GingerSass

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Road trippin’

On Saturday morning, after a night of babysitting 5 year old and 7 year old self-declared princesses for 8 hours, I got up bright and early to set out on what I was sure to be a treck to the wedding of My Pleonastic Life and Folk Sneakernet in Massachusetts. I had never been to Massachusetts before, and I was a bit paranoid about the trip. (Mapquest told me it would only take 3.5 hours; I was convinced there would be traffic, unforeseen chaos, and that we would arrive in 5 hours.) My poefy (poetry wifey) Dina (@L_w0rd) joined me as my wedding date, and I was super excited to be roadtripping with her. I felt we were obviously destined to be the lesbian Thelma and Louise.

I made a few mix cd’s for our trip. First up we had what I dubbed “Roadtrip CD.” This cd, for lack of better words, was extremely emotional and girly. It had everything from Fleetwood Mac to Billy Joel to The Go-Go’s. It was full of female power ballads, and a lot of fun. I also made a “Singalong CD” which was, well, full of classic singalong songs. It had everything from Whitney to Grease to Taylor Swift. This was perhaps the whitest cd I’ve ever created. We also listened to Taylor Swift, Melissa Etheridge’s greatest hits, and sad, depressing lesbian-themed music Dina had once burnt on a CD for me. We were super gay.

Roadtrip CD

Singalong CD

We made excellent time during the drive to Massachusetts. We gossiped like there was no tomorrow, stopped for Dunkin Donuts, and then gossiped some more. When we crossed the Massachusetts border, we screamed like crazy, pulled to the side of the road, and took the obligatory tourist photo of the “Welcome to Massachusetts” sign. We called our respective concerned individuals to let them know we had arrived, and kept driving. (Rumor had it there wouldn’t be cell phone reception in the town we were going to for the wedding rehearsal.)

We literally stopped traffic to take this photo.

We turned into Stockbridge, Massachusetts, watched our cellphone signals die, cried momentarily, and then stared in amazement at the quaint town before us. It reminded both of us of Stars Hallow IMMEDIATELY (Google it, you non-Gilmore Girls junkies), and we excitedly jumped out to explore the town. We oohed and ahhed at all of the small stores, window shopped, and made plans to come back again one day. We went into the The Lion’s Den, which was waaaaay beyond our expectations. I mean seriously, no place in Jersey has waiting areas like this:

The wait was too long (and fancy) so we went downstairs to the pub area…which was rustic, cute, and came with “Trivial Pursuit Baby Boomers Edition.”

We ordered some alcohol because we needed it, and then ordered some lunch because we were famished. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and a few rounds before realizing we were late for the rehearsal. Oops. (That’s what happens when you don’t have cellphone service.)

Lunch.

We ran to the Stockbridge Library (our destination), where we found the only other black person in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. (Seriously.)

Dina and…well, I forget what her name was. It started with a D.

The rest of the bridal party arrived, and we tore the library apart. Heavy labor ensued, and we took away tables and chairs, put up new chairs for wedding guests, and built a chuppah. (In skirts and heels I might add.)

Our chuppah creation. Thanks for the pic, Jamie!

A rehearsal followed, where Dina moseyed on over to the general store and got her first ever bee sting in the process. (Note: It is not good for a person who has never been stung by a bee before to be stranded walking in town by herself with no cell phone reception and to only have experienced bee stings through the death of Thomas J in “My Girl.”) After the rehearsal dinner, we sped out of town into Great Barrington where we were staying AND WE HAD CELL PHONE RECEPTION. We stocked up on basics like raisinettes, snocaps, party mix, and salt & limes to go with our tequila. (Which, btw, Dina had basically never had before…yay!) Since the bride-to-be was sharing a room with Dina & I the night before her wedding, we decided the night should be equivalent to the bachelor party the boys (and 2 girls) were having a town over. We gossiped, shared scandalous stories, drank, ate junk food, and drank some more.

I was going to insert more scandalous photos, but we have job searches to worry about.

The wedding was fantabulous, but I’m not going to talk about it now because it gets a post of its own. (I specifically asked Mike & Taylor if I could exploit their lives and nuptials on my site; they said yes.)

After the reception, Dina & I stripped in the car and changed into roadtrip-appropriate gear. We then did one of the most AMAZING THINGS EVER— we pumped our own gas! (We’re from Jersey, mind you.) We specifically went to a gas station because it had a “Free Coffee Day” sign out front, and while Dina went inside to figure out why there was free coffee, I was left trying to figure out how to work a gas pump. I couldn’t figure it out, and even resorted to calling my dad to ask for help. Dina came back out and told me that a) there was indeed free coffee because it was the first of the month and b) I had to pay ahead of time if I wanted to pay in cash. I got my free coffee, spilled some on myself, and gave the guy a twenty. Then, the following sequence of photos ensued:

Look! I can pump my own gas!

Wait, what am I doing wrong? I’m from Jersey. I don’t do this.

Get a picture of me doing this!

I PUMPED MY OWN GAS BITCHESSSSS!!!!!!

We drove for a bit before stopping for food, and we ate pizza and jalapeño poppers at a roadside pizza place. We watched a hippie van drive by covered in peace signs and tie dye paint, and Dina almost beat up a Cont in the bathroom. (He was a baseball played being a cunt to her for being in the bathroom when he had to go, and when she got out, the name on his jersey was “Cont.” Ha.) The ride back to Jersey was tiresome, and it took way longer than our ride up, but we finally got back. Fireworks literally erupted around us at one point while we were on the Parkway. It was magical…just like my trip with Dina.

I had a fantabulous time roadtripping with my poefy. It definitely brought us closer (insert sappy moment here) and I couldn’t have picked a better person to be my date for the wedding. I’m so glad Dina and I were able to be a lesbian Thelma & Louise! <3

10 Minute Musings #4

6/7/12
30 minutes

Okay, so here’s something they don’t tell you about being a bridesmaid: you really need to remember to get a dress (and a date) more than a month before the wedding. This week, I panicked and realized that my original date couldn’t go to a wedding with me at the end of the month, that I still needed to find a strapless knee length black dress (easier said than done!), that I needed to find strappy black heels for my size 11 feet, and that I hadn’t lost the 10 pounds I had wanted to lose before the wedding. Oops.

Being the dear friend that she is, the bride-to-be helped me brainstorm a list of people to ask to be my date. She also inspired me to create a Pinterest account to make my dress searching easier, and she suggested places and websites to order shoes from. Still… I started panicking. Realizing you’re The Single Lesbian Bridesmaid at one of your best friend’s weddings makes you feel quite a bit single, awkward, and have a miniature quarter life crisis. (This is only further emphasized when you are stressing about meaningless grad school assignments, don’t know where you are living in the Fall, and are trying to find some source of income for the summer.)

Lucky for me, I decided to blow off my school-related responsibilities and be productive this morning before class. I scheduled an appointment with David’s Bridal, printed out a list of my favorite dresses from their website, and got to the store 15 minutes before my 11am appointment. (Little known fact: David’s Bridal opens at 11. There’s no need to worry about running late. -__-) When the doors opened, somehow or another the woman who greeted me THOUGHT I WAS THE BRIDE. It didn’t say that on the paperwork for my appointment so I don’t know what she was smoking. Anywho, she really thought I was a bride coming to the store to pick out dresses for my wedding. She started asking me when the wedding was, where it was located, etc. and I could see panic creeping up on her face. Luckily, the worker who was assigned to me understood me when I said “I’m here to buy a bridesmaid’s dress for my friend Taylor’s wedding.” She found me DOZENS of dresses that fit the criteria, and I imagined myself as a princess on “Say Yes to the Dress.” She was really helpful, snarky, and said exactly what I needed to hear. After only an hour, I found a dress that was perfect, didn’t need to be ordered, and something that got complete strangers in the store to say “Wow, you look really cute in that!” (That’s always a super duper feeling by the way.) She also found me the PERFECT bra to wear with it, which, when you have boobs like mine, is really important.

My dress. Blonde chick not included.

I thanked her profusely, went out to my car, and realized that I only had to do two more wedding things: find a pair of heels that wouldn’t turn my 5’10” self into godzilla, and find a date. Size 11 heels are hard to find, but somehow that task seemed easier than finding a date. I was brainstorming all the way to class this afternoon, and when I turned on my macbook and saw my poefy’s face on my background it hit me: Poefy should be my date! She’s pretty, I’m pretty, we make an amazing fake couple, and she’s one of the few people I could tolerate in a long car trip. (Backstory: Poefy= Ladina, my amazing friend/ Poetry Wife from poetry class. I heart her.) Sooo, I sent her a facebook message because I didn’t have cellphone reception in my basement classroom, and then proceeded to tweet her like crazy from my GingerSass twitter account. (If it looks like a Z-list celesbian is asking you out via Twitter, how can you say no???) Well, over twenty tweets and a trending topic of “#whyDinashouldbemyweddingdate” later, and her responding to each and every reason, SHE SAID YES! I’m so elated to be going to Taylor’s wedding with one of my favorite people in the world, and to not be the dateless bridesmaid at the wedding. I didn’t know appearance mattered to me so much until I realized I might be going to the wedding alone. Sometimes you just need a friend who can tolerate Taylor Swift (who, by the way, is who I’ve been listening to and resisting the urge to sing and dance along to this entire writing time), weirdness, and is really sassy and amazing. I’m so glad I have that in my poefy. (And I feel like an idiot that I hadn’t thought of her before today.) Seriously, I love Dina for saving my life and being my better half when I need her. She’s the best.

Poefy & I. Follow her on Twitter at @L_W0rd

Now the only thing I need to do is find a pair of strappy heels to go with my dress. I think I’m going to go shoe shopping in between a meeting and class tomorrow. I feel so relieved to know that everything is finally coming together… I can only imagine how Taylor feels planning this whole thing! Oy. For once, I’m happy to say I’m “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” I’d freak out if I had to plan a wedding on top of doing everything for grad school right now too. Taylor, you get soooo much credit girl. You deserve to kick back, relax, and bask in the sun on a glorious honeymoon after all this madness is done. I’m so proud of you for putting this whole thing together while balancing senior year of college, applying to doctoral programs, and being a RA. You really are a wonderwoman, and I cannot wait to celebrate you becoming a Mrs. in 3.5 weeks!!! :)

It only seems fitting that Taylor Swift’s “Mine” just came on my itunes. To kill time for the rest of this writing exercise, I’m typing up the lyrics. <3

You were in college working part time waitin’ tables
Left a small town, never looked back
I was a flight risk with a fear of fallin’
Wondering why we bother with love if it never lasts

I say “Can you believe it?”
As we’re lying on the couch
The moment, I can see it.
Yes, yes, I can see it now

Do you remember, we were sitting there, by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

Flash forward and we’re taking on the world together
And there’s a drawer of my things at your place
You learn my secrets and you figure out why I’m guarded
You say we’ll never make my parents’ mistakes

But we got bills to pay
We got nothing figured out
When it was hard to take
Yes, yes, I thought about

Do you remember, we were sitting there, by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

Do you remember all the city lights on the water?
You saw me start to believe for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

Oh, oh, oh

And I remember that fight
Two-thirty AM
Yes, everything was slipping right out of our hands
I ran out crying and you followed me out into the street
Braced myself for the goodbye
‘cause that’s all I’ve ever known
And you took me by surprise
You said, “I’ll never leave you alone”

You said, “I remember how we felt sitting by the water
And every time I look at you, it’s like the first time
I fell in love with a careless man’s careful daughter
She is the best thing that’s ever been mine”

You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine
Do you believe it?
Going to make it now
I can see it
I can see it now

Gosh I love Taylor Swift.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPBwXKgDTdE&ob=av2e]

My Uncle’s Wedding

I tend to love children’s books. My imagination and love for adventure, combined with my not-so-secret yearning and desire for a family of my own one day, occasionally leads me down a guilty pleasure path on YouTube: watching my favorite children’s books being read (or sung) outloud. Apparently, there’s a new genre of children’s literature where stories are read and posted online! It blows my mind.

ANYWAY

A few weeks back, in my YouTube adventures, I stumbled across a fabulous channel called “Gay Family Values.” It’s an amazing channel run by two dads about their family, their lives, and things that affect them in the world.

I watched one of their videos, which introduced me to a fabulous children’s book called “My Uncle’s Wedding” by Eric Ross. The story is told from Andy’s point of view. Like any inquisitive child, he talks about his uncle’s wedding, what it means to him, and all the things that need to be done to prep for a wedding ceremony.

You can watch it being read by the lovely dads of Gay Family Values here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLIxRcCGXWo]

Personally, I love this book! As a grad student prepping to enter the English education field, I am constantly learning about new ways to teach “touchy” subjects in the classroom to students of various age groups. (Let me just make it clear that same-sex marriage is not a touchy subject in my eyes, just in the eyes of society as a whole. Everyone should be able to marry anyone they want!) This book is the perfect way to explain same-sex marriage to younger age groups without bringing in the big hullaballoo that seems to be associated with talking about anything LGBT in the classroom. (Which, by the way, is complete BS because, as a lesbian educator, every word that comes out of my mouth is connected to something LGBT– me! If you can trust me to teach your children about the basics of literature and writing, you should be accepting of who I am.)

I highly recommend that you share this book with your local elementary schools, the children in your lives, and your local same-sex marriage naysayer. If this book doesn’t explain why same-sex marriage is the same and just as beautiful as other relationships in a way even the youngest of children can understand, I don’t know what will.

My Uncle’s Wedding

www.MyUnclesWedding.com 

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Buy it online here!

Follow Eric Ross on Twitter! @LGBT_Activist