The week that was

Whoa! What a week.  From the minute to the momentous. From everyday slights to the evisceration of things we hold dear.  From personal triumphs to the deathbed of a world hero.

What a difference a week makes.

The Supreme Court taketh away and the Supreme Court giveth (with caveats).  But before all the epic decisions, the Supreme Court punteth the ball. Yep, punt on affirmative action, gut the Voting Rights Act, and hold that the Federal government cannot demean or injure what a state seeks to protect, in matters within a state’s purview.

So if you are a gay, non-white Democrat in a Red State, you can’t get married to your partner, you may not be able to vote and you certainly cannot have the totality of your identity and your life story considered in any application to higher education.

If, however, you are gay, white, Democrat in a Blue State, you probably get to claim an iPad as a winning contestant in the Supreme Court sweepstakes.

How’s that for “equal protection under the laws”?

I am thrilled that Edie Windsor, who in her own words, was “just an out lesbian suing the United States of America,” prevailed and DOMA is DEAD.  It was a thrill and an honor to go to Sabbath Services on Gay Pride Weekend to hear Edie, who talked about her spouse, Thea (of blessed memory), just a little before Edie started to cry, and then have hundreds of people standing up to cheer her. 

Get the documentary on them.  It is beautiful and sad and just simply a true (non-Hollywood) love story.

People sometimes ask, “why gay PRIDE?”  Because if you have felt marginalized, shamed, invisible, unwanted, a veritable punching bad for angry people and all of society’s ills, then you need to own your identity and say that you are proud and not ashamed.  It is important for those still in the closet — of any kind — and our children.

I suspect that Mandela is hovering between life and death only through the curse of modern medicine, while politicians figure out the best time to announce his death.  Call me cynical.  The world will be different on the day that the man who presided over immense change in Africa and, indeed, the whole world, is declared dead.  One person can make a difference, but there are only too few in any generation who are truly capable.  We will have lost (or did we already lose) a hero.

SOS went off to sleep away camp for seven weeks.  Both POB and I were happy, sad, scared and proud that he hopped on the bus with someone he met previously who was also going to the same camp.  Hugs, but no tears.  A watershed moment in our baby’s growth.

I stopped a client in the hallway of our firm and greeted him.  He was momentarily caught off-guard and then said, “[Blogger], you look great; I would never have recognized you!!!”  And then he dug himself deeper to a point at which I had to say, “Don’t worry, a little hair color and make-up can really make ALL the difference . . . ”  I expect that from Dad’s mother (“You look so gut, I vouldn’t recognize you, dahlink.”) but not anyone born after World War II.

Fom petty slights to soaring heights.  From a widow’s indignation to liberation for so many.  From tiny family triumphs (and the funny slights) to a loss for all humanity.  From the mundane to the immortal.   From the set-backs to the steps forward and then reluctance to decide.  The juxtaposition of all of these make the important events stand apart, in stark relief — some to be celebrated, some to be worried over, one to be mourned.

What a week it was.  Good thing I fastened my seat belt.

Surviving Father’s Day — CHECK!

So, on Saturday morning, I had a talk with SOS, who is dad-less and mom-ful.  We talked about how he felt about this dumb Hallmark holiday (ok, I didn’t say that) and whether there were men in his life whom he wanted to celebrate.

“No, I think that I just want to help you both celebrate your dads.”

Whoa.  Pretty amazing for an almost 11-year old.

Then, on Sunday, at Father’s Day dinner, I was doing the customary toasts and I started with:

“First, a toast to my son, who is here celebrating fathers even though he doesn’t have one and, worse yet, he has two moms.  And, boy, is that a tall order!!”

[Everyone applauded SOS]

“And then, to all of us who have fathers wherever they may be, let’s toast them.  Let’s eat!”

SOS was very happy that I toasted him.  “Father’s Day is ok, Emom.  Really.”

No, my little baby, you are just fabulous.

Surviving Father’s Day

As is family tradition, we have the extended family over for Father’s Day.  We have made an extra special deal about it for Dad, FOPOB and ULOB because of their enfeebled states.  I think we are over-compensating for our anxiety about losing them, no matter how nuts they make us.

In the midst of a conversation with Dad and SOB about Father’s Day, I overheard SOS say to POB, “but I don’t have a father.”

[Yes that gag you heard breaching the silence was my heart leaping into my throat and cutting off my breathing.]

I forget that we are not like every other family.  But SOS doesn’t forget.  He has two moms, and not a mom and a dad.  I know he misses not having a dad because we have talked about it.

HOSOB, Cousin Gentle, CB, ULOB, Dad and FOPOB will be around the table next Sunday.  All have been role models (after a fashion) for SOS.  But no one is “dad”.

He knows that POB was never going to settle down with a man and have children.  He knows that I am not replacing anyone because either he would have two moms or he wouldn’t exist.

But he is a pre-adolescent boy and this isn’t about societal norms, social/sexual movements or equality.  He is starting to experience that his family is different in ways that sometimes matter.

SOS sees what is around him and he sees the differences. I understand how hard it is to be different but, when I was a pre-adolescent/adolescent, no one knew that I wasn’t straight (except me). My son can’t hide us, and he has to deal with it everyday. I know he loves us and our family. But still . . .

It was POB’s and my decision as adults to have him and it is now his reality to carry into adolescence.

But most devastating is that I forgot his feelings in my fixation on giving the elders, especially Dad, events to look forward to.  I am his mom and I didn’t have his back.

And, really, I should have been thinking about a boy — my boy — and his feelings on Father’s Day.

Because this is really about a boy — my boy.

I am sorry, buddy.  I can’t change things — I will never be your dad — but we will talk about it and I will try not to cry.

The Challenge, Part 2

I decided that I am wearing the same clothes each time I go to the Rings (see so that no one can look at pictures and remember a time when I totally sucked at this.  The good news is that I go to the rings once a week (and laundry is done in between) so I won’t smell.

photo(9)So, without Wendy, my trainer, I dutifully headed out to the Rings to practice.  There is a group that generally forms around the Rings at 10am on a Saturday.  Fencers (who practice a little away from the Rings), acrobats and others who want a hard work-out.

A handsome, handsome, guy with dredlocks was hanging out, breathing heavily from a go at the adult Rings.  (Since I am short with a limited wing span, I need to swing on the kiddie Rings.)

SIDEBAR:  While my orientation may be toward women, beauty is beauty, Rasta Man is so striking, that he turned my head.  Back to the blog.

I was having a bad time getting my rhythm on the Rings.  I almost gave up 5 times.  But I watched Rasta Man.  He inspired me.  And he came over when I looked defeated.  He gave me pointers on getting momentum to move “effortlessly” from Ring to Ring.  So, I tried to do what he said.

Then a couple came along.  A perfectly normal woman, with a total dweeby boyfriend — maybe, to give her credit, a blind date.  They were at the other side of the rings.  The DWEEB, with black sneakers, black socks up above his calves and black polo shirt and shorts, beckoned me to go first, in an impatient sort of way.

I shout:  “Don’t worry, I won’t make it to the second Ring!! So, I will be clear of the Rings when you make it over here!!”

The DWEEB grabbed two Rings and tried to lift himself up.

Count with me:  One mississippi, two mississ —-


“This is hard!”

I couldn’t hold back:  “No SHIT, Sherlock.”

Notwithstanding my harsh comment directed squarely at the Dweeb in the sand, his date/girlfriend came over to me and gave me more pointers.

Then, she swung from Ring to Ring with the ease and grace of Tarzana.  MY HERO. 

Except for the DWEEB.


Ah, if not Lord of the Rings, at least the Fellowship of the Rings.


The Challenge

We live close to the “rings” in Riverside Park, where would-be acrobats often practice, and maintain their conditioning.


For years, I have watched people swing on them as naturally as breathing.  Every time I jumped up to grab a ring, I couldn’t hold on.  Too much upper body strength required.

I am pretty fit for being 49 and, this year, I decided that I needed to learn how to swing from ring to ring.  Like Tarzana, Queen of the Jungle.  Some people want to save the world.  Me, I just want to swing from ring to ring.  Probably no coincidence that there are the same number of rings as there are Dante’s rungs of hell.

So, I convinced Wendy, my trainer, to teach me how to do this.

“In the scorching sun?”


Of course, I was trying to make it epic, like the Inferno.  But she didn’t know that.  She thought I was just plain crazy.


First, you have to start your own momentum.  No running starts (at least when you are short like me).  It is like swinging on a swing but sideways, with your arms threatening to come out of their sockets.

So this is how pathetic I looked today.  Unable to get the momentum to move to the next rung.

And now, for what, Wendy promises me, I can do by the end of the month:

The challenge is on!!!!