Break It Down, Butch.

December 25, 2010

[51] Christmas, 2010.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 21:26
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It’s amazing how much better things get when you have family and turkey and pretty lights and SO MANY DOGS and presents and slightly crap TV and — Christmas, basically.

We’re not particularly religious, and this whole side of the family (i.e. my step-mum’s side, because everyone else lives hundreds and/or thousands of miles away) is a little awkward with each other, but we still do the tree and the gifts and the roast beast (except for the step-mum, who’s vegetarian), and a ridiculous amount of presents, AND DID I MENTION THE DOGS?

There were four this year. Two chocolate labs my dad owns, one black lab my step, uh, grandparents own, and a GINORMOUS Newfoundland puppy-thing that tried to EAT MY HEAD.

(I was literally dripping dog drool at one point. It was both hilarious and gross.)

Happiness is seriously a house full of dogs.

Anyway! I got presents (a martial arts DVD, a hoodie, a pretty swish looking necklace and bracelet from friends who get the butch thing, some pink bath stuff from family who really don’t, a gift voucher — and at some point in the future I’ll be getting new glasses, a coat, and some Timberland boots), and ate waaaay too much turkey, and got a whole lot of back-pats and shoulder-squeezes from the male side of the family, which was interesting.

I’m looking particularly guyish at the moment. In the interests of feeling like myself again, I went and got the stupid girly hair-mistake chopped off and restyled, so now it’s super-short and spiky and so much better. I can look in a mirror again without wincing, which is a major improvement in life.

But yes, male-looking. Which seems to bring out a certain… reaction in the guys of my family. There’s a sort of fellow-feeling that goes around. Like a shared wink and a sense of usefulness (it’s the guys who do most of the Christmas work, while the women tend to put their feet up and get drinks provided; an arrangement that seems to work for everyone), and a kind of mutal glee over making sure everything goes off without a hitch and decent presents are provided.

It’s all very caveman, really.

But this year I got a lot more included. I haven’t been to a family christmas in two years (I spent the last two with my ex-girlfriend in the States), so maybe they’re more used to my genderwierdness now, or maybe I’m just more comfortable inside my own skin and it shows. Who knows? Either way, it was pretty cool.

(Though, again, daft pink bath stuff. Yeesh.)

Actually, thinking about it, I’ve only been embracing the butch thing for the past year-ish or so, so it probably is that being more comfortable inside my own skin thing.

That aside, back to my original point — CHRISTMAS IS HERE AND IT IS AWESOME. I have eaten turkey THREE TIMES TODAY and it is not yet getting old. (Though I am extremely full.)

Continuing the good news, starting tomorrow I only have two and a half more days at work, and then I am freeeeee!

Also, I have The Chronicles of Narnia on the TV and a snoring labrador pressed against my hip. Is this the best Christmas ever? I THINK IT IS.

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December 19, 2010

[49] Family thinking.

Filed under: Uncategorized — DK @ 21:34
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Mini-disclaimer: This isn’t so much a butch post as a life post. Sometimes they sneak up on me.

My family history is a little fucked up.

I’m pretty sure if you sliced open half the population and checked out the writing inside their hearts, you’d see that phrase inked right between the ventricles. There are storybook families out there, I’m sure there are, but they’re rare. They’re so rare. And the rest of us poor suckers are stuck in the cracks of the human condition.

Do you ever have that conversation? You know the one, where you meet a new person — a friend of a friend, a date, a work colleague, a nice looking stranger — and you have that talk. The where’re you from, what’s your family like talk.

My last three went something like: alcoholic mum, child-molesting father, asshole older brother…

Seriously.

In my case, it was RAF-dad and schizophrenic mum. Which was really not as bad as it could have been, but despite being white and middle-class and generally disgustingly privileged, there was still a buttload of suckitude in my early teenage years, and the whole family-thing fractured way apart.

I used to be bitter. Nowadays I just get a little sad.

But here’s the thing. I went through the dusty old family photo albums recently, and I found this picture. This small, sepia-tinted, break-your-heart picture of my parents, back before they ever had kids or a mortgage or a marriage. Back when my mum’s mind still worked right, and my dad looked happy, and they’re both so young.

My mum is beautiful and grinning and sitting sideways on my dad’s knee, arms wrapped around his neck, temple pressed to temple. My dad is handsome and smiling and just a little awkward, leaning into my mother. I’ll bet you anything it was her dad taking the photo.

They don’t look much older than I am now.

I wish I’d known them back then. I don’t really know them now, if I’m honest, but it’s a different thing. They’re parents, and we have all this broken, twisted up hurt wrapped around us. (And we were never that great at talking anyway.) But they look like real people back then, with so much hope and bright shiny futures, and I wish I’d known them. I want to know if I’m like them, if we ever think the same, if they had the same fears and hopes and screwed up ideas I have.

(Okay, I’m pretty sure neither one of them was a butch queer transthing, but still.)

There’s a lot of stuff written out there about learning from parents — dads, mostly, when it comes to butches, but mums occasionally — and getting over parents and trying not to be be your parents…

Someday, if I ever have my own family, I hope I get to give the pictures to my kids myself. With my partner. And I hope we’re smiling when we do. Because this whole looking at a single, stolen photo and getting melancholy about it thing sucks.

Parents. Oi.

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