I met up with (surprise to surprise - you have to do the round of cousins) one my cousins. I’m quite close to Rache. I grew up with her, when one of us wasn’t travelling we saw each other daily almost. She was one of the first people I came out to and the first to slap me upside the head for not telling more people. When her daughter was born she wanted me to be her godfather (for 2 reasons: 1) she wanted to see if I could enter a church without turning to ash and 2) godparents are obliged to give free, no-notice babysitting. Apparently. So she says).
Having circled the buffet 3 times, talked to 4 elderly relatives and even petted cats I could no longer avoid her and that gleam in her eye that all parents get now and then - y’know the one, the one that says “Argh! I’m going to carve out my womb so I never produce these noise machines again!” so I am ambushed by her and her New (ish) mother-in-law, who I have not yet had the pleasure to meet.
So we talk, inevitably a request for imminent babysitting next week raises its head, to which I acquiesce graciously and carefully remove the shrimp fork from her white-knuckle grip, we remind MiL that I’m little bratleigh’s godfather and that I have babysitted her dozens of time (I mutter “hundreds” and get a jugular piercing glare). All is happy and we move the conversation on, discover MiL is largely non-objectionable despite being death as a post and inclined to leap topics without warning.
Then I realised that Beloved had scarpered to some island of sanity and asked if Rache had seen him so I could
MiL: Who IS Beloved?
R: Sparky’s other half.
MiL: *pause* You’re gay?
MiL: *to Rache in a not-quite-but-meant-to-be-whisper-of-the-hard-of-hearing* Is that safe?
Me: *confused* No, you need to stand back. I may explode and shower the room with rainbows at any moment
Rache: I think we’re all safe here *also confused. Clearly questioning MiL’s sanity and worrying about daughter‘s genetics*
MiL: I mean Bratleigh...
Me: *Confused, bratleigh is at home* You receiving psychic warnings now? I thought we segregated all the elderly women who thought they were psychic near the gin.
MiL: I mean, you know *sickly grin* Babysitting.
Rache: *is lost* no...
Me: *clinging to confusion* Oh, she did not. Tell me you did not just imply what I thought you did?
MiL: *turns to me, a little red faced, attempt at smile* No offence.
Rache: *penny drops. Turns bright red. Clearly planning on extracting spouse’s genetics from child as soon as she can find a big enough plunger*
Me: Oh my gods, you did! *walks away*
Rache chased me down later to apologise (and, sadly, confirm that YES, she was worried about leaving her granddaughter in the evil, pernicious clutches of homosexuals). Which is awkward because I really don’t want Rache to feel awkward or apologetic because her MiL is a bigoted troglodyte. OK, what I REALLY don’t want is to people assume I’m a child predator because I’m gay (and “no offence“? C’mon, woman, you just implied I’m some kind of child abuser or paedophile. In what alternate dimension can this NOT be offensive?) but my cousin not feeling like shit will do for now.
Thankfully it was near the end of the night so only Beloved had to endure my arsey mood. Which is kind of stupid because, I should soooo be above this. I seen worse, I’ve heard worse, I thought I was immune to this kind of rubbish, but every now and then one gets through. Why do I still let this crap get to me?