Pump Your Brakes Sister
Let’s “keep it real” here. Sometimes, no matter how cool and open-minded you think you are, you come across a situation that just catches you off-guard or dishevels you a bit. It’s natural. What’s not natural – well, not for an open-minded person - is to take that awkward experience and turn it into an uncomfortable experience; an experience that forces me to pull your card and tear you a new one. Yesterday, after T and I rode into work together, we were exiting the train station when we ran into two girlfriends of mine (older ladies) and a friend of theirs. Patti, Carol and Julia were all smiles and kisses as T and I joined them and said hello. Patti, who I’ve known longer than Carol, immediately asked why she hadn’t heard from me all weekend and turned to T and said, “You must be the reason he hasn’t come up for air.” I was a bit unnerved by her comment, but took this cue as a firm assertion that everyone present was aware of what was up with T and I and that I was free to speak about anything. “I’m sorry Patti, but T and I were busy trying to make babies all weekend,” I responded. Patti, Carol and Julia all laughed and T and I held hands his head leaning lovingly on my shoulder. We chatted a while longer before T and I announced we were rushing off to work. A few steps from the ladies, T and I turned to each other and gave each other the cursory farewell peck shared by many couples. It was then that we both heard Julia bellowing, “Oh my God! Oh my God!!” Rather than turn to see what she was referring to – I’m not a rocket scientist, but I suspect she was flabbergasted that T and I shared any affection in Grand Central Station – both T and I walked our separate ways. Later, T phoned me to mention the incident and said, “I’m curious to hear what your friend has to say when you see her tomorrow morning, since I thought she was open-minded.” I told him I’d definitely check it out. Well, this morning Pattie, Carol and Julia were again perched at their ledge at the Grand Central exit when I came strolling through. Patti, pulled my arm and immediately said, “You are so crazy. Why did you disrespect Julia like that yesterday?” I was taken aback, but was more interested in clarifying what “disrespect” she was referring to. “Patti, what was your friend Julia so offended by?” I asked irritated by the whole scene. Patti attempted to lower her voice – to give you a visual, Julia was sitting two seats away from her on the same bench – and said, “Uh, when you mentioned you spent your weekend trying to make babies, Julia was offended. She is old school and you can see how she wouldn’t take to that kind of stuff,” Patti tried to explain. I felt the blood rush to my face and responded before I could even reflect on my words, “Look ladies,” I said, turning to all three of them, “This is 2005, so if you get offended or feel disrespected because two people are showing affection, then that’s your hang-up, but in the future, don’t call us over and taunt us to provide you with some comic relief and entertainment, if you don’t know what the outcome will be. More importantly, I’m not ashamed, of who I am or who I’m with, so if you felt disrespected Julia, maybe you should stay home and away from the public areas that may remind you that this isn’t 1922 anymore.” Patti, Carol and Julia now sat, mouth agape, looking like I had slapped them all to the floor and was allowing them to get back up. I then smiled and made a brief attempt at leaving them with some way at regaining their composure when I said, “…and the next time you guys bring up some ignorant discussion to me first thing in the morning, I’m going to tear up your wedding invitations. T and I just won’t tolerate ignorance from the geriatric crew.” They all laughed heartily and I took the reprieve to wave and walk away. I called T and recounted the story to him and we both laughed. Just before we hung up he said, “Baby, I know you’re laughing, but I also know they upset you. Thanks for being proud of me and standing up for us. You have no idea how many cool points I’ve added to your sheet for this.” I smiled and felt a slight frog in my throat when I responded, “Add them, subtract them, but know that in the end, no band of cackling fools will divide us. Have a great day baby.” He blew a kiss, we both sighed and hung up.
Appropriate behavior is important in ANY relationship. Necking in church, hand-holding at work, groping in public, are all forms on inappropriate behavior. Is there a different set of rules for straight and gay couples OR is the rule of acceptable and appropriate behavior universal?
Keep passin’ the open windows…