You know that feeling you get when you connect with someone on such a deep level that you almost cannot stand it? You feel both balanced by that person, as well as set on fire. You feel embraced completely, understood fully, and yet anxious because of the hold they now have over you. If you do not know that feeling….I am sorry. If you do, well, I am sorry.
Why are we capable of such strong emotion? I really have no idea. I have a close relationship with my inner animal self and when I asked her why that attraction happens, she said- “because they smell good”. I do not think it is that simple but I do wonder how much of it is out of our control due to chemical attraction and how much is of our own doing. What makes us decide to open ourselves to those people? What about them make us yearn to throw everything we have to the wind and run screaming after them? Surely, it’s not just their pheromones. That seems like a fatally flawed plan for a being potentially capable of understanding quantum physics.
Our society calls this “falling in love”. This term seems a little bland to me. It feels more like falling into Crazy, or maybe falling into Ridiculous. All of sudden, maybe despite your best intentions, you find yourself daydreaming about this person, checking your phone for messages, texts and missed calls, waiting anxiously for them to return to you and wanting to nurture them into a satiated stupor so that they can’t, & don’t want to leave you. You want to learn everything you can about them, look for their flaws so you can love them a little less, and bite them every single inch of them, all at the same time. That last part may just be me. I have an issue with oral fixation, but you get my point.
Taking care of people is such a huge part of my identity, it is impossible for me to separate the mother in me from the partner, the wife or the lover. Boundaries for love seem less clear in my head than what I witness in “normal” society. You would think that as a lesbian, I would have had to learn how to discern between friendship love and sexual love and maintain that boundary with much more intent that a straight woman. This is not the case. It is not my reality because well, you see, I have a type. There is a particular type of woman I fall for every time. I always have. I feel a need to mother most people and take care of those I love and I have amazing female friends who appreciate this attention from me but most of them are straight or more feminine lesbians. I can maintain boundaries with these women with very little effort because only a butch woman makes my heart flutter and my knees weak. That is where the falling into crazy becomes a problem.
When I was seven or eight, I met a woman my mother worked with & recognized in her the kind of person I could follow around and take care of, while trusting her to let me do that without abusing my intent. She was slightly butch and beautiful in a natural zero effort kind of way. She had great eyes, low-slung blue jeans, and a killer swagger. During our visits to her loft apartment filled with second hand furniture and motorcycle parts, she held me up in her strong arms so I could see the Birmingham skyline over the trees outside her building and she just laughed aloud when I once bit her just to see what she tasted like. As you can imagine, my mother was traumatized when I bit her friend but it was TOTALLY worth the spanking I got when we left. She always smelled slightly of incense, some clean smelling cologne and motor oil from the oily rag that was always present near her hands. I think she probably hit on my divorced, liberal, yet very heterosexual mom because our visits to her home abruptly stopped with no explanation and I was left with a visceral memory of the type of woman I would grow up to long for and lust after with a feverish need.
As a teen, I would recognize these women in public places and would do everything I could to garner their attention without being obvious to my peers or my family. I was still“straight” on the outside, even though I had known I was different since I was a kid. I never had crushes on girls I knew. I enjoyed being with them but the girls I would have crushed on did not hang out with my friends or me because they were too busy playing softball with their friends or working out after school. Since I have the athletic ability of an aardvark, you can see where I lacked opportunity to hang out with “my” kind of girl back then. Therefore, I would see these seemingly strong, capable women in public on occasion and I would feel my pulse quicken and my breath catch as I stared, and stared and stared. Sometimes they recognized me but most of the time I managed to be pretty covert in my instant attraction.
Fast forward a few years and you have the first of my four falling into crazy moments. She was butch. She was tough. Like, seriously tough. Like, paroled after 3 years in prison for felony robbery tough. She changed my oil, mowed my grass and was to this day, the most amazingly, disturbingly, most feral, best sex I ever had. She also bought my drugs, lied to me constantly and had a wife and two kids. As you can imagine, we were the very definition of dysfunctional. She was also soft, sweet, and smelled amazing and cried at sappy movies and once let me give her a bubble bath even though it obviously was not the kind of thing she was comfortable with at all.
The object of my second fall was the one I eventually married. She is more balanced, more educated, less temperamental and perfect for me in so many ways. She is strong enough to dress in a way that makes her most comfortable even though it is not socially normative for a woman to wear men’s clothing. She wears her hair in a crew cut, gave birth to our first daughter despite the fact that she knew she would become an insulin dependant diabetic for the rest of her life is she got pregnant, and she steadfastly nurtured me through the pregnancy and birth of our second daughter even though it was the roughest time in the history of our 15 year relationship. She allows me to run our lives with the forward trajectory of a freight train and she is highly educated and has a great job. She knows why I refuse to wear linen or white shoes after Labor Day and she will try anything I ask of her at least once. She is also strong enough to maintain her place next to me through my third fall and my current crush.
The third woman I fell into Crazy with was over six feet tall, strong, beautiful, smart and…butch. Not overtly butch. Butch is not about clothes or style, although that is part of it. It is about strength to be who you are, strength to be non-conformist without making rebellion the main goal. This woman knew who she was and what power she had over me, yet she was cool enough to walk away rather than trash my relationship. She loved my wife as a close friend and had the strength to leave us both rather than ruin what we had. We both still miss her and she is a constant reminder to us of how fragile a relationship actually is.
My current crush, which has surpassed crush and gone straight to falling into crazy is but a mere child. She is eighteen and only barely beginning to understand that she is a lesbian. She is 6ft tall, strong enough to race in triathlons, and gives a massage so good it should possibly be illegal. She started as my wife’s favorite student, and became my family’s favorite person as soon as she graduated from High School. She fits into our home perfectly and as if she has been there forever. She tweaks just about every need my dirty little mind and my closely guarded heart have ever conceived. I spend just about every waking moment around her trying not to stare at her or bite her to see if she tastes exactly like what I expect. She smells of warm fur and pool water. She has silky hair, expressive eyes and a love of gangsta rap. She is both as naïve as a child and as full of wisdom as only a product of a dysfunctional family can be. It is a problem, people, but it is a problem my partner is somewhat aware of. She does not realize the depth of feeling I have for this little baby dyke but she knows enough to be watchful and aware while also giving me enough rope to hang myself. She trusts me that much. It is down right humbling to be in the presence of these two women and know how loved I am and how safe I feel, while trying with everything I have to maintain appropriate boundaries. It is also utterly exhausting.
This all brings us back to my point or my initial question. What is it that sets for us that ability to fall into Crazy with someone? Not everyone has a type. Not everyone is gender specific, race specific, ability specific or age specific. We have names for people who date or marry men and women much younger than themselves. We call them cougars or chicken hawks. Our society struggles to understand differently abled couples, and biracial couples still draw stares in my part of the country. Our community is fighting for marriage equality as we speak, and yet it seems that most people just want the freedom to love and fuck the adults they choose without fear of repercussion. For a woman like me, it is very hard to ignore my more base animal needs when those needs have always pointed me toward women who will cherish me, stand beside me and agree to play with me while helping me feel safe and powerful.
All of this said, I still have no concrete answer to my question. If any of you have any insight into this deep probing question, let me know. I promise not to bite. Probably. Unless you are butch and you ask me to.