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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Surprised in St. Croix

I spent the weekend before last on a press trip in St. Croix (beautiful island, by the way) and I went into a well-known shop on the island called Sonya Ltd. I wanted to buy a pair of hook bracelets (an item very popular with residents and lovers of the island ) for my girlfriend and I. I was having trouble deciding which ones to choose when I noticed that the shop had gotten quite full. I turned away from the counter in order to elicit some advice.

"Which one do you like better?" I asked the gaggle of handsome gay men in front of me.

"It depends," one of them answered. "Who is it for?"

"Well, I'd like to get matching ones for my girlfriend and I."

"Your girlfriend girlfriend?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "My girlfriend girlfriend." The woman I was shopping with, a new acquaintance also on the press trip I was on, then chimed in.

"Oh no," she said. "She didn't mean that. She's married."

"I am married," I said. "But I also have a girlfriend." Eyebrows raised and faces questioned. "I'm in an open marriage."




"I actually have a book coming out about it," I said. And it was amazing. Everyone in the shop turned around and started asking me questions about when it was coming out and how long it took to write and do I have a business card and where can they find info about it online. It was great. I felt incredibly validated. I mean, I want to think the work I'm doing is important. But it's hard not to wonder every once in a while whether anyone will be interested. 

As I paid for the bracelets the girl helping me said, "It's really great what you're doing. Really brave. I admire you. And I can't wait for the book to come out."
I handed out cards all around and assured them I'd email them about my book tour dates.

I left the shop feeling good about the fact that even though there are plenty of people who prefer the ignorance is bliss way of life, there are just as many - if not more - people who are longing to explore how life could be instead of settling for simply how it is.

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