I’ve recently started seeing someone new. This may come as a surprise to most of you. Most of you might not have even realized that Fleur de lis and I are no longer a couple. That happened during the blogging break, and it’s not something I want to talk about.
But about this new someone. We started out as friends as all good relationships do. She thought I wasn’t interested in her which I find amusing, because I was so busy that it wasn’t even something I thought about. I enjoyed hanging out with her, but you guys have read about my life. It’s nonstop. I wasn’t sure where I would find time for a relationship. The more I got to know her the more I liked her. She shared herself so honestly. That impressed me. She wasn’t pretentious or proud. She liked me and wasn’t afraid to tell me that. Wow. I knew I would eventually write about her here. I’ve thought about what name to give her. What name would fit? I decided she would be Sweet Tea. She has had some intense moments in her life. Things have happened that could have made her bitter. But she isn’t bitter. She is sweet. Her approach to life reminds me of something my grandmother always said. When anyone would ask her how she was doing she would always exclaim, “Well, I can’t complain. It wouldn’t do me any good anyhow.” And that is how Sweet Tea is. Stuff happens. She might get frustrated. Then she puts on her big girl panties and deals with it. The bitter is covered with sweet. I love that.
Sweet Tea has children. I am loving that, too. Her kids are around the same age as my oldest. The daughter who still lives at home has become my oldest daughter’s good friend. It has been fun watching them. Because Sweet Tea’s kids have always known she is gay I knew something would have to be done about my kids if we all continued to spend time together.
One night last week Sweet Tea stopped by just to say hi. My oldest daughter was here as well. After Sweet Tea left and it was just me and my daughter at home I told her I wanted to talk to her. I told her that I was dating Sweet Tea and asked her how she felt about it. She said she had suspected since December that I might be gay. That she didn’t care. This didn’t surprise me. And then she ooohed and ahhhed like teenage girls do when people are dating. And she said she really liked Sweet Tea. She also said that some time back she and the boys had discussed that me being gay might be a possibility. She doesn’t think they will care much. She did agree with me on my youngest. She is going to go ballistic when she finds out. She has already had some issues with me spending time with Sweet Tea. With her being around. Yesterday Sweet Tea and her daughter were at my apartment. My four kids were there as well. We played and laughed and had a great time. My youngest said she had fun. It was the first time she had allowed herself to do so in their presence.
I have a feeling all of the kids will be finding out sooner than later just based on how things are going. Sweet Tea’s daughter is around, and she knows. In fact she accidentally called me her mother’s girlfriend in front of my youngest two. Somehow they didn’t hear her. I thought it was funny. My oldest is around, and she knows. And good cow we all know she can’t keep a secret. Sweet Tea is around, and despite the fact that nothing has been said I can’t imagine the kids not figuring it out. Her attentiveness and demeanor speak volumes. I’m not worried or scared. My divorce lawyer suggested that I let the kids deal with the divorce and the changes that came with that before I ever said anything about being gay. I thought it was good advice. I didn’t know how long it would take before I felt like telling them. At first I thought it would happen fairly quickly. I was in a relationship so it seemed like it would be natural to tell them. As time passed though I never felt ready. I don’t know why. I didn’t have a good reason. I just wasn’t ready to say anything. Sweet Tea says that I’ll know when the time is right. She doesn’t want me to feel pressured into telling anyone anything I’m not ready to say. I’m glad she has that attitude. That’s what I’ve felt all along. Funny thing though…at this point I think actions are speaking louder than words. It’s becoming so obvious that words are about to become necessary. I’m glad.
It’s been almost three years since this whole thing started. Since I chose to board the gay train instead of letting it pass me by like countless times before. So much has happened that it seems like it must have been longer than three years. It took me a year from when everything started to get to that point of being ready and able to tell people and to move out. That was two years ago. My kids have dealt with a lot in the last two years. Through it all I’ve tried to be somewhat steady for them. It was hard at first, but they’ve seen me pull through. They’ve seen how much happier I am. There have been some hard times in the past two years, but they haven’t crushed my spirit. Happiness always won out. It bubbles up from inside me. Happiness, contentment, joy.
So I raise my glass of Sweet Tea in a toast to my future. Wherever it takes me I will count it all joy to have been on this journey.