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Subject: So, apparently my son is gay. rss

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Rusty McFisticuffs
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(This happened a few months ago; I just never got around to polishing it up enough to meet Chit Chat's rigorous standards. But with BGG.CON a week away, I need something for people to talk to me about; I don't have last year's wristband on my wrist or a pentagram cut into my palm, so there's basically nothing interesting about me.)

(Since then, when I've opened with, "so, apparently my son is gay," some of my friends have squinted toward the horizon, nodded slowly, and said, "you know, I thought he might be, but I didn't want to say anything." Me: "Listen to the damn story first!")

The burrito boy, age 17, called me on the phone. That right there is unusual; usually he prefers to send me enigmatic texts like, "how would you feel about driving me somewhere tomorrow morning" (my answer: "anger, resentment, barely contained fury") or this exchange:

Him: We have to go to the Blue Lake Casino after REDACTED's house, okay?
Me: Why?
Him: I've got an addiction
Me: Gambling, or meth? Because there are closer places to score some meth.
Him: I've got an addiction to trickery and deception

Anyway, his opening line only amplified my fears. "Dad, I just wanted you to know that I think you've done a great job as a parent."

"Really."

"Would you like to hear a couple of essays I wrote last year for English?" Yes, of course; I was mentioned in both essays, but, predictably, he made me sound bad in one and psychotic in the other.

"OK, son, that's great... but what do you want?"

"Well, I want to go to a sleepover with my friends tomorrow night, and Mom said to ask you."

Translation: Mom said no, and then got tired of arguing with him about it, so she's tapping out. This meant he had prepared for this call; this was an ambush. I would have to stay alert.

"Hmm," I said. "First, I need to know where it is and who's going to be there."

He named off four names I didn't recognize, but... they all sounded female. This 17-year-old boy was about to explain why he should be allowed to spend the night with four 17-year-old girls under the alleged supervision of parents I'd never met.

Obviously this was unacceptable, but rather than shutting it down out of hand, I might as well reconnoiter the situation. The sleepover was going to take place at the apartment of one of the girls and her single mom. "I'm going to need to talk to REDACTED's mom," I said. "In person, not over the phone; I know we made you watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

He was shocked--shocked, I say--that I would doubt him. "When have I ever done anything to make you not trust me? She's a busy lady, Dad. I can't guarantee that she'll be able to talk to you before tomorrow night!"

"What about right before the sleepover?"

"I'm busy then; I'm having dinner with my girlfriend."

Me, suspicious: "Is she going to be at the sleepover?"

"No; she doesn't know about it."

"Son, you are a goddamn idiot."

We went around and around on that; it seemed there was no time--including but not limited to the moment he walked up to the door--at which the mom was going to be able to talk to me.

"Uh huh. That's fine; look, bottom line, if I don't talk to her in person, it's not happening. And if I do talk to her, it might still not happen."

He was mad. "What are you afraid of, Dad? What do you think will happen?"

"Well, my concern, son, is that I don't know how well you resist peer pressure--"

"Dad! Getting straight A's is resisting peer pressure!" (Interesting argument, not entirely without merit.) "And you know I wear Crocs!"

"So? You know I don't know what's cool anymore; maybe you were like, Dad, everyone's wearing Crocs--"

"No, if you look online, wearing Crocs makes you a target for harassment and bullying."

"Ah, like wearing a tie-died T-shirt to a metal show!"

"I don't know what that means."

"Apparently you can punch hippies without retaliation, so I used to wear--"

"Whatever, Dad. My Halloween costume was a potato!"

"Again, maybe kids these days are into potatoes? Wasn't there a Disney movie, Buried or whatever..."

...

The first of two specific peer-pressure-related topics I was concerned about was drugs. Over the years, I have been repeatedly surprised that my kids' friends' parents all have grow closets; clearly, not everyone is on the same page as I am regarding illegal drug use.

"Dad, do you think I've never been offered drugs before?"

"Uhh... hmm... well... I've never really thought about it--"

"What do you think I said?"

"Well... I hope you were smart enough to say no, but I really don't know. You know I can't read you."

We argued about that for a while. Finally I attempted to move the conversation along, because that half of it didn't really matter; that was just the opening act, not the main event. "OK, look: other than drugs, my other concern is boobies."

"I knew you'd say that, but I have an argument which I think is going to put your mind at rest."

Like I said, an ambush. "Uh huh... OK, let's hear it."

"I wanted to tell you this in person rather than over the phone, but... well... I'm gay."

I laughed and laughed. In one stroke, he'd destroyed every argument I was about to lay out. "Well, son, I want you to know I love you, and I support you--"

"Thanks, Dad."

"--but I'm gonna need to see you kiss a dude."
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J J
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Julius Waller
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Good call at the end, I am just curious about how he explains his being gay in the context of referring to a girlfriend earlier in the narrative.

But that's just an aside, you really are the meanest dad. Banning a 17-year old from a sleep-over with 4 girls? Come on man! You were young once! More to the point - soon he will be old enough to decide for himself whether he goes on any of these events. Better to try and find a basis of mutual trust that makes it clear you dont want to have to deal with 4 paternity suits filed against him in a few months time.
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andrew
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You said 17 right?
The lad should have had boobie liberties two years ago!!
What are you trying to do?
Scar him for life?

~ great read btw ~
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Wendell
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Your son is dangerously honest. Gay or straight, when I was that age I would have made up a story to allay your suspicions.

But you may be a wilier parent than my mom was when I was 17...
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Great story! You've clearly raised a good guy.
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Chris Robbins
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Sounds like an inspiration for a TV show with two girls and a guy sharing an apartment, which the landlord only allows because the guy claims to be gay.

(Just a little levity that struck me. Sorry you have to struggle to do the right thing, whatever that is.)
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Diane Close
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Admit it, you just can't believe your son scored a "foursome" before you did, and that's why you're not letting him go. Perhaps you should repost this in RSP in order to receive "proper" advice. devil ninja
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Chapel
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That argument closer is totally going to need a dude kiss. With tongue.
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John Hathorn
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Did the "addiction to deception" conversation really happen? If so, it doesn't bode well for this conversation.
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Joe Gola
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I like to think I’m pretty broad-minded, but I really don’t approve of a child that age wearing Crocs.
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Ben Vincent
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If this happened a few months ago, surely there's more? Did he go to the sleepover? Did he kiss a dude?
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Mark Delano
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SabreRedleg wrote:
If this happened a few months ago, surely there's more? Did he go to the sleepover? Did he kiss a dude?


Presumably he's saving the resolution for BGGCon so people will talk to the nearby tree.
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Gary Heidenreich
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Holy Hell, the Burrito Boy is 17??

Yah, I know time moves, etc. But unless it's my kid, grandkids or my nephews, I lose that youngsters age.
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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JohnnyOffice wrote:
Did the "addiction to deception" conversation really happen? If so, it doesn't bode well for this conversation.

Yeah, he heard the casino gave away their used decks of cards, and all you needed to do was show up & ask for them; he needed 52 identical decks for a... project he never fully explained to me. (I took him there, and they happily gave him the cards.)

SabreRedleg wrote:
If this happened a few months ago, surely there's more? Did he go to the sleepover? Did he kiss a dude?

Oh ho ho. Excellent question.

Texts between me & my ex-wife after that phone call:

Me: Just got off the phone with the boy; his argument in favor of a sleepover with girls is that he's gay.
Me: I said, absolutely not unless I talked to the mom in person.

Her: His argument to me was that his "romantic interest" was not going to be there. I told him if you said yes, then yes. But... he needed to give you the same info he gave me, which was almost nothing.

Me: I told him I'd need to see him kiss a dude.
Me: The "she's not going to be there" argument is a non-starter. First, I don't necessarily believe it, & second, she's not the only kid with boobies.

Her: I was confident you would back my "no."

Me: He thinks it won't be possible for me to talk to the mom in person, even when he's arriving at the sleepover. So now I believe his plan is to redouble his efforts with you.

Her: Too bad for him.

Me: Ha ha ha ha. I told him you saying "ask your father" was your way of saying "no, and I'm done talking about it."

Her: Yep. At the time, he was throwing his phone and stomping his feet.

Me: how could you be so cruel

Her: But... I think he did chores that were not on his list today. Maybe I can draw this out...

Me: Heh.

Sounds great, right? The next night, the night of the sleepover:

Her: Left to take REDACTED home. I'm back and the boy's not here. I have one guess where he is.

Me: WHAT
Me: You know where the place is? The Loft, don't know what number.
Me: But if he's there, it's murder time.

Her: He's home now. He was there until I sent him a text, or two, or three. One of his arguments, "I wasn't going to be there all night."
Her: I sent him to bed since I'm too angry to even look at him. Told him he may not leave the house tomorrow. Since I'm working 9:30-3:30, going to be hard to enforce.
Her: I have no idea what to do.

Me: Ankle bracelet.
Me: And take his phone.

Her: He even arranged his blankets so it looked like there was a body. I'm so mad.

Me: MURDER

Later discussion (from which you can see I follow Chapel's advice):

Me: I do think it's fair to take his phone. And spank him.
Me: I mean for like a week or two, something awful. And take his phone for that long, too.
Me: And/or require that we install one of those "where is my child's phone" apps, and require that it's enabled all the time.
Me: He doesn't like it, no phone.
Me: Because what he did was prove we can't trust him.
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Scott Lewis
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My oldest isn't quite to this phase, but looking back to my teenage years, I think I've found the question "Don't you trust me?" means "I'm wanting to do something un-trustworthy". Whether it's "just this once" or habitual, the question does not bode well.

If you have to ASK about your trust level, it probably means it needs some work.
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Chapel
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kuhrusty wrote:

Later discussion (from which you can see I follow Chapel's advice):




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Mystery McMysteryface
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sigmazero13 wrote:
My oldest isn't quite to this phase, but looking back to my teenage years, I think I've found the question "Don't you trust me?" means "I'm wanting to do something un-trustworthy". Whether it's "just this once" or habitual, the question does not bode well.

If you have to ASK about your trust level, it probably means it needs some work.


Or, if it was like my parents who never trusted us and always said “no”.

It got to the point that you wouldn’t even bother to ask because you knew the answer was going to be “no”.
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Ben Vincent
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kuhrusty wrote:


Later discussion (from which you can see I follow Chapel's advice):

Me: I do think it's fair to take his phone. And spank him.
Me: I mean for like a week or two, something awful. And take his phone for that long, too.
Me: And/or require that we install one of those "where is my child's phone" apps, and require that it's enabled all the time.
Me: He doesn't like it, no phone.
Me: Because what he did was prove we can't trust him.


Perhaps what is required here is public spanking.
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I give you guys (mom and dad) credit...

1) my parents wouldn't have put in that much work. When I was 17 they had long since given up on trying. My Brother and Sister are MUCH older than I am. I was the proverbial late in life "mistake". It would have been a simple... "mom I'm staying over Mark's house" and that's it. Hell I stayed out all night after Prom and never got a single question from them when I got home the next morning.

2) I cannot comprehend having the opportunity to sleep over the house of 4 girls at the age of 17 and not finding a way to pull that off. Your son is obviously much more honest than I was at that age. I would have done some really shady stuff for a chance to do that. I have a good story (for another time) about how I helped a friend of mine to go to a Senior prom when he was a junior, even after his parents said no, tux, flowers, limo and all.

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OMG, the search results in that link now include Chapel's response to you because it has the search quoted. The search is in the search results! Spanking Inception! Spanking Infinitum?
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Jeff Wiles
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kuhrusty wrote:

Her: He even arranged his blankets so it looked like there was a body. I'm so mad.


This is like reading a script for a sitcom.
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jeffwiles wrote:
kuhrusty wrote:

Her: He even arranged his blankets so it looked like there was a body. I'm so mad.


This is like reading a script for a sitcom.


He did say they showed him Ferris Bueller.
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As a guy I want to high five him.

As a parent I'm horrified.

So I'm going to leave my response at:
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So I fully support your efforts to keep your kid from getting into risky situations... but I still have to ask...

You have had the birth control and SAFE sex conversations with your kids... a few times by now I hope... right?!?! Because regardless of if his interests lean toward dudes or gals or both ... he needs to KNOW the risks.

Especially since he seems to be a risk taker based on the attempted pillow deception.
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