After the exhaustive battery of tests administered to us as eighth-graders to determine our aptitudes, my guidance counselor met with me to go over my results. It seems my spacial relations, pattern recognition, visual recall and language skills placed me in the 99th percentile. “These scores are amazing”, he began, “It’s too bad you’re not a boy or I’d say you should definitely go into engineering or architecture. (sigh) I guess you should focus on art.” He continued, “Looking at some of your other scores though…well, you should probably steer away from nursing or, you know, a people related career.”
I am today an artist. A writer. An actor, a voice-actor, a singer. These things allow me to utilize my talents and avoid my primary weakness: social interaction. I am keenly aware of being introspective and introverted in a culture that tends to avoid one and be suspicious of the other. It did not prevent me from making friends who adore me just as I am, from finding love and happiness, from becoming a parent, nor even from becoming my father-in-law’s…nurse, if you will. We like each other, so it works out.
And just like the teen I was in the 70’s, I have a tendency to swim against the current. I am a lesbian, married now for 26 years – whether you want to call it marriage or not. I am Jewish, though not by birth. My wife and I have raised two remarkable young people, beginning at a time when no other lesbians we knew were doing that. One of our children has ADHD and a mood disorder; the other is a social prodigy. Both are brilliant and beautiful. And blessed with adoring parents. We deviate a bit from the “default” model – of family, of individuals, of Americans generally. Yet our lives are typical of pretty much all families, individuals, Americans. We’re just…counterclockwise.