Celebrating Old Lesbians
Oh, goody, it’s older lesbians month. Well, actually it’s older Americans month, but several LGBT organizations are celebrating it as older gay and lesbian days—like gay days at Disney, only this one is celebrated at Outpatient testing. Or perhaps Walgreens, at the corner of kvetching and complaining.
Hell, for me, every day is older lesbian day. Why just this morning I found out exactly how old, when I got a text from Overstock.com telling me my cheap dining room chairs had arrived yesterday.
That’s weird. They weren’t on my porch last night. Or this morning. Then I read the email noting the chairs had been delivered to our old address. Never mind my chatting up somebody in Dubai twice last week to make sure that didn’t happen.
Who said you can’t go home again? By 7:20 a.m. Bonnie and I were headed for Old Landing Road. Pulling up in front of our former residence, we saw the three enormous cartons on the stoop. Please, I thought, let the people who purchased our place be weekenders.
Luckily, nobody was there as we celebrated our personal old home week by dragging the heavy cartons off the stoop, onto the driveway, and into the Jeep. The wheezing alone was enough to create a neighborhood disturbance. These geriatric burglars on one last heist were fortunate the police didn’t cruise by. Old Lesbians Nabbed in Drive-way Drive-by!
Returning to the trailerhood, backs already aching, we got to repeat the athletics in reverse, plus dragging the unwieldy boxes up the stairs and onto the porch—where I had paid good money to have them delivered in the first place. There is no justice. There is, happily, Bengay® and a heating pad.
Part of Old Lesbians month online was a shout out to OLOC, the group Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, a terrific national organization committed to empowering old lesbians.
These days all the old lesbians I know are organizing for change, but not the political kind. We’re organizing for change to pay the damn Rehoboth parking meters. By the time you read this we will all be walking around laden with zip-loc bags of quarters in our pockets. It’s a look. We’re stooped from pocket change, not old lesbianism.
Sometimes laughing helps. The other day I was at Walgreens—this time at the corner of Medicare and AARP— picking up a prescription. The pharmacist and the clerk were having trouble finding what I needed. After fifteen minutes of standing there, through three phone calls and a pharmacy consultation with another customer, I started to laugh.
“Why are you laughing?” asked the pharmacist.
“Because,” I said, “You’re screwing with my anxiety medication. It struck me funny. You couldn’t lose the cholesterol pills?”
Pretty soon we were all laughing.
Actually, that’s a good thing about being an old lesbian. I feel I have license to speak my mind even more than I used to. Look out. This old lesbian is just one martini away from a verbal rampage. It’s kind of fun.
Take the Dogfish controversy. The Rehoboth Board of adjustment denied the Dogfish Head Restaurant a variance to rebuild their building [a rehearing has since been scheduled], not increasing seating, but expanding and rebuilding the structure on property they own in downtown Rehoboth Beach. One of the board members actually implied that if Dogfish was upset, they should leave downtown. Insanity!
Let’s face it, Dogfish is a huge asset to Rehoboth—an internationally known brand, with their flagship restaurant right here. And as much as I respect zoning rules (thank you Rehoboth Beach for putting a height limit on buildings!) I also know that Dogfish is caught up in a law of unintended consequences.
When members of the Board of Adjustment or the city fathers tried to explain about the 5000 square foot rule than was impeding the variance, I had to guffaw a bit. They explained that it was a way to keep Dewey-style restaurant/bars out of town, making room for smaller independent businesses. Now I am all for small independents.
But the City spokespeople do not want to acknowledge that the 5000 square foot rule was, in the early 1990s, to some, a way to keep a gay dance club off Rehoboth Avenue. Now, with parking issues, and less need for specifically gay downtown venues, that is no longer a threat—although I hope there is far less fear of the clientele now.
So I think the 5000 square foot rule should go NOW to make room for serious, hometown businesses and assets like Dogfish Head...or at least a variance should be granted as the City and Dogfish work together to do what’s clearly best for the business, the City, area residents and tourism. I am hopeful but not overly optimistic.
I am an old lesbian, hear me roar. Now where did I put that anxiety medication?
Fay Jacobs is the author of As I Lay Frying—a Rehoboth Beach Memoir; Fried & True—Tales from Rehoboth Beach, For Frying Out Loud—Rehoboth Beach Diaries, and her newest book Time Fries—Aging Gracelessly in Rehoboth Beach.