Saturday, July 31, 2010

What happens in Provincetown...

My in-laws spent a 3-day weekend in Provincetown, MA.  They window-shopped, walked on the beach, and sipped hot cocoa at their cozy B&B.  It was a charming, relaxing retreat for two suburbanites of a certain age. 

On the last day, Mom popped into the local beauty parlor for a trim.  The cut was the same style she has had for years - perhaps an Angstrom shorter than usual.  Then Mom met Dad for lunch before heading back to Philadelphia.

During lunch, Mom and Dad began to notice same-sex couples all over Provincetown:  Dining in the restaurant, browsing in the quaint antique shops, strolling down the streets.  Dad did some quick research on his iPhone and learned that Provincetown is a gay mecca.  This might be hard to believe, but THEY HAD NO IDEA.  "Well," they said to each other, "that's interesting.  We had no idea!"  They shrugged, got into the minivan, and headed home.

Along the way, they stopped in New York City to say hello to me and E.  Mom was having doubts about her haircut:
Mom:  Susan, look how short it is!  Don't you think it's too short?
Me:  It looks exactly like it always does.  You look nice!
Mom:  It's NOT the same.  It's too short!  Way, way too short. 
Me:  You're crazy.  It's just the same as always.
Mom (gasping):  Oh my god - it's a butch haircut!  I look like a dyke!
Mom panicked while Dad, E, and I tried to assure her that her head was sufficiently heterosexual.  When this failed, I tried another tack:
Mom:  What am I going to do?  I have to go to work tomorrow!  People will see!
Me:  Jesus Christ, Mom.  Just tell them you're bicurious.  
The room fell silent.  E and Dad stared intently at their feet while Mom affixed me with a venomous glare.  She stood, smoothed her pantsuit, and marched to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.  E, Dad, and I waited in wordless suspense, wondering what would happen next.

Finally Mom reappeared.  "It's getting late," she announced.  "We need to hit the road.  Dad, take me home."

E and I watched the minivan pull away.  "I'm sorry," I told E, "but I needed that to end."  "I know," E replied, "It's ok."

It was ok.  And Mom never mentioned her gay hair again.