Responses to Relatives Asking “So Are You Dating Anyone?” At Papaw’s 92nd Birthday

yellow pink and blue party balloons
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

No, Papaw. And happy birthday! Hope this year is the best yet despite the fact that you are deaf in one ear, blind in one eye, and your body is thirty percent metal due to all of your joint replacements.

No, I don’t have a ton of free time right now as I attempt to build both a career as an artist and a career that makes actual money, Mom.

No, because I am spending the five minutes of free time I have per week prepping for impending climate change-induced apocalypse. IT WAS SIXTY DEGREES IN FEBRUARY, UNCLE BOB.

No, men give me hives, Aunt Charlene – kind of like how processed cheese gives you farts.

Well, George, friend of my oldest brother who is here for some reason, yesterday I was in a meeting and my coworker Kevin interrupted me to promote his new craft beer label which is basically what happens on a date so yes.

No, for I have pledged my body and spirit to the Dark Lord Cthulu, Nana. He is everything I need and more.

Sorry, step-cousin Matt who Nana is constantly trying to set me up with because we aren’t technically related, can you speak up? I think I inherited Papaw’s deafness and it’s conveniently manifesting for the first time at this gathering even though I am only 25 years old.

No, closeted cousin Darryl, my genderqueer lesbian partner and I U-hauled right after we met at that gay film festival and our preferred activities usually involve sleeping/gardening/not leaving the house so technically we kind of skipped the dating part.

Yes, Jenny, Uncle Harry’s fifth girlfriend in two years, I actually am dating my genderqueer lesbian partner and we have twelve cats and two rescue pit bulls named Janelle and Monae. But keep that to yourself – Papaw’s on his third stroke and you probably won’t be sticking around for long anyway.

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