A family member politely asked me to remove the Facebook picture of me with a giant purple dildo. I was all, What? Why? It’s kind of a flattering photo. And she said that since one of her family members is Facebook friends with me, his employer could check out his friends and somehow zero in on me and see me posing with a giant dildo. “It was a Dildo for Jesus,” I told her. That’s what the sex toy lady said. I don’t make this stuff up. “That’s another thing,” she said. “Some people might find that offensive.”
Brief recap: I posed with the dildo while at a drag queen show, where girlfriends and I had gone to celebrate a bunch of recent birthdays. It’s not like I was using the dildo. We were just sort of marveling at its…..enormousness. Wouldn’t something like that cause internal bleeding? Also, I had tactfully refrained from posting some of the really heinous commentary of the transvestite who was moderating adult bingo. The stuff about the gerbil still makes my brain hurt. She did explain why the dildos are so big: “Don’t give a woman a small dildo,” she said. “We can finger ourselves.” Oh! Right.
I took down the Facebook picture of me with the purple dildo because, you know, she asked me politely, although now I’m writing a whole blog about it, and of course I used the word dildo in the headline, so we’ll see how that goes. But the incident reminded me of the fact that not everyone appreciates my hilarity, or even understands why I do what I do. And on occasion, people – mostly family members – ask me to tone it down, or not write about a certain topic. They’ve also suggested that writing about my children could cause them emotional harm. Really? More emotional harm than calling them assholes? Although I did apologize for that.
The whole dilemma makes me sad, especially when I let it whittle away at my self-esteem. It’s a form of judgment that’s difficult for me to deflect – let’s face it, I embarrass them. I encounter people every day who, for whatever reason, don’t like me – at the gym, at my kids’ schools, in the grocery – but I don’t care. Fuck ’em. They don’t know me, they don’t get me, they’ll never be (an important) part of my life. You know who you are. But when people I love don’t get me, and essentially ask me to change who I am because they find me offensive – well, that stings a bit. And it’s really not as simple as judgment. Frankly, it’s an intolerance – a failure to recognize that my lifestyle and values, while different from theirs, are nonetheless valid.
I’m open, okay? It’s part of who I am. And I write. I write and write and write, because it orders my thoughts and makes sense of my world. I’m 50 years old – I don’t have a reputation to tarnish or a job to lose. I talk and I write and I wear my heart on my face, and pieces of my personal puzzle maneuver into place. Is that so bad?