Have you ever said something that you shouldn’t have, but at the time, you didn’t realize you shouldn’t have said it?
I have. Last night to be specific. And I didn’t realize that I said something I shouldn’t have until I was sharing my evening with the hubs and he gave me a shocked “you-really-said-that” and “I-can’t-believe-you-did-that” face.
I was having a glass of wine with two of my aunts (I guess aunt-in-laws would be their specific titles) while we were planning a baby shower for my sister-in-law.
One of their friends joining us, and we were chatting about how one of them, and her friend, used to babysit my husband. The chatting continued and the friend asked me about how my father-in-law was.
Here is where things got a little sticky…I will give a little back story now to hopefully demonstrate how I did not realize that I had made a mistake.
My husband’s father is gay. When Matt and I got together, his parents were already divorced. So when I met his dad for the first time, he was single. A few years later, we meet his roommate, Ron, and he started coming around a lot (this is when we knew that there was more to just a “roommate” status between them). A few more years after that, they were married.
Now, when Matt and I got married, I got in trouble (literally in trouble and my mom was verbally scolded at the reception) for not giving Ron a boutonnière to wear. He was sitting in the first pew, which was all I thought that they wanted, and nothing was verbally “out” in the open about their relationship. We knew, but nothing had ever really been talked about. So he didn’t get a boutonnière, and I was in trouble because I didn’t recognize him at the wedding.
Fast forward a year later, Matt’s brother is getting married. Ron and Matt’s dad both wear boutonnières AND they walked together down the aisle to their seats during the processional.
In between all of this, my father-in-law and his husband have been inviting the whole family to their annual Christmas parties. They throw a pretty crazy party and have a very wide, eclectic, and varied group of friends.
Also, once they were married, they told their kids and both wore matching wedding bands. Ron also comes to all family gatherings and receives Father’s Day cards from Matt and his brother. They both actively participate in Equal Rights causes in the area.
So to me, it seemed like things were pretty out in the open. The family knows, the kids know, the ex-wife knows, the friends know.
Now, back to last night…I answered the question about my father-in-law by saying that he was good and living out of town with his husband. Apparently I was not supposed to mention the husband part.
This lead to the aunts asking me some questions about their brother. I don’t really know a whole lot, and I don’t pretend to. My husband’s family are not talkers or sharers of emotions. There are times that it is thought that if there is a problem, you don’t talk about it. And if you don’t talk about it, it will go away. So I answered what I knew and what I was comfortable with, because I am (unfortunately in this case) a sharer and a talker.
In hindsight I should not have said anything. Unfortunately, I was not given a rule book stating when, with whom, and where it was appropriate to talk about things like this. I guess I was naïve and liberal enough to not think that being gay was an issue. It is who they are and not something that I thought was supposed to be hidden. My past experiences, especially at my own wedding, made me believe that they wanted to be recognized.
Now I feel really stupid that I said anything. I am hoping that the aunts are not offended or mad at me. I also hope that this does not start a wildfire of gossip. Nothing I said was meant to hurt or “out” anyone, and I hope that it doesn’t.