Friday, August 1, 2008
Edith was a fag hag. She wanted to be my fag hag, in the 80's, but I was reluctant. She was too needy, necessary as that trait may be for this specific type of codependent friendship. We worked together at Disneyland and joined the show choir at Fullerton City College, along with our friend, Eddie.
Edith was cute, bubbly, and flirtatious. Straight boys liked her. When she was between boyfriends, though, she would make a beeline to me and Eddie, expecting us to be her surrogate boyfriends.
Eddie got a phone call from her. "Take me out to dinner for Valentine's Day," she had practically ordered.
Eddie called me right away. "I wanted to say, 'Bitch? I need a guy to take me out to dinner,'" he told me. Eddie and I felt that we always ended up paying for Edith whenever we went out with her, so we were not anxious to spend a Lonely Hearts evening with her.
After leaving city college and being ousted from the Mouse House, I managed to ditch Edith for a couple of years. She found me at my dinner theater job, eventually, when attending a show with some mutual friends.
She confronted me. "You have avoided me for two years. Well, I'm not letting you go, this time. What are you doing tomorrow?" Once again, she was insisting herself into my life.
I sighed. "I'm going to church tomorrow." Edith invited herself to go with me. She hit it off right away with the college age crowd. She became a regular in Sunday morning services, at weekly bible studies, and at any social functions.
Flash forward to 2008. Edith and I reconnected via facebook, as well as at a Disney reunion, last year. We have both survived and grown from our respective emotional issues and have a healthier friendship, now.
"Remember when you told everyone at church that I was your girlfriend?" she asked me. "I was mad when I found out because I had been wondering why no one at church was asking me out. You said you did it so that no one would guess your true gay identity."
I have absolutely no recollection of doing that. It's possible that I used Edith as a beard, though, being that I was involved in ex-gay ministry at the time. If I did, I feel bad about it. Now.
"And I didn't even get any girlfriend perks," she added. "I covered for you, and told people that we broke up."
I guess I owe her?
What I do remember is when she had asked to speak with me, alone, in the empty choir room at church.
"I wanted to talk about us being more than friends," Edith said. "I think I'd be perfect for you because I know about your past and I am fine with that, as long as you would be faithful to me."
Yeah, maybe with a rubber band and two popsicle sticks.
I did not want to be more than friends with Edith. I bluffed my way out of the situation by telling her I had never thought of us as a couple because she was 'way out of my league.' Thankfully, she bought it.
I am a bit ashamed of the immature and selfish young man I must have been, back then. Hopefully, I have grown enough to be more considerate and honest with my friends.
And Edith has definitely grown. She is now the mother of two beautiful girls. She eventually became divorced after surviving a tough marriage. She could no longer think that depending on a man was her only option, she told me, both emotionally and financially. Through hard work, sheer effort, and determination, she has been able to work her way up in the corporate world, earning six figures a year, and all without completing her formal education.
I admire Edith. She is much happier, now. She is able to be with her boyfriend because she wants to be, not because it is an economic necessity or obligation.
She is someone I sincerely want to be friends with, and I am glad that we are still in touch. I'm glad that we are able to laugh over so much of our mutual past, both the good and the bad.