Sotto alla Corona
- 2016 (7)
- 2015 (18)
This shall be my last post before the Easter break. We are going down to Italy to be with the grandparents and to introduce Gabriel to all the clan. It will be interesting, and it will definitely be the subject of my next post.
It's actually quite funny how in the UK we are all trying so hard to be politically correct. Sometimes it gets so out of hand that it reaches the realm of psychosis (passing through the ones of the ridiculous and of the plain stupid).
I was actually writing to a friend of mine about UK society, faced with issues of Anti Sexual-Discrimination Laws, Human Rights, Community Cohesion issues and Racial Integration.
Well what? Do you think that all I can talk about is America's Next Top Model? Tsk.
Truth is, we are going bonkers.
My little niece, informed me some time ago that poor 'Bah Bah Black Sheep' is no more. The little mammal got slaughtered in the name of political correctness.
Its replacement is now 'Bah Bah Multicultural Sheep'..... Can you believe it? You better! And there's more!
Some schools have banned the 'Three Little Pigs' stage play as it turned out the theme could upset the muslim community.
Some other schools have banned the use of terms like 'mum' and 'dad' in favour of a more generic 'parent' as it is feared that pupils from an unconventional family unit (...like ours I suppose...), could feel left out.
Aside from the ridiculousness of all this, the shift of attitude towards diversity, be it racial, sexual or religious, has never been more dramatic.
Everybody is afraid of upsetting everybody else and we find ourselves tip-toeing around every issue.
Ok , end of introduction.
Recently we have decided to put our property on the market and we've enrolled the services of an estate agent to help us market it.
You know estate agents right? The only humans that have been proven to share part of their DNA with tiger-sharks.
Well, we had this guy coming in to view our house, I was trying to feed Gabriel his lunch and was covered in several green stains when I went to open the door.
He was very friendly, wearing a nondescript blue pinstriped suit, his faced was clean-scraped ( I don't use the term 'shaven' because some straight men just have a penchant for raping their own skin every morning....) and he was carrying a pile of files under his arm.
"Hi, I'm David" he smiled shaking my hand vigorously
"Hi, Marco, nice to meet you..." I just replied casually whilst trying to stop Gabriel sticking his fingers in my eyes.
"Awwww, and who's this little one?" he asked trying to be friendly
"This is Gabriel, my son.."
"Well hello Gabriel! At home with daddy today?" he added, gently stroking the baby's head.
I proceeded to show the guy around the house.
"Wonderful! I love what you have done with the walls!" he gushed
"I have to say, this is in exquisite taste! The presentation is excellent!" he gushed some more
"I simply love the colour palette.... So warm, so sophisticated... Who's the interior wizard here Gabriel? Daddy or mummy?"
He was trying to work his friendly magic on my son and score some point with me, potential seller, but he stumbled upon the m-word, so I had to correct him.
"Well, it so happens that it's actually both daddy and papa that have an eye for interiors... We are a gay couple...."
The colour of his face trickled away, replaced by a purplish red.
"Ow...Uh...Erm... I am sorry.... I mean.... I am not sorry that you are gay..... Erm.... I am sorry to have made that mistake...
I saw the baby.... And you don't look gay.... I mean... Not that gays look any different than any other normal person.... I mean, any.... person...." David was on a crash-and-burn route to hell.
"Gosh... This isn't coming out right, is it David?" I taunted him, serious, merciless, loving it
"Uh... I'm...I'm sorry...." He was now staring at the floor.
"Here!" I said, handing him over the baby "Let's have some tea!"
He was now positively shocked and sat down on the sofa with Gabriel on his lap, the pile of files by his side, getting his suit chewed up and his slicked-back hair messed with, but he dared not move.
After a meaningless conversation about the weather and a tentative on his part to interest me in the latest football cup results (yawn...), he had a brilliant idea and he blurted out
"My wife always tells me that I could be the perfect gay!"
"And how is that?" I asked faking amusement, which obviously gave him the courage to gallop on
"Well, because I am so much tidier than she is, and my taste level is way more sophisticated than hers.... Also, I love to shop!! I spend hours grooming myself and I like musicals, believe it or not...." adding a little fake laugh
Oh boy! He was trying so hard and he really didn't need to.
Moreover, with the exception of tidiness, he listed all my least favourite characteristics of a stereotypical gay guy.
"I see...... And do you wear concealer too?" I taunted him again
"On occasion, yes I do!" (LIER!! You wouldn't know concealer if I was to shove a bottle of it right up to where you don't need it...)
"No way.... And do you like Barbra..... Liza..... Shirley....???"
"Oh...Oh yes! I love them all!" he hurried to answer.
(can you imagine a straight thirty something bloke listening to Shirley Bassey in his car? ME NEITHER!)
Was this guy for real? What was he trying to prove? Was he trying to be empathic? I started feeling slightly offended...
"Ok, and when was the last time you kissed a guy?" I added casually
"Oh....I am NOT gay!!" he replied wide eyed, with an expression that read 'I-cannot-believe-you-just-said-that-to-me!'
"And how can you be so sure? Sounds to me that you are one Sex and the City episode away from Sodom...."
He looked at me stunned....
Then I laughed out loud!
"A-ha!!!" I pointed a finger at him! "Just kidding! Back to business!!"
"Oh..Erm..Sure... Shall we continue with the upstairs?" he merely said, affecting a laugh and looking like he wanted to leave immediately.
So we carried on and at the end he left in such a hurry that he forgot his pile of files on my sofa... They are still here.
A couple of hours afterwards, another estate agent came knocking at my door: Simon.
Slightly older than David, big broad smile, same nondescript suit. As soon as he entered the house he said
"Wow! What a great job you've done here.... I bet it didn't look like that when you bought it..."
"No...It didn't.... It was more like a bad trip to the seventies!!" I replied
"Well.... Look at this! I love the walls! The sand block effect is amazing!" he went on to open the nursery door where Gabriel was taking his afternoon nap
"Wait! Shhhh...Quietly! My son is sleeping in there!" I stopped him.
So we crept in, me bare footed, Simon with his squeaky shoes. He had a look around the room and whispered "Wow! Someone's been decorating in here..." and he smiled.
I showed him the rest of the house and then we sat down to discuss in front of another cup of tea.
"How long have you been living in here?" he asked
"Well, my partner was already here when I moved in, but it's now about ten years" I said
"And what does she do?"
"He.... It's a he...We are a gay couple...." I answered
"Oh.. I beg your pardon, what does HE do?" he asked again smiling.
That was it. No extra stumbling upon messy apologies.
Our conversation flowed amazingly well. We decided a marketing strategy for the property, a price for it and ended up comparing our experiences with married life, with being parents, exchanging tips on how to stimulate your child to start crawling (Simon has a baby girl a couple of weeks older than Gabriel...). All with the maximum ease and simplicity.
Simon did not try to 'become gay' to impress me or make me feel at ease.
He didn't think I needed to be made comfortable, and he was right.
The problem with David was that it was HIM to be uncomfortable, I was just sitting pretty, sipping tea, looking at him setting fire to his own arse. (ok, I might have poured a little gasoline on it....)
Regardless of what Simon's ideas are on gay parenting or gay people in general, he was friendly, relaxed and interesting.
David tried so hard to "win me over" that he ended up making things awkward for himself.
Simon did not "handle me with care" once realized I am gay. He did not need to. Yes he was after my business, but he did not kiss-ass to get it. He maintained his persona and established a contact with me through a common ground: parenthood.
We might NOT all love Gaga, or a trip to the body-waxing clinic, but we all DO love our children.
He unwittingly reminded me of the humanity we share, beyond sexuality, beyond religion, beyond race.
He did not try to make himself similar to me, he pushed aside the obvious differences between us and compared similarities successfully.
Two guys from two completely different worlds, talking about the same worries, the same feelings, the same love.
In a nutshell, discrimination is wrong and very uncomfortable for any minority, but at the same time, the excesses of political correctness are equally uncomfortable both for the giving and receiving party and I cant believe I had to use an estate agent to illustrate my point.
I just want to sell my house, and Simon is the person for the job!
Well done Simon! The first estate agent that is proven to have more DNA in common with a human than with a tiger-shark.
Oh...I almost forgot... He even sent Gabriel a scale model Mini Cooper with the logo of his company.
No note, but there was no need for it.
I was already won over.