“Your father was acting stubborn about asking you to help, but I threatened to spank him as hard as I used to and he gave in and called.” – my Mother, 75
Yes, yes, that was the closing phrase of what seemed like a 20 hour phone call with my parents last night where I played the role of the “help desk supervisor 12”. They, “somehow”, got their GIANT TV on the wrong input and couldn’t find “the Netflix”. Now calls like this happen about once a week and I get to say things like “now look for the home button – it looks like a little house” while my father says things like, “Which remote? the black one or the black one? Wait, okay, I see a 1, a 2, a 3, now, wait, then it goes to a 4 on the next line” and my mother, in the background says things like “oh, there’s a lawyer on the screen and the words say – ‘Have you been in a car accident?’ Does that help you?” I try so hard to stay patient in those cases and remember that, since I was the curious kid who asked for an entire set of World Book encyclopedias one year before Christmas which I used to pepper them with questions, I am sure this is just karma coming back to bite me in the ass.
I say these things because, I now have to wonder if the kink vibe, gene, occurrence or whatever else you might call it is hereditary? As you know, I have often mentioned that there are clues that my parents had an openness to their sexuality, though I have no idea if they were actually truly open in the sense of the words we use now.
What I do know is that my Mom is back on her investigations into my sex life. After officially being diagnosed with Alzheimers several months ago, she’s on a new, trial drug therapy that is really working wonders. By that I mean that she’s maybe at 60% of where she was 20 years ago, but she’s in a good spot now where she is as fully functioning as many of the red state voters. All this to say is that this week I took my parents to IKEA, which was a first for them. I have never really been around kids, but I suspect the looks on their faces were equivocal to children seeing Disneyland for the first time, because they were just amazed and had such a good time (though it seriously took like three hours to just walk through there at the snail’s pace of old people). At one of the points where we sat down for a snack of Swedish meatballs and some horrid apple cake, my Dad was drawn to a giant bin of funnels and Mom started talking. She talked about her hatred of Trump and her admiration for the women who marched, her opinions on abortion and a woman’s right to choose, and her views on anyone who would dare place me and Axel and any of my friends in a special category and say we are not worthy of everything she and my Dad have rights wise. She was just talking away, while Dad was still staring at the colorful funnels, and then an older African American woman sat near us and she decided to share her opinions with her as well – something my healthy Mom would NEVER have done unprovoked. The woman was all with us, at first, felt some of the same things on Trump, though she grimaced at equal rights for all, specifically gay marriage. To be fair, she said nothing, just made a face, BUT, she was also eating their vegetarian meatballs which, in fairness, should cause a weird look with anyone. My old Mom would have seen that, but my new Mom didn’t which was really clear at the following moment when she said:
“Oh, this is my son Drew, now you should know that he is gay and has an amazing husband who we just adore. Almost 20 years. He even has his name. Look at him, do you want to tell him that he can’t have the same rights as us? I mean, his marriage is as solid as most even though he has a special friend”
In true form, right about this time my Dad and his six, yes six, sets of funnels returned (his theory: .99 for four – “these will last me my whole life”) and, just like always when these subjects come up, he turned that weird shade of white and green that just screamed guilt at something from the past. The lady was lovely, congratulated me on almost 20 years, wished my Mom well, and then pushed that four wheeled steering basket (WTF do they have those?) through the marketplace at a speed that just screamed she was going straight to church. I looked at my Mother who was sitting there with this look of satisfaction on her face and just laughed because, as mortifying as that was, I knew there had to be more coming since we still had at least an hour before we could find the exit doors in that maze of a place.
Nothing was said until the Self Service section when she said “are you okay with what I said?” I said, “what, about me being your poster child for gay rights? of course” and she then said, “No, about your special friend”. I said, “Sure, Mom, but I really don’t know what you are talking about, you need to be clear with me on what you are thinking, because I suspect we are not on the same page with this.” She smiled and said, “Yes we are. We all have special friends in our lives that we need, so enjoy it”. This phrase, more than anything, terrified me as I had some horrible visions of her and her Bunco group in some sort of old woman orgy (and thanks to Thumper I now have real visions about the women).
And then, as weirdly as it started, it was over. She declared that she was exhausted and dispatched my father for their car. I tried to finish the conversation, but, if you have ever been around anyone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you know that when they are done with a subject, they are done. When I see her this weekend I will likely try again or see if it comes up because I am going to Thumperland on Tuesday next week and she usually says something when we go through where I will be the next week, but, who hell knows.
In the end, as much as the above mysteries mystify me, I am still thrilled to have them and realize how many gays never get anywhere near the level of acceptance I have, even if it does come with sexual revelations of a septuagenarian and het octogenarian and his funnels.