My American Dream
I’m living the American Dream. Me. Imagine a middle-aged lesbian, now legally married to her middle-aged lesbian wife, who once lived under threat of being thrown out of the U.S. Navy and into the brig (that’s jail for all you landlubbers). I hope that’s not too much lesbian in one sentence for you, if so, turn the page, no one’s watching and it is a free country, even for me.
All this and more dawned on me in a swell of something like gratitude and shock this morning as I rode atop my John Deere lawn mower (American-made, I was assured by the dealer years ago upon purchase) and looked up to see a perfect tableau of Americana, alive and well right before my very eyes. And it was mine.
I’ve included the picture of said dream above, but let me paint the scene for you. In the background you’ll notice a red Chevy pick-up, circa 1988. It’s all American-made and qualifies as an antique automobile, therefore, I get off cheap with a one time registration fee and plate. How do you like that?
Next, you’ll notice my screened in porch and the American flag jutting from the post, and it’s all affixed to the humble house I own or rather will own free and clear in just a couple more years. Now, I don’t just break the American flag out for holidays, mind you, it flies most every weekend I’m home. Oh, you didn’t realize lesbians were so patriotic? Hmmm, guess we’re busting up stereotypes left and right here. Good. Happy to be of service.
Finally, you’ll notice my beautiful dog, Finneas. He looks all-American doesn’t he? Yes, I think so too. He is gorgeous and come to find out he is virtually all Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He has a nose with the sniffing power which might be compared to a herd of Kirby vacuum cleaners (American-made, as well) and he is ball crazy. Tennis balls make him tremble with delight wherein he catapults himself after them with the speed of a gazelle. If it weren’t for me knowing when to end the game of fetch, I’m absolutely certain he would die with a ball in his mouth, on the fly. Finneas came into my life a few months ago in the most seamless way, as if he were destined to be mine all along. Lucky for us, someone had mistakenly dumped a real treasure in our laps.
I’d forgotten how clumsy a 75 pound puppy can be but, a few bruises and toe smashings have been well worth the friendship we are forging. He looks like an American bred hunting dog, doesn’t he? A real classic. And when you put him in the front seat of that red Chevy pick-up truck and fly down the road with the windows rolled down, you’ve got one happy dog, trust me. Here’s the thing about Finneas, he not only looks good, he is smart and genuinely sweet natured, like a lot of hearty, hard-working and generous Americans I know.
We know America isn’t perfect, of course, we know. It’s obvious now more than ever, and I don’t say this to excuse or condone bad acts or policy perpetuated by our society of government and people of influence.We have work to do. But I’m afraid the baby and the bath water are all we’ve got so, I hope we can settle down and work some things out for the good of everyone, sooner rather than later.
You may see me as a woman, or a lesbian, a veteran, a pet owner, a homeowner, a writer, a poet, one or all of these things. Or, something else entirely, possibly even derogatory. Take your pick of stereotypes but don’t forget to put ‘American’ before the one you choose because I am proud to be one. I suppose this makes me a patriot, too. And what that means to me, is I get to participate in the processes which influence elections and policies. I have a right and a duty to participate. And if I’m angry, disgusted or embarrassed by the political season we’re in or the candidates we have, I don’t get to throw my hands up and walk away, I participate. Okay, I might gesticulate and pace first — but I participate.
Lastly, this is as close as I’ll come to the subject of politics in this or any other social media venue because my blood pressure demands it. So, let me just say, to my fellow Americans, Labor Day 2016, let us acknowledge and be proud of the worthwhile contributions we and our ancestors have made to the well-being of this country and all her people, thus far. Then, roll up our collective sleeves and make it so everyone has an opportunity to create their own American Dream.
Well, thanks for reading. I should get back to the mowing.
S Lynn Knight 2016