I've been enjoying the comments on my week of bachelorhood. I think the reality is just as gendered as the jokes, though in a different way. It's a feminist household here: we divide all the chores as evenly as possible. Basically that boils down to, I clean and she cooks. So the dishes are not piled up. In fact things are generally orderly. When I'm home alone it gets very quiet and not much gets moved around. It's almost like I'm not here, except for the music which I'm almost always playing. I got very good at being invisible when I was young, disappearing out of the realm of family to exist in my own world.
What I really can't do is feed myself. It's kind of pathological at this point. The concept of meals disappears pretty fast and I really have to remind myself to eat some kind of regular, balanced food on a daily basis. I kind of hate cooking for myself. So I eat a lot of random stuff, packaged things or just out of a bag whatever. And I either eat way too much at one go or I forget to eat entirely and wonder why I feel so weird at midnight.
FG feeds me very well and I appreciate it very much. I've noticed, though, that women in general feed me. (Though my mother is an exception. Feel free to get all armchair-psychologist with that fact.) I get offered food and drink in all sorts of situations with a special kind of soliticousness. Even women who make a point of how they don't cook feed me. And I have to admit I kind of love it. It makes me feel anchored to the earth by a sisterhood of femmes who will stand between me and self-destruction. It makes me feel cared for and looked after. I know that probably sounds sexist, women as providers of nourishment and all that. Maybe it is. But hey, I clean the bathroom and take out the trash. I'm not all bad.
Her thigh-highs arrived in the mail today. Sex starvation has set in.
The visit with my grandparents was good. The highlight was definitely helping my grandmother hang her birdhouses. (Hammers! Brackets! Ladders!) She and I had some nice conversations, too, about some of the changes in my life over the last year and about homophobia in general, to name a couple of the more memorable topics. I was surprised by how empathetic and insightful she was about it all. She's been like a mother to me in many ways, due to circumstances of my upbringing and my parents' personalities--not in a direct, daily sense but in an emotional sense.
I'm like my grandmother in a lot of ways. I always think of her when I hear that U2 song, "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own." "Tough / You think you've got the stuff / You're telling me and anyone / You're hard enough" and also "I don't need / I don't need to hear you say / That if we weren't so alike / You'd like me a whole lot more." She certainly is tough, in more ways than I can list here, or would want to, considering how private she is.
She has a strong philosophy of life and she adheres to it, disregarding her own suffering if necessary, and she demands that kind of strength of character in those around her, or rather, she dismisses the weakness of those who lack it. I've called her by her first name since she asked me to stop using what she saw as a silly, sentimental title when I was five or six. I learned a lot about perservence and overcoming pain from her, and maybe some things that weren't so helpful, too, like rejecting help and refusing to forgive myself for mistakes. In recent times I've thought a lot about the negative aspects of her legacy to me, but this visit reminded me again of the good parts. It's a harsh, bleak love but it's strong and steady, too.