Sunday, December 27, 2009

What’s With The Name? / A Christmas Tale

There once was a time when I wanted to be a published author. People have always told me that I have a knack for telling stories. In addition, people in my College English classes always commented that I was a fairly decent writer and that I should look into writing professionally. The combination of those two compliments led me to the idea to write a book of personal memoirs and call it, “Memoirs of a Gay Son.” At this juncture in my life, I realize that being a published author is just not in the cards for me, but that doesn’t stop me from telling my stories. And since blogging is the new frontier as far as relating personal gossip, I figured this would be the most appropriate spot for me to do so.

Seeing as how Christmas was just a few days ago, I figure I’ll open my blog with a story from my life involving Christmas. This particular story also ties into the whole ‘Memoirs of a Gay Son’ theme. Every year for Christmas, my parents would purchase several gifts for my sisters and I. The gifts were wrapped and placed under our tree on Christmas Eve. That evening, after we were asleep, Santa Claus would bring an unwrapped gift for each of us and place it in front of the fireplace in chronological birth order from left to right. This particular Christmas, I was still young enough that I slept through the entire night until my sisters couldn’t hold in their excitement any longer and proceeded to wake the whole family. As I made my way down the winding stairway to our living room, I rubbed the sleepies from my eyes to help rouse me from my still sleepy state. Upon rounding the corner behind my sisters as they rushed to their gift from the Jolly Chris Kringle, I knew immediately that Santa had made a grave mistake. The gift sitting in the third place from the left could not possibly have been for me. I had never asked for such a thing! My sisters each collected their traditional Porcelain dolls and paraded them into my parent’s room to show off their new possessions, leaving one present behind as they did so. Typically, I would have joined in the awakening of my parents with my gift in hand. Not this year though. Instead, I just lay down on my belly in front of the box, staring. In my mind, I tried to convince myself that Santa must have left this one for my dad and forgot all about me by mistake. As my parents made their way from their bedroom into the family room, my dad gave a boisterous chuckle at the sight of me. “Lesia,” he proclaimed, “look how excited he is! He can’t even pick it up!” At that moment, I knew my assumptions had been inaccurate. This was in fact my gift; there hadn’t been a mix up at the North Pole. My gift from Santa that year was a BB gun rifle. Unlike Ralphie from A Christmas Story, I could not recite the exact name of the particular model this was. Upon the realization that this gun now belonged to me, I faked my enthusiasm for my new ‘prized possession’ for the next few minutes until we were allowed to shred through the wrapping paper surrounding the gifts under the tree. I knew that Santa must be watching and I didn’t want him to see me disappointed. After all, this was a gift. Following the frenzy of the unwrapping, it was brought up that my oldest sister was incredibly jealous Santa’s gift to me. Being the tom-boy she was, she’d been asking for this precise item for months now. Of course, being the nice brother I am, I let her use it from time to time. I’m not going to say that it was a total disappointment. I did get some good use out of it and did have a good time shooting things, but I still remember to this day, the utter bewilderment at seeing that gun in front of our fireplace that Christmas morning. It’s funny remembering it now. In retrospect, there were so many signs screaming to my family that I would eventually date men. But who am I to judge, I didn’t even pickup on these signs until I was a teenager.