Huzzah! We're going to see the Sacramento Gay Men's Chorus perform in December--I was so excited when I bought tickets.
Leave it to my family to make things weird.
"Yay!" I printed out the tickets. "We're going to the Sacramento Gay Men's Chorus in December!"
"What's that?" Squish asked suspiciously. Apparently if it's not soccer, Chicago, or Thor Ragnarok, my family does not compute.
"Well, it's a... you know. A chorus. People singing Christmas carols. It'll be great."
She got that bullshit-line between her eyebrows. "People singing Christmas carols?"
"Well, not like us singing Christmas carols..." My family sings Christmas carols like, "We wish you a Merry Gentleman and a happy whatever why are we singing wait isn't there another chorus, Jeez, mom do you have to be so loud? Shut up she thinks she can sing and we don't want to hurt her feelings, and a happy new hasty pudding, oh bring us some hasty pudding oh bring us some hasty pudding and I'll settle for a burrito, dear!"
Given that, I can see why she was a little skeptical about the entertainment value.
"Then who's singing the carols?"
"Uh, gay men?"
"That's important?" Okay-- so given that LGBTQ people are unremarkable to my children--mom knows lots, they knows lots, friends are friends and not a label--you can see why she was skeptical of the emphasis. Like, "If being gay is all cool and no big deal, why is there a gay men's chorus?"
"Look, it's a social organization and a chance to bring attention to LGBTQ rights and it's fun!"
Politics are not fun and the kids know this. They can be funNY, when on John Oliver and Samantha B, but fun? No. ZoomBoy sends me kitten memes to help me forget that the traitor in the White House is fucking our country up with ever word salad he dishes out. So, they're not seeing the connection.
"It's not a political event, guys! It's a show!" I'm a little desperate here.
"Like two Christmas elves find a cassette tape and they bring it to Santa and people sing what's on the tape, but it's like a dramatic affectation to give people the excuse to sing really well."
Squishy's face lights up. "Like a musical!" So we spent the weekend listening to A Chorus Line in the car because she knows it's her chance to scream "TITS AND ASS" even though she's only eleven.
"Yes!" I say, relieved. I, uh, honestly didn't think this was going to be a difficult concept.
"A musical sung by adorable gay men," she said--again, she's seen A Chorus Line and The Bird Cage since infancy.
"Sure," I said, and then, mindful of stereotyping, "and some average gay men and some older gay men and some younger gay men--"
"So basically Dad is going to be the only straight man there?"
"Yup," Mate says, still sulking because we were going to see Electric Christmas on this exact night, but this was cheaper and we could bring the kids and dammit, just once I wanted to see a thing with friends.
"No--I'm sure a lot of women are dragging their husbands--I mean a lot of straight men will be there. Including your brother, probably."
"I'll be there," ZoomBoy says brightly.
"But it doesn't matter, because we'll be there and there's going to be singing and it's going to be fun." How are they not seeing this?
"Cool," she says, and then wanders off to do whatever Squishy does during the John Oliver Show.
"Yup," Mate says. "Cool."
"Sorry about Electric Christmas."
"That's okay." He is trying to be a good sport. "I like Kim." Kim Fielding is the one spearheading the group--did I mention I'm excited?
"It'll be awesome."
"It'll be adorable." As in, not Electric Christmas which one year featured Cage the Elephant and another year had Joan Jett as a surprise guest.
"You'll have fun."
But right now I think he's got this vision of our family singing the aforementioned Christmas carol en masse in a church.
"We're going with your writer's group?" he asks, making sure. He's met the Sacramento Writers of Queer Speculative Fiction before--he's enjoyed their company.
"It'll be good," he concedes.
I quietly resolve not to mention Electric Christmas again until he gets to the "Oh, hey, that was great and I really enjoyed it!" portion of that particular evening. I know it's coming.
My family, crawling toward enlightenment, one chorus of We Wish You a Merry GentlePudding at a time.