Friday, January 16, 2009

Grandma and Her Squandered Love for Liberace

I was reading the Andy Warhol diaries this morning, and in them, Andy told a story about going to a Liberace concert, and it got me to thinking about my Grandma Peg. This isn't quite the associative stretch it appears to be. I was looking for a frame for a picture, and after Grandma passed on, I remembered I had one of her old frames, so I went down to the basement and got it. Underneath the old family picture that was in it, I found a photo she had clipped of Liberace.

Then I remembered the conversation we once had about Lee. Grandma said, "I wouldn't kick Liberace out of bed." I retorted like the big smart ass I was/am, "Well, Lee wouldn't be in your bed in the first place because he's a flaming homo."

Well, the scorn--let me tell you--Grandma simply would NOT accept that Lee could possibly be gay. SHE WOULDN'T EVEN ENTERTAIN THAT RIDICULOUS IDEA--even when I pointed out the National Enquirer tell-all stories about Lee and the big beefy blond chauffer he bedded. Even when I pointed out Lee's flamboyant dressing habits: the flashy diamond rings, the sequins, the laquered bouffant hairdo. I'm not saying flamboyant dressing makes you definitively gay people so don't even start. I'm just saying it could possibly be an indicator is all.

Uhhh, no, he's not gay. What would ever give my dumb ass that idea?

To her dying day, Grandma could not, would not, accept Liberace's gayness. It was one of the few disagreements we ever had. Besides, since I share a similar, hopeless love of Rufus Wainwright (who is also a flamboyant dresser), who am I to throw a stone?

I like to imagine Grandma up there in heaven, in bed with a bejeweled, hetero Lee. They're just lying there smiling--they're not doing anything--that would be gross as hell. So, get your damn minds out of the gutter, people (that was another Grandma Pegism--except she didn't say damn because she was against cussing)! Anyhoo, I hope Grandma's heaven is nice.

When I go, all I ask for is a 24-hour open bar and a renewable liver. My dreams are simple.

No comments: