Friday, August 14, 2009

I ran into...

Usually when I go to town, I run into people I know. After all, I've lived in the same town for nearly all of my 56 years, and I know a LOT of people. One of the drawbacks to sticking around here is that they know ME - and I used to be someone that they wanted to be friends with. Now I always have that feeling that someone might be pointing and talking right after I pass them - I don't KNOW that, but it feels like it. I feel that way at church, at the drug store, at Wal-Mart, at the car dealership where I take my car for service. I know it's paranoid, but I've experienced it, lived it, and I'm not over-playing what really goes on.

Yesterday as I left the grocery store (the one we call Ghetto Marsh because it's not the newest or most modern) I happened to run into my kids' first grade teacher. (The school was small and there was only one section per grade, so she knew all four of my kids.) Mrs. D's retired now, but she wanted to know all about the kids, and I got to proudly run down all their accomplishments. She glowed and gushed appropriately, and introduced me to her grandson. I told him I have applied to sub at his high school, and maybe I'll see him again. His two faux-diamond earrings should stand out for me to recognize him again :-)

The point of this meeting was when Mrs. D said, "You've done a good job with all your kids. All working, grandkids, that all sounds great, Carol." And then she said something like, "...and you all alone in that big house..." and she alluded to my being divorced.

What has she heard? What does she think? Does she know Ray's gay?

I know she didn't say it mean, and I didn't take it that way. I added what I say frequently, which is this: "I'm not angry with Ray. He was a good husband, and good father, and he never did anything to purposely hurt me."

And I walked away from Mrs. D. with a huge smile on my face and I felt really, really good. My kids are wonderful. Our family is still close. I can hold my head up and face anyone. Things continue to improve and I'm doing pretty darn good!


deb said...

Thanks for sharing. :)

Birdie said...

What a gracious response. You are setting the example to follow. I know it will make some uncomfortable, but you may never know whose heart you have changed. Someone out there needs to hear what you have to say, so keep saying it!

Anonymous said...

I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody, too. There are only a handful of openly gay couples/individuals where I live, and my parents happen to be one of them.
I can appreciate and understand the pointing and talking you "don't know" they're doing...but feel. I never thought of it as paranoia, but I guess it might be. I feel that way too.
I love that I've gotten older and am not afraid what people will think when I speak the truth about my family and the LGBT community as a whole. It does feel good. To be true to oneself.
I love your photo. You have a beautiful family and should be proud!