Tuesday, February 5, 2008

In-law Magic

As I mentioned once to our beloved Diane von Austinberg, as a gay man, I can't get married and yet I have in-laws. Where's the justice?

R Man's mother was simply the sweetest natured woman who ever drew breath. Immensly stylish, she proved that ditzy daffiness is simultaneously both a vice and a virtue. I adored her and knew how lucky I was to have her as my second mother. If R Man and I had split up (goddess forbid) I would have kept her and forced R Man to go find another mommy. When she died, a bright light dimmed.

R Man's father, unfortunately, is just the opposite, a poisonous curmudgeon who treats R Man with barely concealed disdain that drives me crazy. Cold, harsh, domineering, he's like an iceberg of toxic waste. Amazingly, a number of people find him charming and R Man loves him. Sort of. I initially tried to charm him, cause I'm good at that, but he wasn't having any of it. He was only interested in being adored, and I wasn't having of that after I saw how he behaved towards R Man. His birthday is the day before mine which makes me hope fervently that astrology is bunk.

Rounding out the Long Day's Journey into Night roadshow company are R Man's two sisters, aka the Good One and the Bad One. The Good One I like plenty and get along with fine. Yay for the Good One. At sixty years old, the Bad One lives at home with her father and manages to control the entire family with dramatic displays of neuroses that border on insanity.

The house she and R Man's father share has nine rooms and three baths and yet every year when we go visit, we sleep down in the partially finished basement,the basement where R Man was bitten by a brown recluse spider; the resulting wound necrified (isn't that a great word?) The architecture of the room is created by a shabby little partition that my white trash ancestors would have spurned. When the furnace comes on at night, the light from the burner glows through cracks in the wall like the gates of hell. Visiting my family, we stay in a nice hotel and order macaroni and cheese from room service, when we go to see his, I lie in a basement brooding about spiders and waiting for the demon light to come on. Again, where is the justice?

I have never refused to accompany him on these trips back to see the gang, but this time when he glumly announced he needed to go back over President's Weekend, I said I'd make the reservations, pack his bags and see him when he got back. So long sweetie. Watch out for the spiders.

Of course, that lasted about two weeks at which time I caved in and said I'd go with him after all. The words hadn't gotten completey out of my mouth before he accepted, started making plans for where we could have lunch while there and I started regretting them. Oh well, for better or worse and all that. So, a week from Saturday, we're off to the bright lights of Annapolis and the Basement of Despair. I predict a lot of blogging while I'm there, bitter, bitter blogging.

Where is that goddam justice?


  1. Goodness...this reads like Eudora Welty (I half expect to hear a "Poppadaddy" )....
    mixed with a bit of Poe
    ("necrified" indeed)!


  2. I was thinking Williams (Tennessee, not Andy) with a little Hieronymus Bosch for color.

    Sorry in advance. Make the most of it. In fact, just be a big ol' bitch---what are they gonna do about it?

  3. You're a trooper Mr. Peenee. NO doubt the R Man needs your support.

    How is it that curmudgeons the world over somehow convince the loveliest women to marry them?

  4. beats me. Curmudgeonly love: it has no explanation

  5. I never thought that I would find someone with worse in-law troubles than myself, but Honey, you win!

    Please accept my deepest sympathies. ;)


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