The man behind the counter was in his twenties, with a softly handsome face accentuated by some very light powder and a hint of eye makeup. I’d never seen him before in my life.
JB: Do you have any more gift boxes?
Man: Well, only some pink ones left over from Valentine’s Day.
JB: That won’t work, as these are blue and black (canisters), for my sisters-in-law.
Man: Do you get on with them?
JB (taken aback a little): My sisters-in-law? Yes!
Man: I don’t get on so well with mine. We’re okay, but she can be a bit abrasive.
Like, the other day she said, “When [husband] and I have kids, you’re going to have to tone it down a bit.”
So I said, “What do you mean?”
And she said, “You know…”
And I said, “No, I don’t. Say it.”
And she said, “The gay thing.”
JB (still taken aback): Oh. That’s tough. Cos you’re you.
Man: I don’t think I’m particularly over the top. I’m the only one in the family who’s held down steady jobs and doesn’t have a substance abuse problem, so hello sweetheart, I’m the best fucking option the kid’s going to have.
JB (still taken aback): Oh.
Man: I think she’s pissed off because I didn’t come to her hen’s morning tea.
She said, “You may as well come because you’re near enough to one of us.”
Ahh, no, I’m not. I’d rather go to the buck’s party and see all my stripper friends, haha!
JB (still taken aback): Oh. I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you have a nice Christmas.
And I walked out. If that’s what gay young men are dealing with in Australia in 2015, we’ve got a long way to go.