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Last night, I was having dinner with my mother (as has become a Thursday night tradition in the last few months) and Leslie (one of my friends that I talk about; her picture will be up here shortly), and we got to talking about socially accepted behavior. Mom says that in fifty years, everyone will be thinking like her. That is all well and good, ’cause she’s all about the love. Like just last night, she said that when she walks her dog, she talks to other dog people, and she occasionally converses with a dog couple, or triad.

The triad is composed of a husband, a wife, the husband’s live-in male lover, and a college age girl . . . oh yeah, and Kali, the springer spaniel. My mom says that they are really just confused Labrador people, but I digress. Mom recounts all the interactions that she’s ever had with any member of the triad and recalls there being “nothing but love in that house, and if there’s nothing but love, they’ve got to be doing something right.” On this, I agree. Where I see the problem lying is with people looking in from outside and judging. That judgment creates hate, and we all know that hate can spread just as fast as love can, because hate seems to find people with bullhorns in place of their mouths.

Now is this socially acceptable? No. But having to live to a socially acceptable standard means that kids miss camping trips.

When I was eight or ten or so, I went to a day camp on an island in Marblehead (it’s Massachusetts’ West Egg), and in the second week of camp, we had a camp-out. Let me tell you, I was so freakin excited for this camp-out I almost wet myself. I brought the permission slip home in my hot little hands and asked my grandma to sign it. She wouldn’t. I flipped out.

I called my mom crying about how I wanted to go camping and she called my dad, my dad called his parents and they said “we don’t have any sleeping bags.” So my mom calls everyone she knows out on the Egg and rustles up two sleeping bags, calls the grandparents back, and tells them to fear not, the kids can sleep on the island. And the grandparents turn around and tell my mom that they really just didn’t want out on the island for fear that we would misbehave. The result being shame brought upon them in the commnity (they belonged to all the best yacht and golf clubs) for having such rotten little terrors for grandchildren. It turns out that they DID have sleeping bags for us and they were just afraid that we would go out to the island and be KIDS.

I also let down Cooper’s Sharks (that was the name of my camp group) by missing the ‘Capture-The-Flag’ championship. I was pissed then, but I forgive my grandparents and I love them. They grew up in a different time and lived by a different set of rules. In fifty years, I hope I am not governed by as antiquated a value structure as they were.

And.hey, if being a triad makes you happy, you go girl (guy, guy).

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