Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Too Close for Comfort

On her way to a party the other day, a friend dashed into Barnes & Noble to buy a particular title. She was accompanied by her mother, whose focus was elsewhere:
As we entered B&N, a woman at the front of the store was providing information on Nooks. I quickly walked past her, knowing the book would be among the new releases, while my mother approached the Nook woman and asked for help finding the book.

"I've got it!" I called across the aisle.

I then began walking to the cash register. My mother again began walking toward the Nook lady, who informed her that she couldn't actually ring up books. "You have to pay over there," she said.

For reasons I still can't comprehend, my mother gave a low, throaty laugh, and said, "Oh, but we're attracted to YOU."

Great. The Nook lady thinks my mother is hitting on her, I thought.

I moved briskly to the cash register while my mother continued to chat up the Nook lady, who was 40 years her junior. I hastily collected my bag of books and my mother, then it hit me: The Nook lady probably thought my mother and I were a lesbian couple.

Is there anything worse than being mistaken as having a lesbian relationship with your own mother?

Yes, I realized a split-second later. Yes, there is.

In her odd attempt at humor, my mother had told the Nook lady "WE'RE attracted to you." So the Nook lady probably assumed my mother and I were a lesbian swinging couple.

Did I mention I drank A LOT at the party?

Another friend replied:
OK, *I* find your mom really entertaining.

My friend Christy and I went on a Disney Cruise together a few years ago, shortly after [my husband] died, with our twins (all ten years old) but without her husband. You get one waiter for the whole cruise, and he came over and introduced himself the first night, then expressed his amazement that we had four ten-year-olds at the table. Just as I was thinking "I wonder if he thinks we're a lesbian couple with quads," Christy nervously blurted out, "They're friends, but they're not all related!" and then she burst forth with some complete non-sequitur like "My husband couldn't come on this trip, but he really, really likes the Caribbean!"

After the waiter left, Christy looked even more chagrined, then said to me, "I hope you didn't feel insulted. If I were going to be a lesbian, I wouldn't want to be a lesbian with anyone but you."

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