Mama Talk : Matrimonial Bliss and Gay Sons

11 Dec

This afternoon, Mom and I had yet another heated argument at lunch time, on ethics and the sort.

I’m a strong libertarian and she, in spite of her modern outfits and the Chanel dark glasses that she’s so proud of at the moment, seems to remain conservative and orthodox Indian at heart.
It also turns out that I’m not the only one who holds the opinion that I have of my folks, as a couple. She let slip that another friend of my father’s (and our family’s accountant) that she herself is good friends with and spends a lot of time with (I call him her boyfriend), said in plain and simple words that though brilliant people in their own way, my mom and dad are the most imperfect match.

Maa is convinced that every marriage would be like theirs if the couple didn’t work towards keeping things sane between them. I argued that there has to be something to keep sane, and my parents never really had a good equation. There was never any compatibility in my folk’s case, and possibly never will be. I doubt either ever looked at the other as a good match. Neither of them married the other for money or any other purpose, but only because their match was made by the families.
Again, I maintain that I wouldn’t know a man as adorable, loving and good at heart as my dad, and a woman as independent, assertive and desirable as my mother (at least in her generation!). In fact, if Mom and Dad were to switch genders, they’d stand a chance as a couple (and I wonder why I’m gay!); but as they are, neither deserves to be with the other!

So how did a conversation come to this? To begin with, constant references to getting my sister married off, which my mom is extremely concerned about nowadays. And the endless suggestions being made by others, of suitable matches for my sister.
“She’s got a boyfriend, Maa,” I keep reminding her. Though she’s completely comfortable with the idea of the sister marrying a guy of her liking, she has a bad feeling about the boyfriend (even though she seemed to be on excellent terms with his parents when they met once in my sister&bf’s graduation ceremony. AND they message each other often.) The worst bit is that mom’s hunches are nearly always bang on target. But having met the guy, I find the two to be quite well suited, so that confuses me all the more. I suppose mom doesn’t like the idea of their wanting to wait, and not taking the plunge right now itself. I suppose it’s not all that bad an idea. The longer the sister waits, the longer mom defers looking for a match for me !!

Anyhow, with my liberal views on everything, I kept harping on the lack of necessity of marriage, of how it could wait, of how arranged marriages are a horrible idea; and even in case of arranged marriages, the vitality of compatibility assessment (aka dating) before entering into matrimony with the other. Moreover, I stressed on the importance of divorce. When she asked me for one couple that was, in my eyes, a successful match, I quoted a divorced couple, because the marriage had ended when the partners had wanted it to. She was scandalised when I said that in several cases, it was necessary for a person to go through several marriages in his/her lifetime. That if a marriage went sour in just 10 years, that was okay too. (After all, Javed Akhtar’s marriage to Shabana Azmi was not his first, but definitely his best!) And that in time, kids would just have to get used to the idea of divorced parents, because unhappy marriages were an even unhealthier environment.

All these views seemed to disturb her! She went on to lash out about the agony of a parent who raised, clothed (and some other sentimental terms) a child, only for him/her to turn around one day and disappoint them. She then quoted a certain friend of a relative, who’s son is a gay designer. Of how, even though they eventually came to terms with the fact that “their son is a gay” (at which point I vehemently protested, and she immediately corrected herself to a more appropriate “son is gay”), it was difficult for the parents to have to raise a child who eventually chose “that lifestyle”.
I tried several times to keep the conversation on that particular issue, without making it seem suspicious, and could only mention once that his being gay was neither the mother’s fault, nor his. But I think my Mom has selective hearing, so I doubt she caught on. At least, she didn’t respond. Just the way she didn’t react to that gay kiss in W&G I played in front of her, the other day.

But anyway, I at least know that coming out to my mother in spontaneity won’t be the best idea. It would take tremendous thought and deliberation. And maybe an LV bag.

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15 Responses to “Mama Talk : Matrimonial Bliss and Gay Sons”

  1. Destination Unknown December 11, 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    U know, I got married last year. I was 24. It was an arranged match. Im 25 and will soon be applying for a divorce. A lot of things went wrong in my case. And seperation seemed to be the right thing to do. It hurts. I feel like a failure at times. But then I get out of my self pity phase and move on with life.

    My parents supported me. Infact it was my mom who supported me in my decision to get divorced. Parents can surprise you at times by being stronger than you think they are.

  2. Crazy Sam December 11, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    Ah buddy, I really am not sure what to put here. But I tell you I have heard of instances where parents seemed dead against gay lifestyle, but when they came to realize that their child is gay, they accepted even though it took some time. I dunno, you can call me an optimist. (hmm.. optimist? if my friends hear this, they would be laughing and rolling on the ground.)

  3. chandni December 11, 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    hold on. I am sure it will be fine eventually!

    lots of love always

  4. TLOB December 11, 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    Well, you have time on your side and I guess, going by the way you describe your parents, It won’t be much an issue. besides, what’s the hurry?
    My family ( whatever is left of it) doesn’t even understand what gay is..(yea, they are that back in last century)
    btw, i still don’t know how to receive follow up commenta on my mail ( Do I have to subscribe? and will u know my real ID coz that’s what use on google? )

  5. Rebel December 12, 2008 at 12:18 am #

    whats the gay lifestyle? pray explain.
    and am sure parents wud understand. u wudnt need a LV bag for it.

  6. unsungpsalm December 12, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    *DU
    If you’re happy with the decision, then that’s all that matters, isn’t it?
    That’s another thing I tried to explain to my mom. Not very well received, I’m afraid.

    *Crazy Sam
    Really? You’re as whiney as the rest of us in real life? That should be amusing πŸ™‚

    *Chandni
    I’m sure it would too!

    *TLOB
    I have no idea, dude. What I do is I subscribe to Posts and Comments from the blogs that I frequent on Google Reader. It really is superbly awesome! No one gets to know my email ID (even though I use an anonymous one, so it wouldn’t matter if people did).
    Also, even if I did get to know your genuine ID, you’d have no reason to worry. I hope that we’ll eventually reveal our genuine ID’s to each other, some day… all of us πŸ™‚

    *Rebel
    But I want to get her an LV bag. I think it would suit the occasion πŸ˜‰
    I’ll have to ask her what she thinks the Gay Lifestyle is. I don’t know her interpretation of it. I think it’s something to do with men sleeping with men πŸ˜›

  7. Nikita December 12, 2008 at 1:56 am #

    Are u sure your mom isn’t already suspicious? She might have deliberately chosen the reference to the relative’s friend (whose son is gay). Maybe she has some suspicions but isn’t sure and not ready to hear about it yet.
    And I face this issue at home all the time for my comparatively libertarian views. I am dead against arranged marriages, they make no sense to me, but after a string of doomed love affairs I think I am heading towards an arranged marriage 😦
    I think my love life is jinxed

  8. Just call me 'A' December 12, 2008 at 2:14 am #

    I have a feeling your mom knows. Moms tend to be smarter than we think sometimes, methink…..maybe she is puuting on the ‘i don’t know’ and selective hearing act so that she does not ahve to confront it now. maybe she hopes it will go away and is a temp phase….this happened to a gay friend of mind. his mom refuse to believe him and went on searching for girls for him and his dad enrolled him in yoga class, which of course this friend being strong headed and believing on who he is, did not attend.
    but having a LV bag along is a good strategy…maybe thrown in some dior perfume πŸ™‚

    A

  9. unsungpsalm December 12, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    *Nikita
    If she were sensible, she’d know. But I don’t think she does. That I had so many chicks as friends while growing up makes her think I’m a Casanova or something !! I don’t think she knows what homosexuality is about. From the sound of it, she seems to think that it’s a choice of lifestyle. Even if I were to tell her that it’s something one is born with, I know that her mind is so rigid that she’d blatantly ignore my statement.
    I can only convince her when I come out to her. Even then, it would take a lot to convince her that “being gay” is a choice no one would ever make!

    And as for you, remember that if it does come to arranged marriage, just ascertain that :-
    1. The guy is attractive enough
    2. He’s wealthy with a good job/inheritance
    3. Has a pleasant personality

    In other words, treat him as a blind date, test drive him for a while. If he turns out okay, take the plunge. If you regret it later because he kept something from you, then there’s always annulment or the big D. If you know from before that he sucks, then tell your folks he’s G.
    Sometimes, arranged marriage turn out to be good too. There are a string of them in my own family. The essence of an arranged marriage being successful is money. Horrid to hear, but true.

    *’A’
    I really thought she did, but it seems that she doesn’t. Again, because she thinks it’s a lifestyle and not an orientation. She thinks that our upbringing was good enough to keep us from making such ‘choices’. Unfortunate but true.
    That’s not a problem for me, of course. I’ll drill it through them, whether they like it or not πŸ˜›

  10. Meira December 12, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    Gee…you sound like me at times!
    TS and I had to wait for 4 years before his parents could start being civil towards me! (And they still have issues with our ‘love-marriage’!) We children can stop being children…but parents never stop being parents! (Now where did I read that?)
    So it might take a lot of time, and be way painful, but they’re gonna see your way…for thats whats gonna make you happy πŸ™‚
    Amen.

  11. D December 12, 2008 at 11:10 am #

    You’ve put in so many things here, I don’t know what to react to first.

    I agree with you on that marriage is irrelevant. Really, what purpose does it serve? If you don’t need the legal sanction of the world to live together, marriage is so unnecessary!

    And the sad bit about Indian marriages is that people continue to live in loveless marriages because they don’t even think of ‘divorce’ as a feasible option. It makes no sense at all.

  12. closetalk December 12, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    aaaa… mommytalks. πŸ™‚ i once played for my mom a song my bf of the time had sung.. and almost told her he was the one i was gonna be with for the rest of my life. on hindsight, since the bastard dumped me, i’m glad i ddn’t! lol. no worries, UP – as much as u may be afraid of spontaneous outbursts, take my word for it: coming out DOES usually happen spontaneously, when one suddenly feels comfortable about it. all the weeks and months of planning don’t help the comfort factor, you know. πŸ™‚

  13. unsungpsalm December 12, 2008 at 8:47 pm #

    *Meira
    4 years!! Well, the best consolation comes from hating the parents back. If the elder lot are the immature ones, then they deserve hostility.

    *D
    I wouldn’t say marriage is irrelevant but the entire concept of “sanctity” of marriage is. Marriage is a state of existence, in which 2 people wish to share the same house and much of their lives etc. etc. If they manage to stick together their entire lives, awesome. If not, then that’s fine too. The mutual understanding ends.
    I think loveless marriages are okay in certain situations. Like when neither minds being bound together in the contract, and each lives his/her own life. And neither is in love with another. Which again reduces it to a kind of a contract. Also, if there’s lots of money involved, both can coexist happily.

    I think I’m going to hell!

    *CT
    Aww! Share the song with us, na.
    Though it’s a shame it ended. He sang for you :))
    Yes, I’m afraid I shall be coming out quite spontaneously. There have been too many occasions on the dinner table when I almost blurted it out. I may actually do it one of these times, but it would be better if I didn’t!

  14. Rebel December 13, 2008 at 5:02 am #

    “The essence of an arranged marriage being successful is money.” -> I am sorry, but I believe these are only your views.
    And these too –
    “And as for you, remember that if it does come to arranged marriage, just ascertain that :-
    1. The guy is attractive enough
    2. He’s wealthy with a good job/inheritance
    3. Has a pleasant personality”

  15. unsungpsalm December 13, 2008 at 9:30 am #

    Well, obviously those are only my views. Based on observation and contemplation, of course, but mine nonetheless. I know tons of people who would disagree. Few can justify their viewpoints, but they carry them nonetheless.

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