Protective Sam


A Cat, a Half-Naked Woman, and a Computer

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Protective Sam

Happy Things

  • When you open up on something that has the potential to be painful*, and people are so, so decent about it, it almost makes you cry.

  • When you open up about that thing and then you get a bunch of emails from people who are supportive and/or sharing similar experiences, and you feel less alone.

  • Surprise invitations to things I'm not interesting in going to, but the invitations themselves are nice.

  • Gena Rowlands.  True story: when I worked at Bed Bath & Beyond, there was this delightful old lesbian cougar who came in a couple times a week, just for flirting with me.  She reminded me so much Gena Rowlands that the first time I met her I made her sign something to prove she wasn't in disguise.  (But really, what would Gena Rowlands be doing in Humboldt County, CA?)  She was a great flirt.  Taught me a lot.

  • That look on someone's face when they suddenly get it.  We talk a lot about social justice stuff in this house, particularly the ways in which women are harmed and men are not.  Ben tries hard, but he's often largely privileged white computer dude, and therefore clueless.  I consider it a side quest in my life to stab that bubble of privilege as often as possible.  Today I told him that most rapes are committed by people close to the victim, not stranger danger assaults.  "Statistically speaking, you're more likely to hurt me than someone I've never met."  Looooong, slow, uncomfortable blink.  I think he gets it now.

  • When I have the occasional fond memory of my ex.  She was complicated.  She was abusive.  She was not easy to love.  She's still a pain in my ass.  But I miss sitting on the couch binge-watching Netflix and then jumping her bones.  She was always so startled and unsure how to return physical affection.

*I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of the thing itself anymore, haven't been for a long time.  But people can be extraordinarily shitty about intimate details of things they don't approve of.  So you end up hiding it, never saying anything about it, until one day you let it out, and when someone's compassionate and kind--and when they also share their stories!--it's almost like a shock.  You wait for shoes to fall from the sky.  But no, there's no shoes.  Just humanity.


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