Monday, December 24, 2007

La + Sensitive Situations = Tact

Cookie Day 2007 was here at last. I arrived with the kids at my mom's house, arms loaded with bags. As we were walking to the door, my 3 year old slipped and fell into the snow on the lawn. He wasn't wearing gloves, and the snow covered his pants. He was visibly upset and I, the over-protective mom that I am, was having a mini-crisis trying to get him in the door.

My brother Paul opened the door for me, and could see that I was struggling. I asked him to help by brushing the snow off the boy's pants. Instead, Paul decided that all my son needed was help getting his boots off his feet. Meanwhile, the snow was melting into his pants, surely soaking them through. This just frustrated me, since I was helpless with all the crap I was carrying.

"Paul, you're gay!" I loudly announced.

He didn't call me a name in reply, which was strange.

"Brush the snow off his pants, so they don't get wet," I demanded.

But Paul just said, "It's fine. Okay. Shh..."

Huh? "Well, if you'd just finally admit that you're gay, things would work out best for us all," I finished up my previous jab at the brother who spent his youth torturing me.

He was bending over in front of me, as if to pick something up. He looked up at me and whispered quite sternly, "Shh! [Mom's gay friend] and his partner are in the other room!"

"You're lying...!" I said, for that was highly improbable. But even as I said it, I looked over Paul's shoulder and sure enough, there was [Mom's gay friend]. How many times had I gone to my mom's house and he had NOT been there? Oh, every time. How many times had I gone to my mom's house and NOT yelled prejudice slurs at my brother? Oh, never before. But this day, the one where I decided to use sexual preference as an insult, there [mom's gay friend] was.

I laughed at my stupidity to the point of tears, but the tears weren't only from laughter. I was embarrassed. I felt totally shamed. His partner had never met our family before, so I can only wonder what he might have thought.

I apologized to [mom's friend] as he and his partner left, but I'm not sure he even knew what I was apologizing for. I can only hope he chalks it up to our family having loud and quick mouths.

*sigh* What will I do next?

Happy Holidays, friends! Hope it's a season full of love for you all!

1 comment:

Eight Hour Lunch said...

Funny! You know I've been away too long. I guess it just took extended time off for me too realize that. Hope you had a happy Xmas. :)