So, um, it turns out I can’t do this one as a live-blog. I can’t detach myself enough from it. The widow in this, despite having adult children, is not all that much older than I am and has lost her husband of many years unexpectedly. The idea of losing a long-standing partner so early, when you had so many plans still to come to fruition, is a bit too painful for me to face. Watching her go through his clothes was the worst, although I will say I was proud of her for standing up to MK and sweetly but firmly insisting on doing that when she wanted to and under the conditions she preferred (alone). And so I don’t end on that note, onward to the next episode.
Ep 5: Frank and Matt
Two quite camp gay boys are trying to demonstrate to one of their sets of parents that they are Real Grown-ups Now by going through Marie Kondo’s School of Tidying.
They’ve been together for years and they still go all spoony-eyed when they look at each other. It would be vomit-inducing if they were not both so cute and honest about their faults.
Their flat looks pretty polished on the surface, apart from the kitchen, but once they start opening cupboards and closets, it becomes clear why they have called in MK to help them fix up the place before the parents arrive. It also becomes clear that they have seriously loaded the impending parental visit with a lot of meaning, because Frank’s parents have never seen their flat. “If they take our home seriously, they’ll take our relationship seriously.” Yiiiiikes, my dudes, I would hope they’d take you both seriously after three years of being so sweetly devoted to each other?!
Matt, who is one of the most baby-faced humans I’ve ever seen: “I’ve been the baby long enough; I need to move on to the next stage.” Okay, good, as long as you accept that most adults you meet are still going to have to actively resist pinching your cheeks.
Frank goes confessional about why he’s so anxious to show his parents he’s committed to Matt and the house. “I want them to feel like the expense of having me and raising me was justified”, because he didn’t go to medical school and is in a gay relationship. This is one of the most tragically millenial things I have ever heard someone say and I mean that in total sincerity. He and Matt are clearly successful, motivated, hard-working young professionals. They are kind and loving with one another. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PROVE YOURSELF. It’s sweet that you want to impress your family but you are already great. *glares at society’s unreasonable expectations for young people*
They are not into the house-greeting ritual. Bonus points for Frank and Matt. They have Catan and Ticket to Ride on their games shelf! More bonus points for Matt and Frank.
They go through their clothes. Frank manages the sorting process for this very quickly while Matt struggles. But they get through it. Even the neckties.
Frank goes through his books quite quickly while Matt lingers over them and I find it rather wonderful to watch him pretty much not get rid of anything unabashedly in front of MK.
Onward to paper. At last, Frank stumbles, because he loves the memories that even song lyrics he wrote in high school, which I’m assuming he now thinks are objectively terrible, bring up for him. I am in total sympathy with this. Possibly this is because I have moved so many times and settled so far from my family, and I attribute a lot of value to the sentimental bits of paper (letters, etc) that I have dragged around with me for so long.
“Matt, I’m too sentimental.” No, Frank, no you are not. I will defend to the death your right to hang on to the plastic doodad with a photo from your first visit to Disneyland.
They bond over making excruciatingly neat towel-rolls and sorting stacks of plates.
They donate their stuff to “Out of the Closet”. Aaaahhh I remember going there when I lived in LA; I’m so glad it still exists!
MK arrives to see how they’ve progressed. She’s carrying lots of tiny boxes, which she also leaves with because they’re actually finished. Their closets look fantastic and their tiny kitchen has transformed.
On the day of the parental visit they are both a-twitter. “Matt, I got a tiny fleck of beet on me!” Matt reassures him, but when the parents arrive, he has clearly changed his shirt. Frank is super nervous. He explains everything and opens all the closets. His parents are interviewed separately on the sofa and say sweet things about him. Frank: “They said everything I wanted them too without being prompted.” AS WELL THEY SHOULD.
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