Ask Francine - Love, Loss and Sentimental Hearts

The beautiful voice of Karen Errington, a songstress at bar Natasha, delighted recent audiences with its range and emotional appeal. Although I, Francine, am a heterosexual woman, I can see why all straight men lust after her. And women, too, of the lesbian persuasion.

Oh, dear. As I write this, I find myself locked in a stall within the ladies? room at K.C.?s naughty little cabaret called bar Natasha, scribbling these words on a napkin. As I?ve learned to unlock my heart (and delicious wisdom from my soul) through ordinary prose, I?m discovering that everything I thought was real isn?t; everything I thought false is real.

My head is spinning. The peach daiquiris are delicious, and those young boys keep bringing them to me ? I had one in each hand! Sweet Jesus, I hope my minister doesn?t read this.

Before I get to the juicy tidbits, let me say that it?s been a week for loving. I?m finding that boys who don?t love girls (and vice versa) do find time for love, but what they do between the sheets is still a mystery to me. My dear, late husband was CEO of his business and a heavyweight in the church, but in our bedroom he was a 98-pound weakling. We ?celebrated? our marriage twice a year (our pre-arranged dates were Valentine?s Day and Canadian Thanksgiving.)

I was a virgin on my wedding night, thank you very much, and I wish I could say I?ve been completely pleasured by a man. But since I feel so close to you sinners, I?ll be honest: It took my husband longer to brush his teeth than, well, you know. And since this is my first Valentine?s Day without him, I was hoping that this week of love would pass by unnoticed. However, the men?s room attendant of Satan?s army, Camp publisher John Long, told me in no uncertain terms that I had to experience the world of gay and lesbian love. In 800 words or less. (And I have to listen to him because of my unfortunate DUI and that infernal court-ordered community service.)

At that point, I choked back a sob and rushed to my Hummer, where I lay on my leather seats and opened my soul to Jesus, baring heartache, the loss of my husband and his love, and the distant, cramping memories of when Aunt Flo used to visit. I can?t explain why the thought of writing about love brought me such agony, so I did what a Christian woman should do: I toughened up and drove directly to the Plaza to shop for a new wine-colored dress.

Wine-colored? Why not bright red for Valentine?s Day? Sinners, listen and learn. Bright red dresses are found on Democrats, hookers and lipstick lesbians. You won?t find them at Halls (proud Republicans, those Hallmark folks), so I am wearing my new, gorgeous ruby dress, locked in a bathroom stall.

I am sitting here because I need to be alone. There is so much emotion going on within me right now, and watching all the same-sex couples out there sharing smiles and conversation, and touching lips, I am beside myself with confusion. I will never, ever, understand you LGBTQ people. And why do you have so many letters in your acronyms?

There will be love birds in Cafe Trio this week, pecking away at dinner, gazing lovingly at each other?s beaks. Some girl birds will fly to the bowling alleys to share a corn dog. The younger flock will gather in birdhouses with dance floors, flipping their bright plumes, perfecting their mating dance. Love does that to you.

I wish I could fly away.

I?m on my fourth napkin now. My ears are still ringing from the beautiful voice of a singer named Karen (who talked about her $75 bra), proudly displaying her feminine wares to the drinking public, and my iPhone was out in an instant. It was like coming across an auto accident: I shouldn?t watch, but I couldn?t control myself. Karen is as ripe as the flavorful peach nectar I?ve been drinking ? but I can?t think of those sorts of things. Wipe them from my mind, sweet Lord!

I know why I have been set up to write this column: to persuade me that love is truly a connection between two hearts, two souls. To force me to accept that love is blind to gender and nationality. To open my eyes as I watch people of the same sex make a commitment to each other, and dedicate the rest of their lives to honor that commitment.

But I refuse to be crushed by such sentiment. I know what I?ve been taught, and I?m not letting go of my religion, or my happiness that Mike Huckabee will soon be in the White House. No more peach daiquiris for me, no sir. Especially if Karen serves them.
One-Night Romantic Ideas
Every couple needs one night a week to call their own. Go out on a date, and fall in love all over again. Below, I?ve listed a few ideas for your ?date night.? Please e-mail me ( to tell me about your favorite spots for a romantic evening. I?ll include them in future columns!
The Italian Roundabout: Have Chianti and appetizers at Garozzo?s (526 Harrison St.), travel to Lidia?s (101 W. 22nd St.) for an entree, then finish the evening off at Il Centro (5101 Main St) with a light aperitif.?
Library Lovers: Travel separately to the Plaza library (4801 Main St.), and spend a half-hour alone wandering through the book aisles. As you happen upon your lover, pretend that the two of you have never met before. Strike up a conversation, and invite your soon-to-be lover next door to The Mixx restaurant (4855 Main) for a delicious light meal.
Hot & Cold, Sweet & Sour: Early in the evening, go to your favorite Chinese restaurant, and when you leave, take your unopened fortune cookies with you. Bundle up and walk hand-in-hand around the new addition of the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, all lit and glowing. When you two find the ?perfect? spot, open up your fortune cookies. As you read them aloud, remember to add the words ?in bed? to the end of the fortune ... and then go home and make your fortune come true.

Francine offers her slightly skewed viewpoint on issues in the Kansas City metropolitan area?s LGBT community in each issue of Camp. This satirical column is meant in jest and non-thought-provoking fun! Francine?s opinions are her own, and they do not necessarily reflect those of Camp or anyone connected to Camp. And since you?re asking, yes, she?s a fictional character. Well, you asked. Would you like to respond to Francine or give her a tip on something that may be of interest? E-mail her at

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