A Young Lesbian Couple I Overheard

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I was parked by Lake Merritt just chilling, which is an enduring Oakland pastime.  People drive down to the Lake, find a spot to park, then just people-watch.  There also are joggers, runners and power walkers getting their exercise on.  It’s a beautiful thing – some of us are exercising, others of us are watching.  We Oaklanders go to the Lake to meditate and generally bliss out, especially when the weather is nice.

So I was there, sitting in the backseat of my car with my feet up, with one eye on my reading and one on my watching.  A young lady pulled up in a van about three spots in front of me and deftly set up a table full of whatever it was she was selling.  I figure it was jewelry or something precious by the way she was carefully  arranging the items.   There was a boy-child with a fat red, gold and green knit cap playing nearby her.  After she set up her table, I went back to reading, making a mental note to check out what she was selling.

Then a couple walked by.  They got my attention because they were talking kinda loud – not so loud as to be obnoxious, but loud enough to be easily overheard.  So I looked up at them and they both made eye contact with me.  I got the distinct feeling that I was being invited to listen to what they were saying, which went something like this:

Sistergirl 1.  “…but you need to communicate more…”
Sistergirl 2.  “…well I don’t know what more you want from me…”

Sistergirl 1.  “…well, when I be talking to you, you don’t be saying isht back to me…”

I was struck by this small snippet of conversation between the young couple.  They seemed to be in their mid-twenties.  I have to admit that I found it strange that two sistahs would be having such a conversation.  I would not imagine that women in a relationship would be struggling with issues of communication.  It struck me that the little snippet sounded too much like many a conversation I’ve had with non communicative men in my own life.

Maybe I’m being naive, especially since I don’t know any young lesbian couples, but with all the hardships that they have to face in this jacked up world – with all the hatred against same sex couples, with anti black women misogyny, with all the problems of racial discrimination — with all of the issues that black women are forced to deal with, how can a lack of communication be one of them?  Women in relationships are naturally communicative, right?   I thought that we be communicating, and with no problems whatsoever!  Obviously I’m wrong.

And since I live in my mind, this brief eye-contact encounter with these beautiful young women also reminded me of a post I read at Lesbian Brooklynite’s blog.  There Sister Brooklyn declares she’s bored of all the fronting she sees in her community of women.  And yes, this young couple came across to me as fronting in front of me.  I realize that I may seem arrogant in saying this, but it’s not my intention.

I got the vibe that they wanted me to see them.  I got the feeling that they were posing – not being really real.  Or maybe it wasn’t about being fake, but more about putting their relationship issues on display for a brief payback of attention.  They were a young couple.   Some young people have to struggle harder to be seen and acknowledged.  We live in a society of American Idol and Reality TV shows, where the more you reveal what should be kept sacred, the more attention you get.  Or the more foolish you act, the more attention you get.  How can our young people not be affected by this 15 minutes of infamy mentality that permeates America?

I can’t help but think that if we we would pay more loving attention to our young people and lavish more love on them, they wouldn’t go searching for attention in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.  They wouldn’t have to front, they wouldn’t have to talk their business out loud in front of strangers just to be seen and acknowledged.   I’ve been thinking about that young couple ever since I got that glimpse of them.  In my mind I’ve visualized giving them hugs of sistergirl elder momma-love!  Yes I’m weird, and strange as well.  If I knew them for real, I’d give them some hugs.  And some advice.  I’d tell them they aint gotta talk their business out loud like they did.  I’d teach them to be more honoring of their relationship.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Lack of Communication is a problem in any relationship whether gay or straight. That’s the major reason couples break up. Matters not what their sexual orientation is, the problem is that one party is not listening to the other party. Several of my female cousins are gay and they have the same ups and downs as any heterosexual couple. However unlike today’s young people I was raised not to “put my business in the street.” Friends my age who have kids in their teens, 20s & early 30s have told me their children have had to leave Facebook and other social networks because of online fights, usually over relationships. I used to display my relationship status on Facebook but when I changed it from In a Relationship to Single I had all kinds of questions about what happened to the guy I was dating. Deleted the Relationship Status very fast. Also I never discuss my relationship at work. Pretty much everyone knows I’m dating a fellow employee because we’re always together but my friend and I made a pact not to discuss our relationship with any of our co-workers. As a result the two of us are closer than ever. Our relationship is dynamite for some people because we are an interracial couple. Never knew there were so many bigoted white and Black folks. But that’s for another blog. However the great thing is that we do listen, respect and cherish each other. We are also very private people. No one outside our close circle of friends is allowed in and even then we certainly don’t share our intimate moments. YOUNG FOLKS! TAKE IT FROM THE 50+ PEOPLE. STOP SHARING!!!

    1. Anna Renee says:

      I guess I just thought that we women are superior in the communications department, and that two women in a relationship would NEVA have that as an issue. Welp, I’m still learning everyday.

      1. When you think about mothers and daughters those are complicated relationships for two females who should automatically be able to communicate with each other but often don’t. Of course Lesbian relationships have the sexual component but women are often at odds with each other. Come to the Ladies locker room at my job and you’ll see confrontations and fights aplenty. Women are not programmed or raised to live together peaceably. Last weekend I was sitting with some of the women from my building and we all agreed the worst relationships are those between women. Women have secret agendas and nearly always have those claws ready to strike. I’ve seen more cat-fights in the workplace and at church. Men don’t really engage in that sort of thing. Even online women’s groups have problems. See it all the time. As a result I have very few women friends. Men are easier to along with in friendship relationships. Of course romantic relationships introduce another level of complication. Today most of us seek fulfillment in a relationship and are ready to walk when we don’t get it. Most people including myself have to develop patience to allow the relationship to grow and to deal with the rough parts.

        1. Anna Renee says:

          Yeah, it is sometimes difficult with mother and daughter relationships. More so on the misunderstanding level. There’s no lack of words, I would imagine, at least in most cases.
          These sisters I overheard were talking more about not saying anything at all. At least one of them – just not responding when spoken to, from what I was able to grasp from their conversation.

  2. Reggie says:

    While you’re probably right…………

    Most relationships probably end due to a lack of communication. It seems like such an easy thing to do, but for many people it proves to be difficult beyond measure. I’ve heard conversations like that from straight couples too. It is what it is.

    By the way, just the thought of parking out by the lakefront reading a book in the shade sounds like an awesome way to spend an afternoon.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Yeah, I figured it has to be the easiest for two women in a relationship. Naivete on my part.

      Parking by the Lake with a book is the best way for me NOT to get any reading done! But I love trying anyways. 🙂

  3. People are people. I know that the mainstream likes to say that men are one way and women another but all of the behaviors that can be seen on one gender can be seen in the other.

    As for them speaking loudly, I think that Black lesbians are usually so invisible that some, especially younger ones, just want to be noticed.

    I haven’t been to Lake Merritt in a long time. Honestly I’m not sure I’d feel safe there. Last I heard, and this was a while ago, people were getting robbed around the lake. Is that still going on?

    1. Anna Renee says:

      That’s what I figured, they wanted to be seen. But me being me, I just don’t want us sisters to make ourselves look some kinda way, for attention’s sake. I’m old school.

      But Lake Merritt has been upgraded tremendously! Sidewalks have been installed all along the Lakeshore side, and they even have markers that measure every 10th of a mile! Real fancy and very inviting. It looks really nice nowdays. But you know how it is, robbing and thieving is going on all over the world, including Oakland.

      The best thing is not to be naive when you’re in Oakland. I remember a story of a couple getting out of their car and kissing right on the street at 11pm or so. Maybe it was the end of their date. They were into what they were doing, and the woman got robbed of her purse. Oakland is what it is.

      1. Wow, they have markers now, that’s so cool. I might have to give the lake another try. I love to walk.

        You’re right, every city has its spots. One just has to always be aware.

        1. Anna Renee says:

          Yes Sis, come on over! Stop watching us from your backyard! Ha! 😀

          1. Lol!

  4. Mark says:

    I agreee with Valentina that they still feel the need to be seen. In the African-American community, we are still slow to acknowledge and embrace our gay brothers and sisters, and they still have to make noise not just to feel secure but to make themselves feel that they are a part of the community.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      It’s human acknowledgement, and we all need it. I find it past ironic that we black folks are struggling with the whole issue of invisibility or dehumanization, and then turn around and do the same thing to our family. Because we all know we have LGBT folks in our families. It’s a straight trip, but it’s life as we know it on earth. As always, I like those who push back real hard against bull-isht. Rev Dr. Debra Mumford is just such a person, doing this work right in the black church. I posted about her a few weeks back.

  5. Lin says:

    Love is love, S.W. & as such, the same issues, problems, quirks, hang-ups will occur regardless of sexuality or orientation. Your point is well-taken, in that, young people WIILL act out or act up as a way to gain attention when it would be wiser to chill & keep their private matters private. I do think the younger & less experienced we are, the less we tend to engage in the give & takes of communication, equally. Could that be a learned behavior? Possibly. Seems like we have to jack-up a few relationships, BEFORE we learn how to survive them w/ the love/respect still in tact.

    Smell me?

    One.

    p.s. Ummmm…stop minding other people’s bidniz, yo! LMAO!

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Yeah, I smell you, boo! I, even I, jacked up a couple myself, and I consider myself all wise and whatnots!

      I’m a Sag with my Moon and Venus in Aquarius! And my Mars in Cancer! I was BORN to get into other peoples bidniz! 🙂

      I love people, and just wanna hug everybody! I can’t help it, if I wanted to, wouldn’t help it even if I could!! 😀

  6. Lin says:

    Yup. And those of us who love you wouldn’t want our Anna Renee (ummm…Anna May, iff’n you’s country) any other way!

    & oh, yeah. I caught the MJ reference. 😉

    One.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      That’s why I love you, because you’re observant! I might be a little bit country with a name like Anna May….but I got a whole lotta Motown in my soul, baby! Hee hee hee! 😀 OK, Imma stop, Imma stop!

  7. I once overheard a white couple arguing over a racist comment one of them had made. I’m not sure if there’s a parallel in there, but I’ve come to realise that we really are so similar at the end of the day b/w, man/woman, straight/queer, same trial and tribulations in our relationships. For better or worse I guess. I remember being surprised the first time I went to a lesbian bar how women could treat other women in such a misogynist way. I moaned about it to my bf at the time who of course then made a point to say, you see, it’s not just men… He was of course right.

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