Grandma and the Lesbians

Weekend visits to my parents' house are always an adventure...and not the good kind, typically. This weekend was no exception. Where do I start? Max choking on scraps of loose carpet pile (when DO new carpets stop their blasted shedding)? The teeth marks still visible on Tyler's arm from where my brother's dog tried to chomp the big bubble Ty was blowing but missed and sank fang into flesh instead? Or perhaps my mother's declaration that a long dead friend of mine was probably a closeted lesbian.


Let's discuss my mother's oft bragged about gay-dar. Yes. Mom claims she can tell a lesbian from 20 paces. After her statement about my best friend, I was curious about her methodology. How does she do it?

"Oh, it very easy to tell when a woman is a lesbian..." she bragged. "Lesbians like to wear tomboyish clothes, keep their hair short, don't wear makeup, and they don't get married or have any boyfriends. Like your friend K."

Uh huh. So every woman who has short hair, boyish clothes, no makeup, and is single is a lesbian.

"Yes. I work with two women and I am SURE they are lesbians."

Uh huh. So they told you they were?

"No. I can just tell."

Let me guess. They have short hair, they don't wear makeup, cumfy clothes like jeans and plain tops and they never talk about their boyfriends or husbands.

"That's right!"

I know what you all are thinking. They COULD be lesbians, right? Maybe my mom is on to something? Her criteria fits a pretty standard stereotype for one aspect of lesbian culture. But let's analyze this another way. My mother volunteers at a hospital. These "coworkers" are nurses who work in the surgical unit. Hello! It seems to me than short hair, plain clothes, lack of cosmetics (which are notorious wells of bacteria), and no time for boyfriends or husbands could be indicative of their career choice and not sexual orientation. Or am I just crazy.


As for my friend K, she was just as boy-crazy as I was back in the day. Her odds of landing a cute boyfriend were severely hampered by economics, scary strict parents, and a deep seated lack of confidence in her own desirability. Her family was pretty poor, so many of her ill-fitting clothes were hand-me-downs from her vast array of cousins or they were Kmart specials. Jeans and tees are cheap. Her mother preferred K's hair be kept short and she would regularly cut it herself to keep it what way. Her mother didn't approve of cosmetics and never taught K how to apply them (that job later fell to me.)

Naturally I related all of the above to Grandma to debunk her lesbian theory. She was not at all convinced. All you short haired, single, cumfy clothes wearing, makeup-less gals out there will always be Lesbians to her. Sorry. ;-)


Donna. W said…
Oh no!!!! I'm a lesbian! Don't tell Cliff.
Jo Beaufoix said…
This is so funny.
Atleast she says the word, 'lesbian'. I've never heard my mum say that word in my life.
She's more likely to say,

'She's a of those.'

Hee hee
Chris said…
I think some people do have a gaydar, as you said, but methinks Grandma's comes from old stereotypes:)

I am pretty good at knowing when a guy is gay, because my brother and one of my best friends in high school was gay. I can usually guess even the big burly guys that are gay. It's all based on subtle behaviors I saw in my brother and friend, I would guess.

But when it comes to lesbians? I have not a clue unless she tells me, "Hi, My name is Suzie and I'm a lesbian!".
I have good gaydar for men but not lesbians...and my mom and my sister and my niece are bisexual! So maybe mine was all messed up for women? I think I am probably bisexual, too, but I am monogamous, so that is what rules me...same relationship for twenty seven years...or maybe it is just that there aren't that many hunky guys around that are in my age bracket? ANyway, I tend to not be attracted too much to people of either gender..

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