Welcome!

Hello, lovely people!

For those of you who just saw The Ricki Lake Show, I want to thank you for stopping by. This blog is my little attempt to tell the story of how my mom came out of the closet after 25 years of marriage. Her declaration shook the foundation of our family.  It was shocking and difficult to handle at first, but her truth forced us to really look at our family, to remember why we loved each other.  I suppose we’d been taking that for granted, slowly drifting apart.  So in some ways, my mom coming out actually saved our family.

I’ve reposted a few of the early blog posts to give everyone a sense of what you might find on this site.  I hope you enjoy.

Oh, in case any of you are wondering, Ricki Lake is, without question, one of the most beautiful, kind-hearted people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and I was born and raised in Kansas City, so that’s saying something.

Thank you again for stopping by!

If First You Don’t Succeed, Lie, Lie, Lie Again

Growing up, my parents told me to never lie.  Adults say this, but the truth is, every parent lies, especially to kids.  Sometimes it’s necessary.  The house is on fire; the child’s in danger.  There isn’t time to explain why you need to run.  Then you have the magical white lies, like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and Jesus.  Sometimes you’re just tired and you don’t give a shit.  Your kids asks, “Why can’t I eat the little brown nub on a banana?”  You say, “Because it’s poison and you’ll die.”

You’re not trying to traumatize the tyke.  You’ve just been beaten down by the barrage of questions.  You want the little guy to eat, to nap, to shut up for five seconds, so you can pour yourself a bottle of wine.  Yes, a bottle.

My father is the master of mendacity, but the majority of his lies are meaningless.  They’re told to move things along.  Why mention he was playing poker with the guys when he knows it’s going to cause a fight, and they’re already running fifteen minutes late?

Sometimes you just need to expedite.

But while my father has perfected his skills of deception, my mom tells most lies with the grace of a child caught with her hand in the toilet.

“No, I was not trying to pick up my poo.  I wasuhpushedby awerewolf.”

When someone would ask my mom for a favor she didn’t want to do, she’d fumble and stammer until sometimes the person would just walk away to end the awkwardness.

I always assumed my mom just didn’t have it in her to lie, that she was too good, too kind.

That’s what made her coming out so difficult.

Yes, my father had secrets, but not my mom, not something like this.  I know she didn’t have a choice, not really.  I suppose she could’ve moved to San Francisco or New York, but she met my father and she wanted a family.  Their marriage wasn’t perfect, but it was good.  They had two kids and a nice house.  They had friends, family, and a quiet little life.  So my mom swallowed the truth and kept up the big lie until eventually it became too much to bear.

I’m starting to get a sense of that.  For years, I’ve prided myself on being extremely honest, but I’m not sure I have been.  I know I don’t lie well to others, at least not in person.  My face gets red, I can’t hold eye contact, and I keep repeating, “What?” over and over.  But even though I don’t fabricate well to others, I’m every bit the master as my father when it comes to lying to myself.  No, I didn’t have too much to drink last night.  No, I’m not pissing away my talent.  Yes, I have a plan to get myself out of debt.  Of course, I’m going to sell my novel.  Yes, I can lose this weight.  I am not going bald.  My hairline is just fine…

When my mother told the truth about her sexuality it blew our family to smithereens.  We picked up the pieces, and we’re better off because of it, but there’s still residual pain.  I fear the same might happen with this blog.  Will my need to tell the truth cause the same destruction?

Maybe it would be better if I just lied?

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We Found the Hole!

Mom and sis are here in L.A., and oh, how I wish I could recall every sexual innuendo we came up with as we tried to find the hole in the air mattress, but I fear I’m far too drunk, tired, and giddy that my sister actually solved the mystery. Plus, I don’t want to spend any more time blogging. Their trip ends Saturday, and the awful emptiness is already starting to creep in knowing they’ll soon be gone. 

My dog is happy the mattress is back.

Black Hole

When I was six years old my mom decorated my bedroom with wallpaper from the movie The Black Hole.  I’m guessing they ran out of nuclear mushroom clouds or fields of dead puppies.

.Image  Every morning I woke, put on my little underwear, my little pants and little shirt and stared into this giant black hole, obliterating everything.

My mom is always reminding me nothing is permanent.  She’s also really inappropriate.  Eight months after she came out of the closet we were at P.F. Chang’s with my sister, our cousin and our Nana.  My mom thought it’d be a good idea to tell everyone that when I was little I used to get boners sitting on her lap.

My sister spit out her Coke.  Nana shook her head.  I just kept eating my spring roll.  “Mmmm, these are good.”

I’d like to say that my mom’s propensity for all things inappropriate started after she came out of the closet, that years of repression finally broke my mom’s Withholding Dam, causing every wild comment to fall out of her mouth like river water.

But no.

In third grade, my class had a Valentine’s Day party, where some of the kids’ mothers, including mine, brought in cupcakes and punch and put up red balloons.  I told my mom I wanted to give Stacy B. a Valentine.  My mom convinced me that a card wasn’t enough.  She said I should give Stacy B. a rose, then get down on my knee and ask for a kiss.  And, like an idiot, I did, because I was seven.  My mom applauded as I begged for a smooch, while the entire class looked on in shock.

After school, Stacy beat my head into a locker until a teacher had to pry her off.

The crazy thing was, if my mom had told me to, I’d have begged Stacy for a kiss again.  I trusted my mom blindly.  I loved her.  The same wildly inappropriate behavior that made people spit out Coke also made her an awesome mom.  She’d stomp and cheer like mad during my little league games, even when I sucked, which was pretty much every game.  We danced like maniacs to Kenny Rodger’s The Gambler in the living room.  She’d look the other way when I snuck raw ground beef from the refrigerator.  And when kids picked on me at school, my mom called them little shits and threatened to beat their asses.  I was a severely emotional kid, and she’d hold me and kiss me and make me laugh.  She’d tell me about a dream, which she called a vision, where a crowd of people carried me on their shoulders, because I’d saved the world.

My mom’s passion and spontaneity made her intoxicating, and my childhood was like a good bender, filled with howling laughter and big sobbing tears; delusions of grandeur and crushing embarrassment.

This is my first real blog post for My Gay Mom. Thanks for stopping by to check out the story of my amazing, ridiculous family.