Comforting Words: 11/2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Let's Hear It For The Dogs

My life is not boring – far from it.

Take this last weekend as an example. On Friday, what should have been a couple hours turned into all night shopping and unpacking with two of my boys. We were exiting Walmart at 11:30 p.m. laden with packages – most their’s – and then we headed to my apartment to install a surround sound system that they convinced me was the best buy.

My initial intention was to get a second hand something that would play my compact discs without too much garble – but I learnt my lesson, never attempt to make purchases in a pawn shop with two gay men! Now thanks to them, as you approach my apartment door you hear the blast from this system that I am still figuring out how to use!

Saturday was my lunch date – and that went exceptionally well. I impressed the lady with a lovely four course lunch that she is still talking about up to yesterday. Actually she spent some of her weekend trying to repeat my success with corn bread – but I am not giving up my recipe. The best part though is that by the time she was leaving I had all the information I needed – that was the deal. Stay tuned for more tips, namely on how to get the ‘full bill and receipt’ from a beautiful, highly intelligent and no-nonsense woman (or whatever is your flavour) in my continuing series of DOF.

Later that night, again in the company of some more of my boys, we went to Bright Nights, which is a huge park lit with magnificent displays of lighting for the Christmas season. The night ended at my place – with the boys devouring the leftover from my lunch date. Claudette does not know how to cook for two, so there was enough to feed three grown men and myself. We washed that down with two bottles of the best tasting wine I ever had, supplied by Dr. B.

Sunday morning was time for church. I have declared myself the fag hag – it is an endearing term for a woman who hangs out with gay men. It is particularly endearing if the men are as warm, caring and loving as my boys. We went church shopping as I have been on the market for a new church home. For months now I knew it was time to find one that will satisfy my spiritual needs and my peace of mind – a place where I belong without intrusions. I believe I was successful.

Later that afternoon, my daughter and I spent time doing what has become an annual tradition – baking Christmas cakes together. The part of the tradition that seems somewhat askewer is that I purchase all the material for this Jamaican Christmas Cake and she takes home most of the end products!

Betwixt and between, several of my latest hobbies fill my days (and nights)…not to mention the daily ‘excitement’ of my job (I work at a prison and every day brings it own sets of drama). I have finally succumbed to the pressure and joined Facebook and that site is so addictive. I am on it morning, noon and night.

If that was not enough, I am now downloading music from Limewire – for my Christmas party. My Christmas and entertaining spirit is back in full force and so I will be the host of the first in the series of Christmas parties for the Divas and everybody is asked to bring a US$25.00 contribution for Kiva.

Looking at this one weekend, you can see that my life is full.

Then why am I experiencing this uncontrollable delight and excitement about my dog getting ‘laid’?

You read correctly. Angello, my dog and companion for over seven years and who was recently diagnosed as having a terminal kidney disease, is out performing stud service for two days. This must be like “Make a Wish Foundation for Dying Dogs,” and my sweetie has gotten his dream come through.

Visitors to my home – wherever that has been – can testify to having had to retrieve or peel Angello off their legs. He loves to hump. Last year the doctor told me that he needed to have surgery for his prostrate which was enlarging as a result of him “not getting any.” Well that’s no longer the case.

My gentle giant of a friend called me a couple days ago and told me that his bitch is going on heat and would I like to give Angello his lucky break. How could I say no to a dying dog that has loved me unconditionally for seven years so far? So off he went this morning to get his wish – to have sex.

My friend brought the lady in question over to my place very early this morning to see if she would be interested in Angello before driving all the way outside of Edmonton to his place and she rejected my boy. Well, who could resist the big black eyes and his dark ruddy (and furry) looks? There was no being coy on the lady’s part but my dear Angello for all his years of humping had not a clue where to hump this time.

I felt I had let him down – by not telling him how this was done. The poor fella tried for a couple hours, succeeding only to make a real wet mess off my kitchen floor but not making THE connection. As I watched his poor performance, I could not help thinking about the many disappointed women in this world who have found themselves or are in this position right now – meeting someone who looks better than they are able to ‘put out’.

Hopeful nevertheless for my dear Angello, I spent the rest of my day calling every hour to my friend’s to ask “Did he get it yet?”

I called so many times I felt my gentle giant was going to die with laughter. It was becoming embarrassing for me that my Angello was humping everywhere on the lady’s body except for where he should. My friend told me that he was considering giving his bitch a bathe soon as Angello had succeeded to drench her in …

I offered a suggestion at about 8:00 p.m. – almost twelve hours after this all started. But he didn’t think it funny. I though maybe he should show Angello where exactly to put his…to connect.

On my drive home after work close to 10:00 p.m. I called again, “Did he…?”“Yes, finally, he did and you should have seen the look on his face!” my friend told me. “It was as if he was saying holy s… what do I do now??” Excuse me but my giant’s language can be quite colourful, mine was worse as I pounded my steering wheel, screaming “Yes, yes!” like I was the one experiencing what I hope the lady did.

I share this very weird story because it reminded me to remain happy and hope-filled no matter what. A few weeks ago I thought I was going to lose my best friend and companion. Today, he was losing his virginity and I thought “what a wonderful life.”

For all the entertaining, shopping, drama at work, dating etc., that is going on in my life – or your’s – what really matters are the simple things that make you laugh heartily - like your dying dog having a day of his own brand of fun.

I love it!



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Friday, November 23, 2007

Dating Over Forty - Part 2

My man-friend Lance will not give me a break, laughing his head off each time we speak and strongly suggesting that I continue this dating story. "Make it into a series," he insists.

Now why would anyone want to make this horrible process of DOF ito a series? Why would anyone, especially me who really hates pain, want to be the brunt of ridicule, telling stories of dates gone wrong (DGW). Although I really like these acronyms – they are cute.

Dating Over Forty (DOF) is like running a marathon when all your life you have been training for the 100 meter race! In fact, if you are like me and simply hearing the word ‘exercise’ causes you pain in muscles you never knew you had, then you will fully appreciate what I mean.

If you had the privilege of being (or languishing might be more appropriate) in a relationship for an extended period (say 16 years) the 21st century dating scene is a marathon. Imagine getting up from your couch after 16 years, literally in most cases (read as ‘in my case’), and taking up running a 26K through the Rocky Mountains.

There are days when I wonder if I should return to active therapy – not for depression but to check on my mental health status generally. Other days, I wonder whether I need to re-sit the English Language Examinations offered by the Education Board of Her Royal Highness, the Queen of England.

I once spoke Russian fluently and can still help myself after not using the language anymore on a daily basis for over 17 years now. However, conversations on the dating scene cause me to question what language am I using in communicating.

This brings me to the Point #6:
 This might sound bourgeois but trust me – never date someone with an IQ drastically lower than yours! A woman who I am not sure whether we are coming or going (more anon) has on her profile that people who write to her should at least be able to spell the word “definitely.” I found this very funny because I was dating this guy who not only wrote it but pronounced it with great pride and frequently as “definightly.” Needless to say that for more reasons than one it never went too far between us.

Anyone who really knows me can attest to the fact that I do not walk around with my nose in the clouds, thinking I am better than anyone. Certainly, I know that I am smart and well educated – you must be if universities (notice that I used the plural) allow you to walk through their gates with papers stating that they have educated you at the Master’s level. My papers are for real but so too is my love of people.

However, when it comes to dating, feeling “nice” with someone is not enough. Over the last few months I have personally experienced where that ends – thankfully with no permanent damage (physical nor emotional). Some people who I know have not been so lucky.

I knew about ‘gold diggers’ but...wait before you think it let me say it yes they come in both genders...I never thought that that happens in gay/same-sex relationships.

Yes, yes, I know that makes me sound naïve. Very much like the really wonderful little lady that came up to me at church one day last year in the midst of my crisis and said, “Claudette, you are always teaching me. Until your situation, I never thought, it never crossed my mind that gay people would hurt just as badly as heterosexuals when there ‘marriage’ broke up.” Recognizing that her saying this to me required an enormous amount of bravery, I hugged her and rolled my eyes over her head :)

Well stop rolling your eyes those of you who knew that there are women out there, entering relationships with other women and after the requisite amount of time are suing them for half of their properties. So much for same-sex marriage rights!

Maybe my naivety stems from the fact that I am an island girl – hailing from a country where (1) homosexuality is against the law – so you would be jailed before you could even think about suing your partner for anything; (2) we were too busy trying to make the relationship work because it was so closeted and when it didn’t we headed for the beach to wash out wounds in the healing salt waters and (3) we were just too drunk on rum (kidding).

In all seriousness, however, since my own witnessing last year of this scenario, i.e., one partner lying and cheating – or at least attempting to – the house and land from the other, it seems like an epidemic in the lesbian community here in Edmonton, Alberta. Friends elsewhere please e-mail me and let me know what's going on in your neck of the woods.

The other part of this story – the part that is relevant to Point #6 – is that the ones doing the suing and stealing (or attempt thereto) are the less educated ones. I am almost having a sense that they seek out women (or partners) with greater social status and income, bide their time and they go for the jugular. It gives a new meaning to the word bitches. Sorry if anyone is offended by my use of that word but I am just keeping it real.

My advice therefore – date with caution those who are unemployed, unqualified for meaningful employment and/or lie about their qualifications, or refuse to upgrade their schooling or dropping hints that they would go back to school but cannot afford to – do not fall for it.

What I am saying here is not new to the heterosexual community, although it is a practice that is still pervasive among them – women looking for sugar daddies or men seeking "well educated, independent woman.”

In the case of the latter, read those profiles as: Man looking to nam’ you out.” For those who are not Jamaican – “nam” is the Jamaican for “eat all that you have.”

Lance, you just might get your wish because there is much more DOF stuff in me where this came from. I have to stop here though as I have to go prepare for a lunch date with a woman over forty who has been screening me to make sure that I don’t plan to nam’ her out – too funny!



P.S. Another photo taken by Ren. Visit his site at

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dating Over Forty

Some months back I said that it is quite possible that very soon a post like this one would be available.

Here it is and in my usual style -- it's a no holes barred post.

Yesterday, as I prepared to go shopping for a gift to take to a Diwali feast and dance that a couple of my boys were hosting, I realized that I was driving around for almost two months with an unlicensed car.

It was Sunday and I had several places to go but knowing that my car was illegal I was in extreme panic. Instead of heading back into my apartment, I called this giant of a man who loves me to the ground that I walk on and who has become like a brother I never had.

I screeched at him "I need to find a registry! Do you know any that's open on a Sunday?"

The long and short of this story is that he found one and directed me to it and my car is now licensed until 2008. It was something this Caucasian man said to me though that has stuck in my head. "Honey, you know it's dangerous to be Driving While Black!"

Dating over the last few months has been as and in some cases more dangerous than DWB. In fact, Dating Over Forty (DOF) can be emotionally lethal especially if one's self esteem is not firmly intact.

Several months after 'the break up', I finally acquiesced to my friends’, particularly Lance, and my daughter’s insistence that I get out and get a life. Regular readers will remember that post about my first date – it’s one I will never forget, all 15-minutes of it!

One thing I deliberately did not specify, at least not here on Comforting Words, was the fact that this and my subsequent dates were with men. Yes, men.

Those closest to me knew. And those closest to me understood why it had to be that way.

Backtrack just for a moment. In the heights of the drama of the ‘break up’, a dear and long-time woman-friend from Jamaica, who now resides in Toronto, in a telephone conversation with me reminded me of a piece of profundity I said to her some 10-12 years ago. It was not her intention to throw it back in my face nor was she trying to make me feel stupid. She was doing what friends especially those who know you well do - giving me a reality check.

“Girlfriend," she said, “I will never forget how you were there for me during my own divorce.” To which I responded with some words to express how humble I was and that it was no big deal. “No, no, that is something I will never forget and how you opened your home and your life to me, which you didn’t have to do,” she insisted. “But there is something I must ask you if you remember saying to me.”


“Remember you told me that maybe when I got over my divorce and ready to be in another relationship, I might want to consider being with a woman.” Without waiting for a response from me, she continued, “You also said to me ‘a woman would never hurt you like a man'.”

If she was close to me and not on the telephone, God knows I would have smacked her because I knew where she was going with this. “What do you feel about that now?”

What I felt was like telling her what a b…h she was for reminding me of how stupid “being in love” makes you. My profound wisdom had come from being in relationship with my now ex for about two or three years and in all honesty while I can now say that pain is pain no matter the gender dishing it out, my experiences with men up to that time had left me extremely wary.

Well gentle people, the last few months have not changed that feeling. No, this is not a womanist lesbian treatise against men. I love the animal. Over the last few months, however, I have met a cross-section of that kingdom that has confirmed my inner knowing that that world is not for me.

All the stories your mother has told you or not told you because she was/is too embarrassed to admit that her life is not what she pretends it to be or r stories she prayed you would never hear or experience are still true.

It gets worse when you are woman DOF – just as bad as DWB.

Just to interject here though – before anyone thinks I am saying this about men only - being a woman DOF and a person of colour, especially ‘black’ in a white majority city, town or country is close to a death penalty period.

I have made speeches at conferences and presentations at workshops on this issue over the last couple years – the discrimination and racism that is rampant in the LGBTQ community. My most recent experiences confirmed my suspicion and the real life stories I have heard about the reality of inter-racial and inter-cultural dating – that it is hard as hell still in this day and age.

Hold it though … please do not believe the lie that a 'brother' will be more sensitive or it would be easier dating your own kind! Been there, done that and it’s a myth!

So what have I learned about DOF? Whether man, woman, a person of colour or Caucasian:

1. You drink a hell of a lot of coffee. Most first meetings take place at a coffee shop and if you are like me who have had 3-4 cups by 7:00 a.m., this can be hard on your bladder.

2. You must read with uttermost caution their profiles if you are doing internet dating. What a lot of them write is about the ‘person they would like to be when they grow up’ not who they are right now. And guess what – most of them will never grow up.

3. Truth is a novel concept for many - something they really don’t understand or believe is a possibility. If you really like someone and want to ‘get to know them’ – well don’t tell the truth about anything. Most cannot seem to believe truth even if she came and kissed them. The better you are at story-telling and myth-creating the better chance you will have at a second or even third date.

4. Never, no never, express your feelings – this is a liability not an endearing factor. Never make the mistake and give gifts for special occasions – it will be deemed that you are moving too fast or want to either move in or have them move in with you. (You all can see how hard it has been and will continue to be for me – as I am a blabber mouth about my feelings and telling the truth! Worse yet, I love to give gifts!)

5. The most popular line is “I am looking for friends.” Unfortunately, most who write or say that has a different understanding of ‘friendship’ than say I do. If you are into head games, one or two night stands, jumping though hoops to prove you are not after their family heirloom, not quite happy with what you have managed to earn through sweat equity, pretending to be what you are not, love to meet for coffee morning, noon or night, cannot hold your knife and fork properly (that’s a pet peeve or mine thanks to my ex) then you are “friend” material.

I could go on and maybe I will someday, however, this should give those of you who are DOF a fair picture of what you are in for. And like I said before – this goes for both genders. Yes, Miss Y in Toronto, a woman can and in fact will hurt (and play games with you) as much as a man can…I am eating crow’s pie.

Am I put off from the dating scene? Am I now planning to enter a convent? Or remain celibate for the rest of my life, dying of old age with my dog Angello by my side? (Incidentally, Angello, the love of my life, was seriously ill a few weeks ago – I thought he was a goner. But after much tests and hundreds of dollars in the vet’s pocket, he was diagnosed with kidney disease and is being treated. Thank God for small mercies).

No, I am not done dating, nor am I going to join a convent no matter how enticing the thought or rushing to a relationship with anyone. And my humble advice to anyone recently out of a long standing relationship -- it's true that you need at least one month for each year to feel the power of healing. It's been 13 months for me now and boy does it feels good!

I am just far more aware, clear that the man scene is not for me. They make great friends, my gentle giant is one such, but my soul - which is what I want to share - belongs to a woman “somewhere out there,” who is self-possessed, "in touch with her feelings", totally inter-cultural, smart, sassy, well-educated and open to the ‘joys’ of DOF. (Seems like a tall order, ah well).

When I meet her, you will be the first to know.



P.S. Most of the recent photographs on Comforting Words are courtesy of my friend Ren. You can see his work at

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Divas for Kiva

One of "my boys," Dr. B, sent me an interesting email a few weeks, probably closer to a couple months ago.

This email was a follow-up to a conversation we had about an organization that he had heard of that lends people $25.00 and changes their lives.

For some unknown reason, it took me almost two months to finally visit the site one night after sitting at home basically bored. Not that there was nothing available for me to do -- there was plenty but my mind would not focus. Through the fog, the name Kiva came to me and I rushed to my laptop and searched for Dr. B's email.

Money is not something I am awash in -- in fact, there are days when I feel like a fundraising BBQ might be in order to help me face my own financial situation. However, as I read about the people Kiva helps across the world, I was once again reminded how fortunate I am.

Well into overdraft, without a moment's hesitation I transferred $50.00 and opened a portfolio for The Comfort Foundation.

Many of you would have received an email from me, personally inviting you to join this venture, which I decided to call Divas for Kiva.

You might be wandering where in heaven's name did I get that one from. Well, it so amazed me how quietly "my boys," were helping to change the world - touching the lives of people in places where homosexuality might be punishable by death. And in honour of Dr. B and his partner's bold move, the latter being the person who is always taking photographs of me and who is such a Diva, the name of this new project came about.

So release the Diva in you and either send me an email to be a part of Divas for Kiva or simply visit Kiva and become a $25.00 entrepreneur today.