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Who knew that so many damn kiwis grew on one tree?! I worked 5 hours yesterday, and picked just over half the kiwis on one tree. But the weather was great, alternating between short rain showers and warm sunbreaks. It felt really good to be outside earning some money, and the people are all nice.

I’ve come up with an interesting theory about labels out here in the country. In the city, if you call your significant other a "partner" people assume you mean a "non-gender-specified significant other". In the country, people assume I’m a lesbian. I’ve been calling Preston my partner because, after seven years, "boyfriend" just doesn’t seem to cover what he is to me. In the city, even if people assumed I was a lesbian, they would avoid using a gender pronoun for as long as I did. For instance, talking to a city person the other day, I mentioned my partner. She immediately asked, "What’s your partner’s name?" (I smirked on the inside, and wished that it was Chris, or Alex.) But in the country, twice now, I have mentioned my partner and had people immediately start using the feminine pronoun to refer to my partner.

For the most part, I don’t mind if people assume I’m a lesbian; I identified as such myself for a long time before I met Preston. But there are certainly situations in which I’d rather people not assume that, which leads me back to this years-long frustration that I’ve had with labels. What exactly is Preston to me? I mean, I know what he is to me, but what’s the socially appropriate label for it? And to make things more complicated, what’s the socially appropriate label for what his mom is to me? She isn’t technically my mother-in-law, but calling her "my boyfriend’s mom" doesn’t capture the relationship we have. When I’m with people who understand non-traditional relationships, I call her "my mother-by-choice", but not many folks out here in Onalaska would know what I was talking about if I used that one.

This cultural thing out here in the country is very interesting. And I’m off to head back to work. (Geez, that sounds weird.) It’s cool to have a set-up where I can show up whenever I want, but I’m trying to exercise a little self-discipline and show up for some fairly consistent morning hours this week.

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