Oh, what The Onion could do with this headline! But it probably wouldn't come close to the real story.
So 'round about Pioneer Day a few years ago I intercepted a message on our home voice mail, given in a clipped, proper British accent..
"Mr. Fartings, it has come to my attention that our sons are in a relationship of a homosexual nature. I should like to speak with you at your earliest convenience." (Yeah, that's how she phrased it.)
Well, hell. There were two immediate problems with this. First of all, this woman knew damn well it was BROTHER Fartings. Our sons had known each other for years even if we parents had never met. And Brother Fartings, being the good bishop's counselor that he was, had no idea that his eldest son was gay. I knew, but that's where the news had stopped for several months. No way was I letting him find out like this. So I erased the message and, figuring that since the boys she was referring to were well into their 20s, it would be rude to talk about them behind their backs as if they were mere children. And also, I'd heard about this woman. And I DID NOT want to meet her alone. So I took them.
That's how I got to be perched on the edge of a perfect sofa in a perfect room in their perfect house. Not a dust molecule out of place. All furnishings and church paintings had been chosen with perfection in mind. My son sat near me on the sofa while across the room perched the proper British mum, owner of this perfect house and creator of this perfect life. Her son stood near her but soon sat on the floor, his back literally and figuratively against the wall. He was the only imperfect thing in her well-ordered and strictly regimented life. How dare he.
There followed an awkward and strained conversation, most of which I don't remember, but it proved she was as small of mind as she was of stature. She quoted church leaders, scriptures, conference talks. Now, at this point I was still trying to figure this whole "gay" thing out myself. Trying to reconcile it with church teachings, with my own thoughts, observations and feelings. The only thing I really knew for sure was that I loved my son and I would continue to love and support him no matter what. I was light-years ahead of her.
Most of the one-way conversation went around and around, swirling into an incomprehensible haze of church doctrine pointing out the horrible evil of gayness. I felt mentally beaten myself, so I can only imagine how the poor boys felt. I only remember a few specific gems that came out of her mouth:
"How do you know you are gay? Have you ever had a date with a girl? Have you ever kissed a girl? Then how do you KNOW?" (How did you know you were attracted to men before you'd kissed one, bitch?)
"It's much worse for you, son. You've made covenants in the temple that HE," gesturing towards my son, "hasn't made. You will be held more accountable than HE will." ( Accountable to who? That's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?)
And the real topper of the night, said straight to my son's face, right in front of me, "I've always hated you." And she wonders why he never accepts their invitations to dinner.