My mom read The Darwin Awards II on the ride here. I don’t recommend it; most of the stories aren’t very entertaining--though there was one about a guy who sent a letter bomb; it got returned for insufficient postage and he actually opened it!
My grandma had given us some snack food for the trip, including a package of Mint Milanos, which my mom kept up in the front seat with her. At one point my brother asked for one, so my mom handed it back saying “For the boy” because that’s often how we refer to my brother, as “the boy.” I took it and opened it because i wanted one, too. “She said ‘for the boy’ ” my brother protested. “Well, maybe i’m transgressing gender boundaries,” i said facetiously. “I told you she was gay,” he said, obviously directed at my parents. “Bi, actually,” i said. Then he said something like “That’s just as bad” and before i could think of a response he made the ever so witty pun “Bye-bye gay person.” I just let it go. It was a very odd exchange. I told my parents i identified as queer before i went to college, but i never told my brother. I have made comments that imply it, though, which my brother never seems to know what to do with, just as he didn’t really seem to know what to do with what i said this time. He’s 14, and honestly it’s none of his business. I don’t think of it as part of my identity in a “Hi, i’m Elizabeth; i’m queer” kinda way. It’s basically like i told Terry--i don’t have gender criteria for who i date. I don’t introduce myself as vegetarian, i just tell people when it comes up. Same for my sexuality. Although admittedly i often don’t say anything when the opportunity arises, which i really need to work on. And of course i feel hypocritical for saying it’s not a big deal and then blathering on about it forever in here. Oh well. The one thing that struck me as odd was “I told you she was gay.” I assume it means that he has suspected i’m gay for a while (he gets on my case with some frequency about the fact that i’ve never dated), because i think if he had ever said anything to my parents they would have said something to me about it. When i was in junior high and my best friend practically lived at my house, he would tell me that Linda and i were lesbians and i would tell him that no we were not, because of course we weren’t. It was just one of the many ways he enjoyed annoying me, and at that age it didn’t occur to me to call him on the fact that he was using it as an insult. I’m curious as to how he learned to use “lesbian” as an insult in grade school, though. Anyway, i’m shutting up now.
We stopped at Stewart’s Root Beer to have lunch on the way here. I think it was in New Jersey, but maybe it was Pennsylvania. It seemed like this nice family store a ways off the highway. They sold lots of kinds of hot dogs and chili dogs and the like, but they also sold two kinds of veggie burgers--garden burgers and black bean burgers. I was so excited. It is so unusual to find veggie burgers at any sort of eating establishment. I got a black bean burger, which was much thicker and less spicy than the black bean burgers we get at Smith, which made me happy. And they had milkshakes in lots of flavors, so i got a banana one. Yum.
Okay, i think those are all the stories so far.