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Old 07-29-2022, 03:13 PM   #37

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Wally World

I’m calling it “PPSA” Post Pandemic Social Awkwardness. You know what I mean…It’s real. It’s a thing and it’s so damn hard to navigate!

We have been changed forever by the pandemic. We have lost so many and lost so much. We have also lost and hopefully are beginning to find ourselves again. That’s how I feel at least. I have been struggling to figure out who the hell I am now in this post pandemic world. Some things haven’t and won’t change, but so much has. It had to.

To me, it’s like the pandemic held up an enormous mirror-it revealed a lot. A lot that we really did not want to see- about ourselves, our world, everything. This mirror will not come down now, and it will continue to reveal truths that are uncomfortable but so very important for us to learn.

Moving back home to MT after a 33 year hiatus in the PNW was a huge thing, but moving into my parent’s home to help take care of my Dad who almost died the same week the pandemic hit was a total tsumnami.

Thankfully, he has recovered and while he’s only going to continue to decline, he still has some good time left. This is why I’m here, this is my role right now…helpful loving part-time caregiving daughter.

Good…step one.

Step two…learn how to talk and be around people again in a socially appropriate coherent and effective way.

Have you found yourself so damn excited to talk to some random stranger now that you actually can that you don’t realize you’re starting to ramble or talking wayyyy too fast or just a little too much? Yep…there it is…PPSA.

Some folks get it and it’s funny…not many do but I’m so grateful for the few that do. Those who don’t I have found just basically ignore me or slowly back away and disappear like I am some crazy cat lady who didn’t get out much even before the pandemic hit.

Relearning social cues and nuances is hard work! Often I find myself just slipping back into the comfort of incognito silent observant mode without the benefit of the mask.

I also realized the other day while perusing the wonderful world of Walmart that I had suddenly become unusually and uncharacteristically…shy. Again…sans mask. WTH? I have always been able to talk to anyone and am not shy and love people thank you very much. You need a greeter? A hostess with the mostess? I’m your femme baby. WTF happened to me during this pandemic? PPSA that’s what!

I was barely in the door of the store doing a slow roll with the cart I really didn’t want when I saw her. She was walking in front of me about 100 ft away or so. Her tall athletic frame was casually dressed in jeans, boots and T-shirt, black banded watch on her tan wrist. Her hair was shoulder length, straight and a beautiful shade of gray fox. She looked like many of the hard working practical ranch wives that permeate my Montana town. However…she had a bit of a swagger, that “get the fuck outta my way I’m getting shit done” kind of walk…you know the one. I love that hard earned strength and no nonsense “Don’t-give-a-shit-what-you think” attitude. It’s so.damn.hot.

But…was she? Probably not…Maybe? Should I go up and say something nice about her hair? Oh shit…nope just don’t…you’ve got PPSA so bad-don’t embarrass yourself or her…but life is short…go do it! No…I can’t I might make a complete ass of myself. How many women do you see like her? Omg…the litany of conversation I had with my invisible femme self was ridiculous. Where did my femme self go? I’ve had to hide her here-we’re not in Seattle anymore! Where the hell was my strut? I could still do it in my sandals couldn’t I? Is it safe to let her out to play? OMG…annnnnnd she was checked out and gone before I could say Damn.

Let’s talk about what cis women are like here in Montana and why it’s so damn hard to tell who might actually be any kind of lesbian or queer identifying person at all-especially if you are in my 50+ age bracket.

The Butchest looking women are typically the extremely straight ranch wives walking alongside their cowboy/rancher/redneck type husband or male partner. Truth.

Now, I don’t know for 100% certainty that they are NOT queer-that’s true, but 9 times out of 10 they are straight as an arrow. I was raised here, and things have not changed that much!

When I did run across a lesbian married couple last year, I asked them what was up in this town with the lesbian community. I said “Do they hide here?’ and she immediately said “Yes”. It’s just too conservative and redneck for most to feel safe. Most are younger married couples with kids and they stick to themselves. Even though we are in a fairly liberal college town, my community is in hiding. I’m an invisible femme…my local community is in hiding. Great.

So online I go…to find anyone queer identifying to just meet up for coffee or perhaps go hiking. I have been hit on by 20-30 yr old somethings who are “Bi-curious” and want experiences with a mature experienced lesbian. *Cue dry heaves. Sigh…I will continue to try to find some family here as I will need to stay here until my Dad passes I think.

I am a PPSA femme in a dry mountain non-gay desert. Somebody please (A butch preferably) throw me sparkly pink life preserver and tell me It will get better?!


PS...I never ever want to offend anyone in our community with my writings and strive to always be inclusive and sensitive to everyone here. If there is anything I need to change or learn about or consider please let me know. My door is open and I'm always interested in learning and becoming the best person and femme I can be. I'm an OSOF Femme of a certain vintage age but I always strive to be up to date, sensitive and honor everyone as much as possible!
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