At a BBQ on the weekend, a friend of mine after checking I was single, over my slight thing for sexually ambiguous and in some cases ambitious men, wasn’t a little bit gay as was the current rumour of the day or celibate, declared to me that she had found me the perfect guy – her son.
‘He’s good looking’
‘All mother’s say that.’
‘Yes, but I can appreciate his good looks not only as a mother, but also as a woman.’
‘This is how Norman Bates got started…’
‘No, you’re wrong there – maybe if Mrs Bates had appreciated her sons beauty then he wouldn’t have done the horrid things he did.’
‘I think you’re wrong. I think it was her ‘appreciation’ of her son that started all the ‘troubles’.
‘Well my son is not Norman Bates, Louise.’
‘I think someone doth protest too much…’
‘Anyway’…choosing to ignore me…’He’s not only good looking, but he’s also funny, smart, well read and likes strong woman.’
‘I just don’t think so…’ I mumbled back as I played with an ingrown hair on my leg.
‘So, he’s got a girlfriend – I’m sure a woman like you Lou can work around that.’
I watched as my piece of cheese fell into the make shift ashtray of a coffee cup – perhaps I could invoke the 10 second rule – it began to felt into the tar and ash – perhaps not.
‘I don’t do mistress very well – it’s got something to do with a level of self respect I’ve built up over the years – both a blessing and a curse, I know.’
My friend adjusted her skirt, so her undies were no longer visible.
‘No, no, you wouldn’t be his mistress, you’d be his girlfriend and then you’d get married and I’d become your mother-in-law – oh it’s almost too perfect Lou.’
As I reached for a handful of potato chips I was confronted with the sudden realisation that perhaps I’d forgotten to put deodorant on that morning…and then suddenly the penny dropped.
‘You want me to break them up?’
My friend grabbed for the wine bottle, but it was empty – a half drunk, slightly warmed crownie would have to do. She lit another cigarette.
‘Yes, yes – fundamentally your role would be to break them up, but you would have other activities to fill your days with.’
I now felt like a character in a Bronte novel, sent away to act as Governess to three wayward daughters, but always knowing that the true meaning behind my employment was to give the Lord of the house the heir he always wanted and the heir his now barren (after an episode of Typhoid), frigid wife could not give him.
‘He needs an older woman to show him the ways.’
‘Yes, an older woman to take control of the situation so to speak.’
‘He’s got a girlfriend, I’m sure he’s coping just fine.’
‘To be honest, I’m not sure he’s ever bought her to orgasm, and that concerns me Lou, as a mother that concerns me.’
‘Drugs, as a mother drugs should be a concern – maybe he takes drugs?’
‘And if he did Lou I’d have no control of it – you know what teenagers are like these days.’
‘Well he’s almost 18, so I guess we can’t really call him a teenager anymore!’
She popped the cork on another bottle and offered me a glass – in a state of befuddlement I accepted.
‘I think you’ll find you can call him a teenager a lot longer– because he is one! – What the hell!’
‘Don’t be like that Lou, I’m totally cool with you dating my son, it’s not exactly illegal – I mean he’s 17!’
‘And I’m almost 30.’
‘Exactly – that’s why it will work.’
To be fair, with the exception of his age he sounded great and it wasn’t like I’d be scraping the barrel on this one, I mean the fact he didn’t have a drivers license had never been an obstacle before, the fact he didn’t have full time employment (fuck Lou! when did you start demanding the world!) and the fact he hadn’t finished high school …well you see where I’m going with this…
‘Come on Lou, you know you’d be perfect together.’
‘He’s a child – I don’t want children.’
‘It’s not like you gave birth to him.’ She spat out as she ashed her cigarette on my dissolving bit of cheese.
‘…Oh well when you put it like that, it doesn’t seem nearly as wrong as society would dictate.’
‘I’m just saying Lou, I understand now why some fathers send their sons to older prostitutes…like in France.’
I put my wine down and considered for a moment what she was saying…it didn’t take nearly as long as I’m making out.
‘I’m not a prostitute.’
‘And you’re not French either…don’t split hairs Lou.’
‘I don’t really see it as splitting hairs, more as a much needed clarification it would seem.’
‘Well if I were you Lou, I’d take it as a compliment – the French are a very sophisticated people.’
‘Ok – so why not send your son to France, may be on a high school exchange program? – You know, under the guise of getting an education, but really what he’s getting is an education…but then he finds out he’s barren….’
‘What – my son isn’t barren.’
‘That’s not what he told me the other night when he couldn’t find a condom.’ I joked to lighten the mood, in retrospect it was ill timed.
‘That’s not funny Lou. Nothing to joke about.’
‘I know – I’m sorry.’
Grabbing her car keys I watched my friend as she busied herself to leave.
‘You know what Lou, on second thought I think you should stay away from my son – I thought an older woman would be good because of the maturity you’d bring to the situation, but once again you’ve proved me wrong.’
‘It was a joke.’
And then my friend Tom came over to introduce me to whom I could only guess was his new girlfriend and her 12-year-old son –
‘Hey Lou’ he yelled.
‘I’ve been looking for you everywhere – there’s some special people I’d like you to meet.’ He tussled the 12 year olds hair, as if they were about to toss a ball around.
And before I could respond my friend turned to me with a kindly reminder, just before she was to storm away from me…
‘Sex with teenage boys is nothing to laugh about Lou’
Suddenly everyone stopped and stared.
‘Stay away from my son – it would do you good to remember that.’
And with that she left.
I turned around to my friend Tom and his newfound family.
‘Who wants to play a bit of football?’ I asked Tom’s proxy son.
‘I don’t think so.’ Tom replied on his behalf.
‘Yeah…I thought as much…’ I replied.
It was time to leave the BBQ – the Mister Whippy van had arrived and I felt a lynching on the horizon.