Monday, 31 March 2014

In Laws

My father Circa 1945
With a wedding in the offing, I have been giving some thought to the fact that my parents will never have got the chance to see me " tie the knot" so to speak.
Chris is young enough to have both parents standing by his side on the day.
He is incredibly lucky

My mother has been dead twelve years now. my father has been dead for twenty four.
If they had lived into auntie Glad figures, I now am wondering just what they would have made of it all.?
Of course the idea is a stupid one. People are generally products of their time. My father died In an unenlightened age, when aids advertisements scared the population and where a chaste gay kiss caused uproar in a popular soap. I think he would have initially experienced huge difficulties with the gay thing....
If I had come out then.... I would have had to walk a very precarious path
How things have moved on.

I like to think that my parents would have liked Chris.
My father would have been impressed with his quiet confidence and by his professional success. ( once he actually got over the fact that his youngest son HAD A BOYFRIEND! ) and
my mother would have tried to ply Chris with fags and gin and would have enjoyed a robust bout of verbal jousting where she would have convinced herself that  she would have come out the victor
I suspect they would have ended up liking each other.....in an odd.....dysfunctional  kind of way

Alas.......it was never to be.....
My mother Circa 1945 too

70 comments:

  1. People do change their thinking as society changes. Your father may have surprised you, especially if he was confident in himself. While women generally seem more tolerant and understanding, men have a better grasp of .........well, I can't really put it into brief and polite words.

    Your mother sounds like she was fun.

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    1. You may be right andrew. But we will never know.
      At least I have chris' parents there which helps

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  2. I think seeing their boy was so happy, secure in himself in his career and in his relationship they would have been so proud of you ... gay or not.

    Our parents always have the wonderful ability to surprise us.... if we let them and I'm sure yours are somewhere looking down on how magnificently, if a little barmy, their youngest son has turned out. ;-)

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  3. Your Mum was gorgeous. With a 93 year old Mum myself I am pretty sure that what's important to them I would have been your happiness. Congratulations!

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    1. My mother would have been 87 now if she had lived

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  4. i am not so sue i agree with the others. if my father was still alive, he's been dead for 40 years, i don't think he would have changed a bit. he was very stubborn. my mother has been dead 50+ years and i hardly knew her. i would like to think she would have changed some!

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    1. At least I don't have to go through a rejection eh?

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  5. Tee hee, 'chaste' not 'chased' - different meaning altogether, I had to read it twice to get it. But I am glad you write 'would have' and not 'would of'. (grrrr).
    Your mum looks lovely and I think you look like her.
    Susan x

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    1. I thought I'd put the t in
      Dammmm youuuuuu ipad

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  6. My parents met Jay's mother once, it went rather well. Family can make things complicated, fortunately ours are too polite to cause a scene.

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    1. I could live with polite

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  7. Regrets, regrets John - happens to us all.

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    1. No, not regrets pat.... Just musings

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  8. nice photographs; and I second susan, you look like your mum.

    family dynamics is a strange thing; ugly rears its head in the best of famlies (ask me how I know this).

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  9. People usually grow and change with the times....I know I am not the same person I was 40 years ago (nor would I want to be). I'm sure your parents would have been delighted for you that you have found your life partner. In the end, our childrens happiness is what matters most to us.

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    1. My mother I think would have been ok... She met my previous partner in passing over dinner, but he was introduced as a friend.
      I remember she went to wash up the dishes and asked my sister in her best lady blackness voice
      If the friend was a homosexual?
      Never asked about whether he son was!

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  10. left for dead we must battle on.

    what a smug bloody prick waynetta is bow and glory to take such centre stage well i outta stick it where the sun don't shine! rimming with sheer delight! LOL!


    :0p

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    1. Did I miss something?
      Someone translate
      NURSE THE SCREENS!

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    2. I'll get the straight jacket....maybe it's on the wrong blog?

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    3. Maybe she's been watching 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta'!?

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    4. Going to have to check that out....

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  11. Blokes have been kissing each other for yonks over here (albeit on the cheeks), so probably less shock horror. My Brighton links must have made me insensitive.

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  12. I was in the company of my sister and brother in law at the weekend when the gay weddings came on the tele. I commented on how lovely it was to see two people so happy, like you would with any wedding. B I L couldn't help but voice his displeasure in a not very polite way, and he is only two years older than me. I don't know what will happen when his gay son marries his partner, I shall laugh my socks of when he is forced to stand next to the happy couple, no doubt spitting feathers.

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    1. Perhaps he will come round too....
      I would hate to feel that someone was FORCED to stand next to me at my wedding

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  13. My family were absolutely horrified that I lived with my husband for a few months before we married. In fact, some members of the family refused to set foot in our home until rings were on fingers. That was 25 years ago, and we're still together. How times have changed! My father in law died a few weeks after we were married, and my own father was long gone by then. I tell my son how lucky he is to live in a world which is far more tolerant than when we were his age. There seemed to be a lot of pressure to marry young (and not stay single), to have children while you were young and as for being gay!!!! And I wouldn't give a toss who my children decided to marry (if at all) so long as they found someone they were happy with. Good luck to you both.

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    1. You slag susan...you slag

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  14. Congratulations! I didn't know you were getting married (I'm new here!) I think weddings can bring the best and worse out in people, sometimes you never know (my Sister-in-law at mine, less said the better ha!) as a parent all I want is my children to be happy and I believe love is forever too - I'm back to Gretna Green this year to re-new my vows, again with my children as bridesmaids, 'cos I'm traditional like that!! x x x

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    1. Peaches mcginty.....you still have the best blog name EVER

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  15. Moving piece, John. Lovely to see your parents. Even lovelier that you mention them in the context of your forthcoming nuptials. An emotional time. Regardless of gender.

    I pondered on what anyone's parents would have said/would say. It's difficult to second guess. Even the most enlightened might, initially, be slightly taken aback. Others will surprise you.

    I myself am as straight as a new broom stick, and none of my large extended family - last generation, my generation, this up and coming blossoming generation - have yet to produce a gay or lesbian specimen. Though do have private thoughts on the 'latent'. So I have no notes to compare. However, following your narrative and having been close to two male gays it appears that mothers have little problem where fathers need time to get used to the idea.

    I'm sure, John, up there in the sky, your parents looking down on their son, they'd both be happy for you being happy.

    Hug,
    U

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    1. Don't press 'send' in haste. It should read: "... my large extended family ... has yet to produce a gay ... specimen".

      U

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    2. Ursula .. I always thought you'd make a grand lesbian

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  16. Many congratulations.

    Your family will be watching...and smiling.

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  17. Love, tolerance and acceptance win out in the great scheme of things.....those who miss out on this miss out on life.

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  18. There was a 1976 film called 'Norman, Is That You?" (which seems to have sunk without trace) in which Pearl Bailey discovers that her son is gay and in a relationship. She then delivers the withering line "I'm very happy for you - but I don't approve". (Talk about a sting in the tail!) Very much a reflection of that time - wanting to be tolerant but no way achieving it.
    Naturally, I've no idea what your own parents might have thought but my mum would likely have felt much like that - devout Catholic to the end, but very loving too. Luckily, never having had a relationship it was quite easy to conceal my sexuality from her, though getting into and passing middle age without ever having dated anyone, male or female, I didn't have had the quandary that you'd have had.
    Still, it's interesting to ponder on these 'what-ifs'.

    Btw: I can't wait for the visuals from your big day. I'm wondering if you've decided who is going to carry whom over the threshold!

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    1. I think I will refrain telling the joke about the Irish kamikaze pilot bombing pearl bailey

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    2. Prob'ly tanked up on Irish Cream (Bailey's? - Oh, never mind............"Well, hello Dolly. This is me, Dolly. It's so nice to have you back where you.....belong.")

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  19. How we think things would/could be.
    My father was perfectly OK with the fact that Ron and I got married 5 years ago....we told him after the fact! He did that afterall he watches 'Ellen Degeneres' every day!!
    My mother would have been in denial about it all and praying to every saint for my salvation. She died 7 years ago.
    Either way I didn't need or want either of their approval. But I guess it would have nice to get it. Just wasn't the way it was.

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    1. Jimbo
      If my parents were alive... I think that I would seek their approval. You sound a lot stronger than I on that level me thinks

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  20. Beautiful post and retrospective. I am sure they would accept Chris because they would have seen how happy you both are!

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  21. I am very lucky in that I have had my parents long enough to allow them both to "get used to the idea," and even to begin to treat Miss Chef as part of the family. It would have always haunted me to wonder "what would they have done?" as you have to. It sounds like you are marrying into a good set of new parents, at least.

    If I am not mistaken, you have inherited your mother's eyes. Harder to tell with your dad, with all that facial hair in the way.

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    1. My mother had a small goatee before she died Alison x

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  22. With my first set of parents-in-law, I had a reasonably good relationship - as long as I kept my mouth shut most of the time. We were from different worlds; my Sicilian in-laws had not been to school for more than four years, and my mother-in-law was hardly able to read and write and could not understand how anyone would deliberately sit down and spend HOURS reading - for fun! - instead of watching completely brainless gameshows on Italian TV.

    My second set of in-laws was never complete: Steve's dad died when Steve was only 12 years old. With his mum (who just turnred 80), I have a very good relationship. We were close before, but since Steve died four years ago, we have become even closer. I have sometimes talked to Steve about his dad and wondered aloud whether he would have liked me. It is hard to say; but I imagine we would have had quite a few common interests to talk about.

    RJ's parents, who maybe one day could become my third set of in-laws, were "against me" and did not want to meet me for a long time. They couldn't understand how their precious only child could love a woman 8 years older than himself, a woman who never went to university and came from a working-class family.
    They met me for the first time when RJ and I had been together for nearly 2 years already - and we got on like a house on fire. We are now on first names terms, and they keep telling their friends what a nice girlfriend their son has. I never fully understood their attitude towards me, and found it especially disturbing that they consider themselves good Christians.
    All very Victorian, really.

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    1. I am lucky, I have an excellent relationship with my in laws to be
      We both have worked on it though

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  23. Children can't choose their parents, but in the vast majority of cases, they are loved by them regardless of differences in opinion. I think yours would have been happy in the end that you are happy yourself.

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  24. you look like your mum she would have loved to see you so happy and your dad would have got used to it by now thy do you know my dad said when he was 60 if my grandson turns out to be gay it is ok by me i spent the next few week thinking what can he see that i can not

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  25. What stunningly gorgeous parents you had, John. And I think they'd be so proud of their son who loves so genuinely and is loved in return. They'd be doubly proud of the same son who has the kindest heart I have ever come across. xx BTW Is Beatrix for real?

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    1. She's mad as a box of frogs me thinks

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  26. No matter how old we get, we always want the approval of our parents. I am so sorry that your dad was not around for most of your adult life to see what a wonderful man he had as a son. Think your best thoughts of your mom and your dad as you start this new phase of your life. They were a product of their time and unfortunately, were subject to the bigotry that they were taught.

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  27. I like that picture of Albert on the side bar. I had a rough time with my mother all my life. After 20 years of not speaking to Pascale and cutting him out of everything she told me one day when I was putting her to bed "he's quite nice isn't he" .She spoke to him for the first time that day. He was always kind to her and still speaks kindly of her.

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    1. A sweet and sad story rachel

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  28. You have your mothers eyes...

    I didnt know you were an orphan like me. Its odd, isnt it, it does change the way we view relationships when we are parentless...I am glad that Chris's parents approve of his spouse to be!

    xoxo

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  29. Regardless, your parents would have been delighted to see you both happy. That's the way parents are.

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  30. I see a lot of your mom in you, just as others have said, but I also see a hint of your dad's features too. They were a nice looking couple!

    I think they would have been proud to have raised such a good man as you, and proud that you are marrying someone that loves you and treats you well. I certainly hope so, anyway.

    Surely they had some idea that you were gay, right? I don't know how one could raise a child from birth to adulthood without suspecting it, even if they never said anything.....

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    1. They had no idea whatsoever!

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  31. I think your mum and dad would have loved the way you have turned out.
    A man with a huge caring heart, and stands by his man at all times.

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  32. Just remember out here we are all wishing you both all the very best. . I would be very proud to have a son like you. Liz


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  33. Please make Auntie Glad Maid of Honour!

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  34. I would hope that they would be on your side; my Mom sure has changed in the past 20 years.(She's 83 and her mantra is "I'm still a work in progress") But if not,it would be their loss, indeed, and how wonderful that you have Chris' parents.

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  35. A very thoughtful post John. It is our nature to wonder how our parents might feel and think about such matters so very important to us. That they are no longer with you makes the task more difficult, because as you alluded to, the time frame and social norms are set in the past, while so much has transpired since. Ultimately I have to believe, given what you've said about your interactions and relationships with both, they would approve of anything that would make you happy, and support you on your life's journey. Times have changed, indeed for the better.

    Wishing you happiness and joy in your upcoming wedding. Congratulations!

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  36. John - your dad may have taken some time to get his head round it, but as stubborn as he was, he probably would have (though he may not have actually said that to your face) - I agree, he would have been impressed by Chris's academic achievements and would actually have found him very interesting, yes - your mother would have plied him with Gin and would have loved him. The rest of the family are just happy that you are happy, I know that's all that my dad was interested in. Be happy - you are loved for who you are.

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  37. John, i had similar thoughts when i was getting married as both my parents were gone by then. I had to hope they wanted to see me happy. Both of their mothers were still living on my wedding day, and came to the wedding. They were happy to see me with someone they considered a nice man.

    My MIL never really warmed to me, my FIL and his father, who lived into his 90's both adored me.

    I felt a lot of love at my wedding, but must admit, i missed my parents being there.

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