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  NIGHTSPOTS

Dateland
by Jennifer Parello
2004-02-18

This article shared 1937 times since Wed Feb 18, 2004
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I'm drinking beer while writing this so there will be lots of typos and more exclamation marks than

necessary. (I tend to get excitable when I'm tipsy.) The reason I'm drinking beer is because I ran out of Merlot an hour ago. I started drinking the minute my parents left my house. That was at noon.

What time is it now? Time to get another beer.

My life would be so much easier if my parents were insects. If my mom were an aphid, I would have never met her or my dad (who would have been eaten by my mom after they mated, which is just what he would have deserved for putting his filthy hands on her). I would have hatched out of my shell, embarked of a career as a garden pest, and slept (guilt-free!) with lots of ladybugs.

Instead, my mother gave birth to me in the way that most mammals do. But she refused to cut the umbilical cord. She even fashioned an extension cord for my dad. Any time they don't like what I'm doing (which is often!) they give that cord a mighty yank. And it really hurts when they pull it like that.

This weekend, I used some of that disposable income that we gay

people are so famous for to buy a cottage in Michigan. As soon as my parents heard the news, they

shimmied up the cord from their home in suburban Chicago and landed on my doorstep.

I had been dreading their arrival. I had briefly considered hiding the cottage purchase from them, but since I refuse to give them

grandchildren and, thus, deny them the opportunity to criticize my

childrearing skills, the only thing I have left to offer is real estate. And there is plenty for them to criticize at the cottage.

The cottage needs—how you say?—'a little work.' Every pipe cracked in the recent cold snap, the furnace was designed to burn coal, and the previous owner really liked the color purple (purple walls, purple carpet, purple toilet seat).

I could just imagine my mother—an aesthete who can out gay man any gay man—succumbing to the vapors when she saw the bathroom, which is a bit primitive. (This is also her stock reaction when encountering any of my love

interests.) And I could see my father—who likes to shake his head at me—pointing grimly at the missing planks in the floors.

But nothing I imagined prepared me for their reaction when they arrived at the cottage early this morning. They loved it! They said things like, 'All it needs is a coat of paint.'

So why am I so rattled (and so drunk)? Because my parents never approve of anything I do. They are only nice to me when they are about to do something terrible—like give my phone number to eligible

bachelors.

'What type of sick game are you two playing?' I asked squinting at them. They responded by blinking with mock innocence.

When they left at noon—all smiles and promises to return with a porch swing—I did what most humans that are still attached to umbilical cords do. I grabbed a bottle and sucked on it, wondering when I'd feel the next familiar tug on my belly button.

(You can see the cottage at my web site: www.jenniferparello.com)


This article shared 1937 times since Wed Feb 18, 2004
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