My Weekend 3.26 and 3.27

I drove down to my Grandparent’s house last night. (After running into my exes mom at the grocery store, I’m glad I had the 3 hours of driving to get my head on straight again.) I jammed out to Jesse McCartney the whole way here. I sang along to every single song on the cd. No shame.

My Grandma and I ate pizza, watched The Princess Diaries (one of my favorite Disney movies), and watched reruns of Full House. I refused to go to bed until I got to see my Grandpa. So, I practically tackled him when he came through the door from bowling. We had a nice conversation about life, and the way that things are supposed to be.

I have an absolutely insane amount of homework. I have to write my second paper on my internship, and what I’ve been learning. I have extra credit to do for Cross Cultural Psych that I’m really hoping won’t take me very long. Oh, and I have to write a book report on The Color Of Water by James McBride. Those are just the things that I can think of off the top of my head. I know I have things to do in all 5 classes.

Not to mention I have to respond to all of my amazing pen pals.

I’m really hoping that it’ll rain a little bit down here, because I love watching it storm, and being able to hear the frogs out at the pond. But, my favorite part is watching the storm clouds roll in over the open fields.

Okay, Grandparents, Parents, all of ya'll...

When your kid comes out to you, don’t say you’re going to pray that they come to their senses.

Don’t say “If God wanted man to be with man, they would be able to reproduce!”

Don’t make them stay in the closet if they don’t want to be in the closet.

Don’t force them out of the closet if they don’t want to be forced out of the closet.

Don’t tell them you accept them but turn your back to complain about how difficult it is for YOU.

Don’t use this to define them.

Don’t see yourself as a saint for still loving them.

Don’t say they’re going against God.

Don’t take the fact that you accepted them & hold it against them.

If you still love them & will accept them, that’s great. It’s amazing. But don’t make them feel like it’s a bad thing.

Don’t forget that this is difficult for them too.

"So my mum outed me as gay to my 93 year old conservative grandfather. She did it because my Pop was ranting about gay marriage was a sin and she used me as an example of why it isn't. I found out my mum also outed me to my Nan who's fine with it. Am I wrong in feeling upset about this? I'm not sure what I should feel or do about my Mum outing me, help please?"

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says: 

Agh, this is hard. First, I want you to know your feelings are completely valid. I would be totally bummed if / SLASH WAS totally bummed when my mom outed me to my family. It isn’t cool, it’s a direct disrespect of your privacy, and you have every right to be angry. 

I do want to take a step back and remind you that people fuck up. All the time. Not only do people fuck up, but moms fuck up. It took a while for me to realize that parents are just people. I expected soooo much from my parents because they’re my parents, and they’re supposed to be invincible and nearly perfect! Turns out, they’re not. They aren’t perfect, and they do fuck up. Your mom is only human.

If I were you, I’d talk to her. Tell her that you don’t appreciate her telling your grandparents without talking to you. I know, I know, it was in the middle of a heated convo and it probably just slipped out. Forgive her for that, but ask her to be more careful in the future. At this juncture, she probably doesn’t realize how much this affects you. She probably thinks you were going to eventually come out anyway, so she’ll spare you the agony, right? She meant well, or at least hopefully meant well, and it’s about forgiveness and moving forward. The moving forward part includes her being more respectful of you, your privacy, and your identity. So talk to her, ask for the things you need and allow her to ask questions. The two of you will totally work it out, promise. 

Kristin Says:

The thing that I keep thinking about while reading your query, Anonymous, is the feeling of fury and hurt that must have risen up in your mom’s middle when she heard her father saying something hurtful about her child.

It’s something I can’t imagine clearly, not being a mother myself - something that you probably can’t imagine, either - but based on how I feel if someone says something about my own identity, or how I feel if someone speaks against my sister or my wife, I know it’s gut-wrenching… and I know we don’t always work on our best judgement in the face of that fury.

That doesn’t excuse your mom, but I feel like it is an important thing to think about before you talk to her (you should absolutely talk to her). She didn’t tell them ‘just because,’ she told them because she was like FUCK YOU MY KID IS MY KID AND I LOVE HER AND NOW HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU BIG JERK?! In the moment, I am certain, she only thought of coming to your side, supporting you, and letting them know that she does and will always love and support the person you are.

So. You should absolutely follow Dannielle’s advice and talk to her about how being outed made you feel, and how you want to be able to talk to her in the future about who knows, and how they are told. If you can, tell her that you know she was just trying to protect you, but that it is important for her not to make any snap decisions right now, until you are comfortable being out more publicly… and especially when it comes to family members who are close to you.

You have every right to feel upset.

Luckily we are human beings who can carry a whole boatload of different emotions at once, so your mom will understand that your hurt isn’t the only feeling that you are carrying, and you can understand that disrespecting your process wasn’t at the core of her actions.



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“Write about something it took you a while to believe in.”
I didn’t think I could ever fall in love. I had dated three boys and watch my parents marriage fall apart. I watched my grandparents bicker and yell at each other, wondering why one of them didn’t just leave.
One day I spent the day with my grandfather, and my grandma had a doctors appointment. Every five minutes my grandfather would check the clock and say
“it won’t be long now, she’ll be home soon.”
I guess they need each other more than they love each other.

“Write about growing up”
My grandparents grew up together, they met when they were 14 in a choir, and they started dating when they were 15. They had their first child a year later, and were married by 19.

“Write about something someone said that still holds significance.”
I went to church when I was younger. My father was a Christian, so I grew up learning about the bible. During bible camp when I was 13, we watched this spoken word of a women, I can’t remember who she was but she said something that didn’t make sense to me when I was 13.
“To be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known”
I didn’t think it was true then. I didn’t know much about love back then but I knew it was deeper than just knowing someone. And I asked my camp directer if you could simply know someone and not love them.
He didn’t give me an explanation that I remember, he just told me it wasn’t possible.
So maybe that’s why my grandparents are still together, they know each other. They’ve known each other since they were 14 

—  Now at eighty-something, they know each other better than they know themselves R.L.
The Piano

My grandmother had learnt to play the piano as a girl, taught by a young ministers wife who was insightful enough to understand how to feed the souls of small children. It left her with a passion for music and she would soak it up voraciously wherever she could find it.

When my grandparents got married my grandad had a job in the Steel Works. It wasn’t well paid and it didn’t leave a great deal of money in the house for luxuries. They certainly couldn’t afford a piano.

For twenty five years this must have played acutely on my grandads mind. He quietly planned throughout the twists and turns of their marriage and on the day of their silver wedding anniversary he bought her a piano. It was made from beautiful red mahogany and practically filled their small living room.

I grew up sitting at her feet, listening, then sitting on her lap as her love for me intertwined with my growing love of music. I can remember the excitement of 5 o’clocks. The smell of dinner cooking, the french polish of the piano, the oil of my grandads overalls. Every day when he arrived home from work she would play. For him. It always felt like a gift.

When he died, she didn’t play for over a year. Instead, she polished the keys daily. I remember the reverently soft circles of her fingers, the repetition bringing comfort of sorts.

Glaucoma stole her sight not long afterwards. She often stumbled in a darkening world, but she could find the keys with the comforting precision of familiarity.

I was seventeen when she passed away. My parents had the piano sold as if it was a piece of furniture; inventoried along with the dining table and kitchen dresser. They robbed it of love, and made it utilitarian. It was “cumbersome” and “impractical”.

I barely had the strength to forgive them.

Twenty five years of steady quiet effort, with his only aim to fulfil a dream and make her smile. Every evening afterwards, an impromptu concert, with her only aim to return that happiness.

The piano was always about more than music to me. It was my first experience of the tenacity of love.

So, I talked politics with my grandma earlier. My (moderately liberal) opinions on certain topics led her to believe (and accuse) that I’m a communist.
Like, it’s kind of sad that my grandparents actually buy into Fox News and watch it literally every day, but it’s funny as hell that they think I’m a communist like it’s a bad thing when I have my life together more than they did at my age.