Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Handsome Is As Handsome Does

A small, good thing.

Yesterday, we went out for my mother's birthday; dinner. On the way home, we engaged is various crazy discussions and in an elevated level of goofiness that actually left me hoarse from repeatedly doing a silly voice.

At one point, for some reason, the conversation lead to my son, who is twelve, asking my mom: "Grandmom...who was the actor you had a crush on when you were younger? Tom Cruise?"

"No," my mom said. "He was after my time. It was Charlton Heston."

"Who's he again?" my son responded.

"The guy from Planet of the Apes," I chimed in. "Taylor."

"Oh, yeah," my son said. Then, he thought for a minute. "He was a pretty good-looking guy. I could see why girls would like him."

What was cool was the ease with which my son said that. If I am geing honest, as a twelve-year-old from a different time, I would have hesitated to have even mentioned that I thought a man was handsome. I would have been afraid of what it would have "sounded like." I might have thought it (in fact, I actually remember having thought it watching the movie as a kid his age), but I would have refrained from saying it.

I think it is cool that my son has a such a level of comfort with his own sexual identity (one that has been comically clear since his youngest days -- the lad has clearly loved the ladies since preschool); I think it shows an exceptional level of maturity, even in a time of apparently (though maybe exaggeratedly) shifting perceptions.

That's it. I just like when people (especially my sons) are, as they say, "comfortable in their own skins."


  1. It was a "thing" in my middle school days (and probably still is) to call a kid "gay" when he said/did something that was even remotely suggestive (suggestive even of something unrelated to sexuality). If a boy even laid a hand on another boy, no matter where it was, they could've been called "gay" and would've gotten awkward looks and people backing away from them, as if being gay was some kind of plague. What that said to me was that the other boys were so uncomfortable with their own sexuality (or perhaps the concept of sexuality) that they were almost afraid of other boys that may have seemed "gay" to them. That speaks for itself.

    In the smaller picture, he knows what Planet of the Apes is? "That's so gay."

    In the bigger picture, I'm glad that not only your son is so mature for his age, but that he's also clearly informed of classic film. That's a one-of-a-kind bundle for a child of 12; you should be proud!

    1. I always thought the most healthy of heterosexual minds was the one whose reaction to the opposite sex (and contact therewith) amounts to no more than complete disinterest. Disgust might does call one's sexuality into doubt, if you ask me.

      Yep -- I do sit them down with the good movies from time time. Last night was Young Frankenstein. They loved it.