the correct manner, and sometimes we like to talk about it face to face.
Anyway. One day. A Christmas miracle occurred.
At the top of our lane, there is an abandoned, boarded up house. It’s in a huge plot, so of course the entire village has been operating a generation-long stake out, waiting for the opportunity to buy it. And then, a ‘for sale’ sign went up, and naturally, we all collectively lost our shit.
And then ‘for sale’ sign disappeared and we contrived to lose more of our shit, and THEN, dear reader, there was a car on the drive.
I have a history when it comes to new neighbours, which I am not going to go into detail about here. Let’s just say one time I had new neighbours who were nice to me, and I started trying to be nicer to them in retaliation, and then they upped the stakes, and the whole niceness parade just got a touch out of hand.
Anyway, add to this that I’m massively nosy, and add to THIS that gossip is power in small rural communities. So I grabbed a child (one of my own, although I’m not above using others if a social prop is needed), and I marched up there, ready to be as neighbourly and as welcoming as it is possible to be without busting a rib.
In the house, there are two women. They are about my age. They have bought the house together.
‘COOL’ I say, as my eyebrows rise so high they might as well detach from my forehead and enter orbit. One of the women shows my wonderfully nosy child around the abandoned house, whilst I take a drinks order from the other woman, because that’s right, I’m making them hot drinks.
Okay, so, at this point, it is important not to panic. Here we have a potential sighting of lesbians in the wild. They’ve bought the house two doors away from me. So I smoothly enter into operation “BUT ARE YOU LESBIANS THOUGH?”
Except I don’t because it’s really hard to work sexuality into a conversation. ‘So are you guys married?’ would be the easy way to go, but the thing with that is, if they aren’t married, if they’re just gals buying a holiday home together as pals, then I’ve royally fucked up because what if they take offence? They probably wouldn’t, but they might.
This feels gay, I decide to myself, but I can’t tell if that’s just because they’re wearing study boots. Anyone can wear a study boot.
And then I remember my secret weapon.
I have A Wife.
An actual wife. Okay, one of my eyebrows says to the other, what we’ll do, we’ll just casually reference our wife, and then they’ll say something like ‘oH we too are of the gays’, and then we’ll all know where we stand.
Meanwhile, my mouth is talking about what a fantastic view they’ll have once they’ve cut down the giant trees at the back of the property, and hoping that my eyebrows are going to come up with a plan.
Possible lesbian number two returns with my child.
“Mum the spiders are THIS BIG!”
“Wow, scary!” I say. I try to communicate silently with my child that she should now ask when her other Mummy is coming home. She fails to pick up on the hint.
We walk back down the lane to go to make the hot drinks.
“Child” I ask casually, as a lunatic might, “do you think that they are married?”
“I don’t know, what’s for tea?”
Okay, we’re on our own folks.
When I return with the drinks and biscuits, nothing overtly gay is happening. We all stand around talking about their plans for the building. I look from one possible lesbian to another, trying to gauge through manner and demeanour and phrasing and sonic vibrations whether these people think Sarah Paulson is neat.
It feels gay. But until things are CONFIRMED I cannot proceed.
Wife, my eyebrows shout down at me. Mention your wife!
Okay, I agree. Wife. The second there is an opportunity!
We exchange numbers. I agree to keep an eye on the house for them when they are back at home. I gather up the cups.
Time is running out.
“Thanks” one of the possible lesbians says “Those biscuits were really good.”
I’m not proud of what happened next.
“MY WIFE ALSO LIKES BISCUITS” I cry, as if in the last ten seconds of University Challenge.
This was a bad choice because a) she doesn’t, and b) what the fuck?
And then c) one of the women says ‘cool – so maybe we’ll see you again before you leave?’
Turns out they were married.
I discovered this through the age old technique of blaming my own child by text message.
“Hi, this is Cat from down the road, it was lovely to meet you today! I hope the weather stays kind. Also, sorry if this is a bit nosy, but [CHILD] has been pestering me none stop about whether you guys are a couple? She doesn’t see many same sex couples down here so always gets very curious!”
Thanks Child, you really took one for the team there.
(We all went for drinks afterwards.)
(Before we met up, I thoroughly briefed my wife that if biscuits were mentioned, she had to be really enthusiastic about them.)
PS, sorry if you clicked on this link based on the blog title looking for helpful advice, I’d suggest that whatever I did, maybe you should do the opposite.
Cat is a hopeless lesbian who somehow is allowed out into society. She would like to write, but mainly just thinks about writing instead. You can follow Cat on Twitter and read more of her posts on her own blog. Send a few pounds her way if this post made you laugh!
Consider donating $3 to AL&HL’s Ko-Fi page to support the blog!