Please tell me your name is Sarah

Hi. I’m Sarah. Call me Sarah. Do not call me Ishmael. Because that is not my name, and it feels just a little bit too much like cultural appropriation. And I may have stolen that from Jennifer Lawson. Or possibly Moby Dick.

I am writing this, because we may be meeting for the first time at the conference named BlogHer ’14. But before we talk about that let me thank you for making it all the way here. If you like reading enough to actually look me up on my blog, I’m guessing that you also got that literary reference I just made. We’re so smart, me and you. But just a warning, my smartness does not actually include remembering your name, especially if I am tired, which is all the time.

allkindsofSarah

All kinds of Sarahs. Just kidding. They are all me!

When some people become fatigued they get cranky, but I lose the capacity to recall proper nouns. This is when I start yelling “dog, get out of the kitchen” and “children, go to bed” at the end of a long day. Oh, and I am probably cranky, too.

What is your name? (Put it in the comments. Seriously. I have no idea what your name is.)

Secretly, I am hoping your name is Sarah, because I collect those. My dream, actually, is to have friends who are only named Sarah. That way, I’ll never forget their names, and they will never feel offended, except when I offend them by saying other things like women should have the same rights as men and the same pay.

Recently, I have been actively looking for people named Sarah so I can approach them about being friends. I’m getting superstitious about this. And I have even paid to meet people named Sarah, like funding this Kickstarter for Sara Benicasa because duh. And she also said it was gay and there would be cheesecake, so obviously I should be there.
 

So anyway, it’s nice to meet you, Sarah.

Let’s be friends on all the social media:

Me on Facebook
This blog on Facebook
This blog on Twitter
Me on Twitter

I also write for BluntMoms, The HuffPost, Village Q.

See you there!

(Don’t forget to add your name to the comments.)

If you want to feel more gay, get pregnant

When I started this blog more than a year ago, I planned to write about getting pregnant and becoming a gay parent. But that story ended up being a book – a long one. Instead, this blog became a bunch of stuff about being a gay parent.

But, now I have a problem. The more I gay parent, the less gay it seems. These days, it mostly just seems like parenting, unless I kiss Pam in a public place in front of our kids. That still feels pretty gay.

And speaking of kissing people in front of strangers, we should keep doing that because sometimes it can result in national television coverage, which is great promotion for your blog if you happen to be a black, gay NFL football player. And also because people are still surprised if you’re gay and black and a football player all at the same time.

But other people don’t seem to care anymore if you are gay. Or, at least, my dad doesn’t.

“Stop telling people you are gay. No one cares if you are gay. Talk about something that matters, like the sage grouse in Wyoming,” he said.

My dad is a biologist, so his marginalized group is the sage grouse. I understand. They have rights to fight for, namely their own legitimized breeding ground. I can relate. But we are getting off track here.

My original point was about whether or not I’m feeling particularly gay. I’m not.

And as you may have already anticipated, this conversation, which was happening mostly with myself at this point because my dad is sick of talking about being gay, continued in my head. If I wasn’t feeling particularly gay right now, then when did I feel really gay? In 1997.

I was wearing men’s shoes a lot back then, and I had short hair. But then, more than 10 years later, I got pregnant and I felt super gay. I looked really straight, but I felt really gay.

This is me (right) feeling really gay. And my friend Carol (left) also feeling gay, but in the happy meaning of the word.

This is me (right) feeling really gay. And my friend Carol (left) also feeling gay, but only in the happy sense of the word.

There has been no other time in my life when people inquired more about “my husband” or searched my left hand more often for a wedding ring. But I was neither married nor heterosexual. But all of the assumptions started making me feel more self-conscious about being gay. So, I felt more like I needed to announce it to people which, I’m guessing, is around the time when my dad started feeling irritated by my constantly announcing that I was gay.

I suppose the moral of the story is that things have changed. (Is that a moral?) To feel gay, I used to need to look gay. And now it’s the opposite. If I want to feel really gay, I just need to act or look really straight. So next weekend, I’m going to have a spa day with my girlfriends, shave my legs, get my nails done and really gay it up. Just don’t tell my dad.

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What people say is not necessarily what they mean, baby

Another cheat-sheet to print, laminate and carry in the diaper bag if you have recently given birth to a tiny human. Consult it any time someone begins to talks to you and you’re too tired to figure out what they are really saying.

You’re welcome.

WhatPeopleSay

Or you can order it as a helpful greeting card for new parents here. And special thanks to Scary Mommy who ran this graphic yesterday on her popular and hilarious community for real parents.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I expect the sex talk to be easier since it was an immaculate conception, literally

Now that my children are getting older, I expect them to have a few more questions about how they got here. This is one of the down sides of teaching them how to talk, but there were so many other advantages to talking and it seemed to come naturally, so we just went with it.

There is no guide book for talking to your kids about how your gay parents had you, although I’m sure someone is writing one. And if I may, here is a suggestion for a title: How to Not Talk to Your Kids about Sex.

It recently occurred to me that I got pregnant without having sex with anyone. Or at least the sex didn’t cause me to become pregnant. OK, wait, I knew that at the time but what I’m saying is that it dawned on me that I could relay all of the details of my daughter’s conception and birth to her without mentioning anything but online shopping and trips to the doctor’s office, both of which she already knows about.

Really, it would be talking about an immaculate conception – in that it was immaculate and there was conception. In fact, it was so immaculate that my dirty vagina wasn’t allowed anywhere near the place where the sperm and the egg got together. It probably happened in a sterilized room where smart people dressed in cleanroom apparel and using pipettes put some sperm in a petri dish with my eggs. But, I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t directly involved. Seriously, I have an alibi.

immacgreenhair3

And it’s probably rude or blasphemous to call it an immaculate conception. But I didn’t call it The Immaculate Conception, because I read up on that, and I don’t get it. There are so many self-referential euphemisms in the description of the Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception that I could not figure what the Catholics were talking about. It was like talking to someone who insists on using air quotes around every other word. I mean, seriously, how can you write three paragraphs about something and still not really say what it is. So, I gave up. Maybe I’ll ask my mother-in-not-law next time I get a chance.

I think all that this really means is that in our house there will be two talks: The sex talk and the how-babies-are-born talk. Except that there won’t be, because I don’t want to have a “big talk.” I would like all of this to become part of our normal, family dialogue.

Stop! Wait! Don’t call social services! We are not going to sit around all day talking to our kids about sex. We are just going to answer questions with facts and compassion when they come up, just like everything else that we talk about.

In fact, Wynn and I have “big talks” all the time. Last night’s was about “why it’s OK to feel afraid.” And the night before, it was “being nice to your sister.” And we even had a talk about how some children don’t come out of their mom’s belly (because they are adopted). So far, that one was the most surprising to her judging only by the size of her eyes. And “feeling afraid” had the most tears. And, of course, “being nice to your sister” involved the most eye-rolling.

So, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can not talk about next.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My daughter’s birth story involves dry ice

We were sitting around the Christmas tree this weekend enjoying ten whole minutes of “family time” before some half-naked, half-crazed member of the family went running off screaming that it’s time to watch a movie. And we had a nice little family conversation about who was frozen and who wasn’t. And please don’t think this was a conversation about the weather, because it wasn’t. It started like this:

“I want to look at pictures of me in Mima’s belly,” said Wynn. She never gets tired of hearing about how she was in my uterus for 10 months. I think it’s because she’s lazy and relishes the idea of being curled up somewhere warm, carried around and automatically fed through a tube in her stomach.

“I want to look at pictures of me in Mima’s belly, too,” said Marlo.

“You were frozen,” said Pam.

“I was frozen, too,” said Wynn.

“No you weren’t. Only Marlo was frozen,” I said.

Wynn and Marlo were part of the same batch and Wynn was hatching (this is really what they call it) so they put her in my uterus — her favorite place in the whole world — and Marlo went to the deep freeze along with some others (the other little Mexicans) for two years.

“I want to be frozen!” cried Wynn.

“Listen, not everyone can be frozen. Only Marlo and Han Solo.”

“Who is Hand Solo?” said Marlo.

“A space cowboy.”

“I want to watch Toy Story!”

Family time over. And then I thought about it later and wondered if it was appropriate to tell your children that they were frozen in a lab for two years before they were born. Is it embarrassing to be frozen in a lab? Seriously. Judge me. I’m used to it. I just can’t wait to hear Marlo tell someone that she was frozen, like Hand Solo.

girl baby

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
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 © Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Look for me, I’ll be dressed as a lesbian.

It’s Halloween. You probably noticed. And in case you’re wondering, I will be dressed up as a lesbian. And I’ll be hanging out with a cross-dressing Mickey Mouse and a Rock Star Ariel – because a regular, old princess mermaid just doesn’t cut it these days. My lovely spouse will be joining us, and I believe she will also be dressed as a lesbian. A warmly dressed one, undoubtedly.

I think we’ll make a great crew. And if it works out, maybe we’ll start a girl band. Feel free to suggest some band names in the comments.

And this brings me to my next point. How do you dress as a lesbian for Halloween? Let me tell you, because I learned this in high school French class from a very pretty, popular girl who was sitting behind me. Let’s call her T.

Me: What are you going to dress up as for Halloween?

T: A lesbian.

Me: Oh, how are you going to do that?

T: I’m going to wear a tight black leotard and cover myself with lipstick kisses.

Me: Wow. Hmmm.

Here is a life-size reproduction of what this probably looked like:

mani-tard

And it’s a bit awkward, because the only thing more uncomfortable than wearing a leotard in public is wearing a leotard in public while propagating your own made-up stereotype about lesbians. That and she is practically an adult going Trick-or-Treating with an jack-o-lantern candy bucket.

But, THIS CHICK IS GORGEOUS! And covered in kisses. So now you know why I turned gay.

Happy Halloween!

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© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

That moment when you realize your friend has new boobs.

This year, I got together with a friend who got new boobs. And yes, I am being intentionally vague to protect the children that are most likely reading this blog. But here’s the awkward part, I didn’t notice that they were actually new.

I mean, I guess I did, but bras can do amazing things. And I’m pretty sure they could do that. But maybe not. I don’t know. I’m not an expert on this subject. Actually, I do have some fairly specific expertise on this topic. Because I have probably held a few more boobs in my hand than the average American woman. But certainly not nearly as many as a mammography nurse or a lactation consultant. Holy crap, people! I’m not a slut!

Anyhow, back to the new boobs on the old friend. She had to point them out. And it was so awkward that I don’t even really remember how it went down, because I was traumatized by the whole event, and now it is a repressed memory that has re-surfaced just in time for this post. I must be healing.

Her: “Did you notice my implants?”

Me: “Uh, yes. I guess. They look great! Er. Good. Am I allowed to talk about your breasts?”

Her: “Well, I thought you might not have noticed.”

Me: “I noticed they looked a bit bigger, but I was raised by proper Anglophiles, and we don’t talk about people’s breasts. Or bodies, at all. We only discuss napkin rings, vacation homes, concertos and the Royal Family.”

Her: “What do you think? I didn’t want them to be too big.”

Me: “If you like them, I like them.” I wish I would stop saying I like them.

Her: “They’re a B.”

Me: “Nice. And I’m not going to say anything else, because then you’ll probably want me to touch them. That’s how these conversations usually go.”

Her: “Really, this happens to you often?”

Me: “Yes, every week, practically.”

That last part was a total lie, but what else could I say. I needed out. But now that we’re back in. So help! What do you say when your friend gets new boobs? And yes, I checked, this is not in the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” so help me! What are you people good for?

carnegie

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 © Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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