Friday, November 06, 2009

Where's the Mommy?

The first time I was asked "where's the mommy" was when we were still in Toronto. Blake must have been one or two months old. I was in HMV on one my of my excursions to the local shopping mall. There I was pushing the pram and browsing DVDs when a young man stopped me and asked me "where's him mom". His half shut eyes and slurry tone (not to mention the inappropriate question) made me assume he was mentally handicap in one way or another. Whatever it was, I felt no need to dive into the full story and just said "at home". Since then I rarely had that question asked whether I was with my husband or just me and Blake.

The next time it happened was already in London. Not quite sure how long ago, maybe around Blake's first birthday. I was at the local Thorntons stocking up on some chocolates when the nice lady behind the till asked me if it was mommy's day off. Again, not wishing to go into detail I just smiled and nodded instead of asking her if it was her brain's day off. That was it for a while.

The worrying thing is that this week I had two incidents in a row. Last week while shopping for a new wallet I let Blake down off my shoulders for a second and then had to chase him. "Are you babysitting today" asked the saleswoman at Tie Rack with a somewhat patronizing smile. The implication was obvious. There I was your typical father, like a fish out of water. Letting the mother take care of all the difficult day to day child rearing and then occasionally help out with the baby just to get some sort of pat of the back for a token contribution while realizing what a difficult job it actually is. "No, I take care of him all the time. He's my little buddy." I replied to her and added in my head "you presumptuous, sexist, nosey, little bitch."

And just today at Waitrose I was at the cashier. Blake was sitting in the shopping cart chewing on whatever was near enough to his mouth. "Is his mother at home?" She asked, God knows why. "He doesn't have a mother. It's just me and his father." I said briefly. I didn't quite want to go into detail with the whole story, but I was immediately aware that it wasn't phrased very well. The kind woman was resourceful enough to fill in the blanks. "Oh, he's very young for that. What a shame. Parents separated?" She was babbling with a disapproving sad face. "Are you shopping for the father?" Utterly perplexed, I just smiled and nodded.

I've decided that the next time someone asks me where's the mommy I'll just say "he doesn't have a mommy" in the saddest voice I could muster, maybe a tear or two, and leave it at that. Let them assume she died in a plane crash or was disowned by the family after being thrown into jail for dealing drugs to schoolchildren. What if I was a widower who just lost his wife? What if I was divorced and it was my turn with the kid? Why do these people think they can just ask anything that crosses their minds?

Better yet I can write a pamphlet with the following text in several different languages to hand over to nosey people who think my life is an open book for them to leaf through.

"Dear nosey person. I'm gay. I'm married to a man who's also gay. Our baby son may or may not be gay. We don't hate women, some of our best friends are women, we're just not into them that way. Thanks to a kind surrogate and the egg donation from one of our best friends we managed to bring our beautiful son into the world. His biological mother is part of his life and it's up to the two of them to establish what type of relationship they'll develop between them, but as it is my husband and I are our son's only legal parents. I hope this satisfies your utterly inappropriate curiosity, but if you're also going to ask us who's top and who's bottom I'm afraid I'll have to punch you in the face using my foot. Kind regards, Michael."



Kelly's Uterus said...

I may have to copy and paste that last part (for several people). Sheer Perfection.

Mickey said...

Please do! I'm happy to be of any help. :D

I checked out your blog and loved it. Keep spreading love and joy.

Tim and Louie said...

Michael, while I agree that these people are idiots and should not be asking such personal questions, assuming that everyone is heterosexual and that all men are dolts who are blind without the guidance of a woman or in this case "mommy", you are missing out on a rare and golden opportunity.

This is the time to "educate" these morons and bring them into the 21st century.

For example, you could answer their "So, where's mommy?" question with "Actually, there is no mommy. My son is very special because he has two dads that love him very, very much and my husband is at work and I'm taking care of him today." Or something to that effect.

I believe that by handling their queries in this fashion, especially in the presence of your son, will not only educate the unwashed masses, but will help teach your son how very special he is and what type of family you all are.

Then these people will have learned something new and the next time a lone parent is seen with a child, they won't be so quick as to judge and assume what type of family structure they are.

Love your blog, keep up the great work!

- Louie
Phoenix, AZ

Mickey said...

You're right and I often do switch on educational mode, but I can't be on activist mode 100% on the time and sometimes I just can't be bothered and get annoyed by nosey people.

Thanks for the comment and kind words!

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