This is a short one.
I was in one of my London cafes yesterday, working on one of my online courses, when a group of four people sat at the table next to mine.
I paused the music I was listening to because they interested me, but I left my earphones in so they wouldn’t know that I was eavesdropping on them. It didn’t take me long to gather that this was a male/male homosexual couple meeting one of the gays’ parents for the first time.
The parents seemed like normal, dull parents. The dad thought it was hilarious that the coffee he’d ordered came with a tower of whipped cream on top, but the mum was a bit embarrassed by it and she told him to stir it into his coffee quickly.
The conversation was terribly dull, but I didn’t do a tap of work for the 45 minutes they sat there. I’ve never seen real live parents interact with their gay children. I know that’s crazy to admit, given that I’ll be 36 years old in a few weeks, but it’s true. Outside of TV, I’ve never seen anyone other than my own crazy Catholic parents actually converse with their gay offspring.
And no one mentioned God once in the whole conversation.
The son mainly talked to his mum. She was telling him about how she wasn’t buying coffee at cafes when she went to work any more, but had started taking her own coffee to work in in a thermos flask because it was so much cheaper.
The poor boyfriend was stuck talking to the dad, who seemed to be describing how the boiler in his attic worked. He was doing an excellent job of not falling asleep out of pure boredom and of pretending to be interested.
The son had his phone out for the whole conversation and frequently checked his emails and messages. The boyfriend was on his best behaviour for this first meeting and didn’t take his phone out once. I’m sure he didn’t want to miss a single second of the boiler chat.
When the conversation ended, the parents got up to leave. The boyfriend shook hands with the dad and kissed the mum on the cheek. The son jokingly told his mum that he’d be sure to phone again before Christmas and she gave him a death stare.
It literally couldn’t have been a more normal, more boring interaction, but I had so many butterflies in my stomach for the whole thing.
I kind of hated the couple. They didn’t seem all that grateful for having parents that treated meeting their son’s boyfriend. And they were both thin. Of course they were. I was actually so jealous of them. So so jealous.
I remember the week before I came out to my parents back in 2012, when I was spending a lot of time thinking about what coming out would mean, I had a dream one night. In my dream, I was chatting to my mum. She was cleaning the shelves in my sister’s bedroom, in exactly the same place and position as she’d been when she told me that Santa Claus wasn’t real when I was 10 and I had to cling on to those same shelves to make sure that I didn’t fall down, because it was so shocking to me that everyone in the world had been conspiring to lie to me and because magic was dead. Anyway, in my dream, she was cleaning those same shelves and she said, without looking at me, “You know, you could get married to Stephen in the back garden if you wanted to.” Stephen was the man I was going out with in my dream. You haven’t been reading this blog for very long if you thought I had an actual real-life boyfriend in 2012. I still get kind of emotional thinking about that dream and the idea of my mother being OK with me marrying a man in her back garden.
Of course that’s not real. My parents won’t host my wedding. I can kind of imagine them coming to my wedding, but I doubt they would come really. It would just be a step too far for them. I struggled to imagine them in a cafe meeting my boyfriend and talking to him about the boiler.
It’s not as if a wedding is in the offing anyway.
Here’s a conversation from Friday evening on Growlr.
Man, username “R”, with no details on his profile at all: Hi
Connor, whose name, photo, age, nationality, height, weight and occupation are all clearly listed in my profile: Hey
R: How are you?
Connor: I’m feeling good. I’m just finishing up at work for the day. How are you?
R: Super horny
R: Devil smiley
R: Picture of erect penis
R: Picture of erect penis from slightly different angle.
R (an hour later): not keen?
R: Pls let me know.
Why do all the men in London think that I will fall to my knees at the sight of their penis? I mean, I’m certainly partial to them, but a picture of your penis without a picture of your face is basically just like sending me picture of a dildo. Do these men not realise that I’m on the hunt for a boyfriend who I can agonise about introducing to my family and not just for a dildo?
It hasn’t taken me long in London to get picky, has it?
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