Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy with what Life Has Given Her.

My mom is an only child and both of her parents have passed away.  Our family dog also passed away in August of this year which led her to cry for hours.  She tells me that she's worried about getting old because loneliness is inevitable.

As a child of immigrants, I feel lucky that my parents are living happy comfortable lives.  Like many, I've internalize a sense of guilt.  Taking care of your parents and making sure they're happiness is intact is the natural next step.

For gay children, we've become convinced that we've grown up to be the furthest type of person that our parents can be proud of.  For some, hearing "i love you" is rare... to hear, "I'm proud of you" is a dream.  However, the guilt that I was struggling with is that I feel like I cannot grow the family in a way to help my mom with that loneliness which will compromise her happiness.

My mom asked me over lunch, " you want children?"

"I don't know... but I know that having a children would make you very happy."

She interrupted me, "that's the wrong way of thinking.  To have children is to provide happiness for yourself...  it's not about me.  It's for you."

"I'm... very happy you said that."  I wasn't expecting this sort of response, especially not that quick.  I paused and took a 3 minute break holding back the tears; glancing at strangers to see if they noticed that the conversation had turned into something more serious.

"What is it?"

The swelling in my eyes increased, "I know... how lonely you are, and having grandchildren would make you very happy... and all I want to do, is to make sure you're happy."  I verbalized the internalized guilt that I had been repressing.

Without missing a beat she responded, "I have two beautiful children, I've accepted what God has given me and I can't be happier.  I've lived a very difficult life.. your dad saved me from being abused, I've seen a lot of bad things, but I accept everything as a gift.  And I gladly accept that grandchildren may not be in my future, and that's okay.  God has already given me enough."

I absorbed everything she said.  It was something that I needed to hear.  It was such a powerful conversation to have; for my mom to express that her happiness wasn't dependent on what I could provide her and that having me was enough.  That I was enough.

It made me realize that coming out to my parents two years ago was only the beginning.   Talking about the future, talking about happiness was the next.

So do I want children?
I still don't know, but if I do...  it'll be for me especially now that I know it's a possibility. For the first time in my life, I've met two Vietnamese American Dads in their late 30’s and their 5 month old daughter. and talking to them, though only briefly, showed me what my future could possibly look like:

So much love and happiness.  It's just mind blowingly expensive  and terrifying.

SO...being a gay uncle is still my number one choice.  Come ON little brother!!  (But of course, do it for you.  ;) )

Monday, December 18, 2017

321 Christmas Party: Our Hard-On Will Go On

When we came up with the theme, Andrew go extremely excited.  So excited that he bought this GIANT sofa from craigslist.  In the end he had to chop it up and throw it away because it wouldn't fit in the door frame, but we lucked out with a smaller chair and trunk with the negotiation.

Meanwhile, I decorate the house with large plastic nautical themed things.

Andrew kept saying "Iceberg Straight ahead!"  He bought that captain hat, telescope and the heart of the ocean jewel.  Man, that fact that he was into this theme made me so excited for it.  We concluded that cult films like the Titanic and Jurassic Park (Dat-Ass-Ic Park) is Andrew's specialty.

And I'm all about reusing.  That's my Mean Girls wig, my space helmet because the "Old lady dropped it in the ocean at the end," and my white shawl from Easter Egg Hunty.  Also, I had that gold string drappy thing sitting under my bed for years from another white elephant!  I has purpose and changed up the background from Shenyun!

I drove to one hour to Beverly Hills in traffic to buy this giant Titanic poster for $20 that apparently works if you shine a light behind it.  Thank you OfferUp!  We're at the premiere!

Not really Christmas, but I felt like we have enough candy canes and santa hats.  The other idea was to lay a door on the floor and do ariel shots.  But it wouldn't quite create the illusion since you can't get a second person to hang off of it like Jack.  Never let go!

Party was a success!  For 3 years we've had it on a Friday because it usually conflicts with Jimmy or Andrew's schedule.  We kept it this way to thin the crowd too.  One year we had 60 people which made for a painful white elephant game.  This year was only 30.  Which made it quick and easy.

And if you didn't have a costume, no worries!  I have top hats.

We put up everyone's drawings of the French Girls.  The 1912's style photobooth.  Lots of big boobs. 

Here's the original couch.  Somehow we got it up the stairs, but couldn't angle it into the bedroom.  Andrew had to saw it apart to get it back down.  It was about a days worth of work.  The other chain in the photos was also difficult to get into the room, we basically spun it in like a rubics cube.  Hashtag: worthit.

Gaysians and their White Elephants

This year we hosted our 9th annual 321 Christmas party.  The title: "Our Hard-on Will Go On."  It was Titanic themed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the film as well as our success in avoiding eviction.  We thought that 2016 was going to be out "Last Christmas."  But we'll never let go.  The photo booth was pretty epic, but I'll save that for another post.

After posting this picture I noticed that other gaysian groups that I follow on social media began to post their own large group photos holding up gifts along side a sprinkle of women and white folks.

Each group probably complaining about their white elephant gift.  Each group excited when someone brings chicken McNuggets.  Each group happy to see each other in a comfortable environment in which they are not a token.   Looking at these group photos makes me feel as though we all follow a script.  And that even though we're trying to live unique lives, fight stereotypes (some more than others), there's just a lot that's predictable.

I can confidently say that each group is dealing with their own issues involving drugs, over partying, body dysmorphia, mental health, dating drama, family disconnection, complacency, insecurity, loneliness.   Intersectional issues that involve being both gay and Asian in which the only way to feel "normal" is to have these sort of gatherings so that we can reassure each other that we're doing just fine because we're all in it together with the support system that we've built.

Anyway, everyone loves a good white elephant.. usually not for the gift you receive but for the drama to unfold in front of you during the game.  And being with people that get it is like being with family which is especially needed during the holidays.