Chris – Erick’s boyfriend
Stephanie – Erick’s mother
Jackie – Erick’s grandmother
Josh – Erick’s bartender friend
“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Erick says as he and Chris walk into Larrabee’s bar…with his mother and grandmother.
Erick’s mother had been flown to Baltimore for a week by Erick’s brother Brent as a Mother’s Day gift. Erick’s mother, in turn, paid her own mother’s way for the same trip. Upon their return, Erick scheduled a Mother’s Day make-up for the following weekend and purchased tickets to the House of Blues Gospel Brunch.
“Well, we haven’t left yet,” Erick’s mother says over the phone. “I’m still waiting for your grandmother. I woke her up with plenty of time to get ready. I don’t know what she’s been doing.”
“I’m being eighty!” Erick’s grandmother yells through the phone from another room.
“She’s been ‘eighty’ for thirty-five years,” Erick’s mother retorts. “I’ll call you when we get off the 101.”
“You know they’re not going to hold the show for us,” Erick admonishes.
Erick laughs. “And please make sure you and granny get all of your fussing out on the ride down.”
“I will if you keep your smart mouth in check.”
Erick considers this for a moment. “Fuss away.”
About an hour and a half later, Erick’s mother called as she was exiting the 101 Freeway at Sunset.
Erick answers the phone. “You did bring grandma, right?” he asks.
“Yes, but I almost had to drag her out by the cane to get here in time,”
“It’s a good thing I gave you an hour window of opportunity to do so,”
Erick and Chris rushed downstairs when Erick’s mother and grandmother arrived to his apartment a short time later. As his mother got out of the driver’s seat, Erick gave her a hug and a kiss.
“Happy Delayed Mother’s Day,” he says to her.
Chris then opened the driver’s side back seat door. Erick jumped into the driver’s seat, his mother settled into the driver’s side back seat and Chris scurried over to the passenger side of the car where he squeezed into the back seat.
“Happy Delayed Mother’s Day,” Erick says cheerfully as he gives his grandmother a kiss on the cheek.
“Thank you,” Erick’s grandmother replies.
Chris leans over and gave Erick’s mother a kiss on the cheek. “Happy Delayed Mother’s Day.”
“Happy Son of a Mother’s Day,” she replies. “It was so nice of Chris to open the door for me, wasn’t it Erick?”
Erick starts driving. “Yes it was.”
“His mother must have raised him right.”
“His mother must have raised him in Indiana. Mine raised me in New Jersey.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” Erick’s grandmother asks.
“There’s no southern charm in New Jersey.”
“But Indiana isn’t in the south.”
“And New Jersey isn’t in the midwest.”
Erick’s mother, grandmother and Chris exchange confused glances.
“I adore his brand of theoretical logic,” Chris says, breaking the short silence.
“I thought he would have outgrown that by now,” Erick’s mother responds. “On an unrelated note, Erick, Mrs. Valen told me that you sent her a beautiful card. How nice of you to remember other people’s mothers on their special day.”
“Mrs. Valen wasn’t supposed to tell you that.”
“Because then you’d want to know why I didn’t send you one.”
“Not at all. I’d just want to know why Cameron’s mother got one too.”
“Because you weren’t supposed to find out about that either.”
“Did you send a card to your mother, Chris?”
“Yes. I did. And had flowers delivered.”
“Oh my…cards and flowers.”
“Yes, and all you got to do was see your grandchildren,” Erick reminds her.
“For which I am incredibly grateful. But I always bring you a card for your birthday.”
“Yes, and you always put money in those cards but since I didn’t have money to put into a card for you I figured why bother giving you a card in the first place.”
Erick’s mother, grandmother and Chris exchange confused glances -- again. “Theoretical logic,” Chris states.
After the gospel brunch, Erick was at a loss as to what to do with his mother and grandmother. He hadn’t made any further plans and they didn’t express an interest in doing anything else. Chris made the suggestion that they all go to Larrabee’s.
Erick had never taken his mother to a gay bar before, let alone one that he frequents the most. He had thought about it and pictured it but never thought he’d actually do it. It wasn’t so much that he was particularly nervous about it as much as concerned about the collision of these to varying parts of his life.
“What are you worried about?” Chris asks as he and Erick walk into Larrabee’s.
“I don’t know. This just seems odd.”
“Hey guys,” Josh the bartender of the pointy nose and clear blue eyes says when he sees Erick and Chris walk though the door.
“Hey Josh. I brought you two explanations today,” Erick says.
“My mother Stephanie and my grandmother Jackie. Mom and granny, this is my friend Josh.”
Erick’s mother, grandmother and Josh exchange pleasantries.
“I can’t believe I brought them here,” Erick whispers to Josh.
“I’m not sure. But I know I wanted you to meet them.”
“They look pretty young to be your mother and grandmother.”
“A lot of people say that. Some people have gone as far as to say I look like my mother’s older brother.”
“I can see that,” Josh says with a wink.
Erick playfully narrows his eyes. “We’re going to grab a table outside.”
Josh smiles. “I’ll send a server out there.”
Erick, his mother, grandmother and Chris walk out of the bar and take a table outside. A server follows, greets everyone and takes their drink orders.
“So this is Larrabee’s,” Erick says to his mother and grandmother. “This is my ‘Cheers’”.
“It’s lovely. Is everyone here gay?” Erick’s mother asks.
Erick looks around. “Mostly. There’s some straight men here, mostly behind the bar though. And straight women love coming here.”
“I thought so. They didn’t look like lesbians.”
Erick shakes his head. “Are you two alright here?”
“Why wouldn’t we be?” Erick’s grandmother asks.
“I don’t know. Maybe I’m slightly more uncomfortable with you two being here than you two are with actually being here.”
“I’m fine,” Erick’s mother says.
“Child, please.” Erick’s grandmother retorts. “This ain’t nothin’.”
Erick looks at his grandmother suspiciously. “So now you’ve invented gay,” he jokes.
Erick’s grandmother shrugs a shoulder. “No, but it isn’t anything new.”
“It’s new to you – at least where I’m concerned.”
Erick’s grandmother raises an eyebrow. “You think you’re the first person to bring gay into the family? You think I didn’t long since know you were gay by the time you told me? You think we all hadn’t talked about it when you were in high school? You think you’re the first gay I’ve ever met?”
Chris laughs. “I think what she’s trying to say is that ‘she done been around some stuff’."
Erick’s eyes widen. “Granny?”
“I was Jackie before ‘Granny’.”
“And during,” Erick’s mother interjects.
“You two are cool, calm and collected now. But let’s see what happens when the go-go dancers appear in the window above your head.”
Erick notices the lack of concern on his mother’s face.
“What?” she asks. “I like men just as much as you do.”