Friday, July 23, 2004

It could happen to you - The Introduction to Family

Disclaimer:  If you haven't read Part One or Part Two yet, you may want to do that first.  Otherwise, you are not going to get the whole effect of how it's really hard to write without pronouns... 

A year had gone by.  Jack and Jon were graduating and were nervous about the fact that both sets of parents were going to visit at the same time for the first time.  Jack and Jon had spent a lot of time discussing this moment and had decided that this was the perfect moment to inform their parents of the truth - Jack and Jon weren't just roommates, they were lovers. 

Jon was extremely nervous.  Jack relaxed on the couch, watching as Jon paced back and forth in the apartment, adjusting a lampshade, dusting the coffee table for the 12th time, fluffing their cat's fur... "Jon, settle down.  It's going to be okay."

"You don't know that.  You don't know how my parents are going to react to the news...your parents hate me."

"No, they don't.  Dad told me how much he likes you.  Relax.  Come on, sit down.  What's the worst that could happen?"

"Well, they could storm out of here and never speak to us again..."

"And if that happens, we'll deal with it.  I really don't think that either of our parents are going to disown us.  They might be upset but they love us.  I'm sure that they'll be accepting."

"You're right.  It'll be fine," Jon said, finally taking Jack's hand and sitting on the couch.  Then, the doorbell rang.  "Oh, my God, they're here!"  Jon ran to the door and pulled it open.

"There's my baby!"  Jon's mother, Dorothy, cried, rushing in the door to embrace her child.  "I've missed you so much!"  She turned to Jack.  "Hello, Jack, how are you doing?"

"I'm good, ma'am.  It's a pleasure to see you again."  Jack rose from the couch to shake Dorothy's hand.  "Did you need me to see to your luggage?" 

"Oh, no.  Andy's just parking the car and will bring it up.  Will we finally be meeting your parents today, Jack?"

"Yes, they should be here momentarily."  There was a knock on the door and Jon answered, ushering in another woman and two men.  "Let's do the introductions.  Andy and Dorothy, these are my parents.  Larry and Jamie."  The two sets of parents exchanged greetings, glad to finally meet.  "Jon, is dinner ready?"

"Yes, Jack.  Let's go into the dining room and eat.  And then Jack and I have something we want to tell you."

After dinner, Jon stood up and turned to Andy and Dorothy.  "There is something I have been hiding from you and I've decided that it's not fair to you to continue lying.  I hope that you can forgive me for not including you in what has been a major decision in my life."

"What is it, baby?" Dorothy asked, clutching Andy's hand.  "Are you okay?  Is there something wrong?"

"Yes, Jon, you know you can tell us anything," Andy said.  "We love you and will stand by you, no matter what."  Jon smiled at them and turned to Jack.

"I also have to confess something," Jack said. "I've also been living a lie and feel that it's time to come forward and hope that you'll be accepting."

Larry leaned forward. "You're my kid, Jack.  I love you and I'm always going to be there for you.  Nothing you could tell me would make me stop loving you."  Jamie echoed Larry's sentiment.

Jack and Jon stood in the middle of the room.  Jack took Jon's hand.  "Okay, here goes.  Pop, Dad, I'm in love with Jon."

Jon smiled at Jack. "Mom, Mumsy, I'm in love with Jack."  Dorothy burst into tears and Andy leaned over to console her.  "Oh, Mumsy, it's okay.  Please don't cry."

Andy looked up.  "Jonna, I don't know what to say.  I never expected this from you.  What happened to Sandy?  I thought you were still together."

"I know you did, Mom," Jon said.  "But Sandy and I weren't right for each other.  I realized that when I met Jack.  Will you accept our relationship?" 

Meanwhile, Larry and Jamie were talking to Jack. "I don't understand, Jack.  What about Alex?  I thought you were serious about each other?" Larry asked.

"I'm sorry, Dad.  Alex and I broke up over a year ago.  I was just afraid to tell you.  I didn't think you'd understand," Jack replied.

"Well, all I care about is your happiness, son," Jamie said, taking Jack's hand. "I just hope you realize how tough this decision is going to be for you."

Larry was still shook by his son's decision. "Jack, are you sure about this?  I know that people experiment when they're in college.  Hell, I even fooled around a few times."  He caught the look that his husband gave him.  "Jamie, I told you about that.  I was drunk.  It didn't mean anything.  Jack, really, have you thought this through?"

"I'm sorry, Dad.  I'm sure.  I love Jonna and I want to spend the rest of my life with her.  I just hope you can accept the fact that we're straight.  We know that it's going to be difficult and that a lot of people won't understand.  We know that we may never be able to legally get married or that our children won't be considered both of our children by the government.  But this is who we are.  And we're not going to change that just because society just doesn't understand that not everyone in this world is gay.  There are straight people in this world and eventually the government is going to have to start giving us equal rights."

"You're right, son.  I guess I just never thought about the laws before.  It never affected me before," Jamie said, pulling his son into a tight embrace. "Welcome to the family, Jonna."

Author's Note - About 12 years ago, I lived in Madison, Wisconsin, on the politically correct side of town (predominately gay) and saw a bumper sticker that read "When did you first learn you were straight?"  It always sat in the back of my head.  Lately, with the fight for gay rights, it's been on my mind a lot. 

The other thing that made me come up with this story is a conversation Beth and I had the other day when we discussed how our parents brought us can see Beth's thoughts on the subject on her blog (conveniently linked to the right) and I will post how my Dad creatively elected to make sure that I never grew up to be a bigot soon.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading this...even though it is so far from being the best thing I have ever written.  Did I mention how hard it is to write without pronouns?  And if you think my story is far-fetched, well, obviously you've never watched the Twilight Zone, Mork and Mindy and Finnegan's Rainbow.