For those of you who don’t already know, six months ago my fiance decided to end our relationship. It was a huge surprise to me, since a showy proposal 13 months before and a plan for a big wedding was already in the works.
Six months out and I’m still reeling from the change that comes from the break-up of a long-term partnership, the cancelation of a hotly anticipated wedding and making rent in a house that made sense when I lived with someone / I’m still looking for a roommate.
I know “this too shall pass” and I’ll talk more about the emotional fall out in the next epsiode of my podcast. In the meantime, I’ve been deeply reconnecting with my friends and my loved ones.
One of the best things about a break-up before a wedding is that I had already done the work to whittle down my closest friends into a “Bride Squad” (the cute designation I was using to refer to my bridal party). I dumped the traditional bridesmaids and maid/matron of honor for a gender neutral non-hierarchical group of folks who had been there for me throughout my young adult and adult life.
Having that Bride Squad? It was who was on SPEED DIAL during the last couple difficult months together and in the aftermath of the shock of a break-up. Originally they were meant to be there to support my transition into married life, but now they helped support my transition into my fresh singlehood.
This is the second time I’ve been engaged and not gotten married. I’m beginning to think playing online poker is more of a sure bet (and there is a lot you can learn from poker champs; Live Boeree’s TED Talk is an example).
Both times I was engaged I had to curtail the amount of folks in my Bride Squad due to my fiance and wanting to have even numbers on each side of the aisle. (I think we had 3 each for my first wedding to an introvert and in this past wedding we each had a dozen.)
To be honest, though, I think getting divorced or going through a major break-up you kind of need your squad more than ever. And it hasn’t just been my Bride Squad who has lifted me up these past few months, it’s dozens of my dear friends. Checking in on me, showing up for me, sending me cards, inviting me for dinner.
I got to thinking, what if instead of having a Bride Squad I just had a Bevin Squad? Folks who show up for me, whether they even know me in real life or not. I’ve had tons of support and cards from folks who only know me from the encouraging words I post on the internet.
And the truth is, I have a beautiful lodge with a deposit on it, Dollywood adjacent. My mom put down the deposit and she doesn’t have much and I’m grateful for it. I don’t want it to go to waste. Without the limitations of a wedding, I could throw a much more modestly budgeted but possibly more fun and exciting gratitude party for everyone who loves me and has helped me through this extremely difficult time. And, anyone can be in my Bevin Squad for that because I don’t have to balance the aisle!
Most importantly. I have been engaged twice but NEVER HAD A BACHELORETTE PARTY. This must be remedied. Honestly, I’d rather celebrate my singlehood/non-married life while I’m living it and focus on creating the marriage I want when I find the right person.
East Coast Babes: I’ll be having a sweet, self-care focused Bachelorette at the Glowing Goddess Getaway in the Berkshires, MA on Sept 13-15. West Coast Babes, I know I’ll have a pool party and a trip to a rage room to break some wedding china Late Fall.
Purse Anchor: I recently went out with three very foxy masculine-of-center gentlemen to a small town gay bar.* It had been awhile since I'd been out in a crew that wasn't made up of many Femmes and in a venue with a delineated dance floor (let alone room to move around easily). Noticing how they moved around the dance floor versus how I moved around the dance floor was really interesting. I was anchored to the ground with my purse and everyone else had way more locomotion. It's a matter of street smarts, I don't leave my purse anywhere out of arm's reach and when I'm on the dance floor I dance next to it. Generally I carry a clutch so that I can dance with it, but when there is a drink in hand I find that just spoils my groove. So the clutch has to get set down.
With well over a decade of nightlife behind me, I've tried many purse permutations for going out. Here's the thing--I don't have pockets nor do I trust pockets with the things I need. And some of those things I need are my camera because I obsessively document my queer fat femme life, my wallet, keys and many different kinds of lipsticks. I used to try the bra pocket with just an id and cash and my housekey but I have bigger needs these days.
Regardless, part of being Femme is not having to make excuses for the girl shit I do. Mama needs a purse anchor.
You may or may not know that I am a native Californian, from the East Bay, specifically. Rachel Maddow and I share our hometown. It feels really weird to be going "home" to do mostly performing and being at a conference and being a shop girl. I won't even see my family until I go to LA the following week. I think everyone has some complicated feelings when they travel home. Mine are all aflutter, but nevertheless I am focusing on all of the amazing shows/documentaries/shopportunities I get to be part of in the next week.
My subsequent LA trip is a family event but I've decided to focus on beach, bourbon and burgers as much as possible around it.
If you can make it to any of the following events, I'd love to meet you!! Especially at the shopportunity, that's going to be really fun. I hope people bring champagne.
However, in these "troubled economic times" or as I like to call it "The Hateful Bush Economy" it is extremely crucial to support art made for our community, by our community. Since so many of the authors in the book submitted for the love of Femme community and don't get paid for it, I thought I would throw back a little love at them!