My Queer Memorial Day 2024

This was my first holiday weekend at my home since the Fourth of July last year. I was living here over Easter, but spent that weekend cat sitting for friends.

The death of our beloved cat companion Precious overshadowed everything so I have to take that into consideration. But I had no plans. Not good. So I reached out to some friends. And I ended up having some nice adventures. Conversations? Outings?

One way to manage anxiety and trauma is to break up the day into chunks, as I put it rather than get overwhelmed by this endless expanse of time. I work very hard not to focus on what I am not doing or where I wasn’t invited. What good does that do?

Granted I do loathe Memorial Day. It is the season when all of my friends start leaving town. A lot. And I miss them. This year in particular I feel so glad to be home. I can’t understand why everyone is on the run so much.

It isn’t quite the same as s 12-step ‘One Day at a Time’ philosophy. But it has similarities. I usually think in increments of four hours or so – I have a morning routine, I have a lunch routine, I have time allotted to spend with the socially anxious cats. I have chores.

And I have goals – right now, I am tackling my PTSD symptoms from being shackled in a police cruiser last year and working my way up to being able to drive. I joined ZipCar. There are two cars parked less than half a mile from my home. I just have to get there and drive to one place for starters. I’ve been driving for 37 years. I never caused an accident. I never hurt anyone. I never forced someone into handcuffs to ride in my cars. In fact, I drove up and down the country to Louisiana and back many time, same with Western Kentucky. By myself. With UHauls attached. Sometimes a dog or a bird cage or even a bike rack.

This weekend, I planned three phone calls with different out of town friends. I thought I hated the phone, but apparently it was the people I was talking to! I love going along with my friend Heather in Colorado as she walks around her neighborhood and tells me about it. I love curling up to chat with my friend since childhood (age 4) as she takes her dogs out in the yard and narrates their activities. I adore sitting on my chaise lounge in the attic and talking with my friend as she drives out of town and we finally have time to dive into stories and anecdotes that always get pushed aside.

I went to lunch with another friend (what is happening with Eat ‘n Park?) and had muffins and coffee on my patio with another. Then I went to see the movie ‘Wildcat’ in Sewickley where I FINALLY got to go to Starbucks.

We washed walls which was satisfying. A neighbor gave me a chair for my cattic which was great.

I also remembered a festive little USA red white and blue door wreath I had purchased last year. I put him out (him referring to the stuffed Uncle Sam) after taking the recycling to the curb. I sorted through the patio stakes of sunflowers and pinwheels to festive up the backyard a little bit.

For my Memorial Day dinner, I had two boiled hot dogs and some Chex mix with a can of root beer. My salad turned bad. I’m not going to buy frozen fries b/c I’ll never eat them fast enough.

It wasn’t barbecue, but it was close enough to a holiday meal – adjacent perhaps? – to make me feel proud of myself for trying.

I keep thinking “what’s queer about this post?” I’m queer. Other queer people experience trauma within the mental health system, even from affirming providers. I’m sure other queer people have holiday anxieties, especially around social activities? I’m sure we feel the struggle to have the perfect holiday,to be included in typical festivities, to be acknowledged for those of us who fell in times of war, right?



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