11 January 2016

The Bachelor

You know the Toast, right? The Toast is funny. The Toast has Mallory Ortberg writing things about refrigerators (yogurt never goes bad at her parent's house) and refrigerators (the only thing that belongs in there is mindfulness).

Not so long ago, she posted a list: Code Words For Spinster Throughout History. Oh that Katie Cloisterneck, she's a porch witch (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

And I remembered my grandmother.

Gigi, pronounced with two hard Gs, a toddler-mangling of Marie, was born in 1911. [Damn. She'd be 104 if she were still alive.] One year, my friend Peter came for Christmas. I think that might have been the year he showed up with prunes soaked in Armagnac and stuffed with foie gras. You know, a little nibble before dinner, as one does. Peter is a dear, and no one will ever take him for a straight man. So, Peter disappears into the kitchen to plate his stuffed prunes, and my grandmother leans over and says "so, he's a bachelor?"

I'd never heard it before, and I've never heard it since, but there it was: bachelor as code word for gay man.