Homo Nurse with the Mostess
I am 29 years old, young enough to eat pretty much whatever I want, but too old to officially fuck up (like get arrested for Coke possession or wear white after Labor Day). I don’t feel particularly old nor young, I feel like I’m 29 years old.
Last week I had my first encounter with the realities of my age. I had a voicemail from my father, “I’m with your mother, she’s about to go into surgery, talk to you later.” Okay now, let’s address a couple things. This surgery was not expected, so you can imagine my shock of not only the news, but also the delivery of the news. Notice there was no real explanation of what the surgery was for, what her current state is like, or any real sign of a good or bad outcome, just a direct sentence delivered in a dry voice. And then the, “…talk to you later,” as if perhaps we’ll meet up for milkshakes. Now I understand women’s complaints about men, because only a straight man would leave a voicemail like that. The dramatic homosexual in me required details and emotion, perhaps peppered with a light use of sentimental humor.
After what seemed like forever, I finally got a hold of one of my siblings to get an explanation. She was doing alright, but it looked like a long hospital stay and a longer recovery. I made arrangements to get home as soon as possible.
There’s nothing like news of a parent falling ill to force you to consider the day that they will no longer be here. I’m only afraid of three things: 1) dying in an airplane; 2) a world without Fresca; and 3) losing my mother. I know it’s going to happen someday, but that doesn’t mean I have to be okay with it. I feel the same way about the new Facebook.
I don’t want to play the, “My Mom is more special than yours” game, but she is. A gay boys relationship with his mother is one of the most sacred things in the homo’s life, followed by name brand lubrication and alcohol. For most us, at some point, we’re the “sissy” or the outcast in someway. But not to our mother’s. To them we were their “special little boy,” acknowledging that yes, we were different, but that difference only made us better.
It was that acknowledgement that gave me the confidence to later be comfortable with myself and my sexual orientation. She would say things like, “When you boys grow up and have children, or,” looking at me, “adopt.” It was this acceptance that made me aware of my difference, but not in derogatory way. I was going to do something greater then the conventional, and this inspired me to take a chance and do what I love: comedy.
There’s a joke I heard once, for mother’s, there’s nothing greater than having a gay son once the mom gets old, because we’ll ensure they are properly lit and look presentable. It speaks to a stereotype I loathe, but after last week with my mother, I realize it’s true. My mother tried to describe to my father what a pashmina is, but the closest he got was thinking she wanted to wear an animal. I was able to do the things the straight men in my family were uncomfortable doing, domestic things. And even though normally this separation of domestic roles would bother me, somehow I found comfort in being the homo Nurse with the mostess. And I knew it made my mother happy too.
She’s getting better, slowly, and for this I’m grateful. Now that I am a little bit older, I realize that the thing that she implied made me special as a kid, actually turns out to have made me possess one of the most conventional of all traits: nurturing caretaker.