Despite being under lock down for most of the year Aaron and I have managed to visit with his extended family three times in Southern Ireland. They have been amazingly accepting of us as a couple especially since Aaron never "officially," came out to them until our engagement which was in early May.
Southern Ireland is on the coast, (as is most of the country, it is an island). It is very green, mountainous and consists of many farms although less today and made up of very small towns. Waterford is the largest town with a population of about 150,000. Aaron is from Waterford.
On our first trip to his grandmother's you could feel the excitement in the room. Not only had they not known Aaron was gay but he was also here with his fiance. Slowly but surely all the relatives were dropping by to see the new Aaron and his partner. All were very excited and some were giving us their expert opinions on exactly what type of wedding we should have. (The last thing we were thinking about in the middle of the Pandemic.) I have always enjoyed the company of older people, (Aaron's Grandmother) there is so much you can learn from them if you take the time to listen. I believe many older people are also more accepting than younger ones, simply because they have seen so much tragedy and sorrow over the years and realize love is love.
Aaron's mother lives in Spain. When we were engaged he told his mother via a video call that he was gay and engaged in the same breath. She seemed very excited for Aaron but did comment when she saw a picture of us that she did not expect me to be so old. After that the two of us did a video call with Aaron's mother and her husband and they were very interested in getting to know me. I was thrilled that she was taking all the news in so well. Aaron was not sure what kind of reception our news might get. After our visit with the relatives in Waterford I am sure she was waiting anxiously for all the reports to come in.
On our second trip down we spent most of our time with his cousins. Aaron is the second oldest of the 12 grandchildren. My own feeling is that all of his cousins are crazy about him. Aaron has an older brother who is also gay. Maybe the topic of a future blog.
On this trip down I was hoping to see some of the coast which is beautiful and other outdoor attractions as it was the middle of summer. However, the cousins wanted to go bowling. Not what I had in mind but I was going to be good and go with the flow. (Also the weather was not that great. (One thing Ireland does not have going for it, is it's weather.) I was mildly relieved when the bowling alleys were closed due to Covid-19 . Go figure though the casinos were open. So it was off to the casinos.
One of Aaron's cousin, Sarah is twenty.. She is sweet, smart, inquisitive and has a lust for life. It was one question after another. it was pop, pop, pop. I was trying to answer them all as honestly as possible without telling too much. Do you do drugs? Which is your favorite? How often? Do you sleep with men and women? How many? She finally caught me on the last one. How old are you? As I said my age I almost choked on the number. Not because I was embarrassed but I was not quite sure she could understand yet that love has no boundaries and did not feel it my place to explain. Out of the mouth of babes... no one had asked yet.
Sometimes I feel like the elephant in the room, is the million dollar question. Michael, how old are you? So far no one had asked except Sarah. It was after Xmas Eve dinner which was filled with liquor and food that the "kids" left the room to leave the adults to themselves and have their own fun. It was time for a split second decision do I leave with my husband and the younger adults or stay with the older ones. Of course I left with the "kids." I spent most the rest of the evening laughing to myself about this until I had time the time to share it with Aaron, my family and all of my friends. You see I was the oldest in the room.