This is Dedicated to the One I Love


Return with me to those thrilling days of yesteryear, actually twenty years ago this week, to meet Pretty who magically changed from being a close friend and confidante before the spontaneous trip to Cancun pictured above in February, 2001 to a woman who was hotter than the salsa we had with dinner at La Destileria the first night we were there. And trust me, that salsa was hot.

Pretty owned a feminist bookstore called Bluestocking Books in Columbia when we first met in the early 1990s – a small independent bookstore devoted to providing alternative literature mixed with the classics. Bluestocking quickly became known as a safe place for people seeking information on the growing queer community in South Carolina with the extra bonus of an attractive young lesbian proprietor who greeted everyone with a beautiful smile.

Pretty was “out” in a conservative state in a tumultuous era. She was ahead of her time with Bluestocking which closed after three years, but her contribution to the LGBTQ community was recognized and appreciated. She served on the original board of directors for the SC Gay and Lesbian Business Guild formed in 1993 and was the second president of that organization. Her passion for equality was the catalyst for an activist’s life, a passion we shared professionally over the decade that was the 1990s.

At the turn of the century, change was in the air. It was like everyone suddenly realized time was passing faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and if Superman and Wonder Woman were unlikely to intervene in the chaos and/or uninspiring sameness of our lives, we needed to make radical changes ourselves.

Both Pretty and I were in long term lesbian relationships that experienced seismic shifts as the first year of the new century came to a close. Our partners began looking for love in other places. Pretty had the additional drama associated with sharing custody of a fifteen year old son who she adored, an athletically gifted teenager who was the quarterback of his high school football team and the starting pitcher for their baseball team. She mixed her real estate appointments in her new career as a realtor with her tennis league schedules. Tennis had priority status.

The trip to Cancun was the launching pad for the most adventurous ride of my life. I had no way of knowing then that the gorgeous intelligent intellectually inquisitive woman with the wonderful sense of humor who grew up in New Prospect, South Carolina would marry the woman from deep in the heart of Richards, Texas and that we would be together for the next twenty years sharing a life unimaginable to me as a child. Yet, here we are – still laughing at each other’s jokes, still loving, still standing. And yes, still eating Mexican food as often as our older appetites allow; but now with the additional delight of sharing quesadillas with our sixteen months old granddaughter who is perfection personified. Life is good.

How do I love thee, Pretty? Let me count the ways, and let me begin with the spicy salsa you have always brought to our family life together for two decades. Unbelievable. Inconceivable. Somewhere in a distant childhood we must have done something good.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Pretty.

************************

Stay safe, stay sane and please stay tuned.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Nana to her granddaughter Ella James born 10-01-2019. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to This is Dedicated to the One I Love

  1. Luanne says:

    Happy Anniversary to you both. What an exciting love story! I’m so thrilled for your “happy ending” to your love life. Woot!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cindy knoke says:

    Wow. She is so much more than just Pretty isn’t she! “Pretty owned a feminist bookstore called Bluestocking Books in Columbia when we first met in the early 1990s – a small independent bookstore devoted to providing alternative literature mixed with the classics. Bluestocking quickly became known as a safe place for people seeking information on the growing queer community in South Carolina with the extra bonus of an attractive young lesbian proprietor who greeted everyone with a beautiful smile.”
    She is pretty freaking amazing! Love, and admiration, in spades, to both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. scauburn79 says:

    What a beautiful love letter to Pretty! Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

    Hope to see y’all sooner rather than later! Donna has had her 2nd vaccine and Robin and I will have ours the first week of March!

    So, start saving those dimes and nickels! Happy Valentine’s to two of my favorites! Nan

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hooray!!!! Yes, let’s do this for sure!! So happy we are all getting closer to being safer – I have too many dimes and nickels saved up – I know just the girls who will be glad to take them from me!!

      Like

  4. Bob Slatten says:

    What a lovely story, and how life always seems to take us where we need to be.
    Happy Happy 20th, and cheers to many many more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gail Ginsberg says:

    Happy Anniversary to you two! Lovely tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Juanita Jean says:

    I love this post and can hear that song in my mind as I read it all the way through. Congrats to y’all and remember that the pandemic was also part of this relationship…..that’s a biggie! Love, Nita

    On Sun, Feb 7, 2021 at 10:05 PM I’ll Call It Like I See It wrote:

    > Sheila Morris posted: ” Return with me to those thrilling days of > yesteryear, actually twenty years ago this week, to meet Pretty who > magically changed from being a close friend and confidante before the > spontaneous trip to Cancun pictured above in February, 2001 to a woman who” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nita Jean, I really appreciate your remarks and yes, we are still surviving the pandemic which is one of the biggest challenges anyone can have!
      Whenever I think of family, I remember you as a wonderful part of my history. I always looked up to you, but was always too young and shy to let you know. I’m so thankful for our friendship since the family reunion in 2008 in Austin. DNA doesn’t lie, and I’m grateful to share mine with yours.

      Like

  7. M.B. Henry says:

    What a lovely post to celebrate twenty years! Happy anniversary! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wayside Artist says:

    I love a love story. Happy Anniversary, dear friends!!
    Cent’Anni! May you have 100 more!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Linda says:

    Ohhhh, I love this!!! 🍾😘

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a lovely story..Happy Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy 20th anniversary what a gorgeous, happy post. I’m full of smiles and hugs to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Bob Slatten Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.