Somewhere in the late nineties (I think it was ’96 or 7), I was sitting at dinner with two old friends, Dianne and Bruce. Dianne had gone to the church my father had pastored when I was a kid, and Bruce had begrudgingly tagged along. Since we had been friends for such a long time, I decided that tonight would be a good night to open the discussion about why I didn’t date boys (I’ve evolved. Get over it.).
Because I was nervous about what I had to say, I didn’t laugh or smile as much as I usually did… which then prompted Bruce to ask me if anything was wrong.
Oh, boy. Not exactly.
I took a deep breath, and the words seemed to rush out on the exhale. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m pretty sure I’m a lesbian.” (Excellent choice of words, Les… We’re all very proud.) I let the words hang in the air, my tension so tangible you could cut it with a knife. The entire time I was speaking, neither of them had changed expressions. They both looked a little uncomfortable. What had I done? I sat, waiting for the fallout.
Though I didn’t notice, Bruce’s expression had changed. He was trying to hold back laughter. Dianne, too, for that matter.
He spoke, “We are *so* glad that you decided to tell us, because we had pretty much decided that if you didn’t tell us, we were going to sit down and tell you.”
“Really?” I was shocked. “How did you know?” I thought I had been so meticulous about “not showing at church.” As if.
Dianne spoke up. “Whenever you started talking about me or Nancy or any of our other friends, your head would tilt to the right and this dreamy expression would come over your face. It was so cute, and you were so clueless.”
Wow. And I had thought that this couldn’t get embarrassing.