Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's With The Sudden Interest?

I decided to visit my family for the fourth of July weekend. At first I thought to work because I wanted the extra money, but then reasoned that I hadn't been home in a while and missed the people with whom I share genetic sequences.

I didn't tell my little brother because I love just showing up. He was at the basketball court and my mom and I went to pick him up. He thought I was our father at first. I laughed and enjoyed the fact that he was surprised and happy that I was home. He is starting to look more like an adult which is disturbing to me.

Though the primary people that I wanted to see were my niece and brother, I actually ended up spending most of my time with my mom. I'm the middle child and have felt kinda swept under the rug, but over the last year my mom and I have grown closer. I've moved into the dependable child role, this being justified from the evidence that the moment I walked in my mom counted off a list of things she needed done for the house. I was during one of these projects [me re-doing a window treatment] that the conversation somehow steered to relationships. We were talking about people we know having children, and marriage, etc, and my mother asks "What about you?" I damn near fell of the step-ladder I was using.

I didn't know why she thought to ask me this at first, but it dawned on me that I'm the only of her children that is never visibly in a relationship. My oldest brother brought his ex-fiancee to visit four years ago, had a child last year and may be expecting another in the late winter. My sister has brought several female "friends" over the house [she is lesbian]; and though my baby brother has just ended his first serious relationship with a girl, he has introduced us to his lasts few girlfriends, and he's still in high school. I have not so much as mentioned that there was someone in my life.

I do not know what goes on in the mind of a parent, but I'm afraid. Here is their handsome [all parents think this of their kids] son, who is smart, with no girlfriend to speak of. There has not even been mention of a girl, even in passing, in at least ten years. I know my parents. They are nosy and tend to speculate when we [their children] are not around. I'm sure they have begun to wonder and its likely that at least one has brought up the conversation to the other. The conversation I dreaded them having. The conversation that I knew would come up eventually. The one that I hoped would not be brought up before I was 30.

"You want children" She asked when I said nothing. I understood that I either had to come out OR craft my answer very carefully. Since I'm a freaking scaried-cat I went with diplomatic answer. I told her that I take being a parent very seriously and I might not have children as I enjoy being an uncle, but could possibly change my mind. "What kind of girl do you like? White girl, black girl?" That's what she asked next. I could have died. Straight dropped dead and it would have been medically feasible. My death certificate would have read died from nosy mother and possibly shock. I decided that, whether intentional or not, she set the sword up and I did not have to fall on it. So, I took a deep breath and told her the truth. "I always figured that I would marry someone a few years younger than me, but ethnicity isn't important. I'm more concerned about what's between their ears." Good Dodge, E!!!

That seemed to satiate her, but as I was typing this I had a little back and forth with my brother. I told him that our mother had asked me a personal question. He, with no prompting, asked if it was whether I was homosexual or not. Now, I know my brother. The fact that he used homosexual made me think that he was trying to use a word that would be non offensive, if by chance I was attempting to come out to him. That's great, it means that some of me has rubbed off on him but it also means that the thought has run through his mind as well. He told me that he would have asked me if he thought I was gay, and that he has gay friends and I don't fit the mold. He did confess that my sister [the one right above me {the gay one (the one that could just ask me if she was curious!)}] had been asked by my mother if I was straight or not. When I asked him about further details he said it was a time ago and that he could not remember the rest of what he overheard.

Note: This will only cause me to retreat farther into solitude. Not only will I now continue to NOT discuss my dating life. I will not discuss anything in relation to what I deem resembles a question that delves into the realm of touching something that pertains to or could breach the subject of my personal life. Thoughts?


naturgesetz said...

Why can't you just tell them? It sounds as if they'd be cool with it.
Does it have to be a surprise for them when you turn fifty?

They know. They just want to let you tell them.

naturgesetz said...

I mean they're your family, for heaven's sake. And it's not as if they were asking for a blow-by-blow description of your sexual activity. You know about your sister. Why is it so much worse for them to know about you? Not just to have made a reasonable and correct guess, but to hear the truth from your own lips.

goleftatthefork said...

they know. they just can't figure out the right way to ask. and they're also cool with it, in case you can't tell.

A. Friend said...

At least your sis and bro would be cool with it--especially since you're "not like' his other gay friends.

aron2631 said...

That's sad that you've decided to retreat further. It really sounds like everybody would be supportive.

Your brother sort of knows, but isn't sure. Your sister suspects. Your mother already has a lesbian daughter and so it wouldn't be that shocking to have another. She's asking probing questions as parents do--she has had plans for you since you were born, and this requires adjusting to. She knows, even if she is not 100% sure. But she also knows not to push it if you're not ready.

Honestly, it sounds like the only person who is afraid is you. And the fear just isn't worth it.

Aek said...

I hate it when parents spring up those questions. It's like a cold wind blowing past you, it's unnerving. My parents particularly dislike my answer of "I don't know, I'm too busy right now." I like to keep my personal life, well, personal.

Btw, if you have the chance, please answer my challenge question in my latest post will ya? Thanks!

I hope everything else is going well in your life!! :)

Bruce said...

You are the only one keeping you in the closet. Your mother, brother and sister know you're gay, that's where all the questions come from. They are just waiting for you to tell them. So, what are you waiting for???

Doomed But Cheerful! said...

Indeed, it does appear to me that your family are reaching out to you with questions and hints, so that you have the opportunity to say, "Oh yes - that's right, I AM gay, as it happens." You could even add, "How perceptive of you ..." if you wanted to have a little fun (and who doesn't?!).

So - nobody appears to be fooled. The only person who is being hurt by all of this is the one you should hurt the least - yourself.

Please reflect on this for a while.

With love. G =]