This gay wedding stuff is getting a bit crazy, thought Paul. All these demonstrations and arguments for such a small topic. We are not talking about unemployment, disease, war or environment for Christ’s sake! Paul had said to his wife, earlier this week.
Paul did not have any homosexual friends but he was of the opinion that two people could get married if they wanted to. And above all, he did not understand why he should give his opinion about somebody else’s private affairs.
“No random guy came and told me that I should not get married with my wife!” Paul was saying out loud to himself. And I’m pretty sure that nobody said so to my wife either.
“Mmm better check with my wife though. I can think of one or two of her friends who could have told her not to marry this piece of shit”. This thought made Paul laugh very hard.
Paul and his wife were quite open-minded on this topic (“But we cannot really know what would be our reaction if we had an case in our family”, Paul was used to saying) and he had always tried to raise his kids this way: keep an open mind and accept someone else’s differences. It was not always an easy position to adopt in this crazy world but he thought he was doing his best.
He did not like either the fact that this topic was being politicized. It was clearly becoming a public conflict between Republicans and Democrats. I am not really comfortable with all of that, Paul sighed. Bloody politicians.
He realized though that he never really touched on this subject with his eldest son, Tom. His two younger kids were still living at home and they were having dinner the four of them most of the evenings. But Tom was only living at home part time, as Paul was saying as a joke. For the most part of the week, he was sharing a house with some friends. Boys and girls around the same age as him, whom Paul did not know much about.
I trust my son. He is not a bad boy, Paul was thinking. But it was true that since he had left the house, Tom had been more discreet about his private life, and Paul did not ask much either. His relationship with his son was very good, and it was probably because Paul always respected Tom’s privacy.
But still, you never know how you are going to react if you realize one of you children is taking a direction totally opposite to the values you tried to enforce in your home for so many years. That was the kind of thoughts that had been going through Paul’s mind for the last couple of weeks. When the same sex wedding discussion became so intense.
One Saturday, Paul was alone at home. His wife and the two youngest went out for shopping. He decided to stay because he knew Tom would stop by with a couple of friends to pick up some stuff before heading off in the countryside for the weekend. “A reunion with buddies”, Tom had said. Paul wanted to have an opportunity to see Tom’s friends, even from far, even briefly; hopefully to reassure him on the kind of things his son was doing.
“Hi dad, how are you? Tom said when he entered in the house, alone.
– Hi son. Very well. And you, happy to go on vacation with your friends? Paul was trying to have a discreet look outside from the window of the kitchen, with the objective to see the friends in question. He was only able to distinguish that one girl and two boys were waiting by the car.
– Yes exactly. My first weekend away for a long time.
– Your friends did not want to come in for a drink before you hit the road? Paul decided to be less subtle.
– No no it’s fine. I’ll be very quick, replied Tom, realizing that his dad was up to something. His attitude was a bit different.
– No problem.
– And also because I wanted to tell you something.
Even if Paul had wanted his son to tell him more about his life, he got really nervous and realized he was maybe not ready after all.
– Sure thing son. What did you want to tell me? Paul tried to look relaxed.
– I knew you’d be alone at home today. And I thought that maybe it would be good if I talk to you first.
Paul remained silent, so Tom continued:
– As you always taught us to accept everybody’s differences, I was thinking that you would be open to my differences, my new life, even if, maybe, it does not really follow the values you taught me. Tom was becoming hesitant. His nervousness was obvious.
– Sure, said Paul even if he did not really know what to think or say at this stage.
– So here it is dad. I’m gay. And one of the guy outside is my boyfriend.
Paul’s eyes opened widely and he started to yell:
– Holy shit! Holy shit!
Tom did not know what to add, as his dad could not stop yelling:
– Holy shit! What?!
Tom was petrified, waiting for his dad to express himself more clearly, which he did soon after getting back on track:
– You scared me son! You truly did! I thought you were going to tell me you joined the Republican party!
[NB: English not being my mother tongue, please do not hesitate to correct my grammar and spelling]