Powledge recalls their first year together as one filled with happiness. The two exchanged vows of commitment on the diving board at Smith's home in Spring, and Smith gave Powledge a diamond ring. Smith avoided wearing a ring herself because of the questions it might raise, Powledge said.Yikes! And: awesome!
They shared some wild times, frequently going out on drinking binges and not knowing how to get home. Smith once stopped her car and asked a passing jogger to drive them home after a particularly lively spell of inebriation.
The pair also got tattoos to declare their love for one another. Smith paid for a tattoo of her face and name to be inked across Powledge's shoulder blade, strategically placed to cover another woman's name there. Smith later received a tattoo of Powledge's initials below her bikini line, unable to display such art anywhere else on her body because of her career as a model.
Powledge blushes, giggles and covers her face with her hands when asked if Smith reciprocated her affections in the bedroom.
"She was very considerate. Very sweet. Very," she said bashfully.
Of course, the article's spin on ANS's lesbian liason is pretty dippy. It has to go out of its way to call Powledge "the plainer looking and less feminine of the pair" -- because God forbid we wander off the Butch Meets Femme page. And "affections in the bedroom"? Is there a less kinky way of refering to sex? Can you think of one? I'm really asking.
I'm impressed Powledge toughed out the relationship as long as she did, what with ANS making her wear "wigs and dresses to give herself a softer look in New York" once they moved to the Big Apple, not to mention ANS's "Real World"-type behavior: cheating, drinking, drugs. Eventually of course the women split and the article notes, wistfully, "No matter what the cause of Smith's death is ultimately determined to be, Powledge shares others' assessment that she likely died of a broken heart."
One of the things I find most fascinating about this story is that it adds complexity to ANS's performance of hetero desirability. In the same way that in M Butterfly, Song, the male lover disguised as the ideal woman, explains, "A man knows best how a woman is supposed to act," it makes sense that a queer woman would know how best to play the epitome of a straight woman.
But is this story threatening to her image somehow? Embarrassing? Overkill? Why hasn't it been picked up more broadly?