Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,


I am back from my trip to the wilds of Middle America.

I have a cold, or maybe it's just seasonal allergies. I don't know. My sinuses are full of guck and I have an exciting cough / sore throat / froggy-voice combo from post-nasal drip, plus I'm tired, but I don't have any of the achiness or temperature that normally go with a cold. So who knows. I'm trying minimize my touching things here at work so as not to spread any potential germs, regardless.

Oh, and my brain appears to be running in "power-save" mode today.

The trip was nice. Plane flights were short. They were also on little tiny jetplanes -- only 18 rows, two seats each side. If I stretched a little bit, the top of my head would brush the ceiling in the aisle. The Springfield airport has about a dozen gates, total. I guess that's the difference between a regional airport and an international one. It was very odd for someone like me, used to DIA.

We stayed one of those long-term suite/hotel things, where you sort of get a whole (small) apartment. I shared a three-bed (one double bed, two twins) with two of my brothers, and got to claim the double bed upstairs. My little brother brought his Xbox (Dad & company drove out in El Pickuptruck Supergigantico), but only two games - Halo 2 and I think Morrowind something. Had I known, I would have brought some games with me. We played some Halo, but I suck at it, so left it to other siblings before too long. The hotel room was quite nice, except that from the balcony, upstairs, I could see what looked like a (long-dead) condom on top of the living room ceiling fan. I couldn't find a stick or anything to get it off to verify its nature and dispose of it, so I figured the cleaning staff probably couldn't either and I just pretended it wasn't there. I alternated between thinking it was gross and thinking it was kind of funny.

You should insert about a half-hour pause between each paragraph as you read this. I have to sort of build up enough mental charge to think about the different things I'm doing today, and when it runs out I have to switch and do something else until it builds back up again.

The wedding was nice. It was in my sister's church, which is a Baptist thing that's almost more like a theater in layout (and in red velvet pews!) than a church. That sort of captures the weird mix of religious ceremony and public performance that was the wedding. There was a long, talky sermon before the exchange of fairly traditional vows, but there was also a PowerPoint slideshow with pictures of the bride & groom as kids projected onto a big screen. I missed a lot of this because I got press-ganged into ushing guests, assisting two little girls who lit the candelabras on the stage dais, escorting the bride's mothers down to the front, and wrangling ring-bearers.

See, the ring-bearer was their dog (a year-old, very nice, if somewhat spazzy, beagle), brought in on dual leashes by two of the groom's three-year-old nephews. So there was a little bit of supervision needed there. One of the boys immediately broke for his mother in the audience when we came through the side door, but otherwise it was all fine. People enjoyed it, we dropped the ring on the floor but I spotted it, everything was fine.

The preacher and the church-usage lady kept telling me not to worry (beforehand) or that I did great (afterwards); I don't think I managed to successfully communicate to them that I've been to more than 22 weddings (that's just counting my peers), and have participated in one fashion or another in literally half of those. By comparison to some, this was really not that big a deal.

Sunday, the rest of my family had to take off relatively early and my return flight wasn't until 6 pm (which I thought was annoying until I found out how small the Springfield airport is), so I hung out at my sister's house with a couple of her friends who had very graciously agreed to take me to the airport that afternoon. Her house is about the size of my apartment. Maybe a little smaller, even. Nice for two people, though.

I got to see my ex-stepmother and my ex-stepsister this weekend, which was nice. I haven't really seen them in ages (other than briefly a year ago Christmas, I think), and it was good to catch up with them. They were both very pleasant. I know that my Dad's divorce from her (wife #2) was terribly acrimonious, but I never saw anybody's bad side come out, so I can't really picture either of them being as terrible to each other as I know (intellectually) they must have been. It's easy to just ignore it and go on being civil to the people that I know, rather than than trying to find out about the people they might also be.

It's a lot like my sexuality, I suppose. I'm sort of inadvertently closeted to that side of my family; I came out to my father several years ago, and I assumed that he'd tell everyone else eventually, but I've recently come to realize that he probably didn't because he disapproves and is hoping that it might be "just a phase". I've brought kung_fu_monkey to various family holidays, and some relatives (older step-brother, I think, who asked after him when I was driving him to the airport while the rest of the family was at church) seem to have realized that we have a Relationship™ of some kind, but others seem not to (step-mom, who asked if I was going to go up with the single men to try and catch the garter -- though on the other hand, she also made sure he had a stocking at Christmas, so maybe I'm wrong). And, of course, none of them know about saintpookie, whom I haven't mentioned yet, because given the mormon church's stance on standard queerness, I can't even imagine what it would have to say about same-sex polyamory.

Anyway, there are lots of clues floating about, but nobody ever asks the obvious questions. I think that probably they mostly know, and just don't particularly want confirmation. Why disrupt the harmony we've got? And that's fine, I suppose. I mean, we're not really that close to each other in the first place, so it doesn't get in the way of any tight bonds. And I don't have to lie about anything -- I just omit. It's kind of tiresome to have to watch my tongue to make sure I don't slip and mention something I shouldn't, but since I already need to be cautious when talking about politics, religion, medicine, economics, culture, and commercial software, adding "personal life" to the list of things to be careful with isn't that much of a burden.

The whole weekend reminded me that I can pretty easily get along with everyone on that side one-on-one and moment-to-moment; it's only dealing with the family as a whole and in the abstract that makes me want to commit violence.

Yesterday was cold and rainy. HEAVY rain. A sneeze of hail, as well. I spent much of the day sleeping.

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