Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Greetings and Gay Happy Meetings

There'll be holiday greetings
and gay happy meetings
when friends come to call --
it's the hap-happiest season of all!
-- It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

[So much pain swirling in our national conversation right now, so much urgent advocacy,
sorrow upon sorrow.  But I've been writing and advocating about painful things elsewhere.
Here, I've got two cheerful daughters, a snow-day tomorrow,
and lots of Christmas anticipation --
so let's talk holiday greetings and gay happy meetings!]

JoyDad and I attended a delightful musical-revue comedy the other weekend.  It was a rollicking four-character holiday production, starring four singing church-organist ladies -- all delightfully played by men, in a production by a company that "creates exhilarating, entertaining, challenging queer theater."

At one point in the show, just after the intermission, one of the church-organist ladies comes out alone on stage and serves up some earnest, hilariously off-pitch sensitivity training about "the gays."  First, she told us how to greet "a gay."  You turn on a brilliant thousand-watt smile, and wave one arm in a huge over-the-top dramatic circle of greeting, and carol out, "Hell-OOOOOO!"  We all got to practice, so we learned how to do it just right.

After several other tidbits, she then instructed us on how to recognize "a gay."  You see, she confidentially shared with us, gays can't whistle jazz.  So, in order to figure this out better, let's all try whistling together so-and-such classic by Charlie Parker... met by silence or muffled giggles from the audience as she whistles alone.  OK then, how about this-and-such Miles Davis standard?  Again, her solo whistle tails off into silence... and then she beckons the other organist ladies out to join her on stage, and nervously shares with them in a loud stage whisper:  "THEY'RE ALL GAY!"

And then the ladies fanned out onto the stage, pasted on thousand-watt smiles and greeted us with huge circular waves and a big cheery "Hell-OOOOOOO!"

Guess what greeting we went home and taught Joy the next day?

You see, stereotypes aside, Joy absolutely loves bright-eyed interaction and big gestures and dramatic, musically-spoken utterances.  She thought the big "Hell-OOOO!" was hilarious, quickly absorbing it and turning it into a game where she and a partner take turns echoing "hello" and "bye-bye" at one another.

Today, she and I were playing the game as we walked up the hill to school.  We met another mom on the way, and I prompted Joy to say hello.  And she gave the most adorable wave and recognizable "hello" -- our game had turned into something not overly dramatic at all, just a lovely greeting for a happy meeting.

Wishing you many, many lovely holiday greetings and gay happy meetings when friends come to call!


Suze said...

What a wonderful greeting :)

JoyMama said...

Well look here, a meeting with Suze online as well! Hell-OOOOOOO! :-)