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Sins of omission

June 9, 2008

Lately I’ve been finding myself going against the very spirit of this blog by committing the sin of omission and closeting myself when it’s convenient. I’m not proud of it, but it’s worth noting.

Last week I wrote an article on a fascinating 94-year-old woman who has worked as a filmmaker and still tapdances to this very day. On Tuesday I went to interview her at her apartment in a (rather spiffy) retirement community just a couple of miles from my house. Decked out in an old-time dancer’s costume, complete with feathered hat, she asked me a bit about myself before we began, and again once we were finished over an hour later. Just a bit before I left, she asked if I had a girlfriend.

I said no.

Technically, this is true, but as you know, it’s a half-truth at best. I just didn’t want to get into it with her, because sometimes people, especially elderly people, can be funny about that kind of thing, and I knew I’d need to talk again with her later. She was a pretty nifty, liberal-seeming lady, and as she’s traveled all over the globe, she’s probably pretty open to different ways of living. But for some reason I just couldn’t launch into things with her, because really, what difference did it make?

Of course, it did make a difference, because now I’m vaguely uncomfortable with the whole affair. It was definitely awkward to answer her well-intentioned questions about whether I wanted a girlfriend (naw) and if I was worried about finding one (not really). She laughed at my answers, and I wonder if maybe she did see what I was getting at.

I’m not quite sure why I didn’t come out to her when I did mention my boyfriend to the two older women who have come through my office. In fact, they even met him, and got along quite well! I suppose it has something to do with trying to be “professional,” but that’s actually rather homophobic. Why is mentioning a boyfriend any less professional than saying you have a girlfriend?

I also allowed the nice woman who cut my hair this weekend when I was in Fishkill to think of (and refer to) my boyfriend as my “friend,” even though from our conversation it must have been pretty obvious who he was. In fact, she’s cut his hair a number of times throughout his life, and she even bought (and enjoyed) a copy of his CD! And it’s not as if hairdressers are notoriously homophobic – another (male) stylist there hit on my boyfriend the day he and I met, when he got a haircut before seeing me.

(Lest you imagine this as something glamorous, I’m talking about the cheap place at the mall.)

For now, I’m just going to watch myself, and post about what happens. Hopefully, internet shame will keep me from trying to avoid being ashamed in the physical world, something which no doubt would have inspired a paper or two in my college years. Until next time, que sera sera.

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