I’m learning how to make lemonade. Again. A significant amount of lemons have recently fallen into my lap, and I want to find the best way to appreciate their sour before they mold.
Growing up, my friend Rachel and I occasionally tried our hand at the lemonade business, but we weren’t very successful. This wasn’t a shocker to either of us. I’m pretty sure grass was a part of our secret recipe and, because of this, I am distrustful of all lemonade stands.
I am thinking of lemonade stands today because it is mid-September, school has started, and trees have begun to drop their once-green leaves. I crunch on the carcasses when I walk in the park. I am thinking of lemonade stands, and that makes me remember why it’s awesome to be gay in Louisville.
I am thankful to be a lesbian in Louisville because our police don’t (or have yet to) raid our gay bars for reasons that are suspect at best.
On the night of Sept. 10, police in Atlanta raided The Atlanta Eagle. In a scene that sounds eerily similar to Stonewall, cops stormed into the bar at 11:30 p.m., ordering everyone, even fully innocent leathered patrons (it was leather night), to lie on the floor facedown. They asked for IDs, made derogatory remarks. The Atlanta Progressive reported that in the end, “the only charge faced by bar staff and dancers is that the male dancers in their underwear had been dancing without a permit.” Because they weren’t strippers, the owner didn’t think that law applied to him.
Is that too bitter of a sweet? Have I only touched the zest of the lemon? Well, we can’t all be wizards in the kitchen. Let me try again.
I am thankful to be a lesbian in Louisville because of Fleur de Lez. Never heard of it? According to their website, “FleurdeLez.com is an organization of women and their allies from all over the community committed to creating a clearinghouse of information on the web for queer women.” The site is that and so much more. Fleur de Lez has maximized the kind of social networking only available through the web, and married it with actual events that allow you to cyber-chat. Twice a month, during happy hour, a bar is designated, and people meet. The point isn’t to find a girlfriend but to meet new friends. As stated on the website, “Our goal is to tap into every facet of our community. We want to see its variety and celebrate its diversity.” And every now and then, I will see a lesbian or two I’ve never seen before. Which is nice.
I know I sweetened the mix with that one.
Let’s see. What’s another reason? A lot of straight women, in their mid-40s, drive carpool, and send their kids to Catholic (or whatever) schools. They have lesbian haircuts (and I’m not talking about mullets). Maybe it’s the cut, or the shape of their short hair, but when they wear jeans and sweatshirts, I think, “Soccer mom or lesbian?” I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being either — my mother was a soccer mom. It just makes me giggle. I don’t know why.
Like I said, I’m used to mixing my lemonade with dandelions.
Three young girls have recently revived the tradition of selling original lemonade on my parents’ street. I don’t know how old they are, or if they all live in the same house, but I do know that they have been known to throw caution to the wind and sell lemonade on days a meteorologist might not advise. I like that about them. They add rosemary and honey to their lemonade. (“There’s no sugar in it, but you can’t tell,” the dark-haired one told me.)
Like I said, I don’t trust lemonade stands, but because these girls sell the juice across the street from my parents’ house, and are forthcoming with their ingredients, I “let go and let god” one day, and bought a cup of lemonade. Ever since I have been tempted to ask for the recipe, but seeing as I have plenty of lemons, I’m going to create my own perfect recipe … and sell it across the street.