Saturday, March 24, 2007

girl.imp said:

'There is nothing bad at Panera!'
Yes, we here at the playground frequent 'frou-frou' food establishments!
(Sorry Betty and Tony but the Col. Sanders is sometimes dead to the imps)

'I am stuffed, puffed aaaaand a little bit fluffed!'
(this statement was uttered upon g.imp's completion of Panera's Chicken Noodle Soup)

'Daddy what does gay mean?'

ummmm, folks I grew up in rural America. Yes, this means boots were not referred to as 'kicks'. They were 'Shit Kickers'. We had school uniforms; t-shirts, blue jeans, and the aforementioned 'kicks'.

So what I am saying is that my childhood was not in the most liberal area of the country when it came to social interaction. Mind you, we did not host Klan rallies but I was informed in high school that we were 45 minutes from a Klan branch. (loverly that)

So when girl.imp popped her question I first kicked myself because I was speaking about the development of a character of one of my stories (wife.imp wants me to have my Oprah Moment). I have been hung up on this character. He works in the oil field and is too one-dimensional. So I was thinking of introducing a gay character into this last bastion of the 'Man's Man' industry.

By the way, did anyone see Oprah on Friday? wife.imp was home sick, so Oprah was on the Educational Deathray. She took this trip with a friend and they were showing clips aaaaaand, except for the one State Highway Patrolman in Kentucky, BORING!!!

But the one thing that Oprah can do, even with the content of the clips having the ability to put an insomniac under, I stood in the doorway and watched 10 minutes of the show Because.She.Is.Oprah!

Back to the book: I decided not to make the character gay. I would probably fall back on the homophobic cliches because you tend to write what you have experienced and my experiences stem from this rural, conservative community. So, if one cannot be honest to the character, kill the character or change it. Since I have nothing without this character, we are stepping back to safer ground and will work on a different conflict to experience.

To answer girl.imp's question:
'gay means happy (re: spongebob happy).'

I went on to stress a person with an overall positive outlook on life. Ok, this will also conincide with the actual dictionary definition. Which means I wimped out. Life lesson avoided. Wait until she asks about drugs, sex and rock'n'roll!! (Lord help me if 'The Monthly Problem' crops up).

Dad of the Year? I somehow think the nominating committee will 'overlook' me in 2007.

oh, I probably also missed out on my 'Oprah Moment'.


Mommy de Gallo said...

Damn! Now I want Panera!!
About a year ago the only child Piko's age in our neighborhood was a girl who's parents made liberal use of the word gay. "That's so gay!" (dumb), "You're so gay!" (you're dumb). "This gay uniform". You get the picture. Ugh, it was very bothersome. I would never really say anything, except to ask scarcastic questions like "I never knew your uniform was so happy."
I don't know what bothers me more. People that say stuff like that, or the fact that I don't know what to say when they do.

Undercover Angel said...

I think you answered her question very well. Happy is the definition of gay, but society has given it the other meaning. I think you answered her truthfully. She asked what gay meant, and you gave her the definition and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't think you missed your Oprah moment at all...

James Burnett said...

Don't feel bad. I would have taken that route too. She'll learn the other definition soon enough from school or TV.

I'm trying to define it myself. A close buddy came out to me a couple of weeks ago. And this is a buddy with whom I've done all the stereotypical macho guy stuff.

Suddenly, as he and I were discussing it, I realized my "image" of how gay is defined was shot all to pieces. I know it means he has an interest in men. But all the other stuff I took for granted? Poof. I'm glad my guy trusted me enough to come out. I feel bad for him that he was worried he couldn't do it sooner. But it really did leave me pondering how I define people.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling. Kudos on deftly handling things.

dennis said...

MdG: I know. Panera soooo rocks over Camille's!

U Angel: Thank you! If you happen to bump into Oprah someday...??

James: Dude! I don't think you have to worry about much. After all, he did trust you enough to open up. Says a lot about you.

wayabetty said...

Love Panera! They even have muffin tops! Brings back fond memories of Seinfeld. I'll ship my kids your way for the life lessons Dennis.

dennis said...

betty: you do realize that if they get life lessons from me...I expect to be paid lots and lots of home cooked food!