Sexual Revolution

Dear Housewives,

I have a confession. While my beautiful wife Kit will always be the love of my life, there was someone before her. His name is Anthony Andrews, and my secret love affair with him began decades ago.

In 1982, CBS broadcast a special movie event, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and my parents recorded it to add to their VHS collection. Years later I came across it. Some may think I was too young to watch its depiction of the Reign of Terror, but lo and behold! An all star cast! Who could deny their child the opportunity of watching this calibre of actors? Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame. Jane Seymour of Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman fame. Ian McKellen of Sir Ian McKellen fame. And, finally, our Scarlet Pimpernel, Anthony Andrews.

Housewives, if you’re unfamiliar with this tale of freedom, the Scarlet Pimpernel is a wealthy Englishman who travels to and from Paris, smuggling out French aristocracy doomed for the guillotine. He plays a fop in public in order to mask his identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel. Romance and betrayal and decapitation ensue. Watching as a child, this film taught me many life lessons: 1.) Democracy leads to poor fashion. Just look at those limp cravats. 2.) The guillotine doesn’t always result in one clean cut. 3.) History often paints aristocrats in a poor light, and 4.) Anthony Andrews is the dreamiest sword-fighting human-smuggler ever.

My love for Anthony only grew when I caught a rerun of the made-for-television movie Bluegrass. Cheryl Ladd plays a woman starting a Thoroughbred horse farm in Kentucky. Anthony is one of her love interests but ends up being a pawn for the movie’s villian. I loved him anyway. Cheryl Ladd didn’t.

Later, Anthony appeared in a triumphant episode of the lady detective series Rosemary and Thyme. He wooed Laura Thyme, but she decided to continue her (supposedly) platonic relationship with fellow detective and gardener Rosemary Boxer.

Obviously, Anthony received accolades later on with his performance in The King’s Speech. However, for me, he will always be my favourite coyote for rich people.

Yours,

Portman Doe

Bubble bubble, toil and trouble

Dear Housewives,

It’s shortly after 5:30 am as I compose this letter to you. I woke up early to a disaster of a kitchen.  Dishes and pots and trays and glasses covered our countertops, all leftover from last night’s dinner party extravaganza. One dishwasher is just not enough. I know, I know. You’re wondering, housewives, how I’m surviving with just one dishwasher. It’s like living the life of a medieval peasant. Everyone knows that having two dishwashers is a basic need for the queer housewife. Le sigh.

Last night I soaked the dirtiest of the pans and filled the dishwasher to the brim. Unfortunately, I used the very last of my dishwasher detergent so this morning I had a serious decision to make. Should I wait until the store opens to buy more detergent or should I look on Pinterest to find a DIY dishwasher detergent recipe?

I have now purposefully used a concoction which includes dishwashing liquid in my dishwasher. The cycle is underway.

I’m not sure if I should fear the worst or just go with it. It might be like that time when I was living in Spain, and we went to a converted nunnery that hosted a discotheque with a dancefloor filled 5 feet high in bubbles. I never did find out where my pants went.

 

Yours,

Portman Doe

 

Yo ho, yo ho

parrotframeDear Housewives,

Sometimes we make discoveries that shake the foundation of our relationships.

Yesterday evening, I was running errands when my wife Kit messaged me to say she was on her way home.  It was dark when I arrived back to our building, and I looked up to our apartment to see if Kit was home. She would have switched on the light. But as soon as I looked up, I saw them. Light on. Curtains open. I stood there on the sidewalk in utter disbelief.

Our neighbour Tom has lived next door to us for years. I’ve only bumped into him a dozen times, and he’s always cheerful and friendly. Unlike our other next door neighbour, he doesn’t mind that Kit and I are a lady couple. Not once has he given us the evil eye or smeared blood on our front door. He seems like the kind of guy you would watch hockey with. Of course, as queer housewives, the only puck we ever see is at the Shakespearean festival, but you know what I mean.

Yesterday, as I looked up into our apartment, our lights were off and, instead, I saw directly into Tom’s living room. Usually his curtains are drawn. Not last night. My jaw dropped. There in Tom’s living room were at least a dozen large, brightly coloured parrots . That is, I thought they were parrots. As I stood there on the sidewalk like a peeper, I realized that they were all statues. Some were on perches, others in fancy birdcages. Several were placed on top of an IKEA Expedit.

Tom is a parrot statue hoarder. It was unexpected to say the least. Where does one even buy parrot statues? I steadied myself and headed in.

Kit arrived home minutes after I did, and before she could catch her breath and take off her shoes, I reported my news.

“I was walking home, and Tom had his light on. You’re not going to believe this, but he collects parrot statues. It’s like a Caribbean-themed restaurant in there.”

Kit looked at me and nodded, “Oh yeah, I noticed that like two years ago. I didn’t tell you?”

Housewives, sometimes the people we love keep important things from us. It’s not always intentional, but it still hurts like a cutlass through the heart.

Yours,

Portman Doe

A pig and a poke

25636300Dear Housewives,

I’ve had the most distressing day. I attempted to buy packaged meat at the grocery store. I know what you’re thinking, housewives, “Why did she do it?” I, too, am perplexed and have surely learned my lesson.

There are two butcher shops in our neighbourhood. I usually don’t go to the closer one. It’s the more recently opened and has less selection, but they do offer a class on how to butcher half a cow. Instead, I most often head up the street to the more established butcher shop, where potential serial killers are less likely to be taking coursework. It’s family-run, and they have a delectable assortment of meats as well as samosas and pies.

But today. Today, I saw that our local grocery store had a sale on pork ribs. I thought, “Why not just grab some ribs and save yourself some time?” I could have them in the oven and ready for dinner by the time my wife Kit got home from the office. I tossed the ribs in my basket and headed up to the cashier. That’s when it happened.

I had just placed my groceries on the conveyer belt, including the shrink-wrapped ribs, when the woman behind me in line reached over and with her right index finger gave my pork a poke. At first, I wasn’t sure what was happening. It just didn’t register, you know? Like when you see some someone wearing white shoes after Labour Day: It’s too bizarre to actually be true.

But then the woman poked my pork again. I confronted her in the most Canadian way possible, “Sorry, is something wrong with my ribs?” She replied, “That’s not a bad price for ribs. They seem pretty good,” and she proceeded to poke my ribs again. This time her fingernail pierced the plastic shrink wrap, and she used the opportunity to slip in the very tip of her finger, giving the meat a slight, tactile inspection.

And that, housewives, is why the Commonwealth can’t have nice things.

 

Yours,

Portman Doe

 

 

 

Know It All

Dear Housewives,

I am deluged with emails from you all, begging me for advice, so I decided that I should probably dip into the Fendi mailbag. Today, for your benefit, housewives, is the first instalment of Portman Doe Knows It All.

Dear Portman,
I am concerned that I have ugly feet.
Janet from Vancouver, British Columbia

Dear Housewife Janet,

If you’re so concerned that you’re writing a blogger, it’s possible that you have ugly feet. But then again, maybe you don’t. I’m just glad that you didn’t include a picture. Good boundaries there.

Listen, most people don’t notice feet. The only ones who ever do notice are foot fetishists. See someone looking at your feet? Now you know what they’re thinking and will always wear socks.

Dear Portman,
How do you get your hair to always look so glorious?
Carla from Perth, Western Australia

Dear Housewife Carla,

It’s as easy as Whole Foods apple pie. (I know. It seems unfair to have such a head of hair.) Honestly, all I have to do in the morning is shampoo, condition twice, pat dry, add mousse, pomade, dry almost completely with a diffuser while my head is flipped upside down, and then hairspray before blowdrying once more until completely dry, followed by lightly teasing of the crown to ensure good volume. Voilà!

And remember: The higher the hair, the closer to God.

Dear Portman,
What’s the best current sci-fi series?
Diane from Lexington, Kentucky

Dear Housewife Diane,

Well, this is a tricky one. SyFy’s Killjoys just finished up its first season, and while there are some annoying romantic relationships going on, it’s got a cohesive plot and only a little waif-fu. SyFy’s Orphan Black is, of course, always a kick-ass winner. As I’ve mentioned previously, Sense8 is phenomenal, if leading to trouble in motor vehiclesAustralian (ABC1) series Glitch and the UK/US (Channel 4/AMC) program Humans are definitely both worth watching.

What will glue you to the screen, however, is Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. It’s like The Stepford Wives, only with cheerleaders. They haven’t revealed who the android is yet, but I know who I’m putting my pin money on.

Dear Portman,
I just started watching The L Word for the first time, and I think I might be a lesbian. How do I know for sure?
Karen from Toronto, Ontario

Dear Housewife Karen,

If you’re attracted to Shane, you are a typical lesbian. If you’re attracted to Dana, I’m sorry. You are going to be very upset in later episodes. Finally, if you’re attracted to Jenny, then you need to seek therapy immediately. Something is definitely wrong with you, and it’s not because you’re a sapphic sister.

But, really, the only surefire way to know if you are a lesbian is to go to a Dyke March. Once there, if you find yourself wearing a straw cowboy hat, then you know you are definitely a big ole lesbian.

Dear Portman,
What is the proper etiquette when going out to dinner with another lady? How do I know who pays?
Jane from Detroit, Michigan

Dear Housewife Jane,

How am I supposed to know what lesbians do in Michigan?

And that ends the first instalment of Portman Doe Knows It All.

Yours,

Portman Doe

Calling Lady Gregor

Dear Housewives,

Exciting times here in Vancouver! It’s raining. I tried my manicured hand at making pretzels. The Vancouver Pride Society Board (rightfully) banned Christie Clark and the BC Liberals from participating in the Pride Parade. And municipal party Vision Vancouver has come up with a pretty triumphant idea for stirring up its gay vote: an evening at Celebrities nightclub starring RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon with a helping hand from DJ Mayor Gregor Robertson.

As we know, a listicle is the best way to present a quick, clear argument such as why Mayor Robertson should perform in drag at Vision:Proud.

1. This would be an excellent opportunity for Mayor Robertson to wear a bike-lane themed ensemble.

2. Mayor Robertson is known for developing Vancouver, so maybe it’s time for him to develop some other talents.

3. It’s easy to show up and DJ #NoHomo. But how about some actual buy-in? How about an evening of walking in her stilettos? (And there are stores that sell larger shoes in town so, Gregor, you can pick up a pair this weekend.)

4. Portland’s mayor cameoed in Portlandia. What have you done for the queer hipster, Mayor Robertson?

5. Lady Gregor: Drag Queen Name Achievement Unlocked.

Housewives, if you’d like to see Mayor Robertson perform as Lady Gregor, please retweet. Let’s make Vancouver proud.

Yours,

Portman Doe

Hot stuff

4198482Dear Housewives,

If there is one thing queer housewives never do, it’s sweat. Glistening is acceptable during certain activities such as playing a vigorous game of badminton or cooking gourmet food over a hot stove. Sweat avoidance is, of course, difficult to do in the sweltering summer months of the Pacific Northwest. Today, for example, it’s 22°C/72°F. I don’t even understand how I’m managing in this heatwave. But do I look like I’m overheated? No.

Are you having trouble keeping your perspiration down to a glisten? Here are my 2015 Tips & Tricks to Stay Cool:

1. Keep a good distance away from any gyms. Nothing will make you sweat as much as being in a gym with other people who are putting off heat. Hanging around that sweat contagion, it’s as if those people WANT to be sweaty. Disgusting.

2. Keep hydrated. Vodka martinis are 57% water.

3. Wear lycra support garments. Despite popular opinion, lycra support garments do not make you hotter. They wick moisture from the skin. Along with providing a smoothing effect and providing support, they keep you cool. Most importantly, housewives, we are not Heathens. Wear your Spanx.

4. Buy an air conditioner. Do your part to keep the climate cooler. Al Gore approved this message.

5. Have a cold shower. We both know why.

 

Yours,

Portman Doe

 

A Very Special Episode of Portman Doe

942211Dear Housewives,

I have once again neglected you. Kit and I have been extremely busy over the past few months while starting our homemade compound butter business. (It’s called Fundamentalist Butter. The Bountiful Blueberry butter is ah-mazing.) However, I have returned with a very important PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT regarding the most excellent Wachowskis/Netflix extravaganza Sense8. I realize that I should have posted this PSA as soon as we watched the series last month. Oh, well. My apologies if you accidentally watched this show with your mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or third cousins.

This is the warning for those who have not already been permanently scarred:

You know how when two ladies get it on using a strap-on and then afterwards one of them takes it off and throws it down on the hardwood floor and it’s gloppy? That’s in episode 1, housewives. Obviously, watching the scene itself is not traumatizing, but the aftermath of watching that with a relative could be devastating.

If you watch the first episode with your aunt, she will definitely wait to ask you about it and your own experience with sex toys while she’s driving you down Highway 99 in her minivan. At that moment, you will calculate the odds of survival if you leap from a fast-moving vehicle and land, rolling into the ditch at the side of the road. The ditch will seem preferable to answering her questions.

 

Yours,

Portman Doe

 

Thank you for choosing Cat Facts

942101Dear Housewives,

Do you know a lady who owns a cat or two? Do you notice that they often Instagram their cats? That they often talk about their cats as loved ones? Perhaps in their homes they have special spots reserved for their pets? Are they obsessed with looking at cats on the Internet? I put it to you, housewives, that it is very possible that these women are succumbing to the effects of toxoplasmosis.

What is toxoplasmosis? In case you missed that episode of House, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control,

Toxoplasmosis is a common disease found in birds and mammals across North America. The infection is caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii and infects about 20 out of every 100 people in North America by the time they are adults.

That’s right, housewives, twenty percent of adults are infected. There might be more people infected than there are gays. The BC Centre for Disease Control provides us with some of the symptoms: sore muscles, tiredness, sore throat. I ask all cat-owning housewives: Have you had any of those symptoms? Have you been tired? Have you had sore muscles?

Those symptoms are but a few of the effects of toxoplasmosis. Other vetted sources, such as freakyphenomena.com, give us a fuller picture regarding the evils of this parasitic infection:

    What can cause schizophrenia, depression, and skin lesions, and makes you like cats? Believe it or not, a parasite carried by cats can actually turn you into a cat person!

    Mice and rats which are infected with toxoplasmosis not only lose their fear of cats – they are driven to seek out the smell of cat urine. The benefit to the parasite is obvious: if you have to move from a mouse into a cat as a new host, what better way to accomplish the move than by making the mouse a cat-lover?

    But weirdly, this effect has also been observed in people. In one long-range study, people who disliked or were neutral on the topic of cats were surveyed years later. Those who had been infected with toxoplasmosis in the intervening years showed a marked increase in their love for cats, compared to those who didn’t have toxoplasmosis.

Well, what can I say, other than haven’t you noticed that there are certain women who seem oblivious that they smell like cat urine?

Always the helpful housewife, I brought this information to one of Kit’s acquaintances who exhibits many of the symptoms. She’s heterosexual, single, never well-coifed, and makes poor apparel choices: your typical cat-lady/toxoplasmosis victim. Unfortunately, she did not appreciate my intervention and refused to listen to reason. Obviously, the more serious parasitic effects have set in.

 

Yours,

Portman Doe

Portman Doe is bawlin’

25634884Dear Housewives,

As you may know, buried deep within my ample, yet perky, bosom is a small, cold heart. Testament to my heart of stone, I seem to remain void of any emotion when watching even the most moving of programming. Case in point: I gave no hint of emotion while watching the new Star Wars trailer. Even Kit was unnerved by my lack of expression while Han and Chewie were onscreen. It was like I was dead inside.

This past weekend Kit and I settled down to watch Pride, mostly because I am an unabashed Imelda Staunton fan. I first fell in like with her back in the nineties when she played Charlotte in Sense and Sensibility. So when Kit suggested we spend date night watching Imelda Staunton in action, I thought, “Please! Who wouldn’t want to watch a film about gays in a van raising money for miners?”  Like you, housewives, I had learned most of what I know about the 1984-85 UK miners’ strike from the movie Billy Elliot. It was that film that taught me that striking miners define manhood by a lack of rhythm and uncoordinated footwork. I longed to learn more.

Pride, an historical drama, gives us a fuller picture of miner-gay relations. A group of London gays come together to raise funds for striking miners in a small Welsh village. Some meet them with hate, others with gratitude. Pride deploys the trifecta of any quality gay-themed movie: A disco dance scene.  Lesbian jokes about vegetarianism.  And Imelda Staunton swinging around a dildo

At the end of the film, when busloads of miners arrived to march in the London Pride parade, Portman Doe lost her shit. I started to sob. Full on sob. The labour politics! The humanity! The glitter! And like the Grinch in Whoville, my heart grew three sizes in what can only be described as solidarity-induced cardiomegaly.

Yours,

Portman Doe