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flashback: my good friend katie moved about an hour up the road a few months ago, and i paid her a visit on the first weekend after move-in. other than an inherited recliner and some crates, the living room was yet to be furnished. biting the bullet, she decided it was okay to start spending some income from that new job; and so, i found myself accompanying her on a coffee table trip to everyone's favorite all-purpose store: target.

katie's shopping method is frighteningly similar to my own: weigh all options and prices and pros and cons and all future possibilities in an agonizingly thorough manner. a few eras later, style and finish were chosen, and the helpful target woman assisted us in the remainder of the furniture excursion. after loading up katie's little neon with an end table and coffee table, we gave dana a parting thank you and drove off into the night. at the first stop sign, katie paused and gave me a sideways glance.

"so... i have a question for you." i looked at her as my mind reading skills took off. no. she is SO not going to ask me this! i stifled a laugh and said, "go for it. ask me what i think you're going to ask me." after another long pause, she said it. "so, do ya think she thought we were... together? you know... two twenty-something girls... buying furniture and all..." she had barely started the question and i was already screaming with laughter. after a little more humorous outrage and indignant amusement, we decided on a Hope For The Best, Expect The Worst Scenario: maybe she figured we were just friends, or roommates; but then, perhaps that peculiar look did indeed communicate her thoughts on our orientation/s. [for the record, we assembled the end table with our decidedly non-lesbian-selves before i had to head home for the evening.]

skip forward to this past weekend: after a little conference attendingization, i spent the remainder of the weekend with katie before heading on home. being the ever resourceful and productive women we are, it was decided i would make myself useful and assist with some interior design. Project Redecoration involved searching for picture frames, choosing photos, ordering prints, and hanging the whole mess on her naked walls. of course, at the first mention of "we should look for frames at target...", we exchanged a glance and actually sort of hoped we would see ol' dana there, just to keep the storyline going. no luck on saturday during the initial picture frame search, but not all hope was lost.

sunday afternoon found us in the final purchasing stages of Project Redecoration. the perfect modern frames were chosen, and it was on to the practicalities of picture hanging. katie pondered out loud as we confidently made our way through the store. "so, you realize what we're doing now, right?", as the home improvement section sign loomed ahead. we smiled, sighed, shook our heads and found the cutest little level for only $3.99. katie made her purchases and we stood in line, awaiting her digital prints and enlargements at the kiosk located near customer service. several employees were milling back and forth, forced to cut through the photo line. as one walked directly past us, my eyes went wide and i turned to look at katie.

"it was her!" i hissed. "what? who?" "coffee table lady!" her eyes went wide like my own, mouth tight in amused shock. we stood there, frozen, facing forward, not looking at each other for several seconds of eternity. finally, we glanced at each other, let out a collective breath, and began laughing like maniacs. katie said, "i wonder if she's thinking... 'aw, they're still together!'" and again we went with more of the smiling and the sighing and the head shaking.

we had spotted another perfect frame earlier at a different store, and off we went. a group of boys, around high school age, happened to be sitting just outside the entrance. as we walked in, katie asked in disbelief, "did you hear that?" "hear what? who?" "one of the teenagers." i looked at her and shook my head, but she refused to answer. finally, in the solitude of the frame section, she answered. "well... they pretty much verbalized what we figure the target lady was thinking." my mouth dropped open. "out loud?" i asked in amazement. the concreteness of this one was more disconcerting, and irritating, than any of our lighthearted guessing games. i mean, come on! we can hear you! sigh.

back at the apartment, positioning and penciling and precision commenced. two-thirds of Project Redecoration was complete, and katie was placing the last of the pictures in the final frame. i was playing with the level and had a particular idea; nanoseconds later, i caught her watching me as she said, "oh, i just had this bad thought." and again i went with the mind reading. no. she is SO not going to say this! i looked at her in disbelief and practically yelled, "what? WHAT? are you reading my mind again? tell me!" another long pause.

"we could each carry a level around, and hang a sign that says, 'I'M STRAIGHT!'"


i have some more serious thoughts on this ridiculous situation. for now, help spread the word for me:



Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 at 10:43PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments16 Comments

Reader Comments (16)

Well, I'm glad you finally cleared that up for us! Paul and I have been wondering. [insert sarcastic inflection].
Oct 25, 2005 at 09:11AM | Unregistered Commenterjared
well, my penchant for wearing my dad's (& other men's clothing) also does not mean that i am same gender-exclusive in my dating habits. (what dating habits you say? exactly!)
my girl friends always look much cuter than i, so i'm relegated to being the 'butch' in such assumptions whilst wandering the mall.
then there was the time amanda & i accidentally ended up in a gay bar in chicago on karaoke night...
Oct 25, 2005 at 10:03AM | Unregistered Commentermar
Wait a minute! Short hair does not mean lesbian? Well, there goes my entire worldview!

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I share an apt with my sister (not quite two years younger) and we often wonder what people think when they see us at Target (represent!) shopping for apartment-related things. Or what our neighbors think, for that matter. We live in one of those apartment buildings where no one ever talks to anyone. I think my sis and I look alike, but the resemblence is not so strong as to be immediately recognizable.

But seriously, even if we weren't related, can't chicks live together platonically anymore? Come on, people. Our economy is still in recovery! Who can afford their own place these days (at least in Chicago)?

[FTR, neither of us has short hair.]
Oct 25, 2005 at 12:18PM | Unregistered Commentermeegs
so you're just two lipstick lesbians... no big. ;)
Oct 25, 2005 at 02:51PM | Unregistered Commentermar
I'm doing my part to spread the word, mdog.

(And what is a lipstick lesbian?)
Oct 25, 2005 at 02:55PM | Unregistered Commenterrachel
Short hair = easy.

That is all.
Oct 25, 2005 at 03:16PM | Unregistered Commenterchurchie
a fem, not a butch. ie, one who wears lipstick.
Oct 25, 2005 at 03:46PM | Unregistered Commentermar
you and paul, huh, jared? curious...

mar, that sounds like a blog entry just waiting to be written!

i saw the effort at b109 and it is certainly much appreciated.

churchie - you're saying i'm easy? ;)

so where does this leave me as far as categorization? butch hetero? sigh.
Oct 25, 2005 at 05:09PM | Registered Commentermdog
Wait... Mdog, I thought you were straight and I was a lesbian. My hear is shorter than yours. (Even shorter after 1 pm today). And Jared... ah... nevermind.

My friend Jeff and I often go to columbus together. When we eat out, we always put it on one bill because we alternate taking each other out. Then we go and browse used book stores together. We both have short hair. Hummm...
Oct 25, 2005 at 06:30PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
now, paul. boys with short hair are rarely mistaken for lesbians.
Oct 25, 2005 at 07:04PM | Registered Commentermdog
but not always, mdog. *l*
Oct 25, 2005 at 07:09PM | Unregistered Commentermar
girlfriend, (sorry, couldn't resist). I really wish we had come up with a great response for the teenagers while we were wandering around the store. Something like, "no we're straight, but thanks for asking." Maybe he thought we were hot and wanted to make sure we were available.

So what is the female version of metro-sexual?
Oct 25, 2005 at 08:36PM | Unregistered Commenterkatie
you didn't like my idea of holding hands and making out as we left, did you? no fun at all. now that you mention it, we totally should have bought a level there, and handed it to them...
Oct 25, 2005 at 10:35PM | Registered Commentermdog
if i am going to be suspected of being in a relationship with another woman, i'm glad it is you :-). we are so much alike, i think we'd make a good match.

i was about to say, we could have beautiful and witty children... uhhh, oh yeah. forgot how that works for a second.
Oct 26, 2005 at 01:32PM | Unregistered Commenterkatie
i second that thought. all of them, actually. :P

SO amused that you posted this. you are awesome.
Oct 26, 2005 at 02:07PM | Registered Commentermdog
I was thinking I should buy us some glittery pink tees for our next outing that say "princess" or "baby girl." But as I think about it, then we would look like we were trying too hard, and people might be more suspicious.
Oct 28, 2005 at 07:06PM | Unregistered Commenterkatie

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