Tag Archives: Parenting

101 Uses for a Dead Cat

Tiffany,

I totally understand what you are saying about how relationships change when you become a parent. That’s like when I decided to adopt cats, all of the dog people in my life had no idea what I was doing. They were all like ‘cat’s suck!’. What a bunch of ignorant people some of those dog folks are. The entire experience was really quite traumatic for me and my cats.

Did I ever mention that I grew up in a household where my father loathed cats? I mean he seriously, seriously loathed them. One of his prized possessions was a book called 101 Uses for a Dead Cat. It was book full of illustrations depicting people using dead cats in completely inappropriate ways. I remember my favorite picture being of a man sitting at his desk using a cat’s asshole as pencil sharpener. Another favorite was a picture showing a man using a cat as a blow-up doll.

Anyway, a year or two after 101 Uses for a Dead Cat came out, the sequel, 101 More Uses for a Dead Cat was released. It sat proudly on our bookshelf next to its predecessor. In most homes, children are surrounded by the classics; I was not. My literary experience was dumbed-down to cat assholes being used in a variety of horrifying ways. Is it any wonder that one of the first books I proudly purchased was called The Dictionary of Farts? Ahh, Tiffany, how I cherished that book!

As it was in my household, so to is it today with my extended family. In my extended family cats are generally despised. Only a couple of us dare to make company with cats, and even fewer are willing to admit that they actually like them. I kid you not, these people take the cat vs. dog debate to epic new proportions. Which, in reality is quite hilarious considering that in my family Boston Terriers and Dachshunds wearing Juicy Couture are considered to be ‘real’ dogs. Seriously.

Tiffany, in all earnestness, I know your experience as a parent is in no way the same as taking care of a couple cute cats. But, I also think that cats are widely misunderstood in our culture. In fact, I used to teach people about dog and cat anatomy, physiology and adaptations. And, I figure if I can just get a few people to understand that a cat’s butt is more than just a potential pencil sharpener, then I’ve done the species justice!

Tad

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Lesbians with Strollers at Drag Shows don’t make a Good First Impression

Dear Tad,

Speaking of possibly bringing up children bi-racial and bilingual (whether it be English/Jive or something else), I wanted to chat about the many things that changed when I became a mother. When you’re a lesbian and you become a mother, some people want to know what on Earth you were thinking.

For starters, friends I used to know dropped away, some relationships changed, and others were just dumbfounded as to what I was doing with my life. Many of my single gay friends in Paris thought I should just forget about the idea; who would want to change the single lifestyle for parenthood? Some of my old friends have still managed to hang on, and although they do not all have children, they respect my decision. But, to become a mother was my plan despite some of the criticisms I received.

The truth is that when we become parents, our lives are transformed, whether we are gay or straight. How do new parents get the people around them to see and understand these changes? I sort of liken becoming a parent to getting up the nerve to attend one’s first AA meeting. When your old drinking buddies realize that you no longer want to drink, they move on – especially when they are Aussie’s drinking Foster’s at 10am during Footy season. You’re no longer any fun. Somehow, the numbers of people who can get used to you being a parent just dwindle. Your friends still want to continue to enjoy their adult fun, free of diapers and play dates. And, let’s face it: hauling kids along to your gay boyfriend’s drag show just might not escape the radar of CPS. So, it’s best to reconsider what it means to be mature and responsible. You and your stroller just cramp the cool, single, child-free lifestyle.

Our lives are very different when we are no longer single and hopping around the globe doing whatever we want (as was in my case). I was an international teacher for several years. I had a fabulous time living in Paris and then Abu Dhabi and then parts of Asia. Then, when I had my son, my entire world changed dramatically. For now, I have become a kind of soccer mom, sans mini-van, but with an HRC sticker on my car bumper. Most of the other parents at the PTA meetings in my God-fearing small town don’t get the sticker and just presume I like to go diving. I let them think that, choosing my battles as I go.

In the end, I have to say, I don’t regret becoming a parent for one minute, despite the many challenges. My son is the light of my life, the joy of my world and I wouldn’t trade him ever for the single life again–not for The Eiffel Tower, The Berlin Wall, or The Coliseum. Having him was the best choice I’ve made. If there’s anyone who has taught me more about love and enjoying one’s life, it is my child.

Why, just the other day he asked, “Mama, can we go to Rome one day and see gladiators?” To which I replied with an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

Very kind regards,

Tiffany

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