Meet the Parents

(Image credit: Sacramento Regional Transit District.)

Today, Yours Truly leaves with Devyn for three days in Sacramento, CA. Though we both live downtown, he lives marginally closer to a Loop Orange Line station, so we’ll leave for Midway this morning by walking one block from his house to the Madison/Wabash Orange Line station for our 20-minute ride to Midway. Ah, the joys of living downtown. But I digress.

We’re heading west for me to meet Devyn’s parents for the first time. I haven’t been in a position to meet anyone’s parents since Mac OS 6.0.8 (think Windows 3.11), so this is apt to be an interesting trip. I expect all to go well. But I think all of us this week will be ready for anything. So with that in mind, I offer the story of the last time I met the ‘rents. This time has got to better…

Picture it: Brooklyn; February 1991. A lanky Irish 20 year-old from Queens starts dating the brother of another guy he used to date. This brother, for want of a fictitious name let’s call him Alberto Gancitano, is the one that God graced with all his brother didn’t have: brains; brawn; heart; mind. All in all, it was a step way up for me.

And way over. Because this brother and his extended and extraordinarily Italian family lives in the middle of Brooklyn, a veritable schlep from Jamaica, Queens. So spending time with Alberto on the weekend generally means sleeping over.

Now Mrs. Gancitano had already gotten the memo about the orientation of her two sons. She was over the shock. But Mr. Gancitano, well he was old school. He didn’t complain much, but when he blew, it was pasta and meatballs flying across the dining room time. And gay sons were definitely not within his frame of reference.

It’s important that I tell you, Alberto slept in the basement. This being because on a recent summer trip to Italy, his brother, for want of a fictitious name we’ll call him that ass Rob, with whom he used to share a room, had carted all his furniture down to the basement to “establish his space”. So privacy for Alberto was directly correlated with whether anyone was doing laundry down there or the basement door was locked.

Which it usually was. Until the night Mr. Gancitano had to go check on something (I think it was clothes left in the dryer) in the basement very early one Sunday morning. According to ‘berto’s mom, he saw us there wrapped in each other’s arms, asleep. Nothing less than sweet and innocent and in love. But a hard way for a dad to find out about it.

Playing against type, he never told us. We didn’t know until much later. Not that he ever accepted it, but if there’s one way for parent to find out, it’s simply to witness a demonstration of love. Of course, this explained why he and I never spoke.

‘berto and I broke up in 1992; we were too serious and too young. Alberto’s in NYC’s northern suburbs now with his lover, and his folks are down in Florida. He was the first man I ever loved, and the last man I truly loved before Devyn.

When we broke up, he told me it would be a long wait. He was right. But considering Devyn, the wait was more than worth it.

Now, Alberto, you can stop complaining that you’re not on my blog ;-)

And, Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell, I’m looking very forward to meeting you.

But please. Knock first.

(View Devyn’s blog about our trip).

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