You know how sometimes you notice that your elbow is sore and you’re all “hmm, sore elbow, weird” and then you go to bed and can’t fall asleep because your elbow pain has metastasized and you now have only minutes to live, minutes which you must enjoy to the fullest by getting up and Googling the shit out of your elbow pain so that you can confirm what you already know: Death by Elbow.
That happened to me the other day.
Because 10 year old Young Ladrinka has been reading (yes! reading! my son who refused to read!) the Cirque du Freak series, which is obviously great news. And Peajaye is reading it too, because God knows he’s not going to be doing anything useful, like photographing Nicki.
I told Young Ladrinka that Peajaye is reading Cirque du Freak too and he was all REALLY? and WHAT PART IS HE ON? and I was all, I have no idea, I’m giving him the silent treatment because he is refusing to photograph Nicki and Young Ladrinka said that he wanted to call him to discuss the book and/or to berate him for not photographing Nicki. I think.
So I give Young Ladrinka Peajaye’s phone number and as he starts to dial, I decide that we should review Our Phone Manners. Although to be honest, I meant mostly his.
You know, you say hello, and you say your name and then say “may I please speak to Peajaye?” And Young Ladrinka is all, “I KNOW, MOM, I’M NOT AN IDIOT! Wait, why would I have to say can I speak to Peajaye? Won’t he pick up the phone?”
And then I have to explain that although I have both Peajaye’s cell and home numbers (and you can too! Just email me!) I don’t know which is which. The reason that I don’t know which is which is that I never identified which is which on my phone because the designations on my BlackBerry are “home” “office” and “mobile” and I’m not going to put “mobile” because I don’t support the British monarchy and this is how I’m going to make my political statement.
But I don’t tell Young Ladrinka all this because he’s young and innocent, so instead I tell him that he should ask for Peajaye because Michael may pick up and he says “who’s Michael?” And I explain that Michael is Peajaye’s partner and Young Ladrinka is all HUH? and then I see a light bulb emerging over his head, but unfortunately it’s a very dim light bulb and is flickering on and off a lot.
“Why does he live with his partner?” he asks and I tell him that partner is really boyfriend and now the electricity has come on and the bulb is starting to burn bright and he says “Peajaye is gay?” and because every moment is a teaching moment, I say “duh”.
And then, my baby, my pride and joy, the product of my liberal West Village, NYC parenting says, “Oh. I didn’t think you’d be friends with someone like that.”
Someone like that?
Didn’t think I’d be friends with?
Hello, affirmation that I’ve been doing something right!
“What do you mean?” I started to Homer-Bart choke him. “I have lots of gay friends! Tons! John is gay!”
“Yes! Huge gay! And your godmother is gay!”
“Why do you think she lives with a woman and they have two children?”
I let it go, and he talked to Peajaye.
But later that night, I couldn’t sleep.
I became alarmed.
What if something’s wrong with Young Ladrinka’s Gaydar? Could the pediatrician have missed it at the annual check up?
Is this something that can be taught? Are there specialists who can help him?
Is my parenting to blame?
Instead of welcoming homosexuals into our home as though they were regular people, should I be saying things like “thank you for taking time off from your Man on Man love sessions, please, come on in!”
Because what kind of a life is a Gaydarless one?
One year ago ...
- Ashes - 2009