It finally happened.
By “it” I mean two things: a) I met a girl who’s adorable AND really into me, and b) my mom finally said what she really thinks of me, 8 months after my coming out. This weekend delivered a grand fucking mashup of emotions in a variety so disjointed it puts Cubist art to shame.
Let’s start with Saturday night: the date I wasn’t all that excited about. It really had very little to do with the girl – she made my heart flutter the first time she responded to my message on Tinder – it was just the fucktastic hole of depression I’d sunk into that had blinded me from anything else. (I’m terrified of the moment she finds out this is part of who I am…don’t even get me started.)
I decided to drive that night because the neighborhood of choice was not easily accessible by my beloved 22 bus, and taking an Uber would have been a tad bit of an unjustified expense. (SPOILER ALERT) In the end, I was glad I drove.
My date (let’s call her Sofia) was absolutely head-to-toe, radiantly, genuinely adorable. She’s 5’2” (Sara Quin’s height, don’t judge me for noticing) and moved to the U.S. two years ago from Mexico. For those two years, her English is admirable – far better than my Spanish would likely be in reverse circumstances – and she possesses a sense of honesty that’s refreshing. One day last week, she freaked out and texted me that she had to tell me something: she dates both men and women. I laughed and told her that I also had a confession: I’ve never had a girlfriend before, and this whole dating women thing is still less than a year old for me. If she’s OK with my lack of experience, I’m OK with her diversity of experience. She was relieved, and we bonded before even meeting. She’s just, well, sweet.
So we had our first date. It started with dinner at 7 pm – we couldn’t figure out what to order because we were too busy looking at each other and smiling shyly over our menus – and then we walked down a block to get donuts for dessert. It was colder than I prefer outside. But the damn cold was my friend, because all of a sudden the beautiful girl next to me was holding my hand. I was so surprised a silent squeal made its way to the base of my throat and hovered. There’s something gloriously free about walking down the street holding hands with a pretty girl, smiling like an idiot, not caring what the people think. (I did feel like we got some stares. But that was probably also because we were both smitten and tripping over our own feet.)
After the donut shop, we camped out in a bar with ambiance (a very cute ambiance during the evening, but a very bitch-slappingly drunk ambiance beginning around 11 pm, when the straight girls start making out with each other and the guys start Snapchatting themselves dancing with bottles of beer) for approximately 4 hours – yes, you heard me right. I did not get home until 2:30 Sunday morning. This was a SEVEN-HOUR FIRST DATE. You know what that means.
She was so easy to talk to. This is how the seven hours passed; they slipped through our fingers like water. We were racing to finish our mojitos – we’d decided earlier in the week that our first date should involve a race of some kind, and the winner gets a kiss – when she put her face close to mine, just enough that I could feel her breath on my skin, and said, “I really like you.” It was enough to make my bite my lip imagining her lips on mine.
I quickly finished the mojito and slapped the glass down on the table. “Done.”
She gasped. “You must have cheated.”
“I didn’t. I won.” I glanced at her flirtatiously. Then the room spun. I told her so.
“We’re waiting until you’re completely, 100% sober before I let you drive home,” she said.
“Fine,” I replied, and we sat there until I was well past sober.
“Do you want a ride to the train station?” I asked her, finally, when the night was winding down.
She looked down the street. “I mean, it’s just right there – “ She caught my eye, and amended her decision – “Okay.”
We got into my car. We sat there for a moment. I wanted to be a baller, say something romantic, kiss her. My heart dropped to my toes and I heard a sound like the ocean in my ears. I couldn’t.
I went to put on my seat belt.
“Wait!” she exclaimed.
“I have to do this, or I’ll regret it.” She leaned over and suddenly her mouth was on mine, and the way she moved her lips made my brain fly out of my head and into the night sky, and simultaneously melt into soup. If they gave doctorate degrees in kissing, this girl would have one. It felt like all of the kisses in my life were lined up and revealed to be ugly little stick-figures of kisses compared to this one. It’s said among lesbians that “kissing a girl is 100% different from kissing a guy.” They’re right. It was fucking magical.
It was magical for about 2 seconds, until a truck came roaring around the corner and we were blinded by headlights. We stopped kissing, laughed our asses off, and resumed kissing. 10 minutes later we decided we should probably get to the train station, because it was almost 2 am.
I was double-parked on a busy street in front of the train station, but still she was kissing me, even though cars were honking at me to move and people were staring for real now. It was amazing. I haven’t felt so alive in months.
We’re doing a second date soon – possibly tomorrow. I feel like I can be myself around her. And I feel like it’s going somewhere.
Sunday morning (OK, it was noon, you got me) I woke up feeling different. Something had changed. What was it? Oh yeah, I remembered, and a giddiness came giggling out of me.
I went shopping – I need clothes for the next date – and amidst a fury of adorable texts from Sofia, I noticed an email from my mom. It said something about dates for a sibling hangout in Chicago, so I opened it immediately.
AND THEN THE BOMB DROPPED.
About a week ago, I asked her when my brother Liam gets out of school for the summer. I’m scheduling the rest of my days off till June, I told her, and I’d like to finally have the chance to spend a few days with him, just the two of us. I had lots of ideas: we could go shopping downtown, visit all the technology stores he’s been wanting to see, go to the beach, eat junk food, watch HGTV on my giant-ass TV, just hang out like we used to.
I didn’t explain all those ideas, but perhaps I should have, because based on my mom’s email I feel like what she thinks to be my list is as follows: get 15-year-old brother drunk, bring Liam to a gay club, send him home with a guy, have a huge homo party in my home and fuck a girl in front of him.
Her response to “May I have my brother over for a few days? I’ll pay for his food, pick him up and drop him off” is as follows (edited down to save space):
“I’ve been thinking about your offer to show Liam around Chicago. I’m sure he would love it. What days were you thinking about?
As parents we were responsible for everything we allowed you to do when you were still under our care. We are currently responsible for Liam. One day we will stand before God and be held accountable for how we raised our children. It says in Luke 17:2: It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. We are NOT perfect parents. We are just trying to do our best. With that we have a few requests/comments.
First of all, we would request that you do not drink alcohol while he is with you.
Second, put away any gay magazines, books, etc. and please do not discuss this issue with him.
Third, we do not have a lot of money, so we are not able to send him with much.
Fourth, we would like it to be just you and Liam and not anyone else that he does not know. If your aunt and uncle, or Mark (editor’s note: the self-same boyfriend with whom I was living in sin just over one year ago, and she wouldn’t let him visit us when we lived together) come along, that’s fine. He knows them.
Fifth, I would like to know what your plans are each day. Keep in touch. Maybe take some selfies and send them.
I hope you will not be offended by these requests/comments. We love you both so very much and want this to be a wonderful time together. It’s very sweet of you to spend some vacation days with your little brother.”
I might as well have been slapped in the face by my own mother in the middle of the store. Note to self: don’t EVER read emails from your mom in public anymore. You never know what delightful horseshit they may contain.
It’s possible I may be overreacting, but WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.
No alcohol? FUCKING OBVIOUSLY, HE’S 15.
I have to put away my gay items?! What exactly does this include? I don’t have a whole lot. I suppose my Tegan and Sara merch is out of the question! EVEN THOUGH WE LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC IN THE CAR TOGETHER AND HAVE BEEN ALL FUCKING YEAR.
I have to “not discuss” my being gay with Liam? News flash: I’m already out to him. Once you’re out, you’re out. I’m not going to pretend to be straight to protect their comfort level.
And I have to send her my plans for each day, and send selfies to prove it because otherwise, you never know what sort of buttfucking might be going on around here.
And who is this “we” she refers to? Because I’m 99% sure my dad had absolutely nothing to do with this email, in fact if I had a relationship with him, I’d consider forwarding it to him and asking if he agreed.
And on top of it all, I’m not allowed to be offended by any of this.
FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.
The whole thing was pretty much a list of ways in which I’m a failure of a daughter and a person, ways in which she doesn’t want Liam to grow up to be like me (there was more, but I don’t feel like getting into it here, not yet). We return to a basic question: does she think “gay” is contagious? That by spending time with me outside the realm of her absolute mind-control he will suddenly become attracted to men? Or, worse, he might grow up to be open-minded… When “liberal” is the worst thing your kid can grow up to be, you know you’ve got issues. It was then that her absolute homophobia struck me. She’s literally afraid of my gayness. The idea of me not enjoying being rammed with a dick makes her so uncomfortable that she’s willing to put our relationship on the line for the sake of it.
The idea too that she can do “damage control” on Liam’s future, “save” him from turning out like me by controlling his environment through censorship and essentially controlling his mind is getting more and more tiresome – and slightly creepy. She wants to control what we talk about, label certain issues “taboo” because I have different opinions from her on the matter. She performs random inspections of his phone (he outsmarts her and hides all the apps) because she’s absolutely paranoid that he’s watching porn or being solicited by male sexual predators, or, you know, viewing the word “shit.”
Side note: I’m not advocating a childhood sans rules or technological restrictions whatsoever, but you’d have to meet my mom to see what I mean. When I was a teenager I wasn’t allowed to talk to a new friend because he was Catholic and not Evangelical Free and therefore his views were different from theirs. I was only allowed to listen to Christian music, only allowed to hang out with Christians, only allowed to read books approved by her.
That was a long rabbit trail…
Anyway, I’d like to tell her that I’m incredibly insulted, that until she’s ready to acccept me for who I am, get educated and acknowledge that gay irresponsible perv, then I don’t need to be part of her life. I’m done bending over backwards to visit all the time. I’m done taking her shit.
I don’t want to lose Liam, though. I haven’t said a word to her since Sunday – just deleted every one of her texts. This morning she accused me of having stopped loving her, to which I also have not responded. She should fucking know better.
I’ve been attempting to balance these feelings from hell with the euphoria of meeting Sofia for the past few days, and it’s been really, really weird.
Final note: Sunday night, I texted Sofia about the email, just to let her know why I wasn’t responding right away, apologized if I was telling her way too much after only one date. She was incredibly sweet and supportive about it – “Are you OK? You can call me and talk if you need to, I’m here for you.”
I’m trying not to get in over my head, but I think I might have found myself a keeper.