When Jen and I go out to eat, we like to eavesdrop on the other patron’s of the restaurant. Then in the car on the way home, we discuss the couple and what we think their personal dynamic is all about, and how they can work through whatever issues they have. This is a totally random thing to tell you because Jen was at work during this incident.
But I took P to dinner at the local Cambodian place. There was a cute couple of girls one table over. One looked like a young, slender boy and the other was a femme. So of course I wanted to know what they were up too. But as I listened to their conversation, I became increasingly annoyed. They discussed spending their summers in Guadalupe and going back to Haiti. They spoke very carefully. They talked about gender politics, and how women are objectified, and how difficult it is to reclaim your sexuality.
I wondered, “Why is this annoying me so much?” Because, this was me 10 years ago. I loved talking about the construction of gender. It was the way I flirted. If I whispered “post-structuralist interpretation of femininity” what I was really saying was, “please, let me bite your bottom lip.” I wanted to send a note over there telling them to just go home and ravish each other, since this was so obviously what this was about.
But then their conversation went south. The boyish one (the butch!) said something about her boyfriend. Her boyfriend!?! One table over, I audibly scoffed. Now I felt like sending a different note.
“Listen, girly girl who likes to tromp through beautiful downtown Port-au-Prince during the summer, I know what you are thinking. She looks like Robert Pattinson, and she knows the difference between Katha Pollitt and Carol Gilligan. She probably is a dyke. But, please, please, watch your heart. Because if you are wrong, this is going to get messy.”
And then P threw a perfectly good piece of chicken Satay across the room, and the Cambodian waitress ran her fingers through his hair, and we left.