A couple of weeks ago, I spent a rainy Sunday afternoon feeling glum. Jammy-clad, I circled my apartment like a Siamese fighting fish in a teeny-tiny tank.
My new little nest is comfortable but it’s not complete. I wanted —as in I was desperate —to watch TV. I craved lounging about, indulging in my bed-head, gazing aimlessly at the Food Network for hours. I wanted to sprawl out on a couch and watch Nigella Lawson make chocolate cookies, hot chocolate and chocolate mousse. It was a simple fantasy, really.
Challenge #1: No TV. Challenge #2: no couch.
I logged onto Facebook and confessed my desires. Within hours, a lesbian heeded the call. It was like sending a bat signal into the night sky.
“I have a TV for you,” she wrote in her message, “It’s held together with duct tape but it totally works. Oh, and it has rabbit ears.”
By the time I found her number and called her, another lesbian had left a voicemail. “Hey, don’t make any sudden moves couch shopping. You can have mine. I’ll throw in the TV that’s been taking up space in my basement.”
After a couple of days, I was practically drowning in offers of loveseats, television sets, futons, easy chairs and, oddly enough, a pair of skis.
When it comes to sharing furniture, lesbians are exemplary. We’re innovative. We’re environmentally sound. We’re resourceful. Plus, we seem to abide by an unspoken law: home renovations trump everything. An area rug is an area rug is an area rug.
Every single dyke I know is mindful of her possessions and will sooner give an old blender or coffee table away than sell it, recycle it or (Heaven forbid) throw it away.
This is how I’ve been on the receiving end of coffee tables, kitchen appliances and a really hot Leatherman multi-tool. In turn, I’ve lent out my dresser, bed, desk and even my prized freezer.
You could argue that queer women have become good at sharing because historically we’ve earned less, but wealthy dykes are on the rise. I don’t think it’s about money. I think that our common commitment to sharing and helping each other stems from the fact that our community is small and it doesn’t hurt to practice good karma. Other subcultures do this, too; we’re not that special. Still, it’s really impressive.
That’s why I’m taking my friends up on their offers. A small crew of us —plus one old beat up truck —can turn my fantasy into reality in a couple of hours. What a beautiful thought. When your ex-girlfriend gives you the furniture that her ex gave to her, that’s community.