When I was twenty-something, I did a show with a woman who could double as Mrs. Santa Claus. I’ll call her Grandma Sue. Now if you were to imagine what the perfect Grandma would look like, Grandma Sue was it with her round apple cheeks, extra padding around her middle and tight grey curls framing her smiling face. She was just about the nicest woman around. She’d bring cookies to rehearsal and give me suggestions about meals to prep for my Current Boyfriend and little helpful tricks for all things homemaking. Grandma Sue was wonderful and calm and nice and a Born-Again Christian.
Grandma Sue had been married for years to the same man and had raised and had two children. Her daughter was now married and had two children of her own, Grandma Sue’s only grandchildren. Grandma Sue doted on them. She couldn’t imagine her life without them. And Grandma Sue’s family couldn’t imagine life without Grandma Sue. She was the glue that held them all together.
Did I mention that Grandma Sue was a Born-Again Christian?
This is a point that wouldn’t matter to me normally but you see Grandma Sue had a secret life outside of her marriage. Grandma Sue had a secret life where she was the submissive lover to a butch lesbian. A secret life where she would let Butch Lesbian Lover put a dog collar around her neck and let Butch Lesbian Lover lead her around like a dog, whipping her when she was ‘bad’ and rewarding her when she was 'good.'
Yup, Born-Again Christian Grandma Sue with her apple cheeks and happy homemaker suggestions had secret life that involved leather and whips and girl on girl action.
Grandma Sue liked to go to the (NSFW) Folsom Street Fair and be lead around on a leash from a collar like (Somewhat tame NSFW pic) this >>>
SIDE NOTE: Asked Husband how to find a picture of this and he said to type in “Kinky Dog Collar” and then, when I found it, said, "By the way, I’ve never searched for Kinky Dog Collar before..." Riiiight!
SECOND SIDE NOTE: I now have very inappropriate search history. Again.
Anyway, I’m not sure how I became the recipient of Grandma Sue’s confessions. Perhaps it was because I was sitting next to her in the dressing room. Or perhaps she took one look at my face the day the newly out gay boy in the cast got a book that told him all about being gay and I learned what a glory hole was and couldn’t stop laugh/crying because my now Confused Ex-Boyfriend had just confessed to me that he’d used one recently.
All I know is Grandma Sue started to share her secret life with me – pictures and everything – as we were getting dressed for the show. And during intermission. And any down time we had off stage. She was so excited to have someone to talk to that didn’t judge her and call her horrible names. And I was someone she could share her feelings with who wasn’t going to banish her from the house and never let her see her grandchildren again. That was Grandma Sue’s biggest fear, that her daughter would find out and ban her from their lives.
And then, during the course of the run of the show, Grandma Sue’s Butch Lesbian Lover laid down the law and told Grandma Sue she would need to choose: Butch Lesbian Lover or Straight Married Born-Again Husband.
Grandma Sue was a mess. Every time I saw her, she would alternate between each choice. Sometimes she’d decide she was leaving her Straight Married Born-Again Husband and would ask me if I thought her daughter would still love her. Sometimes she would be leaving her Butch Lesbian Lover and would ask me if she’d ever be happy again. And these decisions were happening at lighting speed – she’d go on stage ready to leave her Straight Married Born-Again Husband and come off ready to leave her Butch Lesbian Lover.
The show ran three weeks. It was exhausting. It was emotional. It was endless. And then it was over and I never saw Grandma Sue again. This was long before Facebook and other social media. She never contacted me to share and my life had just imploded – see above for comment about Confused Ex-Boyfriend and the glory hole. When I finally came out of the dark pit of depression, I felt too weird calling Grandma Sue up and asking who she chose.
I can only hope that she was strong enough to do what her heart told her to. And I say this not knowing to this day, if that might have been to say good-bye to her Butch Lesbian Lover or to her Straight Married Born-Again Husband. Some days, I think she stayed and is cheerfully grandparent-ing and homemaking. Some days I think she left and is gladly submitting to commands wearing her sparkly leather spiky collar.
Whatever her choice, I hope Grandma Sue is happy with the path she took and is content to be wherever and with whomever she chose. She was a nice lady, Grandma Sue. And everyone deserves love – be it in cookies and bibles or leather and chains.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me