My stepfather didn't come into our lives until I was thirty-seven or so. Like any family, we had natural resistance to change. But, over time, he has become very dear to us. Indeed, at this point I find myself unexpectedly tender and protective toward him. I love him VERY much, and now the very fact we didn't see that coming means that loving him is very gratifying.
An astute reader will guess: it is his health which has for so long been an obliquely-referenced sadness when I blog about personal feelings.
This post is not about my stepfather.
His decline has put my mom into the position of caregiving. The difficulties and challenges don't require explaining. But the particulars, for us, are no less acute for being shared by so many others.
This week, I SLAYED IT at work. I was sick'ning. I was FEE-ACE.
The three statements above are consciously and intentionally pointed thievery, mainly from RuPaul (and a little bit from Tyra Banks).
At work, I killed a graphical map presentation. I helped give birth to an initiative which stands to save my company quite a lot of money. It felt good.
And at my mom and stepfather's house, I helped them do their taxes.
Most of the time someone we love is in difficulty, we are impotent to DO anything.
The impulse is to fix. The impulse is to give advice. The impulse is to anything but passive receipt of bad news, sadness, fear, bitterness. We can't hear a problem without wanting to respond to the problem.
The secret of my life has been in responding to the person. It is why, since I was thirteen, I have been the one friends - even family - turn to. It is that saying I don't understand is a better response than fixing, advising. Thinking we do understand.
Because, even when we've been there, we never quite understand another's heart.
And so, the opportunity TO fix - TO actually, practically and concretely help - is a rare and special opportunity.
This week, I got to help.
It doesn't change the health picture. It doesn't change the fact that the secondary help I may be able to offer - to perhaps make it possible for my mom to go somewhere else and help someone else herself - is in answer to someone else's crisis. It doesn't untangle the way death creates a spiderweb that crosses more than one stand across us at any moment.
But my mom called me yesterday morning and said, "I slept."
So. What's Ru got to do with it?
Ru is my present to myself.
Drag Race has a live show, and Cute Shoes and I will get to go together. We'll get to dress up. I will meet her Gay Best Friend; someone else I know may be there with her husband, who may himself be in drag.
There will be ooh-ing and aah-ing over shoes, over wigs, over clothes and makeup.
There was already that one moment when my BROTHER got into the drag-planning and said, "You should do that greyscale makeup" and I realized I have corrupted him, and that was awesome.
Sometimes, you need something to look forward to.
I look forward to seeing the girls in the video above. I look forward to doing Pearl's "HULK SMASH" dance and loving it. I look forward to Ginger Minj's accent and sense of humor. I look forward to just looking at Violet, who is so young and so adorable and so deadly brilliant. I cannot even DEAL, that I will get to see Alaska T********** - the only thing named or remotely to do with Alaska that I ever loved (and I adore her completely).
I'm excited, excited.
And don't we ALL need that?