This is a “no closet” family…

I say this on a regular basis simply because we have three cats (now four since Emma moved in with Tiny Tiger) so I’m often fishing a cat out of a closet before shutting the door. It’s said as a joke but also as a reminder to Jeremy that no one in this family needs to hide themselves. This includes me.

So… I’m reasonably sure I’m asexual. So far the only people who know are L, Captain Glittertoes, and my teenagers.

And, well, now almost 18 hundred more people.

*waves sheepishly*

This is my story. I make no claims to be average. Your mileage may vary.

My Mom and I started reading the Clan of the Cave Bear series when I was a teenager. We found the first book enthralling but were less than impressed by the rest. The first book was a fascinating insight into what life might be like in a neanderthal clan while the later books slowly devolved into what Ayla and her boyfriend(s) enjoyed the most between the sheets. At first I worried that my discomfort with the author’s highly detailed pages of sex meant something was wrong with me but my Mom’s equal discomfort relieved me. We gave each other warnings of which pages to skip. Eventually it felt like I was skipping half the book so I dropped the series. My Mom gave up a short while later.

The first “sex dreams” I remember involved meeting a young unknown man who was kind, gentle, and assured me that he was so small I wouldn’t feel anything. I never told anyone about those dreams (until now). I knew they were weird. I also knew simply not dating wasn’t an option a) because I wanted the close connection of being with someone and b) because that would prove all my bullies right, that I was too stupid/weird/ugly to ever find someone.

I didn’t start dating until I was in college. My ex-husband was introduced to me by his mother and I was attracted by his geeky shyness. He gave me flowers on our first date then gave himself an entirely too audible pep talk on holding my hand. His awkwardness was endearing. Too bad it didn’t last.

Thanks to a medical condition called vaginismus, it took us months to consummate our relationship. I’m sure my ex thought he’d died and gone to heaven as I tried multiple positions in the hopes of finding one that would be equal to (or hopefully better) than chocolate. I never did. I loved the physical closeness and the feeling of skin on skin; otherwise I simply enjoyed his enjoyment of the experience. My eventual favourite position was one that felt, to me, like the world’s closest hug. As our marriage deteriorated, my ex began complaining about my lack of interest in trying new things; telling me the different things his ex’s were willing to do. That was not any sort of encouragement, bedroom wise at least. It was just another example of why I was no longer interested in him in any way.

When we broke up I figured I’d meet a new man and fall in love. Maybe we’d meet at the park, bringing our mutual kids there to play, or chatting on the corner while waiting for a parade to start. I never did meet anyone though. Sometimes I’d think about trying online dating but would panic and push the thought aside. Sometimes I’d tie creating a profile to dieting, promising myself that I’d make an account once I’d lost some weight. Then I’d promptly gain more. Occasionally I’d dream about meeting a wonderful man. I’d picture a first meeting at a coffee shop with us finding common ground in geekery and books. Then I’d move through our imaginary dating until we reached the bedroom. At that point my mind drew a curtain around the whole thing, saying we’d “do stuff that felt good”. Yes I censored my own (not really) erotic daydreams simply because I couldn’t think of anything that would end up with the mind blowing “better than chocolate” sex that people talk about. The best I could do was figure he might guide me to what everyone else said was amazing.

I didn’t really start wondering about asexuality until a few months ago when I was talking to someone (who shall remain nameless but is most definitely not Voldemort). She mentioned offhand that if she has trouble sleeping, she just masturbates to orgasm and that relaxes her enough to doze off.

I stared at her in complete surprise then blurted, “Wait. You can do that?”

Most of the time, touching down there* is about as interesting as rubbing my elbow and produces much the same results. About once or twice a year I’ll wake up with a full bladder and an urgent need to relieve myself in more ways than one. It’s nice because it feels good (although still not as good as a good quality chocolate**). It’s also a freaking pain in the backside because then I’m stuck on the toilet for ten minutes waiting to pee. I can think of a lot better things to do at 3am than sit in the dark on a cold toilet while my cats alternate between crying at the closed door or sitting in the crack of the door playing Gandolf “you shall not pass” with the other kitties.

It took me a month before I broached the topic of mastubation and sensation to a secret group for mothers with mental illness. I was reassured that there was a wide range of normal, which was nice but not what I’d hoped for. What I really wanted was for someone else to broach the topic of asexuality so I wasn’t left wondering if I was just imagining things. It took another month after that for me to bring the topic up with Emma, L, and Captain Glittertoes, although with a lot less detail than I’ve written here.

*waves awkwardly*

And now here I am. Since I’ve stopped mentally pressuring myself to find a guy and start a relationship, I’ve begun to make a more serious effort in losing weight and eating healthy. The hard part is that I still would like a relationship. I miss hugging and kissing. I want to wake up in someone’s arms and have someone to joke with while washing dishes. I’d love to see the Northern Lights for the first time and have someone admire them with me. And I have no idea how to find someone short of wearing a t-shirt that reads “I love hiking and all things geeky but don’t want sex. Are you still interested?” And *cough* I’m so not wearing that. Even if it had a TARDIS on it.

I so want to do this!

I so want to do this!

* yes I know the names of all my body parts and use them and talk about them to my own children. No, I don’t feel like using them right now.

** thanks to all the chocolate references, I’m now baking chocolate chip cookies. At least I can freeze them for lunches.

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The most wonderful time of the year…

I am a huge Christmas nut. The lights… the decorations… the sparkles… the music… the candles… the food… the family time… I love it all.

Emma came over yesterday afternoon then we picked up Japanese food (we’d like to order half your menu of battered, deep fried vegetables please) and got out the decorations from the storage closet. Jeremy insisted we really only needed to make one trip so while I carried our tree, Jeremy stacked four rubbermaid bins on top of a skateboard then stuck the box of mini trees on top and wheeled them down the hallway to the elevator. I so wish I’d brought my phone downstairs to take a shot of that. The boxes were stacked higher than Jeremy and zie’s over 6ft tall.

Then we got started on the decorating…

Jeremy decorating the tree.

Jeremy decorating the tree.

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Jeremy took this photo of our new TARDIS ornament.

The chandelier ornament Jeremy picked out at BouClair in remembrance of all the chandeliers we didn't buy.

The chandelier ornament Jeremy picked out at BouClair in remembrance of all the chandeliers we didn’t buy. We’d need a mansion to fit all the ones zie wants.

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Emma, Mark, and Jeremy all sat around my Christmas village to play, showing that some things don’t change. Well mostly don’t change. Jeremy would spend hours walking the little villagers around. Now they find unusual ways to leave the villagers. The lady in pink is suicidal, the man in the tree thinks he’s a bird, the man in blue thinks he’s Batman, the kids on the bench are homeless, and Santa just killed someone and stuck their body behind the fence. Umm… merry Christmas? I’m thinking I should start sleeping with one eye open.

This is the final result…

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Doesn’t everyone have a Christmas spider on top of their tree?

 

And a close up of our mini trees. Jeremy picked out rainbow lights last year and we got purple sparkly stars to go on top so they’re pride Christmas trees…

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Jeremy and I went to our first PFLAG meeting on Thursday and it went quite well. I got to talk with other parents and zie got to hang out with several kids around zir age. Both of us left in good spirits and Jeremy’s already looking forward to the next meeting. Plus I put out a shameless request in an online parenting group I belong to for friends for Jeremy on Steam so zie now has several other trans kids to play games with.

Yesterday morning we went to a meeting for Jeremy to change schools and it not only went well but it looks like Jeremy should be transferring *soon*. I have no idea how quick their definition of soon is, hopefully before Christmas. Jeremy is quite happy about that as well.

The poor kid is currently asleep on the couch after suggesting maybe we go shopping tomorrow. Between the two I know zie has to be feeling sick (Jeremy turning down a shopping trip?). I kissed zir forehead and zie doesn’t have a fever (phew). I’m thinking today’s going to be a “watching Doctor Who in pjs” day.

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An Evening of Hope…

I was going to write a blog post last night but I was exhausted and the words just weren’t making any sense so I watched Doctor Who instead. I managed to watch two whole episodes. Jeremy wanted me to watch a third but I figured zie didn’t want me passed out, drooling on zir shoulder, so I went to bed.

On Monday I volunteered to help out at this year’s Evening of Hope. It’s an annual event in our city, remembering LGBTQ people who have died by suicide or murder, and honouring people who have made a difference over the past year. My UU congregation has a button making booth where you can decorate your own button. Jeremy didn’t volunteer, instead I bribed zir to show up with the offer of a chicken or steak dinner. Not that I was extravagant, they were the best steak bits Tim Horton’s had in their warming tray.

Our booth was right beside the bandshell, the closest booth to the washrooms. Which is why I noticed an oversight. I asked who was in charge and got directed to a slightly frazzled looking gentleman on the stage.

“Excuse me? I was wondering if you have gender neutral washrooms this year?”

I was informed both washrooms were, in fact, gender neutral but the person who was supposed to bring posters to cover the male/female signs had forgotten them at home. So I offered to make some and he accepted… probably because he had no idea how bad my drawing skills are…

Just pretend the figure has arms.

Just pretend the figure has arms.

Last year the organizers strung extension cords across the park allowing each booth to set up lights. This year they decided that would be too risky, much to Jeremy’s relief. Zie’d been panicking about the rain and those cords before we even reached the park. Of course that brought about a whole new concern for zir. What would we do for lights? Could they shine a spotlight on us from stage? Could we go back home and get our emergency light? After zie’d asked variations of these questions for several minutes, I decided to give everyone a break and take zir to view the other booths.

It’s a good thing each booth had a roof because the rain started coming down quite heavily. We ran from one both to another, eyeing the free samples and asking questions. Finally we reached Jeremy’s favourite booth, the one offering free cupcakes.

Jeremy and the rainbow cupcake

You can see how hard it was raining by the state of Jeremy’s coat. You can also see zir new sparkly purple tie 🙂

Jeremy headed home as soon as zie finished eating zir cupcake and I got to work making Lenny’s button. Zie’d asked me to design one for zir. Apparently Lenny wasn’t aware of my poor drawing skills either.

I had an idea in mind, sadly just not the artistic ability. However I tried my hardest and was able to make it at least recognizable. My biggest disappointment is that I set the button down on the table to take a picture and there was a leak in the tent… right where I put the button. So my picture ended up with water splatters.

TARDIS pin

It’s a soggy TARDIS on a pride flag!

I was exhausted when I got home. I’d had choir practice on Sunday so I’d gone to bed later than I’d hoped. Then Jeremy woke me at 1am to say zie couldn’t sleep due to anxiety; zir heart was pounding too hard. I woke up at 3am when Jeremy made zirself tea then again at 3:40am when we had a brief power failure; Jeremy started yelling when all the lights went out. There were tears at 4am when Jeremy went into zir room and re-discovered the tea. Jeremy’s second hand Tassimo leaks and it had dripped all over zir netbook. It was fried. Completely and utterly fried.

My alarm went off at 4:45am. Technically. I shut it off at 4:44am as I hadn’t been asleep in well over an hour. All that kept me going that day was Advil and chocolate… and now I was home and ready for bed. I sat down at my netbook for a quick second as Jeremy looked up from zir video game.

“Mom. When I grow up I’m going to cut off my penis.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I replied, quietly stifling a yawn. “That would be better off happening in surgery with anaesthesia. It would hurt a lot otherwise.”

Jeremy nodded and went back to zir game while I headed off to bed. Later Jeremy angrily told me zie’d said it as a joke because zie was mad at zir video game.

Alrighty then. I’ve joked before about my metaphorical parenting book. Well it’s missing way too many chapters; I have no clue what’s going on.

*throws the book over my shoulder and walks away*

Not exactly a birthday update…

So far I have heard nothing from the two teens who were invited to Jeremy’s birthday party. My number is on the invitations and I called P’s mother as well and left a message. *Cue crickets chirping* Jeremy doesn’t seem to care either way; that could be because this is only one of three birthday celebrations for him.

We’re going to my parents’ house on Wednesday and having a birthday barbecue there, complete with an ice cream cake. Jeremy’s cousins, grandparents, and his aunt will be there as well. A nice family celebration.

Thursday’s his actual birthday. We already planned on going to our favourite Thai restaurant for lunch and, since it looks like tomorrow’s party will be a bust, we’re going go-karting that day too. Then we’ll have homemade cake for dessert that night.

Back in January Jeremy picked out a flower candle for his cake. Not just any flower though, you light the main candle and it lights all the others while the flower unfolds and spins to music. It’s pretty pink pyrotechnics… I’ve got a video of it in this post. Then we settled on chocolate cake and I told him he could pick the colour of the frosting. He chose purple with purple sprinkles because that’s his favourite colour. It dawned on me today that he’s having a bright purple cake topped with a huge bubblegum pink flower. I might as well just slap a Barbie on top and call it a day.

And so, while it looks like the friend birthday party is a bust, he’s still got enough birthday celebrations to keep him happy. And I can’t wait until he opens his TARDIS mug and Doctor Who t-shirt.

And the presents are bought!!!

Jeremy’s so excited for his birthday but now that I’ve bought his presents, I might be the one who’s more excited.

I got off work early today and decided to stop in at the local mall on my way home to check out HMV. I don’t think I’ve set foot in that store in the past 10 years and was a little overwhelmed when I entered. Lots of loud music, lots of rows and racks. I noticed gift items along a nearby wall then immediately discovered a Doctor Who lamp. There was a sales clerk walking past and I asked how much the lamp was. Sixty dollars… that lamp went right back. Jeremy already has two lamps, he really doesn’t need a third. That was when I realized he was carrying a TARDIS mug complete with a lid. This one to be exact…

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“Oh wow,” I blurted, staring at his hands. “How much is the mug?” It was $25. I promptly took it. “My son will love this. He loves tea.”

“Here, why don’t I show you the rest of the Doctor Who items. I wouldn’t want you to miss any,” the clerk said enthusiastically. He proceeded to lead me around the store.

Now Jeremy’s getting the mug, a TARDIS bath towel, a Doctor Who t-shirt, a TARDIS bag (which claimed to be bigger on the inside), and a Minecraft Torch that can be placed on his wall. And I found a birthday card that says “Today is going to be so happy. Today is going to make all the other days jealous”… complete with sequined string balloons on the front. And my friend Lenny is mailing him tea so he’ll have something to drink from his mug. Very helpful considering how fast the kid goes through tea.

Whew… the party’s planned, the cake’s sorted out, the candle’s ready for spinning, musical pyrotechnics, and the presents are bought. All we need to do is give invitations to his two friends and wait for his actual day.

At least I don’t need to worry about Jeremy reading this. I read posts to him and he’ll make suggestions but he doesn’t actually read the blog. This is one post I just won’t mention 🙂

This is new…

Every year since Jeremy was old enough to talk, he’s had huge plans for his birthday. The plans start around Christmas, usually a little before but sometimes a little after. Then the next half a year is spent scaling him down to something affordable.

His biggest party was his 11th birthday. He insisted it had to be something big and memorable because both numbers were the same and that wasn’t going to happen again for a long time. The long time was only eleven years, but since that was his entire lifetime I decided not to argue. That year I had a Build a Bear party for him.

This year he wants to invite two friends Go-Karting at a local indoor activity centre. That’s definitely feasible. They can each get three turns go-karting then come here for dinner and a swim. So all seems to be planned… except for the cake.

Every single year Jeremy has planned something big for his cake. Back in January he saw an ice cream Jaffa cake and loved it but that’s no longer being sold. His next request was a working TARDIS cake, which lead me to inform him I’d made the cake, it was up to him to find out which time and dimension it was in. Even a non-working one is beyond my skills. He had no other suggestions.

I mentioned at work today that I needed to find a cake for Jeremy’s birthday. One middle aged coworker perked right up.

“I know,” she said enthusiastically. “Boob cakes! We used to make them at my old work.”

Even if Jeremy was interested in breasts, I didn’t think that would be an appropriate cake for me to make him. I only shared the latter part with her.

When I got home, I went online and showed Jeremy several videos of cakes being decorated. He wasn’t interested in any of them. Although he was willing to say maybe a pie would be okay. Jeremy doesn’t like pie, other than a peanut butter pudding pie I made a few years ago. I dug out my peanut butter pudding recipe and figured I could make it vegan. He agreed that sounded good but wasn’t enthusiastic. Which means he didn’t really want it.

While I’ve been writing this, I got onto the Silk website and started browsing for any sort of cake recipes. Then I stumbled upon a vanilla bean ice cream recipe which sounded good and remembered how excited Jeremy was about that Jaffa ice cream cake.

“Jeremy?” I called. “I found a recipe for vegan vanilla bean ice cream. If it works, would you like an ice cream cake for your birthday?”

“Yes!!!” he shouted back enthusiastically.

I searched up ice cream cake recipes and came up with an Oreo ice cream cake. Oreos are vegan and if I’m going to make a cake, I want to be able to eat some of it too. Jeremy loves Oreos. He was just as enthusiastic about the cake recipe.

Back in January, we bought a special candle. This is going to be one heck of a cake:

So this is new in two ways. The first being that Jeremy had no idea what cake to have for his birthday, only a month away from the actual occasion. And the second by finding out what cake he wanted while writing this blog entry.