INTIMACY MATTERS

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Intimacy, between those in love, is what you get to enjoy with one special person that you don’t share with anyone else on earth. It means, the partner you think of as ‘one in a million’ is actually 1 in 7.325 billion. It’s recognizing the state of ‘being in love’ as a blessing. It’s why falling in love feels destined.

If you truly want to grow old with the one person you love most, intimacy is sacrosanct. It’s not to be trampled on by others, or diluted through the disclosing of what makes you, as two, one.

Intimacy is being on the same wavelength. It’s how attentive you become when the other enters the room. It’s in how close you stand and sit. It’s in the tenderness of talk and the eagerness to listen. It’s accidentally-on-purpose brushing up against each, repeatedly, in the course of a day. It’s in the glances, the face making, the hand signals, the code spoken, the names given, the notes passed, the cards signed, the double intendre of places mentioned, music played, words whispered, initials added to wet cement, and carved in wood, and formed by toes in wet sand. It’s in hands held while falling asleep.

Intimacy is disguised as brooches, beads, bangles, bracelets and bands, accompanied by promises made, many of them etched in silver, or gold, and crowned with jewels.

And, as we age — especially those of us who are women without children — we begin to wonder, what’s to become of those tangibles?

No, not so much the house, or car, or investments requiring named beneficiaries early on — but the special gifts, the private collections, the photographs, the love letters, the anniversary and birthday cards, the journals, the trinkets, the lockbox keepsakes.

What’s to become of our rings?

Because these decisions, too, are intimacy matters, emblematic of what two people in love quietly cherished about each other.

Historically speaking, older gay men have shown the tendency to become involved with much younger men, paving the way to name their last dalliance as a beneficiary, and leaving single men in their 30s and 40s much better off (financially) than they might have been otherwise. It’s one reason given to account for gay men as having the highest rate of  disposal income in the nation.

Successful lesbians rarely adopt such pecuniary practices late in life. Instead, we tend to make the nieces and nephews we never knew, of siblings we seldom see, our beneficiaries. It might account for lesbians averaging the lowest rate of disposal income — in the world. 

I’d like to see us change that (sans the May-December gay tradition) by taking more of  an interest in the welfare of younger lesbians who are making an earnest effort in their struggle to get ahead .

Since knowledge of herstory is power, I’d like to think we’ll each donate our personal papers to the June Mazer Lesbian Archives, housing a century of lesbian and feminist artwork, manuscripts, books, records, and reference material for free access by researchists, historians, writers, feminine studies and interested parties.
www.mazerlesbianarchives.org

And, too, my hope is that more seniors will find and friend women who are 10-15-20-25 years younger; women who share our individual interests and personal values; women who demonstrate the kind of work ethic that proves a credit to our communities.

Mentor them, fund them, gift them with something worthy of being treasured, recorded, and passed on to the future generations of ‘us’.

The time spent needn’t be intense, nor the gift substantial.

It simply needs to be meaningful enough to remind both the giver and receiver that objects soaked in love should never be taken lightly, nor disposed of easily.

Because, ultimately, intimacy matters.

Most.

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Copyright by Marguerite Quantaine 2015


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16 thoughts on “INTIMACY MATTERS

    1. margueritequantaine Post author

      Thank you, Kieran. I’m still commuting between two towns and households and have become increasingly aware of how difficult it is to decide what stays and what goes and who will best benefit by my choices. When things calm down, I hope to get back to the world that includes more of you.

      Reply
  1. Nancy Heredia

    You know reading this, I was struck by the absolute truth in what you speak of. I have been feeling something similar but in a different direction. I have immense pride in the culture we share, I’m talking about lesbian fiction mostly but also the artists, actresses, scholars, poets, musicians, essayists and so on. I’m sure it is vitally important to maintain this connection through education in the form of lesbian studies curriculum. I’m trying to find a way to encourage the younger generation of lesbians to read more and learn more about the richness and vitality that is uniquely ours, our Cosa Nostra, our thing. Mentoring would be a powerful way to keep the thread going, facing forward certainly but also looking back and marveling at the richness of culture that we share. Does this make any sense? Well, I enjoyed reading your blog post very much, so thank you for that.

    Reply
    1. margueritequantaine Post author

      You make perfect sense, Nancy, and I agree with you, completely. I think your lesbian studies idea is a good one. The logistics aren’t clear to me, but it’s certainly worth pondering.

      Reply
  2. bethsnewlife

    Heartfelt and beautifully written. I’ve often said that lesbians need to stand up for each other. What an amazing blog about giving to the younger generation. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. maite1015

    If there were more ladies with your kind of heart, this world would be a better one. I always enjoy reading your blogs your wisdom teach me always something knew. Grand Dame of Words! Big hugs!

    Reply
  4. Elaine Burnes

    My first thought was, oh goody, I just need to find someone to bequeath all that crap in my basement! But seriously, my wife and I have talked recently about maybe not giving whatever remains of our meager fortune to relatives we hardly know. We’ve talked about causes we care for, which, heresy I know, are not all lesbian related. But I do like the notion of paying it forward, or backward, or whichever direction this entails. Be mindful when making donations to ensure they are put to good use and that the organization has the endowment to survive well into the future (or consider being the one to make that happen!). I hope I’m a long way from signing any deal, but it is good to think about (especially in light of that basement!). Thanks for putting the bug out there!

    Reply
  5. margueritequantaine Post author

    I hear your basement concern loud and clear, Elaine (along with every other room in the house). I think that’s why estate sales make me pensive, in seeing a life sprawled out with impersonal price tags attached to what might have been felt as priceless to the deceased. My grandmother once told me, “You can sell whatever you paid for, but to sell a gift is bad luck. You must someday give it as it was given to you.” I know inheritance doesn’t count, but I’ve always followed her lead with gifts, including the provenance of the piece, in hopes the new owner might elect to follow course. (This has nothing to do with the modern day habit of regifting.) Donations of keepsakes to institutions are difficult because they have a right to sell whatever you give, defeating the purpose of preservation. So, a bittersweet conundrum. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

    Reply
  6. R.G. Emanuelle

    A noble suggestion, Marguerite. As someone with no children, the issue of what will happen when I get older is something that’s been on my mind quite a bit lately. When you mention leaving things to nieces and nephews we hardly know and siblings we never see, that really pinged my thoughts exactly. I have a brother who I’m fairly close to, but he’s 10 years older and he has no children either. So it’s a sticky dlimma. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts on the matter.

    Reply
    1. margueritequantaine Post author

      I know that most parents just want their children to be happy, RG. But I was taught, “Strive to be happy, and doing good won’t always follow. But strive to do good, and happiness will always be yours.” That advice has served me, well. Just do good. There are people less fortunate surrounding us daily. Little things, little amounts, little gestures go a long way in making their life better. Thank you for bring supportive.

      Reply
  7. kfemme

    As always, I love what you wrote! You always invoke a special place in my thoughts whether it be with your fabulous She Said, She Said or your more poignant writing. ..I am always so grateful that you share with us!
    Thanks, big hugs and congratulations on what sounds like it’s a romance of a lifetime!

    Reply

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