Two of my favorite things about a being a homo are:
1) When people with the same name date. end up dating someone who has their exact same name – mad homage to J.C. Mitchell for scripting this into ‘Shortbus’ - (a close second: rhyming name of similarity – c’mon, we’ve all known a Sara and Terra couple, right? Fred and Ed? Anyone? It’s hilarious);
and 2) when you’re out on the town with your lady friend and some stranger tries to size up your relationship by asking, ‘Oh, are you two sisters?’. For some reason this keeps happening to me of late. And each time it does all of the clever in me freezes up and I find myself nervously laughing off the innocent mistake and unable to clarify the situation. So I thought I would take this opportunity to exercise my language around what I should say the next time my lesbianism is mistaken for sibling-hood. And here it goes:
Dear Nice Straight Lady Who Thinks We All Look Alike:
It was so nice to casually meet you at the bar last night. Thank you for the Mardi Gras beads. You should know that everyday is Fat Tuesday for me so I really do like to celebrate it each year when it actually rolls around. While we did not realize we were walking into an open mic blues jam, I appreciated your encouragement for me to sign up to play. Cause while you could not tell by my ‘not just a clever haircut’ very comfortable shoes and well worn navy jacket that I am a card carrying queer, it was written all over my face that there is nothing I love more than a good E pentatonic jam about my woes with wine, women and money. Well now that I think about it, perhaps you did recognize some Melissa Etheridge in me and maybe this all came together for you later.
I just wanted to let you know that it was not only a surprise but a compliment that you thought my girlfriend and I might be sisters. Why else would we have been sitting so close together. And while neither of us actually has a sister, I’m sure it’s not unusual for sisters to whisper for long periods of time into each others ears, legs intertwined and holding hands with matching rings on their wedding fingers. I totally get it. I do have friends who have sisters and they are close in a unique way. They teach each other about menstruation and penetration and all the ‘-ations’ really. And so, yeah, I guess my girlfriend and I have that familiar bond as well and I could see where the confusion might lie.
Also, it was a dark smokey bar so it’s understandable how some details might have blurred into an alternate reality for you. It was probably difficult to see that while ‘Clare’ is of a soft Canadian glow, my skin is more olive and European. But hey, no big deal. And it is true that yes, we both have eyes (and eyebrows), hers however are a deeper brown set and mine tend to green out a little hazel. But I get it. These could be recessive qualities in our genetic makeup, like the 4 inches of height I have on her, my bunions and allergies, and her desire to shave as often as a Baldwin brother while my body can barely grow hair.
I was wondering, since you seem to be a regular at this place, were the two ladies who were laughing together at the bar and who were later spotted dancing sans men a few drinks in, you know who I’m talking about, the one who dragged the Billie Jean King look out a few decades too long and her ‘friend’, let’s call her ‘Strayed in College’, were they sisters too? I know it’s not unusual in a small southern town for families to stick together, but I think that I should point out that maybe later that night those two actually found a way to STICK together, if you know what I mean.
Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that while we might fall under the umbrella of a much greater sisterhood, no, we are not actually of any blood relation.
But best of luck in all the sameness, hope it finds you much homogeny in your greatest endeavors.
Roy G. Biv