Okay. Deep breath. There have been 11 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. On August 19th of this year it was announced that there will be a 12th season. Many marriages don’t last as long as this show. And do you know why? Because most people do not work as hard on their marriages as RuPaul works on this show. So, in honor of RuPaul’s work and Older Son’s and my dear friend Cynthia’s love of this show, I am going back to the beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I will either rewatch or watch for the first time all 11 seasons.
I am not committing to All Stars. There are 5 seasons of that show. That’s 16 seasons. I am only one person and I do need to do other things. If I end a gibbering idiot at the end of this, so be it. Join me as I go back to the beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
You gotta work.
From an excellent article by
Since “Drag Race” first aired in 2009, the conversation around identity and gender has shifted tremendously. For all the show has done to challenge its audience’s notions of masculinity and femininity, it has shied away, until the most recent season, from any serious discussion about the ways the drag community intersects the trans one. There have been trans queens on the show, but the topic is a touchy one in the drag community. For most drag artists, the point is the performance; it is not their sole identity. But for those queens who identify as trans or nonbinary, their stage persona is not necessarily a performance. The centerpiece of the show is the contestants’ transforming themselves into queens, and then, after each competition, taking off their wigs and removing synthetic breasts to reappear as men. For years, “Drag Race” prioritized entertainment over any nuances of the culture. Much of the queens’ vernacular, body language and movements come from the drag world’s — especially white queens’ — interpretation of black femininity. I’ve always been uncomfortable with that phenomenon, despite how much I enjoy the show. In his essay “ ‘Draguating’ to Normal,” the academic Josh Morrison argues that by using the bodies of women, people of color and other marginalized groups, “through an often loving, well-intentioned impersonation of them,” drag “unintentionally does them discursive violence.”
Mom meltdowns are as common as kid meltdowns. Mom meltdown averted can be as much of a parenting win as averting a kid meltdown.
I have trouble expressing how I am feeling. When I am embarrassed about those feelings, I have an even harder time. A few months ago, I bought a ring. I love this ring way more than anyone should love a thing that does nothing useful. It just sits on my finger and sometimes gets caught in my hair.
But I do love it and a few weeks ago I couldn’t find it. Read more
I don’t know what happened. I was living my life, volunteering here and there, signing up for stuff, being where I said I was going to be, doing what I said I was going to do and then last week… Read more
I should have known my marriage would end in tears when I realized how much he admired Henry Miller. I dislike Henry Miller because he always seemed to me a man who never did his own laundry and what can a person who never looked after himself tell me about life? Miller had this quote, “Everything was for tomorrow, but tomorrow never came.” And that always pissed me off. Tomorrow only ever comes to others after you are dead. There is no tomorrow. There is only today. Read more
Dear All the Moms,
We see you working. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, we know you are doing your best. Read more
I am so wound up I made myself a calm down jar. I was in Target, stress shopping because I had spent the morning figuring out how to obtain burial permits for my parents, and I found a little tub of glitter. When I saw the glitter, I remembered the stories I saw a few years ago about parents making glitter jars for their preteen daughters to help them pull themselves back from the emotional ledge they pretty much live on while in middle school.
“I should make one of those glitter things for Six,” I thought, getting my phone out and looking up how to do it. So I bought all the stuff, which was just a six pack of Voss water in plastic bottles and some glitter because I had water and corn syrup and dish soap at home.
Then I got home and emotionally and physically stalled out. I made a couple phone calls and figured out a couple things and then I just sat on the couch and stared into space. From the outside, this does not look like ‘wound up’ but for me it is. When I fall silent and still, I am either sick, thinking or overwhelmed. Today I was overwhelmed. And when I become overwhelmed my mind goes in eight different directions and drowns me in comments, questions and concerns.
Then I remembered the glitter jar (I was berating myself for going to Target and missing my window to talk to a government office that is open for seemingly 20 minutes a week).
“Six doesn’t need a goddamn glitter jar, I DO!” I yelled at no one. I was home alone.
So I got off the couch and made a glitter jar. It’s actually a plastic water bottle and I didn’t follow the directions (per usual). I just stood in the kitchen dumping water, corn syrup, glitter and a teeny bit of dish soap into a bottle until all the glitter swirled around for awhile then gently fell to the bottom.
I am going to make a shitload of these things! I am going to put one in my car, next to my bed, in the kitchen and I will even make one for Six because he will think it is fun. Forget emotional support animals, every adult I know needs one of these. As we all hopefully know, telling someone to calm down is guaranteed to wind them up. And I am telling you right now that shaking this little bottle at me would be a huge mistake. Also, there is no certainty I won’t end up throwing one of these things out a car window at some point. All that being said, better to try and fail than go quietly crazy on the couch.
I’m off to make five more of these things. Here’s the link I used in Target to get started. I did not boil the water which means it is possible that at some point gross things will begin to grow in my bottle but by then I will probably have lost all of them so no harm, no foul.
The Struggle Bus is a bi-weekly advice podcast hosted by BFFs Katharine Heller and Sally Tamarkin. Climb aboard the struggle bus and join in as Katharine and Sally discuss listener-submitted questions and problems and offer the best solutions one could hope to get from co-hosts whose credentials are: “They have lots of feelings and opinions.”
Most people lie. Maybe you don’t but I do. I lie less now than I used to. But that is only because my parents are no longer alive and I am divorced. Read more