Tell me a story……1998 edition.


This post brought to you by my compelling desire to write, and complete inability to do so. Generous people have given me funny, thoughful, and factual suggestions for posts. Click here to see them, or add your own. I’ll work through them all in time.

Winnie says: I’d love to hear stories about when you and TMD were first together.

I love this topic and will come back to it in future, but first my brain says: which story? Can I type after a day of two sick kids and a glass of wine, with TMD reading a helicopter book to Snort in the background?

I met TMD at the summer camp we both worked at. It was about twenty minutes from my home, and across the ocean from hers. I worked there for many years, in many roles, and every year we had a sizeable amount of staff from abroad. I don’t remember many of them. But I can say, hand over heart, I remember the instant I met TMD.

I had been at camp for a few weeks with the other managerial staff. These early weeks were to get things organized, to train managers, and to watch shitty scary movies and eat candy. The international staff frequently flew in near the end of our month of preparation, a few days before the local staff, because they needed to sleep and get used to the time difference.

So in they came – a group of red eyed, yawning, and terrified young women from around the globe.

The moment that sticks in my mind is this: We were all sleeping together in one big room. The international staff dragged mattresses into a corner and promptly passed out. But TMD? She had the biggest, brightest smile and she was Happy To Be There. She wanted to join in, to hear our stories, to laugh with us. I was really impressed with her. I can actually visualise her exact expression, which is odd because anyone who really knows me knows I can’t recall events that were apparently key in my own life.

That evening at dinner is the first conversation I remember having. We were having make-your-own-tacos and she was like, ‘Uh, what are tacos?’ At that point I thought perhaps she had flown in from the fucking moon rather than Country B, but as I happen to be a modest expert on taco construction, I regalled her with my knowledge.

We became very good friends, best friends eventually. In the way of camp friendships, you become lobsters with those people you work with – you are laughing, whining, playing, living, and working with a tight knit group of people for months at a time. The odd side effect is that often you never speak between camping seasons – but if you happen to see them years later? The easy love and affection is still there.

TMD broke that mold by sending me an email one day. She had the address of my blog-at-the-time, and I had been writing about coming out as bisexual. I had a lot of Very Serious Queer Pondering to do, and that’s mainly where I did it. She wrote and said she thought I was brave. I later found out that she went back to the first entry, written a couple of years before, and read every word I wrote. I think a little of my queer bravery leaked out onto her, and in fact I helped bully her into coming out of the closet a few years later.

But that’s another story.


3 Responses to “Tell me a story……1998 edition.”

  1. pajamamommas Says:

    Oh, this makes me really miss the camp I used to work at and the fabulous intense friendships from those days. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Gnome Says:

    I clearly remember TMD getting ready to go to camp. She was so excited!

  3. Winnie Says:

    I was a counselor at a weekend camp at my high school and we would always get intensely close during camp and then not talk again afterwards. It’s great that TMD reached out and sent that email and started a beautiful thing between you two. 😀 I feel so honored that you picked my idea first!

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