Saturday, November 06, 2004
Sort of knew this wasn't going to go well
Maureen's parents are in town for the weekend, since they wanted to meet their daughter's roommates, see where she works, maybe meet this "Sam" she's been talking about. Of course, when they actually met Carter last night...
It's been sort of strange watching Mo build up to it this week, determined that it would not be a big deal. Sure, she hasn't actually told her parents she's dating a girl and has been hiding behind "Samantha"'s androgynous nickname, while from what she'd told us her parents aren't fundamentalists or anything, but they're kind of conservative. But, then, what can she do - expecting disapproval and disdain from your family is no way to live your life, so she just merrily went along, assuming that even if her parents were shocked or surprised, well, they're her parents, so they'd have to accept and keep loving her, right?
We certainly tried to put our best foot forward - Thursday after work was spent shopping for a nice dress for Carter, something which made her look a little older. Bad enough Mo was having sex out of wedlock, and with another woman, but there's no need for her to appear to be robbing the creadle, too. Carter was, as one might imagine, kind of mortified at all the time spent trying them on and getting a matching purse and footwear, but, give her credit, she saw how important this was to Maureen, and didn't complain too much.
Of course, I wasn't the one who had to drag her kicking and screaming to the beauty salon inside the hotel where Mo works. At least, I assume she was kicking and screaming - I can't imagine her going willingly. I did get to see the end result, though, when Doug and I met Maureen and her parents for dinner.
Carter was remarkably pretty. I mean, I knew she had good features and, especially after all her working out, was a nice, healthy-looking girl, but even when it was the original Samantha in that body, she wasn't exactly one to put on make-up or make herself look pretty. Well, okay, she did put on makeup, but it was the "let's look like a corpse" goth thing. Now, Carter'd had her nails and hair done, someone else had done her makeup, and in her floor-length dress she actually looked elegant. She was kind of moving carefully in her heels, but she'd been praciticing a little during the week and had the knack. She looked about as far away from the tall, dark and handsome Carter Drummond I met a year ago. Which bugged her, but I think she's finally accepting that the old Carter is dead and buried.
Maureen's folks had made reservations at a nice place, we ordered some wine, and got started. They actually seemed like pretty nice people. I know, I shouldn't have to keep writing that, but one gets this image of Christians being mean or intolerant in the head and it takes some effort to dislodge it, even when it's not the case. And it was going well, until Doug asked Carter to pass the breat, at which point Mrs. O'Herlihy made a comment that calling her "Sam" must get a little confusing, what with Maureen's boyfriend having the same name.
Maureen was great, despite being terrified. She just told her parents that she and "Sam" were together, that she was sorry for misleading them, but coming out wasn't exactly the sort of thing you did over the phone. She said that this was the real reason Mary had moved out in June.
As you imagine, that sort of struck her folks dumb. Mrs. O'Herlihy started to give Carter a nasty look, but Maureen saw that and said not to be mad at "Sam", because Maureen had been the one who initiated the relationship.
Mr. O'Herlihy wanted to know "how this was possible". Maureen tried to say it just happens, that she'd just been going through her life not realizing how little she was getting from her relationships, then after a couple drinks at one office party she'd started to really notice one of the other girls in the bathroom (even though I can't remember the incident, I'm glad she didn't name names) and wondered if, maybe, God had decided to make her different.
Mrs. O'Herlihy was aghast that Maureen would try to blame God for this, but I decided to step in and take a little heat off Mo, saying it's not a matter of "blame", but if you believe God has a plan, then you have to believe that who you're attracted to is part of it, whether it be men or women. This got me a "Listen, young lady, it says in the Bible..." from the father, with Doug jumping in to say that the part where it says that also says keeping slaves is okay so long as they're not from your village, and also says something about the sweet-and-sour pork he was eating.
But what about getting married, and children? Maureen pointed out that she had three siblings, so you'll have your fill of weddings and grandchildren, and besides, gay people could get married here, and there was adoption and sperm donors...
I think Maureen's father was about to raise his voice to respond to that, but Mrs. O'Herlihy put her hand on top of his and said that they were just surprised, was all. It was so unexpected and not something they were used to, and they'd need a little time to think about it.
I hope the thinking went well. Maureen was crying all night, while Carter was just... quiet. After Maureen finally went to sleep, I found Carter in the bathroom, looking at herself in the mirror, saying how she'd dolled herself up and now, ironically, Maureen's parents were upset because she wasn't a man. I said she should be used to irony by now, but she wasn't in the mood.
Still, it doesn't seem to have been a compelte failure. Maureen and Carter are going to some sort of show with Mo's parents tonight, so I guess she hasn't been disowned. I just hope that when Doug and I get back from the midnight movie, things aren't worse.
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