When I was 17, I started dating a guy who had just turned 25.
I know, I know, but stick with me.
We first saw each other from across a coffee shop in a disgustingly adorable Zach Braf movie kinda way. We spent hours chatting about books and politics and art. What we did not discuss was each other’s age. I introduced myself as a freshman in college, and he assumed I was about 19. I knew he was out of school, and I assumed he was about 22. We were both quite smitten before we discovered our respective fallacies, so by that point it didn’t phase either of us.
I didn’t think my mother would feel quite as unphased.
See, a few years prior I had been 13 dating a fella who was 18, as you might recall from a 3 Things episode. Again, I know. Sorry. So since she had been less than accepting of the age difference in that instance, I assumed the same judgment would be applied to this situation. And once again, I entered into a “secret” relationship. When he and I would go out, I would advise her that I was going out with my friend Brandy. I would spend holidays “with Brandy.” Entire weekends “with Brandy.”
After a few months spending all my free time “with Brandy,” my mom reached the conclusion that I was actually WITH Brandy.
My assumption of my mom’s perception of my relationship with Brandy:
My mom’s perception of my relationship with Brandy:
See, my mom is a very loving, compassionate and accepting person – but homosexuality falls outside of the bounds of her religious beliefs. So when she “discovered” that her own daughter was “in a gay relationship,” she wasn’t sure how to address it.
But I didn’t know that this internal struggle was going on inside my poor mom’s mind for a while. I was too busy “spending time with Brandy” to pay attention. One day, I went into my mom’s room to borrow some perfume and spotted a book under her bedside table with a title along the lines of “I’m Gay!’ What To Do When Your Child Comes Out – A Guide for Christians.”
At this point, it still hadn’t occurred to me what my mom was thinking. I knew I was in a heterosexual relationship, and so was my sister, so I found this to be an odd choice for a bit of light reading. It wasn’t until I flipped open the book and discovered passages highlighted and notes scribbled in the margin – notes with MY NAME – that it clicked.
I’m a lesbian!
Well, my mom thinks so, anyway.
From what I gathered from the notes, my mom was beginning to make peace with her gay daughter. I figured before she started hanging the rainbow flags around the house, I should clarify the issue. When she came home from work that evening, I told her we needed to have a talk. I saw the panic rise in her eyes – she was clearly not prepared for my coming out. I started laughing. A lot. The situation was pretty hilarious from my end, after all. She, however, was not amused. But before she could speak, I headed her off:
“Mom, there’s someone I want you to meet.”
As she had known Brandy for 4 years, I was obviously not trying to tell her what she thought I was, so, confused, she accepted the dinner invitation.
The three of us had a lovely dinner, and she was surprisingly accepting of the age difference.
Moral of the story: Sometimes, your parents will be pleased to discover you’re dating a dick.
Love you too, Miss Mary.