The minute I hear the words, “it’s not because you’re…” I know it’s EXACTLY because I’m whatever they don’t like, be it gay, fat, short, 50, divorced, whatever.
“It’s not because you’re gay.” My mother said those words to me not long ago after asking if I could stay with my father for a few days while she went visiting. My father has a tendency to fall and getting up is quite difficult for him. Personally, I think he’s not falling so much as he is throwing himself over the steep edge of their property so my mother doesn’t catch him smoking.
Anyway, she asked if I could venture down to their place to take care of my dad while she’s gone and I said, “we’d love to.”
“Tam and I.”
That’s about the time the stammering began accompanied by a lot of hemming and hawing.
“I thought you’d be coming alone.”
“No. Tam and I can stay in the camp trailer. We’ll be fine.”
There was a long pause before my mother said, “ I’ll have to get back to you on this. I’m just not sure it’s a good idea for Tam to be down here with you. It’s not because you’re, um, you know, gay…”
Her excuse came a few days later when she called back and explained that she was afraid I’d be too busy paying attention to Tam than I would be to my father. While that made some sense to me, I was annoyed that she was treating me like an infatuated teenager, rather than her adult daughter. Her gay adult daughter.
I reminded her that there was no way she would have said anything of this nature to me if I was still married to my ex. But, the clincher was when I said, “Besides, there is no way I can lift Dad by myself if he throws himself over the edge of the property again. I’ll need help getting him back up to the house. If Tam and I can’t lift him, then one of us can go for help while the other stays with Dad.”
My logic. It was awesome.
But it also brings me to the latest issue of Nasty Neighbor. She never caused so much trouble when my ex was still there. Not that she was a stellar individual at that time. I mean, this is a woman who yelled at my boys when they were little. Why? Well, they left May baskets on her porch, and she came running out of her house yelling that there was a possum living under the quince bush in our side yard. Evidently, she was under the impression that my five and seven-year-old boys were in charge of landscaping the yard. Bitch never even thanked them for the flowers.
So, she’s never been terribly nice, nor has she made a good impression on most of the folks living around her. My parents owned the house where I’m currently living and Nasty Neighbor was there then, too. At one point, NN’s husband came out to talk to my mother and he apologized for his wife’s behavior, stating something like, “she’s going through the change, you know.”
But she never called the city on my ex and I, even though the yard looks pretty much the same as it does now. The difference is, I’m gay and she knows it. And it bothers her. Not enough to confront us directly, but rather by nasty notes left on our front door regarding the condition of our yard, then calling the city despite the fact that we’d been cleaning up “the mess” per her request.
Do I really believe it’s not because we’re gay?
Not for one damn minute.