I am a card-carrying member of the generation that pioneered the sexual revolution. We can check off “Got women out of the kitchen and enjoying life in the sack!” We drove the changes that, for better or worse, have put the world face-to-face with the vagina. Our mothers perhaps worked, but we WORK and demand equal pay and equal respect for what we do. Beyond the realm of Mad Men or however Hollywood would like to portray it, we caused a seismic shift. I could point out the downsides; latchkey kids, helicopter parenting and the latest catch-phrase, Free-Range Parenting.
I thought the world had come a long way. But I am still learning. In simple terms, my eldest daughter, Lex, has fallen in love. Deeply, madly, ‘change-your-zip-code-and-move-in-to-test-out-life’ kind love. In fact, both of my daughters are in committed relationships. They are no longer mine but have significant others. As a parent, I expected my role to shift one day and that someone else would be their superhero. The reality is very different from my musings. I am much more emotional about being the parent of adults.
Lex and Shana announced their engagement. It was a carefully planned and perfectly executed proposal. Shana came to see me last Saturday to ask my blessing, in total secrecy. She is the perfect Yin to Lex’s Yang and I fought back tears as she described her elaborate plan to surprise Lex with the perfect ring, the perfect proposal and the promise of a life together. I kept the secret for five days, even when Lex called to chat on her way to work on Monday. My heart was dancing with joy I didn’t know existed at the prospect of the moment.
We are old, folks. Please stop with the stupid questions and ancient bias. Don’t we, of all people remember what it was like to change how the world viewed us? I am amused at the comments directed to me in concerned and somewhat cautious tones. “Did you always know she was gay?” “Do you think she really is a lesbian?” “What do you think of her relationship?”
I am thrilled she is happy and in love. I always hoped my daughters would be deeply and totally smitten, ready to dive into life with a partner. I don’t have a label for what she is or how she loves. I just know it is love and that is the best feeling in the world.
In reality, I am learning a new language. For everyone’s comfort, do the “labels” need to change? How do I refer to the wedding? Bride and Groom, Lex carefully explained. She opened the conversation with, “I just want to explain some things to you,” and I was relieved and pleased for the education. The variety, depth and definitions of lifestyle preferences have many more names than the crude categories of the past. From “Fag” and “Old Maid” have sprung LGBT and a new way to quantify people. “Quantify” bothers me but it is part of the package as society evolves. What matters most to me is the communication, with a fascinating new glossary of ways to look at love.
Speaking of cards…