It’s been a long weekend away at my parents place in California… possibly the most dreaded… most nerve wracking weekend I’ve ever anticipated spending anywhere. But it’s finally over, and I’m back at my cozy lil’ apartment where I can relax in the quiet reality that this place is mine. All mine… Well…. mine and Carolyn’s…
So, now that we’re safely back at “La Casa De Neko”, those of you who are regular Gentle Visitors here at the old Litterbox are probably wondering just how my parents reacted to my “Big News”. So here it goes…
Pssst!!… That’s the hint… Yep… Time to “Read On” for all the details. 😉
Oh yes… I can honestly say this was the the most scary thing I’ve ever faced in my whole life. Seriously. Nothing else has ever come close to this.
After Carolyn’s own revelation basically destroyed her relationship with her Mom and Dad I’ve been imagining all the possible outcomes for my “coming out”. I basically kept bouncing back from one wild speculation to another as to how my own parents would take it. Some of those imaginary scenarios were pretty terrible too. It’s made me sick with worry and only one thing has kept me focused on making it happen despite all those fears. My sweet Carolyn’s unshaken faith in what we both feel for each other.
“Miyu… You chose me… You didn’t have to. You aren’t even a lesbian. Really… I know that… but you still chose me. Us. I can’t tell you how much that means to me to feel you love me so much that nothing else matters… that you want me as much as I want you. Knowing that means I can face anything as long as it’s with you.” That says it all and I absolutely know Carolyn will always be there for me. She’ll always love silly goofy lil’ me with all my flaws and quirks and nothing will ever keep us apart. Nothing. How could I ever not want someone like her in my life? Lesbian, bisexual, bi-curious, straight… 5 years into this and I still don’t have a clue what the heck I am… and I don’t care anymore, ’cause she’s right. I want it to be “us” forever.
So that’s why I found myself on an airplane on my way to California this last week. Something I wouldn’t do if I had any other option. Oh yeah… airplanes. Another of those things that set my primitive lil’ instincts on edge. I don’t like air travel at all. Taking a flight was the only option to get out to see my parents if we didn’t want to miss too many days of work but if it hadn’t been this important I definitely would have opted for Amtrak. Yes… yes… I know it takes 4 days to get coast to coast that way, but that’s how I originally came out here to college all those years ago and I found that trip relaxing and civilized. Sure beats hurtling through the skies in a big pressurized metal tube tempting the Fates and thumbing ones nose at the “laws of gravity”. Too many “Airport” movies when I was a wee lass I guess….. (And seeing “Snakes on a Plane” probably didn’t help either…. 😉 )
Carolyn on the other hand wasn’t fazed in the least as we brazenly flaunted those same “laws of gravity” and thankfully was willing to distract nervy lil’ me with conversation for most of the trip. Thank goodness she’s so darn organized. She’d arranged the whole thing once we’d settled on coming out to see Mom and Dad. Plane tickets, rental car, and even the nice lil’ bed & breakfast place we stayed in while we were there. Oh yeah…. that last one was super important. Luckily for me my parents had moved into a smaller place a year or two after I went off to school, so they weren’t expecting me to stay with them at the house during our visit. It would have been awkward enough if I had been showing up with the fiancé they expected to meet, let alone the girlfriend they soon would. At my age, my rational brain tells me my parents are comfortable enough I suppose with the abstract idea that, yes, their daughter has had sex… just not possibly in the room down the hall from them with someone they’ve just met. Ummmm… yeah… and… if things went sour faster than peace negotiations at Panmumjom when the big reveal happened, we’d actually still have someplace to stay if we basically got thrown out. Damn…. those wild imaginary possibilities again. It’s a wonder I didn’t just throw up on the plane all the way out there thinking about it.
Mind you I did actually get around to that once we landed and started the drive up to my parents place. I couldn’t have been more miserably scared if I’d wanted. Oh yeah… and when I’m frightened or worked up emotionally, I’m always queasy…. Thankfully once I got out of the bathroom at a handy McDonald’s my stomach quieted down and let me be the rest of the trip.
We checked in at the B&B once we hit town and called over to the house to let Mom & Dad know we were coming and 15 minutes later we were there….. They must have heard us drive up because Mom was right there before we even reached the door.
Now it’s been quite a while since I’d been back to see the folks. Life has a way of making that hard when you live as far away from them as I do, and the time always slips by so darn fast before you even know it. We talk all the time on the phone, as regularly as possible but it isn’t the same. Mom isn’t exactly the most physically expressive person going but I got the biggest hug from her as soon as she opened the door. Then she started looking for my boyfriend/fiancé that just had to be right behind me…
Instead, trying hard to look nonchalant and at ease with it all was Carolyn. There was that moment where I just know Mom was wondering if “my guy” was parking the car, or getting some luggage, or… well… something, but it passed and it gave me a moment to tell Mom she was looking good and to start introduce her to “my roommate”. Before that could happen Mom surprised me by actually recognizing Carolyn, whom she’d met once or twice all those years before when we were in college.
“Miss Simms… it’s so nice to see you again. I didn’t know you and Miyuki still kept in touch after all these years.” Yep… Mom’s got a memory like an elephant. She never forgets anything. She gave Carolyn a quick lil’ hug and brought us inside calling for Dad who was out in the kitchen. He came out and I got another big hug as he also expressed just how much he’s “missed his favorite little girl” even if I’m his only “little girl” and definitely not so little anymore.
My stomach was churning again… and I knew if I didn’t get right to things there was a darn good chance I’d get sick right there in the living room so I asked if we could sit down and talk. Mom introduced Carolyn to Dad who didn’t remember her all these years later. Carolyn told them we’d moved in together again to share an apartment and made small talk while she waited for me to get my nerve together and spill the big news. I’d tried to think of just the right way to say it over the last few weeks, but there just isn’t any “clever” or “cool” way to do it…. so basically I just went for it.
“Mom.. Dad. I told you I had something important to tell you and I do. It’s like this…. Carolyn and I… we’re not just roommates. We’re together. We’re a couple. We love each other… I’m not kidding.. we really do….” I think I was close to crying right about then and then I felt Carolyn’s leg move against mine on the couch and I swear I could feel her sending me all the strength she could to keep it together. “Please… tell me it’s alright. Tell me you aren’t disappointed in me… that you don’t hate me for this… I just can’t help it but it’s true and I want you to know. I don’t want to hide it away from you anymore.”
My parents just paused for a second and let it sink in and then Dad said “Miyuki… you’re my only daughter. I couldn’t ever hate you. Not for anything. Certainly not just because you turn out to be gay. Mind you… it’s not what a father ever expects to hear from his daughter, but you are a grown woman with a good head on your shoulders so if you tell me this lady is the love of your life, then I expect she probably is. You’ve never struck me as somebody who makes bad choices about the really important things in life.”
Mom didn’t say anything. She just came right off her chair and hugged me again. Like she never wanted to let me go. She still loved me!! They both did… My relief was so overpowering that it was nearly able to make me faint. It was going to be alright. It really was… The next few minutes are somewhat of a blur for me, memory wise… I’d gotten so worked up my brain just nearly overloaded and even now the exact details are hard to recall.
Basically Mom and Dad were fine with it all. In fact, they told me they understood things better than I ever expected. Seems back when they first got married in the 70’s, there had been some very bad feelings about their relationship from my Mom’s family in Okinawa. I had never known that. My grandfather… Mom’s dad…. had been very angry that his eldest daughter had gotten involved with an American. Apparently that was a big deal back then and not something that the traditional Okinawans took lightly. He…. and my grandma… had even boycotted the wedding over this. I couldn’t believe it. My grandma had been like that? I remember her well… once grandpa died, she came to the States to live with us and she’d never so much as ever said anything mean or nasty about it to my Mom or Dad in my knowledge. I loved her… and she’d always treated me like her most precious, special thing in the world. How could she have hidden away her dislike of my Dad from me?
Apparently she did. For a lot of years. But, Dad did say she was careful never to speak any of those feelings around me. He told me that she felt it wasn’t right to her that she should ever speak ill of my father in front of me. That, to her, was something you just didn’t do to a child. He did say that once she’d been with us for a while and she saw that Dad was a man who took care of his family first and foremost… including making a place for her with her daughter and granddaughter in her old age.. that he was a man she could respect and told him so finally in the last year or so before she died. Well… at least that certainly explained why I’ve never met any of my relatives from that side of the family.
Given that, Dad said he couldn’t very well tell me who I could fall in love with and who I couldn’t. So… with all that taken care of, I have to say most of the rest of the visit was easy. Mom wanted all the details about us and to know everything. So we had quite the time giving them all the highlights of our life together. It was a nice couple of days… and by the time we had to leave, I think Carolyn and my Mom were starting to really hit it off. Mom had been very affected by hearing just how badly Carolyn’s own mother had reacted to the news about us that she made an extra special effort to make my sweetie feel welcome in her home. Whew…. I honestly never would have guessed just how great my Mom could be!!
So when it was time to go, we both got hugs from my Mom… and they made us promise to visit again soon so they could hear from “their girls” how things were going for the two of us. How cool is that? 🙂
Anyway… the trip home was waaaaay easier for me than the trip out there. It’s like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders to have it all finished and done. Thank goodness.
So… it seems the closet door is now completely open, and we’ve tip-toed into the light for all to see. Not everything is perfect, I still want things to get better for Carolyn and her parents, but it’s nice to know we have more people in our corner than we have trying to make our lives miserable, and isn’t that a victory in and of itself? Heck… I’ll certainly take it.
Well… that’s everything this time out… and I promise, no more crazy drama for a while. This wee Catgirl’s not certain she could take anymore anyway. Till next time… it’s comforting to discover that Love really does conquer all and “Meow, meow for now!!”
Cue the theme song!!! 😉