The eyes are the windows to your soul

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In my last post, I mentioned that I thought I had mislaid my parents wedding photographs.  Once I found them, and breathed a sigh of relief, I sat and looked at them.  I never really knew my father – he was a creature of legend both good and bad.  When I was young, my Mum tried her best to paint a balanced picture of Dad despite the unpleasant comments from family members.  These photographs were never displayed but I had seen them many times.  I was fascinated by the glamour of a professional shot and thought they were both attractive.  As a youngster I really looked much more like my father with our dark Mexican roots.

As I gazed at the shots, I realized that neither my Mum nor Dad looked happy.  They married after a couple of months of meeting but they were in their late 20’s, more than capable of making a sensible decision.  My theory is that they were pregnant with me and I know that my dad asked my mum to have an illegal abortion.  I had admired these photos for years, longing to have similarly glamorous wedding shots, but had never noticed the lack of happiness in their eyes.  The social mores of two Catholics not marrying after a pregnancy were overwhelming.  My mum told me that a distant relative offered to adopt me so the circumstances must have been dire.  Eventually my mum divorced my dad in 1976 on the grounds of mental cruelty.  He had already remarried in the States.

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Then I found a photograph of my mum with a previous American boyfriend above.  If anyone recognizes him, you might have been my sibling!

My mum had mentioned that he was a really nice guy, Italian American, but that she hadn’t fallen for him.  Maybe she wasn’t ready but my mum looked truly happy in this simple photograph.   How I longed for a normal father like him when I was young.  As the years have passed I have come to terms with my Dad probably having some mental health and addiction issues (as did my Mum).  I have so enjoyed meeting members of my Dad’s family – seeing distinct resemblances both in appearance and also personality.  My mum’s bridesmaid, who has stayed close to me, told me many times that my Dad had a fascinating charismatic side that I had inherited.  To the right is a photograph of Teddy and I signing the register 38 years ago – now that’s a real smile.

We had not a single professional wedding shot…❤️

The Spark

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We have all had that moment of instant sexual attraction. I looked across at my husband when I first saw him at a party and had that spark. Mostly it was, ‘Look at that ass!’ This post is about how deceptive it can be. When I started college I had to take two buses to get to my campus. After a few days, I noticed that a handsome young man was taking the same two buses and going to another college close to mine. There was plenty of time to look at each other because the journey took over an hour. I was 17 and very shy – today I would just sit next to him and start chatting. So, for a whole year we just gave each other meaningful glances but nothing happened.

The following year we had moved to two different campuses but still had to take the same bus route. Given that we caught the same bus (and there were plenty of them) and I think we were deliberately planning our encounters. He wasn’t really my usual type; dark, Black Irish probably and serious looking. Another year went past and as we went into our third year of college, I noticed he was now at the same college as me. Still no smile, no talking – just looking. I had split up (again) with my fiancé and I was ‘on the sniff’, as they so delicately put it in Scotland. I still remember what I was wearing that night – a gypsy peasant dress, red with little flowers all over it. My girlfriend and I had gone to the university disco and suddenly THAT guy asked me to dance. My stomach turned over with excitement and anticipation. It didn’t take long for us to figure out that we both had been lusting over each other and when he kissed me – wow!

We started dating and discovered that only did we live in parallel streets but our mothers’ were friends. They were both excited that their children were courting. A strange thing happened on our first date, the day after we met at the disco. His dark stubble was abrasive on my skin and my face broke out in boils. Yes, not zits but horrible large boils – it was an omen… As time progressed we started getting more intimate and even though he was only about 20 years old he had performance issues. He was humiliated and I was perplexed. I knew he had recently had other girlfriends and he insisted that performance was not an issue with them. He told me that he was overwhelmed by my looks, intellect and for lack of a better word, classiness. Although I was mystified, it was obvious that he was telling me the truth.

I was equally overwhelmed that he had no body odor – after a night out in a hot disco he smelled of fresh washing. You would think that would be a good thing but as you know I am an earthy girl see this post Resolution No. 1 – Wash More. I felt intimidated by my own pheromones and natural scent. Since we were now at the same college we were invited to a party, as a couple, hosted by my rowdy male classmates. At some stage in the debauchery, my friends lifted me up and put me on top of the kitchen table to dance – normal behavior for us. This brought out a glowering, possessive and unpleasant new boyfriend who started behaving aggressively towards my friends. I had to stop a potential fight and the next day, at college, my friends urged me to break up with him.

I was considering this anyway because that initial spark of sexual attraction (and very long lasting crush) hadn’t evolved into anything and now that I knew his personality better, he started becoming unattractive to me. We ended our relationship acrimoniously but still had to spend our last year at the same college and take the same bus route. We just pretended that neither existed and I went back ‘on the sniff’. More spark stories to come – no pun intended… 🙂

Gay boyfriends

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You can probably guess from this series that I have had an interesting life (sexual and otherwise) and have had a few gay boyfriends along the way. Coming from a strict Catholic background, I was really only exposed to the stereotypes of gay culture and made many assumptions. At college, our course was predominantly young men (70/30%) – I soon formed another little gang with us two girls and a group of young men. Oh gosh, we had fun! One of the men was effete with a high voice and I just assumed he was gay. In my head I was thinking, ‘this is so cool to have a gay boyfriend’. Although we almost always went around as a gang (and they all knew my real boyfriend), I shared all my deepest secrets with this guy, let’s call him Roy. After two years, one of the other lads took me aside and gave me a row about leading Roy on. What! I had no idea that he was completely straight and had been sobbing about me to the other guys. He was in love with me and wanted to marry me. Now I know why he wanted me to meet his mother – I just thought that was a gay thing!

I love my gay boyfriends. We can chat about everything, there is no jealousy and we can even flirt without any consequence. One of my husband’s friends from college years eventually became one of my gay boyfriends. Teddy thought that he might be gay but he was firmly in the closet, and even dated an androgynous girl during university. In retrospect they may both have been gay and just friends. Finally, he came out to us (without saying anything) by inviting us to a party at his house and meeting his new room-mate who was male and gay. He showed us around the house and they shared a double bed. To the day of his death, he didn’t come right out and talk about it and we didn’t ask him. That relationship broke up but he and I kept up a flirty communication. About a year before he died, we had arranged to meet in Scotland. I was going on a solo trip to see my husband’s parents and was staying in a hotel. I fully intended to get him drunk and make him reveal whether he was gay or bisexual but he bailed on me. His psychic hackles were probably raised…

The only thing I have been curious about, with respect to my straight/gay relationships, is where does the wavy line stop? I know that I have found most of my boyfriends to be very handsome (aren’t they all?) and sexually intriguing. With some I have felt a frisson of some attraction to me and wondered where that line stopped. Are we all a little bi-curious or is it just an esthetic attraction? I suppose I could just ask them but I am not sure I want to know the answer. I was chatting with some male colleagues about Caitlyn Jenner and said that, in my opinion, she was now an attractive woman. Oh my Lord, they all looked completely disgusted and strongly refuted my opinion! Would they feel the same about Caitlyn’s friend on the series Candace who was also male but looks amazingly good?

I know that the TV series about Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner was hyped but I found it deeply moving. It must be hard enough to be gay in a mostly straight world but imagine how hard it is to not be comfortable with your gender. It was unclear whether Caitlyn was still attracted to women and did that make her now lesbian?

Tomorrow I am taking you on a trip to Peru!

Sexual Fluidity

Kerry with first older man...

Kerry with her first older man…

I was going to entitle this blog – sexuality is a wavy line – but then someone mentioned that fluidity is the new terminology for bisexuality. When I googled the term, I discovered it was more about the possibility of sexuality being malleable throughout life. In my personal experience, I was more conflicted about orientation, when I was a child and teenager, but quite certain now, at the age of 55. I am pretty sure that is a relief to my husband…

As I child, I lived in public housing in Glasgow in a predominately Irish Catholic neighborhood. I knew no other only children with single parents. Although sex was rarely talked about, the very large families with thin bedroom walls must have had a very good idea what their parents were doing. Their siblings also tried to gross them out with specifics which they, in turn, passed onto me. What! ‘My mum never did that’, thought I. In the summer months, it was very common to borrow a bedcover from the house and play tents over a washing line. This was also one of the few places you could have complete privacy. On various occasions, I would be in a tent with all girls or a mixture of boys and girls. I guess we ranged in age from 9 to 12, maybe? The dare was to take your underwear off and expose your girl or boy parts. Further dares involved some touching which would produce an interesting sensation, a precursor to real sexual desire, perhaps.

At this stage, I want to stress that there was no element of sexual abuse or molestation and the groups would be around the same age at the same time. It was natural curiosity. For someone, like me, who had rarely seen a boy’s parts (all female household), it was especially intriguing. One female friend was particularly interested in playing with me alone. That seemed innocent enough but we went a little further than was usual. On one occasion, I was sexually molested by an older boy at school and that was an entirely different situation. It was against my will and very frightening.

So, cut to my teenage years. I went to a Catholic high school – male and female students were separated from each other, in different annexes, until we turned 14. As soon as we entered that year, I was like a cat in heat. Zing! The sexual button switched on and I was fascinated by the boys in our class. I was very shy and believed I was unattractive. That was clearly untrue and I had one boyfriend after another. I was just like my slutty cats however (and I am only talking about first base here) and skipped from one to the other. The first object of my desire was a handsome lad and one of my girlfriends decided it would be fun to write on the chalkboard that
Kerry fancies Frank (that really was his name).

I blushed furiously, desperately wiping it off the board, and in my anxiety to stop her, banged her head into the wall and gave her a black eye!!! I don’t know who was more astonished, her or I. It backfired on the perpetrator, however, (you know who you are, Ms. K. 🙂 ) and the boy asked me out, to everyone else’s dismay. Then we went into English class and our teacher asked my friend, who sat next to me, what happened. She told him the truth and she got a row for telling lies. Of course innocent little Kerry wouldn’t do such a thing. Just don’t get in between me and a boy when I am in heat; nothing has changed. Slutty Miss Kerry…

Tune in for more tomorrow.