I'm not much for the winter holidays, to be honest. Since my primary partner and I shifted to a long-distance model--over three years ago, gah--the whole family/spouse/children/big dinner thing makes zero sense, so I tend to get pretty blasé, as in "blah". This year on Thanksgiving I'm holding down the phone lines for my usual shift, stepping out for dinner at a friend's house, where she is whipping up some Louisiana-style, duck-based deliciousness, and then coming back and... signing back on.
Well, I said all that Hallmark-induced shit doesn't make sense. Didn't say I'm impervious to societal pressure about what I'm supposed to be doing this Thursday. And again for Christmas. And again on New Year's Day.
Instead of wallowing, I'd rather take a moment and write down a few things that I'm feeling thankful for. I mean, that's part of the tradition too, right? Since I can't really say this stuff in front of my mom and dad, this is the perfect place...
- I'm thankful that I have paying work. Seven months ago I got notice that I was being let go from my straight job, and I was in a panic. But here I am, and the power is still on and I'm on time with a payment schedule for my student loans. A lot of people aren't so lucky.
- I'm thankful for this work that I enjoy. For reals. I get a cheesy grin on my face when the dispatcher tells me that such-and-such a regular is requesting me, and I know it's one of the ones that I can really play with.
- I'm thankful for such an abundant source of inspiration and material for new artistic work. Phone Whore excites the crap out of me (where are my toilet slaves when I need them, ha ha), and the stand-up stuff is scary hard, but good.
- I'm thankful for a circle of friends and chosen family who support me in this work, who don't bat an eye when I dash off to pick up the phone and who listen with every appearance of interest when I have to debrief about my latest hard-core caller.
- I'm thankful for all of the other sex workers and allies who have labored before me, in trying to demystify, decriminalize, and even celebrate our work: SWOP, Annie Sprinkle, Scarlot Harlot at BAYSWAN, Audacia Ray, ISWFACE, Émilie at Stella, $pread (the magazine and bog), the other members of psosupport.com. You've answered my questions, pointed me to resources, and really helped me integrate sex work into my self-identity. I'm stepping out to join the fray, but believe me, I'm well aware of the work that has already been done.
That's there's my semi-regular Gratitude Report, folks. What do you got in yours?