The Dumb Shit People Say

A few days ago I had a very very stupid conversation. So stupid that I was almost speechless. In honour of yesterday’s International Day to End Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, I thought I’d share. Because when people are still this dumb, and say shit this stupid, you have actual evidence that there is still latent (and blatant) homophobia going on. In this case, heterosexism reigns supreme.

So, this happened:

Him: “It must be my lucky day… I’ve seen you three times today!”
Me: “Well, it’s Friday the Thirteenth, so … I guess that’s good.”
Him: “If I hadn’t seen you today again, I’d have to go home and cry…”
Me: “Um… I guess I’ll have to tell my wife”
Him: ” You mean your husband”
Me: (incredulous look) No. I mean my wife”
Him: “What?”
Me: “I’m gay. I mean my wife”
Him: “Oh, that must be why you don’t have any kids”
Me: “No. That isn’t why. I will have kids. I just don’t have any yet.”
Him: “Well you don’t look… I mean..”
Me: “Why would I?”

Also… you don’t KNOW me.

He tried to save the whole thing by saying “You have a parade coming up next month”

Advertisements

It’s hard For Them, Too. (Re-post))

Thank you to my sweet friend who posted this article. Originally found here.

————–

It had been a long night and I was so close to being on the other side of it. Then halfway through the last verse of the last bedtime song, you lifted your head up. “Wawa?” you asked. I took a cursory glance around the room, knowing I wasn’t going to see a sippy cup. “There’s no water up here. You’re fine.” “Wawa?” “Honey, no.” “Wawa!” More insistent this time. And my anger flashed to the surface, fast and red and hot and fiery. A quick intake of breath. My body stiffened, my teeth clenched. And of course you felt it. Despite my quickly stifling it, you felt it as clearly as I did and you melted into me. Your tiny body shook with sobs because the person you love most in the world, the person who you depend on for everything you need, turned momentarily monstrous because you wanted water. Because you were thirsty before going to bed and you have no autonomy with which to resolve your problems.

Imagine living life with that kind of lack of control. We talk a lot about how hard it is to be a mom, and with good reason — this gig is anything but easy. But the second week of April is “The Week of the Young Child,” and in its honor I’d like to acknowledge how hard it is to be a small child.

As a therapist, I often try to imagine what life is like for young children. If I want to find a solution to difficult behavior, I first have to try to understand it. And each time I put myself in the shoes of a young child I come to the same conclusion: Not a single one of us adults could cope with the things they have to cope with.

For starters, think about being told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it — endlessly. Eat this thing that you’ve never seen before. Don’t make a rude face (what does rude mean?). It’s time to go somewhere you don’t want to go, and hurry, hurry, hurry to meet an arbitrary timeline that means nothing to you.

Imagine failing as much as a young child does. Not being able to make your hands move the right way to cut the paper, stumbling as you run across the lawn, spilling the milk you so desperately wanted to pour (and here I am, exasperated with him again).

Another bedtime example:

“Dad, tell me how the guy got up there.” “He climbed.” “NO, tell me how he got up there?” Over and over again, our son becomes more and more frustrated until I realize he meant to say, “ASK me how he got up there?”

One wrong word changing the whole sentence and causing all that frustration. Imagine constantly failing to effectively communicate with the people in your life. Day after day, struggling to find the right word, saying one thing when you mean another, mispronouncing words so much that nobody knows what you’re saying. And then having people get frustrated with YOU, lose patience with YOU.

One of my favorite books to read with the kids is “Everywhere Babies.” The last page reads, “Everyday everywhere babies are loved. For trying so hard, for traveling so far, for being so wonderful, just as they are.” I tear up almost every time I read it because it’s so true. In spite of it all, they try and they try and they try again. They greet their days with smiles, enthusiasm, and excitement. They forgive our mistakes, our flashes of fiery, unfair anger. They meet our impatience with patience (at least sometimes), they laugh and live and love with reckless abandon.

So when they push us to the edge of our limits, let’s try to remember that we’re doing the same thing to them.

Happy “Week of the Young Child”!

The Sit Down

I’m about to go sit down, face to face, with the woman who broke my wife’s heart. I’m dreading it. I play and replay conversations that might spill out of us (me mostly) and have tried to anticipate how I can displace so much rage, hurt and resentment, towards a person who has caused such a deep rift of pain in the person I share my life with; I struggle to imagine how a conversation can move forward –

when I haven’t.

I’ve learned about myself, by the age of 34, that one of the things I need most is closure and forgiveness. I have trouble with this when no reparation has been made. I welcome forgiveness, but (for me) it seems contingent upon an opening up, the vulnerability of admitting a hurt or error. Without this acknowledgement, like my own father, I hold deep and fierce anger. It scares me sometimes.

What will I say to the woman who has flown half way round the world, to (again) help my sister-in-law with the arrival, celebration and care of her third child… who deliberately left the country 2 days before our wedding?  Who had a dress purchased for her, who we reached out to, turned cheek after cheek to welcome, to understand and to patiently make allowances for? How can I look at this woman who left days before my wedding, never taking the time to give me a chance, to witness the love we have for each other, but most significantly, who cast her long shadow of grief and rejection over my wife on our wedding day? It took a year to get past it, somewhat. But never having heard from her (two years later) that she is actually sorry makes it hard to imagine how small talk today won’t feel like salt.

Any advice, from myself, or from the universe, still seems like piss in the wind; it’s going to feel terrible, and I can already see it coming. I’m not good at faking. Not long term. How will I make it through this freak show of awkwardness? Sitting across from someone you want to shred down both sides, or at least offer a thesis of reason and educative observation?  She is always so stoic in her victimhood that she can’t see she is our Maleficent.

God. I’m not looking forward to this.