my forays through love and other gastronomical stories

The Lesbian Chronicles 33: Dog Daze of Summer — July 24, 2016

The Lesbian Chronicles 33: Dog Daze of Summer

I am staying at the beautiful Briars Inn located in the tiny town of Jackson’s Point, home of my most cherished childhood memories.I am staying here with my ex- partner and now roommate Lorraine.  Our cottage décor is shabby chic, complete with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and the piece de resistance, a working fireplace. Today as Lorraine and I were going to lunch, I decided to leave the glass door open, closing only the screen door so that my puppy Lucille would be able to feel the breeze from the beach.

When we returned from lunch I saw that the screen door was opened. My heart stopped, my stomach dropped… Lucille was gone.  I ran to the beach calling her name “LUCILLE!! LUCILLE!!”  but no answer. Now completely in panic mode, I ran all the way to the main hotel building, hoping by some miracle that someone had located Lucille and incredibly, someone had rescued my puppy. A woman named Ivy who was vacationing in one of the adjacent cottages had found Lucille!

Breathing a somewhat sigh of relief, I phoned the number of the woman who found Lucille. “Ivy was not home” her husband said, “She’s driving around looking for the dog’s owner. Lucille was not wearing any collar as I had removed it after we went swimming in the lake.

I wasn’t certain how efficacious driving around town with a 5 lbs dog was, but I decided it was wise not to say anything and just wait until I heard from Ivy. One long hour later I get a distraught phone call from Ivy, saying that she had to leave the dog with the animal shelter, even though she had a bad feeling about it. Unfortunately Ivy had left her phone at home which was why her husband hadn’t been able to reach her.

Ivy told me that as she was walking into the animal services building she had a bad feeling, so she told the woman at the front desk that she had changed her mind, and would bring the dog home with her. “That would not be allowed” said the woman, ” If you take this dog out of the building, we will charge you with the felony of dognapping!”

So my reluctant heroine left my puppy at the Georgina Animal Services. Now I just had to drive my geographically challenged self there and Lucille will be in my arms again. After some directional drama I arrived at the Animal Services ready to pick up my pup, only to be told I needed ID. Shit. I ran out of the cottage so quickly I forgot my wallet. I  did not have ID on me but I did have a photo of Lucille on my phone. Nope. No go.

Okay back to my car, drive the 30 minutes to the cottage, grab my wallet and drive relatively quickly ( my version of quick is 60 mph) to the clinic  where I show them my license . “Now may I please get my dog?””No you may not, you must first pay 25$.”

” Really? She was here for maybe 45 minutes tops!” ” Well” they say “We had a vet check her out to make sure she did not get hit by a car.” “You are fucking kidding me!!” I had reached my calm limit.” I think it would be very very clear what my 5 lbs dog would look like had she been hit by a car!”  But then what could I do? They had me by the doggie cojones.

I paid the fee. “May I please get Lucille now? I asked in a docile voice. Nope, not yet. What in the name of Jesus is the issue now? I needed a leash, no dog was allowed out of the premises without one. I had not brought a leash with me, since I wasn’t planning to take her for a walk. Luckily for a small fee, they could give me a leash. Fine! Anything! Finally one of the workers brought out a stunned looking Lucille. I grabbed Dogini and smooched her all over her tiny body and gave thanks to the doggie angels that had kept her safe.


The Lesbian Chronicles 32: Rapprochement — July 21, 2016

The Lesbian Chronicles 32: Rapprochement

I’m feeling very vulnerable these days, so much to fear – gun violence, political unrest, even the Zika virus.

I grew up in suburbia during the 60’s, where mothers let their children play freely outdoors , only calling them in come dinnertime. I was small for my age, but so desired freedom that I borrowed my best friend’s older sister’s bicycle. Now I had wheels! I tied wooden blocks onto the pedals with bungee cord so I could reach them. Certainly not fashion forward, but that was fine with me because now I was free to fly!

After school Karen (b.f. in question) and I would take the egg sandwiches that her mother  had prepared for us along with her specialty, homemade Rice Krispie treats into the nearby fields and had a picnic. I felt free, happy and safe.

I don’t think I  have felt safe since then.


Last week I surprised my roommate Lorraine  with a getaway to celebrate her sixtieth birthday. I rented a teeny tiny cottage on the shores of Lake Simcoe that accepted dogs, so that Lucille too could enjoy the celebration. My bedroom faced directly onto the lake, where I woke to the soft lapping of the water. I, who have always had music playing in the background of my life, forgo music to listen solely to that soothing sound.

I took Lorraine to this quaint lake side inn near our cottage for her birthday dinner. We were having an enjoyable evening when she started talking about a project she is working on. She began talking louder and louder about the unscrupulous people she is being forced to work with, and how everyone is corrupt. Suddenly, in the middle of her diatribe, I began to feel extremely sad. As I sat across from her trying to stay calm I could not stop a torrent of tears from streaming. I excused myself and went outside to catch my breath and right myself. What tripped me over the edge? I’m not 100% certain, but just before I began to cry, I kept thinking:

I am alone and unsafe, and will be alone for the rest of my days. 

I had a sense that her anger and her frustration with her colleagues, spilled over onto me energetically, making me feel alone and scared. I took a few deep breaths, told myself that I was safe, went back into the inn. I somewhat calmly told Lorraine that I really wanted to support her in this frustrating time, but I needed her to do her best and contain herself.

This conversation of course, was a variation of the hundreds we have had over the years, never to be resolved. I kept trying to make Lorraine understand that she is responsible for her energy, but I don’t think she thinks she is responsible nor does she want to be responsible.

I however, can and must be responsible for my energy. The next morning I got up early and took Lucille for a quiet walk around the lake. Thoughts about what had transpired last night were forefront on my mind. How can I feel safe? What would safety look like for me?

I thought about my days in the fields with Karen, and how safe and centered I felt. How could I recreate those feelings of safety here and now, and call up those feeling when needed?

My mother was not a nurturing soul, so going to Karen’s house and having her mother pay attention to me was immensely comforting. I have been looking for her comforting presence in all the women I date, but until now have sadly, only chosen women like my mother.

Could it be possible for me right now to cull up those feelings of safety? I tried to remember Dorothy’s kitchen where Karen and I would sit at the table talking about our day at school while Dorothy would make us those delicious sandwiches.

Yes, I could. I felt instantly transported back in time and could feel my breath lengthen and my shoulders relax. Okay, this felt great!! But while those memories made me relax, I still didn’t feel safe. What was missing?

Oh shit! I need to feel my grief. Pushing my grief away since childhood, had made me perennially perky, which left me feeling exhausted and numb. This pushing away of my grief had led me into relationships with women like me, who chose not connect to their pain.

That is why I felt so alone with Lorraine last week. In her need to release her stress and anger about her work, she wasn’t connecting to her grief, just to her rage. I in turn, felt the need to tell her how bad and inappropriate she was in sharing her anger. Now it was my turn to not feel Lorraine, but just my own anger. I was afraid that if I felt my grief, my grief would consume me, because my grief felt that enormous.

I walked along the shore still crying,thinking that it was time. Time to feel my sadness and yes grief, about Lorraine and the trail of women before her, starting with my mother. So much better to feel sad, than the nothingness I had felt for years.

I let my grief wash over me and through me. I didn’t have to do anything, or say anything. I just had to feel, and keep on breathing.


I did and I am, still.











The Lesbian Chronicles 31: My Dinner With Anita — July 13, 2016

The Lesbian Chronicles 31: My Dinner With Anita


I am certain that all of you HuffPo  readers have had at least one dinner with a family member that left you with a rock in your stomach and pain in your heart.

I will do my best here to illustrate the dinner with my mother that helped me understand why ” I am what I am” – to quote Armand from my favourite movie ‘The Bird Cage’.

The setting: beautiful Stowe, Vermont; where rivers and maple syrup flow.  Stowe is home to the famous Von Trapp singers and home of Anita, my mother.

Lucille, my circus puppy and I had come for a week’s vacation. I hadn’t had an opportunity for rest and relaxation for quite some time. I was so happy to be here. I began to breathe again – even the air smelled sweet.

My mother’s country house is situated on top of a long lonely hill. This had suited my loner father perfectly but was torture for my mother. My mother cannot be still for a moment – therefore the last place she would ever want to be was home for dinner. Luckily, that would not be necessary tonight, as her friend Tony owns a restaurant just down the road from her home.

As we arrived at Tony’s Trattoria, the smell of his ripening tomatoes so heady  I plucked one right off the vine and ate it then and there. On that beautiful starry night as we proceeded into the restaurant, my mother asked me whether I wanted to sit at the bar or in a booth.

I preferred to sit in one of the shabby-chic booths that Tony swore he hand picked plank by plank from his cousin’s now defunct pizzeria in Sicily. This is where I felt held and happy. My mother knew I preferred a booth, so this was a trick question I have always answered incorrectly.

I so desperately wanted her just once to say “Katharine: I only want to be with you. Let’s sit in a booth so that we can have a heart to heart mother-daughter reunion and catch up with each other’s lives.” You know the expression when pigs fly? When you see those little piggies with angel wings flapping by your front lawn, you will know that my mother has finally responded to my heart’s longing.

On this occasion, I opted for the path less travelled that might provide me with more success. I told my mother that I would love to sit at the bar.

One point Katharine. Zero points Mother.

Mother proceeded to sit down at the bar next to a very large, loud gentleman who appeared to have had more than his share of the suds. My mother either didn’t notice or didn’t care. She was simply pleased that a rather loquacious man was talking to her and .. Mother nudged me “He looks wealthy!”

One point Mother.

Zero points Katharine.

We were now tied.

As I twirled my fettuccini onto my fork sitting on the too-high bar stool, together yet alone – I thought: Here is the genesis of my deepest wound. Never being seen – valued – adored. What would I  have given for my mother to turn to me and say these three small words “How are you ?” Everything. I would have given up everything.

But this particular dream can never be realized in my lifetime. Then and there – in that somewhat tacky Italian restaurant – I had my very own personal  aha moment. Thanks Oprah! I realized that I could either choose to stay the victim, or I could put on my big girl panties and start to play the game.

Instead of turning once again to my mother, I turned toward my seatmate on my right and said “What’s a nice dyke like you, doing in a place like this?”

Game over.

2 points Katharine.

1 point Mother.


First they ignore you,

Then they laugh at you

Then they fight you

Then, you win.


The Lesbian Chronicles 30: Pride — July 4, 2016

The Lesbian Chronicles 30: Pride

Today was Toronto’s Pride Parade as well as an open air service aptly named ‘Church On Church’ as it takes place on Church St.  Walking into the venue it was apparent  I should have come at least  thirty minutes earlier as all the seats in the front were either taken or reserved.

Still I thought it might be possible to get a  seat close to the stage.  I pushed my little chubster self through the crowds, only to be told by a burly security guard that all the seats close to the stage were reserved. Hell on a hotdog bun!

Oh well – time to implement plan B and sit in the plebeian section. All was not lost as I found an aisle seat relatively close to the stage. As I was waiting for the service to begin I noticed  John the husband of Brent Hawkes, big kahuna of Metropolitan Community Church  was sitting in the seat next to mine. John is so lovely and kind. I truly feel his authentic humility  in the Christian sense of the word. He is not one to ask for special status or favours, in fact I have a feeling that being one of the ‘A’ lister’s , makes him feel uncomfortable.

There is a part of me that wishes I were like him, for I have always dated non-Hebe women who have placed premium value on John’s way of being in the world. I have always insisted that the most contained person ‘wins’. Since I have never been able to contain myself, I have always considered myself to be a loser and unfortunately so have most of the women I have dated.

I am a your typical loud and pushy Jew, it is my culture and my nature as well. Do not go gentle into that good night!  Make some noise!  Assert yourself! Push your sweet hebey ass through to the front of the line!

Because I have been working so hard to accept my wild heathen self, I felt for the first time in the midst of Pride,  that there might be room at the inn for both John and me.

Releasing my thoughts of being a loser to the wind, I stood up to sing  along with the choir to Lady Gaga’s song ‘Born That Way’.

‘I’m beautiful in my way

‘Cause God makes no mistakes

I’m on the right track baby

I was born this way’

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