It was meant as a joke, I know that. I use humor and sarcasm with the best of them. But, whether I’m over-reacting or not, this hurt.
I’m trying to plan a trip to Vegas. With everything that’s been going on coupled with me not having had a proper vacation in awhile, I thought it’d be fun to get away for a quick weekend. I’ve got tax refund money to spend, and where better than Vegas, right?
And now, I don’t ask a lot from my friends on a regular basis — I’m a supporter, a giver, the one who provides rather than asks for help (we won’t debate how healthy of me that is right now) — but this time, I needed something. Rather, someone. I wanted a travel partner. I don’t mind going places on my own — and in fact, sometimes I prefer it that way — but this time I wanted company. They didn’t need to be joined at the hip with me or anything, but someone there to have dinner with, to sit at a blackjack table with occasionally. You know, things like that.
Now, I realize that because a lot of my friends are married (and some have kids), that they don’t have the flexibility in their scheduling that I do. Or, even, the flexibility in their finances that I do. But – regardless of that – I put out an S.O.S. to my closest friends, entreating at least one of them to find the time to come with me, and that I’d even pick up a good chunk of the price tag (my “fun” thing to do with some of my tax refund).
And even still, I got a bunch of rejections. A lot of “I’d LOVE to, but…” with some sort of excuse. This hurt, but I guess I expected it. There was one email, though – probably something scrawled in a minute between meetings or without even thinking – that really caught me off guard: “If I start vacationing with you, people are going to start thinking I’m gay, that we’re an item or something… Wouldn’t want that!”
I don’t know why this struck me wrong. Struck me as hurtful. I understand that she meant it as a joke, as something funny to say. She even followed it up with the universal email sign for “I’m kidding”…. the sideways smiley :).
Maybe I’m hormonal (okay, no “maybe” there), perhaps it’s the lack of sleep this past night. Or maybe I’m just being a little thin-skinned. This is one of my closest friends. One of my first straight friends that I came out to, in fact. She’s always been supportive, though always a little, I dunno, quiet about it, if you know what I mean. Like she understands that this is simply the way things are, that I’m not a threat to her and she wouldn’t want to change me, but that there’s still the smallest piece of her that’s uncomfortable with the reality of me being gay.
I need to talk about this to her — but not over email. Not where things can get misconstrued even more. Tell her how her comment, however meaningless to her, made me feel.
And yet, I feel like I’m making this a much bigger deal than it needs to be. I’ve almost got the sense that I’ve lost perspective on this a little bit.
What I want to know is this: when does this all get easier?