the femme-ivore’s dilemma

one thing that is really missing from my program here at osu is the presence of useful role models. of course, that’s because it’s a research university and to become tenured faculty at a research university, you have to be so into your research that you have neither the time nor the people skills to become a useful role model to graduate students. but… like… it’s so hard to motivate myself to go through 3+ more years of painful academic hazing, just so i can get hazed by the job market, just so i can maybe have the privilege of getting hazed by the tenure process, when the result of that is being like my osu professors. i really like and enjoy working with my younger professors here, but even they have attitudes that bother me, like going to conferences with the sole purpose of presenting and furthering their research, not with the purpose of getting to know and interact with colleagues. (conferences have the potential to be these great intellectual parties, but UGH when people have that attitude, no wonder they can be so boring!) anyway, there’s a reason i still write to f, b, and n when i need advice on grad school, papers, research, presentations… i just have to keep reminding myself, it’s *them* i want to be like when i grow up. now if only a job would miraculously appear at middlebury when i go on the job market…

and then there was yesterday. my presentation was fine, not great, not as disastrous as i’d been worrying about. it wasn’t what stood out to me by any means about the day. the coincidence, though… it’s a damned small world. one of the professors here recognized me and knew me by name – nickname, not name printed on nametag – and i was *so* awkward and embarrassed that i didn’t even recognize her. not even, like, knew her face but couldn’t place where i knew her from, but flat out had never seen her in my life.  turns out, she (a former student of m’s, thus, a contact of h’s) recognized me from “wedding pictures your wife posted on facebook”.  which is kind of awkward in and of itself – oh, internet, you slay me – but which, more importantly, gave me this jolt of oh shit she just outed me now everyone here knows.  which.is.stupid.  because i am legally married and wear a damn wedding ring and should not be shy about coming out/ being outed/ doing anything but acting like my Life Decisions are perfectly normal.

it’s a dilemma, i guess.  i love my wife, and i’m comfortable with her around friends, but i’m not even out to most of my professors, nevermind my wider professional circle, because… i want to say it’s because i fear judgment or don’t want them to change their opinions of me based on my private life, but i think it’s mostly that i’m too awkward to make any revelations about myself.  definition of midwestern gay shame: keeping your hands in your pockets at conference coffee breaks so that people don’t ask you what your husband does for a living.  cue self-loathing.

Genesis by Evan Jones

He was a young god
So he worked with furious abandon
Strewing his precious suns around
In largely useless galaxies

Grandiose in his use of mountains, water, sky,
But not merely bombastic
For the detail of the microscopic was ingenious
Beyond the imagination of his predecessors
And the uses, particularly of form and colour…

But he wasn’t sure
Not quite sure, even when he had finished,
Especially then,

That he had solved such questions as
The relation of stability to change…

Cycles of birth and death were a masterpiece
But they weren’t, not quite…

Yet, oh, the thing was beautiful
Turning and glittering and many-coloured
Infinite in all directions in space and time
And yet completely self-complete…

But he wasn’t sure

So, as a sort of flourish to his signature
An underline for curtain
He made an animal in his own image
Except of course, for the dimensions lost
Transferring from eternity to time
Gave it the last perception of his mind
The sense of incompleteness
The gap between the intended and the done
The utter sadness of magnificence not quite

He gave it that
And asked of it perfection

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3 Comments

Filed under Journal

3 responses to “the femme-ivore’s dilemma

  1. Alison

    I know that I’m coming at this from an outsider’s point of view, but it seems cool to me that someone was comfortable saying “you and your wife”. I mean, of course that’s what it is, but for other people you/we don’t know to take it as so normal is at least a little cool?

    I’m sorry that you often feel so dilemmaed about it, though. *hugs*

    Also, about not wanting to be hazed by everything you’d need to do to get a faculty position, and then have life suck once you were in there? Yeah. I’m right there with you.

    • you’re right, of course – from a Gay Rights and People Behaving Like People standpoint, it was great how comfortable she was with it. but my initial reaction was horror at being outed… again, more self-loathing than comment on people.

  2. Hannah

    1) Don’t worry
    2) I likee that poem a lot.
    3) I likee you a lot too.

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