Active Voice Column: The Measure of A Cool Mom
By P. Kristen Enos
When I had made long-overdue plans to have dinner with my friend Lucy, she had forewarned me that she had something very important she wanted to tell me.
I admit I was bit curious about the teaser. She lived in the Bay Area and I lived in Orange County, so we weren’t really involved in each others’ personal lives, which are about as opposite as one can get, she being a heterosexually married mother of three, and me, well, being me. And her tone sounded excited and enthusiastic. So I decided to approach the pending conversation with a certain amount of mildly interested curiosity.
The dinner eventually happened and Lucy never said anything through most of the dinner, which I didn’t know if it was due to having other friends (also heterosexual females in attendance) or she forgot or it was no longer of importance. But eventually Lucy suddenly declared that she was fine with the others listening to what she had to tell me (which piqued my curiosity even more since I didn’t realize it was so confidential) so she could begin her story.
Her oldest child, Colleen, was in high school. Lucy admitted that she and her daughter had the struggles of your typical generation gap with a little of teenage angst. But Lucy was clearly proud of her actress daughter and tried her best to be supportive of her activities and choices in life.
In a rare moment of being alone together, they were in a long car ride and listening to a radio station they both liked. It was then that Colleen said that she had something important to tell her mom. With a certain amount of hesitancy, she admitted that she thinks she’s bisexual.
Now Lucy is a fairly open-minded person herself — (after all, she bought a copy of my lesbian erotica novella) — and knew she had to proceed with caution. So she started to ask how exactly Colleen knew she was bisexual.
Colleen admitted that she was involved with her best long-time female friend.
Now looking at their relationship from a new perspective, Lucy asked if they had done “physical” things.
The answer was “yes”.
Then Lucy asked if they had done things in their home.
I interrupted and said “That’s not a question you want to ask.”
To which Lucy replied with an exasperated “I know that NOW!”
(One of the other women at the dinner then put her own two cents from her experience with her gay male best friend. She said the ultimate conclusion is that parents do not want to know who you’re really having sex with, no matter the gender. A point that she knows from experience with having two grown daughters herself.)
But back to Lucy’s story: she then asked her daughter why she’s so sure she’s really bisexual and not just gay.
Apparently Colleen was confused at this point and said she used to have a boyfriend (which Mom did know about.)
Lucy pointed out that it was in the past and if she was still attracted to boys.
Her daughter admitted there wasn’t anyone specific in her mind because she was happy with her girlfriend.
That’s when Lucy told her daughter very clearly “Just admit you’re gay! Commit to it! Boys are overrated!”
(Now, I had to admit my eyebrows raised at this point in the story given that the speaker was herself very happily married to a man. But I kept quiet this time.)
Apparently this cleared up the immediate and a lot of long-standing tension between the mother and daughter. Lucy then said how she was going to loan my erotica novella to Colleen, at which her daughter proclaimed that her mom had the coolest friends. (I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about the whole situation other than just take the safe route and be flattered.)
At this point, Lucy told us that in a moment of joking offensiveness, she pointed out to Colleen, “Hey they’re my friends, so doesn’t make me cool too?!”
Colleen apparently said with the wisdom of the teenager “No one thinks their mom is cool.”
Lucy couldn’t argue with that.
So with that story pretty much done, the dinner conversation progressed into talks about role-models, family life, etc.
Then we talked about how Lucy and her family went to a recent swap-meet.
Now, Lucy is admittedly a power-browser, bulldozing her way through crowds. Her family had split up with Colleen following her mother. It was revealed that the entire time, Colleen was her mom’s texting secretary, sending and receiving messages with other family members on her mom’s behalf as she tried her best to keep from being left behind in the crowds.
That’s when I said, “You know, THAT’s why she doesn’t think you’re cool.”
Lucy couldn’t argue with that either.
Copyright 2010 P. Kristen Enos. All rights reserved. Do not post or excerpt without permission.