When introduced to a new acquaintance either at a movie premiere, school board meeting, Shiva call, or patiently waiting for the cashier to ring up my bottles of Veuve Clicquot Champagne at the spotless, overpriced Gelson's supermarket near our home (At our place, Veuve Champagne is NOT a luxury - my family can live without so-called 'staples' like milk, bread or eggs, but NOBODY better try and take away this baby's bottle. Were I to be down-and-out and living on government subsidized food stamps, my husband and son would probably suffer from rickets, scurvy or worse for our weekly allowance would be gladly sent to Reims, France so that the good people at the Veuve vineyard could continue to churn out the addictive, bubbly nectar I demand and deserve!) the conversation will invariably turn to how my husband George and I were able to make our son Ethan 'happen.' I am slightly perplexed by this question, as it makes our son sound like some kind of weird science experiment. As I patiently explain that Ethan is not adopted, but rather is 'ours' and conceived and birthed through surrogacy, even the most liberal and enlightened person wrestles with the complicated semantics of the process.
To me, it has always been a fairly simple recipe. Take one whiny, neurotic fag (me) combine with one controlling, autocratic fag (George) throw in a mountain of money, et voila, you end up with a tyrannical, insomniac baby who wreaks utter havoc on your life. This simple, easy-to-follow recipe for our offspring is a regular laugh riot at our swanky cocktail parties populated by drunk, entertainment industry wannabes. However, when controlling, autocratic fag's salt-of-the-earth grandmother had the bad taste to die during whiny, neurotic fag's trip to the second happiest place on Earth, Provincetown, and required whiny, neurotic fag and child to travel to Iowa (Oy Vey), I would come to learn that not everyone in America shares our enthusiasm for 'California-nouvelle-family-cuisine.'
Despite my angry assertion that interrupting our family vacation and dragging a one-year-old to a funeral halfway across the country was unwise and possibly emotionally scarring to our young son (Of course I didn't believe that 'emotional scarring' shit - I had been working diligently on my tan and had the good fortune of locating a local babysitter who not only worshipped my son but worked for peanuts!) my husband George insisted that we attend the funeral for his ancient grandmother, for despite my unbridled tanorexia and my unethical and possibly illegal nanny employment practices, family was family.
Deeply embittered at having to leave my charmingly bohemian, yet wildly expensive oceanfront holiday cottage to attend the funeral of a woman I barely knew, I refused to speak to George on the flight despite my inebriating liquid lunch. As we touched down in Iowa, George casually informed me that unfortunately there were no Ritz Carltons or Four Seasons in the obscure country town his grandparents resided.
Horrified, I hissed "What do you mean no Ritz Carltons or Four Seasons?! Where are we going, eastern Europe? We're still in America aren't we?"
I was soon to learn that while heaven is a place on earth, so is hell - it's called a SUPER 8 MOTEL.
(To Be Continued)