Saturday, September 02, 2006

Brothers and Cousins, or something like that

I was contacted by a woman who had used the same sperm donor as I had. She lived relatively close by and wanted to know if we would like to meet. There is an organic farm with a petting zoo at the halfway point between our homes. I was surprised at how excited I was by all of this, and we agreed to get together.

She was very nice and very friendly, but she made it clear that she didn’t want them referred to as siblings. That was fine by me. I really didn’t know what to make of all of this.

Her son is a few months older than mine. When we met at the farm, I remarked that they looked like cousins, not brothers. There was a resemblance, but they weren’t the spitting image of each other, so I thought. I wanted to know if her son had cowlicks like ours (he didn’t) and if he had sleep issues (no again).

Of course, we weren’t at the farm a half an hour when a nice lady came up and asked if they were brothers. Dead silence. I don’t know what that woman must have thought. Finally, the other guy’s mom said, “They're cousins, sort of.” It was an answer that works, but it kind of bothered me since it wasn’t really the truth. I think I might have been more comfortable just saying they weren’t related at all, but I hadn’t thought this through. We went to a restaurant, and the waitress asked if they were twins! This time we just said no, they are several months apart.

My wife and I had decided to use a sperm donor to avoid emotional complications, but here we were in the thick of another one. They weren’t brothers and they weren’t cousins, there are some other thing that I don’t think has a name yet. The other mother isn’t a gay woman, but a single mom by choice. It is not just gays and lesbians entering this brave new world. This world without proper names for our relationships.

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