That's what I remember saying to my buddy Ed on the golf course right before this all happened.
I was eager. I was pumped. "I'm ready for my lesbian fling, Mr. DeMille!" Turning 40 does that to you.
Forget that I'd already been married and had only dated men my entire life. It didn't matter, because when you feel that Sapphic siren call, there is no backing down. And before I knew it, as if in a dream, this vision appeared right before my very eyes. It was a Saturday night and I was at a Project Angel Food charity dinner with some gay male friends. There she sat, right across from my $200 plate.
Her name was Lori. Blonde, gorgeous, obviously sophisticated. There was only one small catch—she was with a date. And you couldn't help but notice that they were quite frisky with each other, starting with the appetizers.
Amid their flirting, I made a stab at some tiny small talk about—you guessed it—golf. And she was polite, friendly, and couldn't have been less interested in me. But I was on my midlife mission. I called our mutual friend the following Monday.
"David, I met that gal at our table Saturday night, and I think I have a crush on her."
"Yeah, but she's dating that woman."
"I know. But I need my lesbian fling!"
"Well, I hate to break this to ya, sweetheart," he said, "but much like in the straight world, when someone is already in a relationship, it's better to pursue someone else who isn't."
"I don't care. I'm so attracted to her. Can you call her up and suggest that we maybe play some golf together?"
And without a moment's hesitation, he got on the phone immediately. Why? Because this stuff is like crack to a gay man.
We met a week later at the par 3 in Studio City, and she was even prettier in her casual hitting-the-links wear.
I got to the meat of the matter. "So how's your girlfriend?"
"We broke up."
"Oh, that's sad," I lied. "I'm so very sorry."
"Don't be. Wasn't meant to be. So what's your story, Carol? Why aren't you in a relationship?"
"I don't know. I'm going through some stuff right now."
"Oh, really? Well, we can turn that around in no time flat."
Gulp! "How's that?" I stuttered.
"Well, there are a million guys at my office I could set you up with, no problem!"
And suddenly, someone on my same-sex train pulled the emergency stop.
We played the round. And then I proceeded to code blue. I called David. "Buddy, just tell her I have a crush on her and see what happens."
And like any good crack addict, he did. But I was not happy with his report back: "Lori told me she wasn't going to be some science experiment for a straight girl."
Well, I'd tried. And my dream of a lesbian dalliance went out in a puff of smoke.
That's how it was, until a few weeks later when she called and left a message: "Hi. It's Lori. It's Sunday and I feel like hitting some golf balls at the driving range. If you're up for it, gimme a call."
And I immediately...didn't call back. Straight or gay, I'd read The Rules.
A few days later, I got another call from her at my office.
"How spontaneous are you?" she asked. "I have an empty seat at my company's table tonight for the Beverly Hills policemen's ball. Feel like coming along?"
So off we went. The drinking started early. And it all came tumbling out.
"Look," she said, "getting involved with a straight girl is dangerous."
And then I pulled out my patented line that I have used easily for 20 years: "Well, what would it hurt if we just made out?"
I'm telling you, no one ever passes up this line. Because if you start making out and it sucks, it will stop right there—no harm, no foul. Then again, if it's fantastic, which in this case it was, suit up, because someone's gonna be rounding some bases.
Surprisingly, though, that's not where it ended that night. I'd always rushed to sleep with guys, but it just felt right to take it slow.
She promised to call me the next morning, and lo and behold, she did. Hmm, these chicks are trustworthy! She was going away in a couple of weeks to Hawaii and asked me to come along. Did I even have to think about it?
And so, my lesbian fling finally took flight. And sex with a woman? Turns out it was a no-brainer...because I am one (very familiar with the equipment already). It was like having the answers before taking a test. Like walking around in the house you grew up in. You can turn all the lights off, I'll still know where everything is.
But then something else began to happen—something I hadn't quite planned on. It started to get serious. And now, here I am, 12 years later, telling you this story. (Surprisingly, it never seems to get old, especially to my straight male friends—"Carol, I want to hear everything. Slowly and in great detail, please.") Granted, it's been something of an adjustment. Two menstrual cycles in one relationship? Getting a word in edgewise? Love happens. Gay happens. But in the end, love always trumps the gay.
Excerpted from When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win, by Carol Leifer. Copyright © 2009 by Carol Leifer. Published by arrangement with Villard Books, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.