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    Holy Man-child Batman!

    | Long Island, NY, USA | Children, Parents & Guardians, Top

    (I’m an avid comic book fan, in my early forties. I’m in a large chain bookstore browsing the graphic novel section. Sitting on the floor nearby is a boy about 13 or 14 years old, reading a Batman book. His mother, a woman around my age, approaches.)

    Mother: *to son* “We’re almost ready to go. Did you find a book you want?”

    Son: “I don’t know. Just a few more minutes.”

    (As the mother turns around, she sees me standing a few feet away… reading a Batman book. She stares at me for a few seconds.)

    Mother: *to me* “So what you’re telling me is, he’s not going to grow out of this?”

    Me: *grinning* “Probably not.”

    (The mother walks away, shaking her head.)

    Joining Rivers

    | Durham, NC, USA | Children, Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters, Top

    (I’m a graduate student, but I work nights and weekends as a children’s entertainer. I am painting a little girl’s face at a Christmas festival as her parents stand behind me.)

    Me: *to the girl* “So, what’s your name?”

    Girl: “River!”

    Me: “Oh, what a pretty name! I have one, no, two favorite TV characters named River!”

    (Her father raises his eyebrows.)

    Dad: “Which two?”

    Me: “Oh, River Tam from Firefly and River Song from Doctor Who.”

    (The father laughs and points at his daughter.)

    Dad: “That’s who she was named after, River Tam.”

    (At this point, I’ve finished the little girl’s face paint, which has glitter in it. She is admiring herself in my mirror.)

    Dad: *to the girl* “Now, what do you say?”

    Girl: “Shiny! Let’s be bad guys!”

    (Parenting, you’re doing it right!)

    Straight From The Horse’s Mouth

    | Ireland | Children, Parents & Guardians, Siblings, Top

    (We are in the car, listening to ‘The Boxer’ by Simon and Garfunkel. It includes the lyrics, ‘Just a come-on from the whores on 7th Avenue. I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome I took some comfort there.’ I am maybe eight or nine, singing along with gusto.)

    Mum: “Maybe we shouldn’t be listening to this.”

    Brother: “It’s fine. She doesn’t understand it anyway.”

    Me: *indignant* “I do, too!”

    Brother: “Oh yeah? What does it mean, then?”

    Me: “He’s sad and lonely because he moved away from his family. But he made friends with a horse who lives on 7th Avenue, and when he’s sad the horse says, ‘Come on! You can do it!’ And that comforts him.”

    Mum: “… you are 100 percent right.”

    Not Your Stereotypical Grandmother

    | Dover, DE, USA | Grandparents, LGTBQ, Top

    (I’m visiting my grandmother. I’ve just come out to her as bi. I’m a young woman dating a black man almost a year younger than me. While still talking about LGBT things, our conversation starts towards gender stereotypes.)

    Grandmother: “What I don’t get, is why a girl can like cars and guys’ll like her, but a guy can like sewing or baking and suddenly he’s a f*****.”

    (My grandmother then turns to me, and looks at me seriously for a moment.)

    Grandmother: “Now, [My Name], don’t you ever say that word. It’s nasty and mean. It’s like if I walked up to [Boyfriend's Name] and called him a n*****.”

    Me: “I was just about to call you out on that. Were you just saying that as a ‘that’s what other people say’ type thing?”

    Grandmother: “Yeah. I wouldn’t call you or a girl you brought home that, never in a million years. Did I ever tell you about my basketball friend?”

    Me: “No?”

    Grandmother: “Well, I had a girlfriend. I guess you’d call her a gal pal, anyway. I had this girl friend that I was on a basketball team with and I spent the night at her house. Back then two girls or two guys could share a bed without it being gay. Anywho, we were lying there in bed and she started touching on my leg and trying to make moves on me!”

    Me: “Oh, my God, and you don’t swing that way.”

    Grandmother: “H*** no I don’t! But I let her down easy and we went swimmin’ the next day.”

    Me: “You’re taking this a lot better than some people. I have a friend that’s physically a girl, but psychologically he’s a boy.”

    (I pause to see her reaction to my explanation about what transgender is, but she doesn’t react. I continue…)

    Me: “When he came out to his mom, she told him that he was just a confused lesbian.”

    Grandmother: “Well, that woman’s so full of s*** they gotta hang an air freshener around her neck!”

    Confessions Of A Sith Lord

    | BC, Canada | Siblings, Top

    (My sister is usually pretty quiet and reserved, but she has a very clever wit. I am watching ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,’ and she comes and joins me for part of it. While she is nerdy, she is not nearly into Star Wars as much as I am. The following occurs during the movie’s iconic scene.)

    Darth Vader: “No, I am your father!”

    Luke: “No… no, that’s not true… that’s impossible!”

    Sister: *impersonating Darth Vader* “It’s very possible. Let me tell you what I did with your mother.”

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