Monday, October 27, 2008

My "Liberal" Republican Parents?

“Well, I guess I should tell you.”

“Tell me what, Mom?”

“I know you won’t be in town Dear, but I should tell you that your father and I are having a Christmas party for our old friends.”

“That sounds nice. You guys like to entertain. Am I missing something?”

(This social group of my parent’s has been around since all of their kids were young, much like my Gourmet Club, but 30 years into the future.)

“We were all together to celebrate Cathy’s remission from cancer and I announced our plan for the party,” my mother continued.

“Uh huh,” I said, focusing on the fact that my parents still socialize with these old friends.

“Anyway, you know about Jill, right?”

“Remind me, Mom.”

“Jill announced that she is gay a little while ago. Remember? Anyway, she just married her partner and they are living in San Francisco.”

“That’s so nice. I am glad she found someone.”

Her voice shot up an octave, as if she had doubted how I would feel about a gay marriage. (I guess that topic doesn't comes up frequently with my mother.)

“Exactly! I agree. Anyway, her parents were being, well, a little nasty about it. They stopped talking to her when she announced she was gay. And, when they found out that we knew, they stopped talking to the rest of us too.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear about that. They will regret estranging their daughter like that.”

“We all thought so too. Jill is an adult. She’s an honest, confident professional who has made a commitment to her partner. They act like she’s some sort of criminal. We are all pretty mad about it. I mean, we all just want our kids to be good people with happy lives. This is 2008, not 1960. Anyway, I am sure there are exceptions, but I think most people are just born gay or not gay, it’s just whether or not they feel comfortable enough to express it.”

“That is really a shame that her parents are shunning her.”

“So, when I announced the party, one of my other friends said that Jill and her partner will be in town over Christmas (but not at the parent’s house). She suggested that we have a reception for the new couple.”

“So, you’re hosting a lesbian wedding reception? My conservative Republican parents are hosting a lesbian wedding reception? I love it!”

“Well, yes. . . . . That is right. Jill and her partner are very touched.”

“I think that’s really nice. That whole group was at my wedding. You should celebrate their wedding too. Um, but what about Jill’s parents?”

“Yeah, I called Jill’s mom to invite her.”

“How did that go?”

“She was upset at first. But, in the end she said that they will come and even asked why everyone is making such a big deal out of it (as if she hasn’t stopped talking to everyone).”

“Well, let her save face. Anyway, if she sees that everyone else is accepting of her daughter, maybe she will be too. Seriously, this is really nice of you guys to bring everyone back together.”

“We were all pretty upset about it. Someone said they are talking about maybe having kids.” She shifted a little, her body admitting to a little discomfort with the idea that her voice did not betray.

By the way, Mom, if you think people are just born that way, it seems odd to me that there aren’t any gay people in our family. Even if its genetic, I would think there would be one at least.

I leaned over to refill my mother’s glass of wine.

“You mean, I never told you about Uncle Fancypants??”

11 comments:

Flea said...

Bwahaha! Uncle Fancypants. maybe it's Maybelline?

standing still said...

I am DEEPLY touched your parent's love for this child of their friends. I'm sure it will be an amazing party with lots of remembrances and a showering of love for this woman and her partner. I doubt anyone can imagine how FAR this will go to bridge the separation that this woman and her parents have had. I think this story just made my day.

scatterbrain said...

How lovely! Your parents sound very caring and sensitive - allowing Jill's parents to save face and follow their good example.

Funny and touching post.

Indy said...

I love it. My Republican parents used to be all weirded out by gay people until a close friend announced she was gay. Now it is no big deal and they even let them sleep in the same room at our house when they visited. Shocking! I did bring it up to my dad that it is pretty liberal to not care. And he raised three strong feminist daughters. I told him he was a feminist. He agreed. Shocking! My dad is such a conservative Republican. Shocking.

enthalpymama said...

I love that you all took a little something different from this one.

Badass Geek said...

Good for them for being accepting of that. My parents (ever the conservatives) always say that they'll love the people, just not their choice to be gay.

Which, I guess, is part of the reason why I've only seen my uncle (who is gay) once in my life.

Mama Smurf said...

LMAO! Thanks for the laugh!

Rachel said...

That is great of your parents!

sf kay said...

Emama, this is a lovely post. I'm here in Cali, where this is currently legal, but on the ballot again on election day. We're watching friends panic, as the polls are too close to call. One couple is worried that their carefully laid spring wedding plans may melt away with the vote. Another is doing a hasty 10-minute legal ceremony at the courthouse on Monday, because there's no time to have the proper, meaningful ceremony they wanted. It is heartbreaking to watch couples that have been together for years, made homes and families together, finally get the joyful chance to marry, then watch it all slip away. You must be very proud of your parents.

enthalpymama said...

Thanks Kay! The more we can see people as the beautiful individuals (and couples) that they are, the stronger our society will become.

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of your parents!!