Friend: Kacie (Gerard) Baum
Activity: Science Cafe
Location: Slow Down
Total $ Spent: $0
Tonight, I attended an event "with" my friend Kacie. See, technically, she was working at said event, but I figured it would be a good time to see her, here a stimulating lecture, and catch up.
"Sex, Sexuality, and Sexual Health" was the topic of this month's Science Cafe sponsored by University of Nebraska Medical Center. The Science Cafes are held at the Slow Down, and they are totally free with pizza provided. And for a sweet little cherry on top, a few of my other friends were also in attendance.
Like so many of my $1 dates, Kacie and I are former co-workers. She and I worked in membership at the Museum and she basically trained me for my job, even though I was officially her supervisor. Her laid-back attitude was a good balance to my high strung tendancies. We had a lot of things in common too - we both used to live in the DC area, we both love music, dancing, and fashion, among many other things. About a year after I'd been at the Museum, Kacie submitted her resignation and I was devastated. I felt so insecure and lonely. How could I train a new person when my trainer was leaving? I even teared up on her last day, and I am SO not a crier. Kacie smiled her cute grin and said, "You know you can do this. You just have to believe you can." We were always friendly, but I think that's the moment we actually became friends.
Not long after she left the Museum, she and her long-time boyfriend, Matt, got engaged. They had an informal engagment party during an Oktoberfest celebration at the Crescent Moon. Later that night, she sent me the sweetest text which I may or may not still have on my phone. She said, "I am so glad you moved back to Omaha." Kacie and Matt's wedding was one of the most unique and fun celebrations I've ever witnessed. She was an exquisite bride. So grown up, so sophisticated, even when she was dropping it like it was hot to Britney Spears. We have maintained our friendship over emails and texts, and I saw her quite often when I was still at the Museum since she is also a member of the young professionals group. She and our friend Jill, even karaoked Single Ladies with me on my birthday.
The speaker at tonight's Science Cafe was well-educated and a good lecturer. Not too many "ums, or uhs" and just the right amount of comic relief, given the potentially awkward subject matter. His confidence and frank approach to the topic created an easy vibe, although there were definitely some giggles when certain terminology was said out loud. See? I'm such a dork I can't even write words about bodies in my blog. Has anyone noticed, by the way, that I have not used one curse word in ANY of my blog entries? That's crazy! Back to my point, if I may take just a moment to stand on my soap box.....
I asked a question regarding Omaha's statistics of sexual abuse and how it compares to the national average. Unfortunately, his response was, "I don't know," and the conversation went in a different direction. In my mind, I had hoped my question would lead into greater detail about the effect (affect?) that sexual abuse can have on one's sexuality. But since his response was so finite, the conversation didn't happen. I found myself festering a bit, and feeling quite critical. How could this subject not come up? We talked about sexual orientation, sexual behavior, societal influences, childhood traumas, yadda yadda yadda. Was I really the only person in the room who felt that sexual abuse was being grossly overlooked? And then I realized that the conversation in my head didn't actually play out in the room, so it wasn't his fault. I should have asked another, more direct question. But someone else beat me to it. A woman gave a very specific example of a sexually abused child and wondered if that might cause the child to "become" homosexual. Finally, he spoke about sexual abuse and how it can shape a person's views on sex and sexuality.
I was the lucky person who grabbed the very last slice of pizza, and even better is that it was cheese and I could actually eat it. I asked the bartender for a water, and there you have it. I spent no money at all.
After the lecture, Kacie and a few other friends of ours had the chance to chat while enjoying delicious 1-calorie TicTacs. Kacie apologized for being a bad $1 date (which is totally silly since she had to work), so we said that this was our "fifty cent" date and we'll have to schedule something else. In between her husband's mockery of my 3 cats and Frances's mini-meltdown over being a bad pet-owner (she has a pet snake and she's feeling inadequate), Kacie and I had some great quality time. And just for the record Matt Baum, you can call me a crazy cat lady all you want. I still wouldn't change a thing. ;)
On deck for day 10: Barb. I'll be seeing you.....