Out of the Lair of the Hong Kong Grandmother (Days 8-9)
Posted on February 4, 2009
Today is promising. A family Ralph’s Grandmother has known for many years is coming by to visit. Now, I’d like to think they’ve stayed in touch because she used to tutor their two sons. The nice thing is the family has always been very good to me. They’ve included me in the gift giving during the Chinese New Year and have even sent things back for me during years when I’ve been unable to go abroad.
The irony here is that they understand and seem to accept that which Grandma never will. The mother even asked her once if Ralph and I were a couple. The adamant denials left marks in the floor and wall to say nothing about what the air pressure did to the poor mother’s hair. Still, they’re not stupid, at least not as stupid as Grandma would prefer them to be. And I like them.
I met their youngest when he was about 7 and he’s now 15. Last time I saw him, he was 12, had no interest in anything other than his video games and was developing into a bit of a snarky little sod. Time has been good to him, however, and the teenager he’s emerged as is the epitome of politeness, kindness and good intentions. The scary thing is that I’m of the age where I’m old enough to be his father. I swear, just the thought made a gray hair pop up.
We all enjoy a delightful lunch, exchange gifts (I make sure to bring something for them when I come over) and then part ways. They seemed a bit rushed with Grandma and it isn’t until later I find out that they’d already been over twice before I arrived. So, no wonder.
Last minute shopping is next and, as always, Grandma springs a few last minute items she wants to have us pick up for her and possibly install, arrange builders to install or otherwise return when she gets it home and realizes we were correct and it wouldn’t work anyway. I suggest pushing her in front of a subway train, but the glass blockers make that impossible and Ralph is giving me the evil eye. Despite her unusual ways, he does love her. It makes me realize he’ll always love me for mine. He’d better. He’d damn well better.
So he and I finally make it out later that night and I’m troubled by two things; I’ve realized I’m old and I still haven’t bought conditioner for my hair, which looks like shit. My gay card could be revoked for hair like this. But we hit the stores nonetheless and Ralph strikes up a short conversation with a worker in one of them. She is surprised he speaks Cantonese so well, then glances over at me and asks him “Is this your father?”
I am unimpressed with her observation.
And yet the horror doesn’t end there. We have lunch with Grandma’s dentist the following day. It’s the last meal we are forced to attend in order for her to show Ralph off. I’ve met this dentist once before and found him to be quite charming and even biting with his comments (he once insulted Ralph’s brother to his face and that endeared me to the man ever since). We also unanimously think he’s gay. The dentist is married, however, and has a daughter, so what do we know? The man also doesn’t remember having met me before and after looking at Ralph, then back at me, he wonders out loud “You’re not his brother…are you his father?”
Twice in 12 fracking hours. You have GOT to be kidding me.
I immediately purchase some conditioner just after lunch and right before we go to return all the aforementioned items Grandma insisted we buy that we told her wouldn’t work anyway. She is nothing if not consistent. Oh, and the Dentist made sure to ask if Ralph was married yet, then looked over and asked me the same question. I guess I’m technically not married. After all, Ralph informed me we weren’t, so I tell the man “I don’t have time in my schedule for a relationship” since it now makes me seem like I’m married to my work. He goes back to work on Ralph and again I’m unimpressed.
Look folks, if someone has reached the age of 35 and 38 and they aren’t married, show no desire to be married and brush off your kind suggestions of setting you up, leave it be! It’s obvious you don’t know the whole story, wouldn’t like the whole story if you did know it and you certainly don’t need to be crawling up our asses looking for the answer to a question we have no intention of answering. But it’s a cultural thing and I digress. I’m tired, cranky and apparently old enough to have a 35-year-old son now as opposed to a 15-year-old son.
Daylight come and we wanna go home.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
4 Responses to “Out of the Lair of the Hong Kong Grandmother (Days 8-9)”
July 28, 2012 at 7:45 am
Worry not, Kris, with all the crosses you have to bear, you’re a shoo-in for sainthood. But you probably shouldn’t expect Grandma to sign the application.
July 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm
I’m anticipating she’ll still be alive when I pass over, D.
Kiernan Kelly says:
July 28, 2012 at 10:56 am
I really believe you need to immortalize the Hong Kong Grandmother in some way. She’s like the Asian Michael Meyers. I can actually hear the spooky music start when she appears in one of your blogs.
Maybe we should make her a puppet. Then you can film your blogs as stop-action animation. Snort.
July 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm
The third Andy book is tentatively titled Andy Stevenson & The Rise of the Hong Kong Grandmother.