Happily, I haven't ever had to use that lesson. But I am ready if it ever happens.
Of course, it has been awhile since I saw this particular film.
The children in the movie refused to get in the car and ran away. Good for them.
I really took this lesson to heart. To this day (except for that brief period back in the late 70's that I prefer not to talk about) I will not get in the car with a strange man.
I won't talk to strangers.
The question was, "Where were you born?" The young man volunteered that he was born and raised in Jacksonville.
Jesse responded with, "I'm sorry." Ouch.
The Boyfriend was born and raised in Jacksonville. I was born in Alabama but pretty much raised here. It is OK for us to make fun of Jacksonville but not someone else.
The Boyfriend opened his mouth to speak. I winced. "It's OK. Within reason."
"Within reason?" Really? This is a restaurant. Is there a "reason" for a bicycle horn to be on the premises? Sometimes I cringe over the things the BF will say to a stranger, but this time, I couldn't help but feel a little let down.
"It's OK, Within reason" That's the best you can do?
From this moment forward, Jesse decided we had become great, good friends. In short order we found out that he was, indeed, a weekend Dad. He lives in Chicago and comes to Jacksonville every weekend to spend time with his daughter.
Jesse was one of those people who feels a need to make it more than obvious to you that he is a-okay with the whole gay thing. I mean, that's swell and all, but it isn't like we were sporting big "We're Here, We're Queer, Get Used to It" buttons or anything like that. We were just two frumpy middle aged men trying to have lunch. We were making absolutely no effort to "represent."
Jesse, however, felt a need to represent the gay-tolerant people by sharing with us how much he enjoys the Logo channel on cable. He then proceeded to talk about several gay indy films he had just loved. I didn't have the heart to tell him we saw those same indy films (thank the Goddess for Netflix!) and, frankly, they were kind of lame.
It seems that Jesse always knew that Sean was gay, but the boy's mom was in denial. I don't have to tell you by now that Jesse was 100% supportive. Things came to a head one day when Jesse found some interesting sites listed in his Internet history. Now, Jesse is a tolerant, open-minded man, but apparently not so open minded that he himself actually visited gay porn sites on his computer. When he brought this to the attention of the boy's mother, she was in total shock.
Then he took the son into the kitchen and showed him the cake. It had "Happy Coming Out, Sean!" on it.
Written in rainbow icing.
I may have made up that last detail.
"It is up to you, Sean," Jesse said in that annoyingly earnest voice of his. "We can take this out to the family and slice it, or you can keep it to yourself. Whatever you want to do, son…."
But I didn't.
Still, I was glad when Jesse decided to migrate back to his own table with his young daughter and her friends.
They ate lunch in their designated personal space, just as we ate lunch in ours.
Soon, they paid the check and got up to leave. Jesse smiled and waved goodbye.
If only they wouldn't talk to me...