I used to see the dyke owner/chef of a local restaurant walking to work. She wore a checkered chef’s jacket, and was usually toting a bag of produce. I liked to think about her mulling over dessert options and ideas for the edgy entrees the restaurant was known for. All that lesbo food power was a turn on, for sure, and I always loved to see her striding along.
One time, I was in a group of straight people, and one of the women started talking about the dyke’s restaurant, “You know, the one owned by that funny little woman.” I was struck dumb by the difference between how I saw the owner and how this straight woman saw her. Queer sexuality and power erased entirely with the phrase “funny little”.
Cricket was born from this experience, and also from all the time I spent in Missoula, MT, where the story is set. Also, a little, by my mother, who has always walked her own path and is certainly a character who could be seen as a funny little woman (witness her life-long habit of safety-pinning her blouses exactly between the top and second button, for example) but who had a powerhouse career as an eminant archeologist, knows more about pretty much everything than just about anyone, and is super sexy in her own quirky way.
And then, of course, what could be hotter than finding an extremely willing diamond in the rough, just when you were least expecting it?
“What a funny little woman,” said my co-worker.
I looked up from my computer to see our 10 o’clock in the parking lot, a client I hadn’t met before. She was getting out of an old, dark blue Chevy Impala, a real granddad car. She opened the back door, took out a small leather briefcase, then checked twice that the doors were locked before making her way over to our law office. Her movements were precise and purposeful and she held herself stiffly upright, carrying the briefcase almost reverently. As she reached the door, Arvid, the senior partner, came rushing out to greet her, ushering her quickly into his inner sanctum with just a quick command of, “Coffee!” over his shoulder.
I knocked and brought in the tray. Arvid introduced me to Heloise Taylor, saying that her mother had died suddenly and that they were discussing the will. I murmured my sympathies as I set out the coffee things.
Heloise was the sole survivor, the last of her family. She and her mother had lived together, and it was obvious that Heloise was in shock at her mother’s death. Still, she was completely present at the table, paying close attention to everything Arvid was saying. It was almost as if, even in the depths of her grief – especially in the depths of her grief – she wanted to show us how well she was caring for her mother.
The will had a few minor complications, nothing serious, but Heloise did have to come in several times after that first appointment. She always came alone. I always sat in. I wished there had been someone we could call to help her, a niece or a cousin, but she kept saying that there was no one and that she was fine. The last time she came in, she waited until Arvid had left the room, then stood to shake my hand.
“Thank you for your help, Tiffany. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”
I watched out the window as she made her way to her car. She was wearing the same clothes she’d worn for the first appointment, when my co-worker had called her a funny little woman. I wondered if they had been her mother’s clothes, or something her mother chose for her: beige polyester elastic-waisted slacks in a large check, circa 1975, a turquoise sweater set, black lace-up old lady shoes with white athletic anklets. I could see what was so amusing, of course, but Heloise had her own dignity. And it was her dignity that I had been noticing. And another thing. I was pretty sure that her short graying hair had been cut by a barber.
Anna Watson is a married, old-school femme who queers suburbia west of Boston and who has been writing about butch/femme sexuality for over 20 years. This story is for neighborhood characters and funny little women everywhere. You are gorgeous, sexy, fabulous. Show me. I want to see.
Links to the complete Blog Tour, and book giveaway details:
June 12—Sacchi Green— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 13—Annabeth Leong-- http://annabethleong.blogspot.com/2016/06/me-and-my-boi-not-just-hair.html
June 14—Anna Watson— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 15—Sinclair Sexsmith-- www.sugarbutch.net
June 16—Jove Belle-- https://jovebelle.com/
June 17—Tamsin Flowers-- www.tamsinflowers.com
June 18—Victoria Villasenor— https://breywillows.com
June 19—J, Caladine—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 20—Victoria Janssen-- http://victoriajanssen.com
June 21—Dena Hankins-- http://denahankins.net/my-summer-of-boi/
June 22—D. Orchid— http://sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 23—Pavini Moray-- https://emancipatingsexuality.com/
June 24—Melissa Mayhew—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 25—Jen Cross— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 26—Kyle Jones-- http://www.butchtastic.net/2016/06/blog-tour-for-me-and-my-boi/
June 27—Gigi Frost--www.facebook.com/gigifrostwww.facebook.com/gigifrost
June 28—Aimee Hermann— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
June 29—Sommer Marsden— http://sommermarsden.blogspot.com
June 30—Axa Lee—www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
July 1— Kathleen Tudor— www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com
Anyone who comments on any of the posts will be entered in a drawing for one free copy of the anthology. You can comment on more than one post and be entered more than once. The winner will be announced and notified by July 5, if not sooner.