To my readers, please feel free to leave feedback for me so that I know that you liked my stories, what you would like to see, and perhaps maybe suggest one. Please also vote on how you liked it, every vote does count. If you'd like to read it over and over again, favorite it and come back to enjoy it like an old friend. I look forward to hearing from you...K'Anne
Being 'outed' in front of my family was not in my plans. It certainly wasn't a fun way to spend this Saturday. It certainly was a surprise to all of us but especially to me as I had thought that my being a lesbian was a carefully guarded secret, not that some of them hadn't suspected from time to time but it was more of a 'don't ask, don't tell' type of situation. Maybe I should go a little farther back though and explain from the beginning...
I was bored, simply bored. For years I had played at being the quintessential housewife and mother. I so wasn't either but I played at it. My sons were grown, now in colleges of their choices, my marriage had disappeared years ago, and I was running my husband's companies which I hated in the first place. It was time for a change. Since my husband hadn't lived with us in say seven years now I started divorce proceedings based on abandonment. I asked for everything. The lawyers said I would be lucky to get half. Wisconsin you see is a no-fault state. Everything is split down the middle. Since the middle was part of my contribution I felt I should get it all. Caleb had done nothing to contribute but be there at the beginning, part of the insemination process, and just when I was building up something for us; he took the money and ran. It wasn't just me that he abandoned though. He abandoned two little boys that needed him, needed a male figure in their life, and needed a father. They didn't get any of that and I did the best I could to make it up to them. I made sure each had a trust fund so they could go to college and start out debt-free. I made sure their father or as I now refer to him the 'sperm donor' couldn't touch those sacred funds, because we all knew he would, if he could.
It took forever and a sympathetic judge but I got him on abandonment. He left us, he left the houses, he left the cars, and he left the businesses. I got it all when I was finished with the courts. I then proceeded to sell it all one piece at a time. It was quite a chunk of change if I do say so myself. I kept a house here in town so the boys had somewhere to escape to when they came 'home' to town. It also allowed me to store those things I had inherited from my side of the family. Caleb' things I gave away, sold, or burned. I no longer cared and I certainly wasn't going to store them indefinitely until he came out from under some rock. The really sad part for me, he didn't know how badly I had screwed him in the divorce, he might never know. If he knew how much I got alone for the companies I had built up he would have been on my doorstep in a heartbeat hand held out and expecting his 'fair share.' Thank goodness none of the newspaper advertisements I had to place had gotten him to show up for the divorce. Yes, I could have hired a private investigator to look for him, but at this point, and given how much I stood to have after the divorce, why should I? He didn't deserve the courtesy of giving him half the wealth I had accumulated for both of us. I'd done the hard work, why should he benefit from it in any way?
I invested the funds in a way that would support me very nicely the rest of my life with room to play. Quite a lot of room to play when I wished, I decided it was time for me to play. I hadn't been many places in this country but growing up in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin I knew there was a whole new world out there for me and I was going to find it. I applied for a passport, got a few new credit cards-just in case, and I subscribed to a phone that had international capabilities. I set up automatic payment for my phone, for my credit cards, for my gas, power, and electric and I was ready to go. But where to go?
Back in the dinosaur age, better known as the high school years I took 3 1/2 years of student German. I had family in Germany. Some I had even met. Maybe it was time to go back to my roots. Nothing was keeping me here, so why the hell not? In reflecting out the window as I flew out of my country and on to my future, I realized the woman next to me was kind of grossing me out. It was that she had a bit of body odor. Okay, okay, you think I'm exaggerating? We had cows back in Wisconsin that smelled sweeter. I was miserable and never so glad to touch down in Germany as I was. I felt like screaming 'let me outta here, let me outta here' but no, I played the sophisticate and calmly followed the herd out of the plane.
As I read the signs (thank goodness they were in both German and English and was that French?), I found the way to the baggage area and collected my two cases. Turning around I could see where people were being met but I had to go through customs first. I bravely stepped up to the line. The clerk was very helpful and spoke English (thank God, I wasn't ready to try out my very bad student German). I told her I was here for a visit with my family, had nothing to declare (I didn't watch TV shows for nothing) and I expected to be here for a month. She kinda laughed at me but I guess I looked and acted okay, she stamped my passport and I could go through.
Holding up a sign was a woman that looked vaguely familiar. Since the sign read MEUNIER I had to assume it was not only for me but this was my cousin Mandy. It's hard to tell since it's been ten years since I saw her last and her Facebook picture doesn't do her justice. I smiled as I walked up and said "Guten Tag Mandy!" (Good Day or Hello Mandy).
"Analisa! Wie gehts?" (How are you?) She smiled. Mandy wasn't a tall woman and considerably older than me. I wasn't sure how she was related, I am not even sure she is blood, but somehow we are cousins, at least that's the rumor. "How was your flight?"
"Ach, gut, aber ich bin mude." (Good, however I am tired).
Mandy took the shoulder bag that held suits and dresses and some shoes and I followed her with my larger bag outside to a parking garage. Nothing different here except for the signs. We were soon driving in traffic, which was just as bad as anywhere else I might add! Alarming but I was sure I would get used to it in time. I was surprised though that the steering wheel was on the left side and not the right like I was expecting, didn't they all drive on the opposite sides here in Europe? Apparently not here in Germany. Apparently it's a British thing, but I didn't learn that until later.
It took about an hour to get to Tante Dorla's house. She was staying with my Onkel Friedrich and his family. She was the matriarch of my family. She really isn't just an Aunt but my Great Aunt. My grandfather's youngest sister and at nearly 90 quite a spitfire. I hadn't seen her in nearly 30 years. Amazing but she really hadn't changed much. She was shorter of course, grayer too, but still the robust woman I remembered from years ago. I didn't think I had changed much either but she couldn't tell me enough how lovely I looked, how beautiful I had become, what an honor it was to have me as their guest.
I got to meet about fifty relatives that day alone. Like I was going to remember any of them! Onkel Friedrich was actually Dorle's nephew. One of my Great Uncle's son's. So technically Friedrich was a cousin. It was all very confusing but I pretended to understand. I just kept pleading, "nicht so schnell, nicht so schnell" (not so fast) when people spoke to me. It got so they spoke to me like I was some frigging idiot they spoke so slow but I didn't mind. Enough knew a few words of English that we got along fairly well.
The room they stuck me in was under the roof so I had to watch my head getting in and out of bed. I was grateful to stay with the relatives and thought this was a good way to get to know the language. I could have afforded to stay in the best hotels but I wasn't a frivolous kind of person. Besides, I suspect the family would have been insulted had I not stayed with them.
The family was great about showing me about the immediate vicinity. I was in Bavaria near the Czechoslovakian border. How many trees do you want to see? Actually, the landscape wasn't that different from Wisconsin. I'd been all over there as well and so far, no surprises. What I really wanted to see was the castles, the old houses, the cities, the tourist destinations. No one seemed to want to see those though and I was kind of stuck. I didn't have a clue how or where to rent a car around here and I certainly didn't want to insult the family but after a month of listening and learning very little I was a bit bored. Yes, I liked seeing the cemetery where ancestors of mine had been buried for centuries, but not every week. Yes, it was interesting the little shops in the village. But was that all? The linen factory that most of the family had worked in was boarded up and most people commuted to the cities to work now so that left me with a lot of free time on my hands.
My Onkel Friedrich had a son and I think 'little' Friedrich was what saved me. He must have sensed my unease. Friedrich II or Rich (pronounced Rick) was twenty something and he invited me out to a discotheque. Well I got the translation of that really easily so I dressed up for a night out on the town. As the family hadn't seen me in anything but slacks, or jeans, and blouses they were amazed at the dress I pulled out and the make-up I put on. I know, I look totally different when I'm made up. I clean up good. Rich must have appreciated it as his eyes nearly bugged out of his head as I came down the narrow farmhouse stairs and into the kitchen in my heels. I asked if this was too much for a night dancing and he rushed to assure me it wasn't. I could sense Aunt Gussie didn't approve but Dorle thought I looked sharp. I smiled my thanks.
It took us forty-five minutes to make it to the city with Rich driving. I might add it was a good thing that his Peugeot had 'oh Jesus' hand grips because I was using them! What a maniac! There was a line to get into the club and Rich knew the doorman, which was a good thing as I didn't want to stand in line in 3" heels. The doorman appreciated my looks too, I could tell. I'm not conceited or anything but as I've grown more mature, I've gotten better looking. I think I was a late bloomer but as I've gotten older, I have gotten prettier. I can say that because I know what the mirror tells me. I certainly don't look my age and the few white hairs (I don't gray) look blonde so I can pass for 10 or more years younger on a good day. Today was a good day. I don't know if was the fact that we were getting 'out' or that I took a bit of a hike today but my colors were all right tonight even without the added makeup.
The place was jumping! Wow! It wasn't just for twenty-something's either. I was relieved at that. I didn't want to be the oldest broad in the joint. There were men and women in their 30's, 40's, and a few older, a couple of men who were stuck in the 70's look with the open to the navel silk shirt and the chains. Those have got to hurt when they pull the chest hairs!
Rich was well known apparently and I found myself surrounded by happy go lucky people. I couldn't remember all their names but he kept introducing me as his "cousine' Ana" it was flattering almost like being introduced as royalty. I asked for a drink and soon had some hard tasting stuff shoved into my hand. German's I notice drink a lot different than Americans. Their beers are darker, their alcohol harder. I gulped whatever the vile tasting stuff was so I didn't have to worry about it. I thought for a minute it was going to come back up but it warmed me immediately. My head was swimming in minutes and I felt wonderful. The watering of my eyes I didn't even notice immediately but Rich's friend Peter did and we shared a laugh.
Everyone went to dance and I joined in. Soon it got too hot for the jacket I had on over my dress and I didn't want to carry my purse either. Rich gave both to the bartender to watch for us as we grooved to the beat. It was exhilarating. It amazed me how many 'American' songs they played here in English. My new friends were singing at the top of their lungs, having no idea what the words meant. The few in German were just as great to dance to but as my German was so faulty I didn't sing to them. My new friends loved that I was 'American' and could ask me about their songs, like I was some authority on the subject.
We were sitting out after dancing several songs in a row when Rich suddenly stood up. Someone had come up behind me and I turned to see who. A dishwater blonde with the curliest hair, it must be a perm, with neo-classical features and the most amazing golden eyes stood there. She was assessing me as much as I was looking at her. She was nicely put together.
"Ana, das heisst Lydia Von Horn, Lydia das heisst meine cousine Ana Meunier von America." Rich introduced us. He made the 'von America' sound like part of my last name as Von Horn was hers.
The blonde held out her hand and I shook it warmly. "Guten abend Frau Von Horn" I said in my student German.
She was instantly amused "du kannst sagen Lydia und ich sage Ana, okay?" she smiled. What a smile too! Perfectly even and brilliantly white teeth. Wow!
I smiled. I knew my German sucked but oh well. Take me as I am. It had to of improved in the month since I had been living in Germany so in my mind it had been awful before.
Rich was there though and asked Lydia, or at least I think he asked her where she had been? She answered so quickly that I only got a word here and there but I took it that she had been traveling. She tried to include me but at my blank looks she must have realized that I didn't comprehend most of what was being said.
Just then Peter and a few others came over to haul us back out on the dance floor. Somehow Lydia got swept up with us all and I found myself dancing not only with Rich but Lydia, Peter, and a few others. It was a blast. I was having the most fun since I had come to Germany. Too soon it seemed the music died to a couple's only dance and as I was tired, had a thin sheen of sweat on my skin, and was dying of thirst I headed for the bar.
Signaling the bartender I asked in my halting German "Haben sie Corona Bier?"
He looked hard at me for a moment not sure of my accent and I repeated my request slowly. He glanced sideways for a moment and thought and then his face lit up and he headed for the cooler. Rummaging in it he came out with a Corona Beer. I was relieved!
Handing him my Euro's I had no idea how much beer would cost I asked "can ich habe ein mehr Corona bitte?" He nodded and brought me another. I was set.
Turning I was surprised to see Lydia at my elbow watching the whole transaction. She was definitely amused. Offering her the second Corona she accepted. I looked around for my cousin and friend and saw they had all paired up on the dance floor.
"Sind sie auf Deutschland lange?" Lydia asked.
I understood that! It always worried me that I would get stuck and not understand enough to get out of a conversation and out of trouble. "Ich bin auf Deutschland for eine monat jetz" I responded hoping I was getting the syntax or the words correct, telling her I had been in Germany for one month now. I could tell by her expression she understood enough of my mangled response.
"Wo wohnst du auf Deautschland?" She was looking deeply into my eyes trying to convey something other than asking where I was living but as the lighting was not the best I just wasn't getting it.
"Ich wohne mit meine familie, my cousin, Onkel, und Tante auf Hammerbruke" I told her that I lived with my family in Hammerbruke.
Between us we managed to understand enough that she told me she too lived near Hammerbruke. She was familiar with my family. She offered to take me sight-seeing if I was interested. I don't know if was because I was sick of staying at the farmhouse and my family wasn't taking me many places but I was answering an emphatic "Ja" before I knew it. She seemed amused but at the same time intrigued. I was getting a vibe from her but not sure with the language barrier if I was really feeling it.
We all danced late into the night and I had a good time. Lydia stayed with us and drank with us just like part of the gang. She too was older than my cousin's crowd I'd say in her mid-30's but it didn't matter here, age wasn't an issue. The guys were like horny guys anywhere, the girls like girls anywhere. I myself wasn't a bar fly so this foray into the disco night life was an anomaly and I was enjoying it. I soon found myself buying beer and drinks for both Lydia and Rich. He seemed amused when I cut him off at about 2am. We didn't leave until 4 but I didn't want to be splattered against some farmer's wall out in the middle of nowhere.
Lydia promised to stop by in the coming days and we drove back to my Onkel's and Tante's farmhouse. It was amazing how these farmhouses were in town but I suppose like anywhere else it just builds up around them and the farm was long gone. We dropped Peter off and he and Rich seemed to have laughing attacks for a while until Peter was gone. I didn't understand it. After Peter was left off though Rich seemed to try to be telling me something.
"Lydia mag sie" (Lydia likes you) he told me.
Thinking hard to what that meant I tried to translate. My family had become familiar with my shrug and shaking of the head, the vacant look in my eyes telling them I didn't understand.
"Lydia angezogen wird, sie" he tried to tell me.
Still no response from me, I lifted an eyebrow to indicate I was listening but I suppose in the darkness of the car it was lost on him.
"Lydia ist interessiert an Sie" (Lydia is interested in you) he tried again.
"Rich, Ich verstande nicht" I replied although I was starting to get an inkling of what he was trying to tell me. A couple of the words he had said made sense to my brain.
Rich sighed deeply and tried once more "Lydia ist eine lesbierin" (Lydia is a lesbian).
THAT I got! "Ah, vielen dank" I answered. Thanks a lot, what could I say? Me too? My family didn't know I was and I wasn't about to tell them. I was on holiday here, vacationing, seeing the world, although I hadn't seen much, they didn't need to know my bedroom escapades.
Rich gave up after that. He must have thought I was really obtuse and I didn't correct that image. His information though relieved me. The interest I had sensed from Lydia and my own at least gave me hope. I hated it when I was interested in a woman and it wasn't returned or we missed the cues. I almost wished there was a secret handshake or something to indicate. I wasn't obvious. In fact I probably looked like the last woman who you would guess was gay. I'm 5'6" with long flowing red hair with darker brown streaks and a narrow face with well-defined cheekbones and a narrow nose. Saying it like that doesn't sound attractive but I'm pleased with the package. I look good as I mentioned before and it only gets better. That Lydia had been attracted now all made sense and gave me hope. This might prove interesting.
To say I was surprised to see Lydia on the doorstep of the farmhouse the next day was an understatement. Onkel Friedrich invited her in of course. She was dressed moderately in a dress and heels, totally inappropriate for a farmhouse for my family were simple people. Tante Dorle welcomed Lydia like an old friend and they were soon chatting. Rich looked at me speculatively and grinned. I ignored the innuendo and tried to follow the conversation. After a prerequisite snack with drinks being offered Lydia indicated she was here to take me sight-seeing. I got that part and excused myself to go change. If Lydia was dressed as she was I certainly wasn't going out in jeans and a blouse.