The Hunt for Red October. Actually for sperm, but that doesn’t sound as cool or involve a missile.

When I was in junior high, they never explained what to do if you wanted to have a baby and you didn’t have a man in your life. Or sperm. Or at least a man whose sperm you wanted to get in the regular way. I definitely have men in my life. I love men. But we’ll talk about that later. My point is that I didn’t have a man in my life whose sperm I could have by just asking nicely.

So, after we decided to have a baby, we needed to find a way to get some sperm. Most couples don’t have this problem. At least that’s what I thought until I found that almost 10% of couples experience infertility problems. But 100% of lesbians experience infertility problems, if you count both of them together as a couple, which most people do, but some people do not. But that’s up to the Supreme Court to decide right now. Do you see how confusing this is? Let’s move on.

We needed sperm. That was obvious. And we weren’t the only ones that had noticed. My uncle did, too. He called me one night around my birthday in 2007. This is a man, whom I love, who is so full of love that he can almost never contain himself. His love is especially hard to contain when he’s had a few adult beverages and he’s on the phone with you and it’s your birthday.

I picked up the phone.

“Happy birthday. Are you going to have kids?” he says.

Do I know you? Oh. It’s Uncle Bernie.

“We are thinking about it.”

I cringed. I had already said too much! I shouldn’t have said anything. I thought about slamming down the phone. Faking a bad connection. He had a cheap cell phone. I could blame it on him.

But the door was open, and he unabashedly walked through it.

You should. Best thing that ever happened to me, he said. He knew a woman who wanted to have a child so she just went to a bar one night when she was ovulating (we ladies, we know these things using our supreme powers of intuition) and picked up a guy, and boom had a baby. You could do that, my uncle offered. It was inexpensive. And there would be lots of men who would be up for the task, he assured me.

I tried to picture it. But I doubted that it would work. Allow me to list the reasons:

1. Denver doesn’t have any bars. OK, that is a lie. But I didn’t know where any of them were. Especially ones with slutty, fertile men.

2. I would have to learn how to pick up men at said bars. That would take practice, and I didn’t have much time. I might have to take a picking-up-men-at-bars class and that would cost money. Wasted, I might add because I probably would only use those skills one other time, when I wanted to have another baby.

3. It might be really hard to track down the same slutty, fertile guy using only his first name and a foggy, well-drink induced memories of our one-night stand, if I wanted to have a second baby.

4. (And this is probably the most important one.) Pam would not let me.

So, this option was out. Next?

2beans

I love my dog, but not like that

I would be remiss to leave the discussion about dogs without mentioning that every once in a while someone asks me if I want to marry one. Now, fortunately, this doesn’t happen much anymore, because thanks to the on-going, public debate about gay marriage, people are beginning to realize that gay people want to marry other people, not animals.

But let’s go back there for just a minute. Back to the water-colored memories of sitting in a bar on a Friday afternoon having a really awkward conversation with one of Pam’s former co-workers. And, as usual, it starts something like this.

“If we let gay people get married, then where do we draw the line? Do we let people marry their pets?”

In case you don’t have time to read this entire post, let me give you the straight-forward answer. We draw the line at people.

I know it’s confusing. There are people, and then there are animals. And some animals are pretty great. Really great. We love them so much. I love them so much. But I don’t want to marry them. I really, really loved our dog Kitty Butler. She even had a gay name, but I still didn’t want to marry her.

So when someone asks this question: “If we let gay people marry, where do we draw the line blah, blah, blah?”

My first thought is usually, do you have any pets? Because I do and they would make a terrible spouse. Please, allow me to elaborate.

1. My dog does not have a job. I want to marry up, people. Or at least marry someone who can pull their weight around the house. Every dog I have ever owned sits around all day, mostly sleeping, and then acts irritated when I bother them. Now I realize that this might make them seem like a spouse. But they are not watching TV or drinking beer. They are an animal. You can tell if you look at their butt. They have a tail or usually the remnants of one. But I digress.

2. My dog does not sleep in my bed. Oooops. Nevermind. Skip that argument.

3. I do not want to have sex with my dog. That’s it. I know some people do. In fact, the other day, while walking our dog, this homeless guy hit on my dog. He walked up to us, started acting flirtatious (I think that’s what he was doing… or he had an eye tick) and said, “Hey baby, I have all my vaccinations.” As a responsible pet owner, I think it is my job to protect my dog from people who want to have sex with her, so we ignored him and kept walking. And that’s all I’m going to say on this topic, because this is not that kind of web site, and I’m not that kind of girl, even though I’m gay, and I know that’s confusing.

4. My dog sucks at heart-felt conversation. She can’t talk. She can only groan or bark. Neither of these verbalizations make me feel loved or cared for in the way that I truly desire. I do not feel truly heard when I talk to my dog. Unless I say “Do you want your dinner?” or “Do you want to go for a walk?” Then, I have her full attention. But this also just makes me feel used.

5. We are not equals (me and my dog). Man and woman. Woman and woman. Man and man. Intersex, hermaphrodites and any of the previously mentioned. No matter the combination, I believe a marriage should be the joining of equals. Please note I didn’t say fair. But equal. And maybe I’m an animal racist jerk, but my dog is not my equal. I have thumbs. She does not. I read books. She can catch a squirrel with her bare hands. Ooops, I mean teeth. Well, maybe that makes us equally cool. But I think we would be hard-pressed to say that she has the same potential that I have. See heart-felt conversation above. I’m still holding out hope that I’ll be really good at that. I don’t think she ever will be.

So I hope that clears it up. Gay people want to marry other gay people. Or hey, if gay people want to marry straight people, that’s fine, too. You can double the size of your wardrobe and you can share a locker at the gym to save money. That alone, should make it more appealing than straight marriage. But you would not be able to do these things with your dog. So don’t marry him.

P.S. Still no medical records.

2beans

It’s been three weeks and no medical records. This could make me insane.

I do not have the medical records from the fertility clinic that I requested and agreed to pay for three weeks and three days ago. The form says it “may take up to 3 weeks from the date of receipt…..” I sent the request on February 19 at 15:43. We are using military time, because this is extremely serious stuff. And because that is what the fax machine uses.

So just to make sure that I’m doing this right, I just Googled it. Because that’s what I do all day. I Google things. It makes me feel like I have a cool job. At Google. And I got 125 million results in .21 seconds. That’s a record. But not a medical record, which is what I’m looking for. And I am doing this right. Because the internet knows everything.

According to all 125 million web sites, it is my right to have copies of my medical records. Ok, you’re right. I’m exaggerating. According to the first three sites that I skimmed, I have a right to my medical records, except possibly records related to mental health. Great. That was the part I’m looking for. I want to find out what happened, and if I was crazy to have kids. I know it’s too late now, but I just want to find out.

And here is what About.com says about possibly not receiving your mental health records:

If you request records that the provider or facility deems may be harmful to you, they may deny you access. These records are often mental health records. They cannot be withheld just because the provider believes they will upset you. But you can be denied if the provider thinks you will do harm to yourself because of their outcome.

Hello! Yes. The records could be harmful to me, because I could have AIDS and be on drugs according to form and I don’t even know! See, you asked me right here.

medical records

Please. Help me. I must get this information. I could die. Or be insane. Or on drugs, and I don’t even know it because it has not or will not be fully disclosed to me.

 

 

OK. That space was me calming down. I’m just going to call them today to follow up. That is a what a person who is alive, reasonable and drug-free would do. So for now, we’ll just pretend that that’s me.

Read the other posts like this:
You’ll need a form for that. And a credit card.

Frankie the chihuahua gets a home and a name, spoiler alert, it’s Frankie

The first night with Frankie was an telling one — as is the first night with any new family member. I put her on a dog bed in our room, because in my experience, that the best place for dogs for a lot of reasons.

But this was not the best place for Frankie. At least not according to Frankie. The best place was right between my collar bone and my chin. And I don’t know if you’ve seen my neck. It’s pretty great. But I like to keep it to myself for my own enjoyment, especially at night.

So, I rolled Frankie into a tiny little ball and put her on the dog bed, then got into my side of bed and turned off the light. The second it was dark, I was attacked. This is your worse nightmare. I thought of all the horror movies I have never seen. Beasts, monsters, psychopaths, hockey players attacking as soon as you were horizontal, naked, blinded by the darkness and female. I panicked.

And then I realized it was Frankie. On my neck.

I picked her up and put her back on the dog bed. Turned out the light. She was back on my neck. I barely had time to turn out the light. I put her back on her bed. She was back on my neck. She was getting good at this. Bed. Neck. Bed. Neck. This was war.

I gave up.

For the next two nights Frankie slept on my neck. And it was kind of nice. For Frankie. And then we found out that our neighbor’s mother was searching for the perfect dog, because her’s had recently died and she adored dogs. We brought Frankie by for a visit. It was love at first sight. So we gave Frankie to her. And she gave Frankie the name Frankie. And the last I heard they were living happily-ever-after in some new outfits with a new purse, something I could have never could have given Frankie. That, and a permanent sleeping space on my neck.

Which brings me to my next point. Unlike dogs, once you decide to have children, it’s not a decision that you can take back. In fact, I think it might be the only decision you can’t take back. OK, besides suicide. But that’s different. Because it involves death. And this involves life. Nevermind, I can see how they are related.

But back to my original point of the Frankie story. I have found dogs to be a reasonable analogy for children, except that you can’t give a child away if it sleeps on your neck. Oh, except you can. It’s called adoption. But Frankie is the only dog that we got and then gave away. We kept all the others.

And some of them we had planned to get and others we had not. But we definitely wanted all of them. Just like kids. So more on that next time.

Dogs can fly

I didn’t have a cell phone or I would have speed-dialed Pam to tell her I was bringing a chihuahua home. And sent her a picture, posted it to Facebook, Instagram and  Pinterest. But it was the olden days. I would have to use my mouth to communicate this news, once I got home in lag time.

Me: I found a chihuahua.

Pam: Is it a toy?

Me: No. It’s a real dog.

I was now the victim of a sniffing attack by Kitty and Mouse. So we did formal introductions, which went pretty well, because when you go straight for checking out someone’s genitals it puts everyone at ease.

Then, I put Frankie down and she jumped on the table. Yes, from the floor.

Me: Did you see that?

Pam: Yeah. She’s possessed.

Me: I know. I didn’t think dogs could fly.

So I had my work cut out for me. Keeping Frankie on the ground.

dogs - frankie

The first baby animals in our lives

I am not sure how anyone decides to have children. Now, I realize that some people don’t actually decide. (It just happened!) We’ll have to make fun of those people later. I also realize that for other people it’s really just a question of “when.” But for us, it was most definitely a question of “if.” And I am sad to report that I still don’t have the answer after more than ten years of intensive research, which probably explains why my credentials are often questioned and my funding has been yanked for this project. But I will continue the research. Because the world must know the truth.

And the truth is that this decision is extremely personal, which is why I’m blogging about it, of course. And why we are debating this question in Washington DC, constantly, because someone needs to be in charge of all this baby-making madness! We should also pass a law about which haircuts people can have and whether men should wear earrings. Because some things are just not appropriate in America and personal decisions should not be left up to actual people.

But I digress.

There is one thing that really helped me decide whether I was actually psychologically prepared to raise a whole, actual human and then cast them off into this wacky world when we were both ready — which would probably be never.

This thing was having dogs.

Before we had kids, we had four dogs: Raleigh, Kitty Butler, The Mouse and Frankie. At one point, we owned all of these animals at the same time. I would not recommend this approach, but shit happens. And that will be Friday’s post, maybe. Or next Wednesday depending on how long this Frankie story takes. But today’s post is about Frankie, who is really almost a technicality when it comes to dog ownership. But when you’re gay and having kids, everything, and I mean everything is about technicalities. But again, I digress.

I found Frankie on the sidewalk one day while walking down a busy street in our old neighborhood. She was a puppy miniature pinscher chihuahua mix with no collar. I freaked out, like I always do when I see a cute dog. But this was not a good freak out. It was a bad one. But you couldn’t tell, because I was trying to be calm for Frankie (that wasn’t her name, yet). If I panicked, she would panic, run into the street and I would have live the rest of my life knowing what it looked like when a chihuahua was crushed under a steel-belted radial tire. So this was life or death, people. And this was my moment. I couldn’t freak out.

So I approached her very slowly and bent down. She came to me and I picked her up. I was carrying a Lady Gaga purse made out of bacon, so that helped. And I am the chihuahua whisperer. One of my little-known, unpublished (until now) areas of expertise. Frankie started licking my neck. It must have had some bacon on it.

Then, I started knocking on peoples’ doors to see if I could find her owner. I was in luck. I found a house with a wooden gate with a hole chewed in the bottom and went to the door where a 20-ish guy with saggy pants and poor grammar answered the door.

Me: Is this your dog?

Him: Yeah.

Me: She got out.

Him: I know it’s always doing that.

The guy looked really irritated and put out that I had brought his dog back to him. And he was not making any body movements that indicated I could hand Frankie to him, even though I was holding her squirming body out to him with strong, outstretched arms that were clearly reaching in his direction.

Me: Do you want her?

Him: (Taking the dog) It’s not mine. It’s my sister’s. It’s always getting out.

Me: Do you want her? I mean, really want to keep her? Because I’ll take her.

Him: No. Not really. It’s my sister’s.

Me: Are you sure? I will take her right now, if you say that I can have her.

Him: Go for it.

Me (thinking) I just won a cute, free dog that loves my neck. I need to get out of here before this guy changes his mind.

I practically ran down the sidewalk and around the corner. I was afraid to look back. He might be chasing me with all his friends and his nunchucks or his PS3 controller. But he wasn’t. Oh well. Now what? I owned a chihuahua.

2beans

The only place I’m not gay

The only place I’m not gay is on my legs. I shave them. Oh, never mind. We’re talking about places where people know I’m gay. Which is most places or not. You would have to ask those places. But there is one place that I don’t talk about being gay. It’s not like I talk about it a lot! Except right now on this blog. So let me further clarify: There is really only one place where I avoid, if possible, mentioning that my spouse is female. And that place is the locker room at 24-Hour Fitness.
It’s not the gym’s fault. They aren’t homophobic, I promise. I’m just sort of a prude and I would rather not be naked, gay and with strangers all at the same time. So I’m sticking with naked and strangers for now, and maybe someday I’ll have a big, gay coming out party with all the ladies from Body Pump in the suburbs.
But the big gay topic is getting harder to avoid, especially with a woman I will call D.
D is a fixture in the second mirror from the left at 24-Hour Fitness. She is tall, fashionable and a Mary Kay representative. She is also everyone’s friend, and she’s not afraid to ask some up-close and personal questions.
D: How are your girls?
Me: Good. So funny. Marlo is talking a lot now.
D knows about by kids because she saw me when I was 18 months pregnant. Did I mention that I’m an elephant? I gestated a giant baby for at least 24 months. During that time, she quietly and delicately yelled across the locker room: “When did that happen?” I assume she was talking about my distended belly.
D: Are you going to have any more babies?
Me: Snort. No.
D: Are you sure?
Me: Um yeah.
D: You’ve taken care of all that?
Oh jeez. This is getting awkward.
Me: Yes. I’m 42.
D: Well, that doesn’t matter. You want to be sure. You know. Are you sure?
Me: Yes.
Then she asks me to help her with the buttons on her sleeve and we cut straight to the porn scene. It is a women’s locker room after all.
But now that the moment has passed I’ve thought of so many better answers. Here are a few:
1. There is no sperm in our relationship. Actually, there is but it’s in a freezer in Virginia.
2. We broke the test tube.
3. Our credit cards are maxed out.
4. We’re fresh out of eggs.
5. It was last call, and we were cut off.
I don’t think D would have gotten the joke, but maybe she would after we have a big, gay locker room surprise party. Maybe I’m plan that for next year.
us
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