- Not being invited to family events. Or being invited while your ‘friend’, with whom you have a house, a business and six children, is not, due to it being for ‘close family only’ (although your brother turns up with a girl he pulled at the village barn dance the night before).
- Clothing assimilation. Straight couples get away with having shared interests in surfwear, hiking clothes or G Star Raw. Nobody comments on their matching sandals whereas we are made the targets of total mockery if we have clearly visited the Diesel outlet store together. Same colour clothing is to be avoided at all costs and if you are also hair-assimilated, it pays to adopt a 100% yin yang style when going out together.
- Telling people who interact with intimate parts of your body that you are a friend of Dorothy’s i.e. your über-feminine beautician as she tears your bikini line to bits, or for boys, your proctologist as he or she dives in for a prostate check. Any sort of physical flinch, no matter how slight, is not to be encouraged when your vulnerability threshold is being tested to such a degree.
- Body envy. We tend not to be threatened by difference in personal relationships (obviously this only relates to physical form – any distinction of hobbies, income etc are exceptionally threatening and should be avoided at all costs). Heterosexual couples have very different physiques. Gay people have bodily features in common, therefore we have greater opportunity to be jealous of the shape of our partner’s feet, their ability to look good in our aerobics leotard, or the fact that his/her hair always sits perfectly. Even in the cab home after a long night doing the Macarena with old school friends. In fact it looks annoyingly better than when you left the house.
- Holiday limitations. Jamaica, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Iran. Need I say more. Of course you can go on holiday to Morocco but as women you are likely to need a year off work with post-traumatic stress after fending off the advances of happy-handed locals. And boys expend double calories trying to butch up their gait as they saunter along dusty streets pretending to scout for girls.
- Not being invited to family events. You and your partner are free to spend the day at the Diesel outlet store instead of listening to Great Uncle Ernie’s long-winded tale of a sewage overflow in the kitchen sink due to rats blocking the pipes.
- Having an entire row in a packed cinema to yourselves, simply by sharing a quick peck as people are choosing their seats. The same applies to the backseat of buses, entire rows on long haul flights etc.
- Nobody asks you to babysit. Your family assumes that your ‘lifestyle’ involves levels of irresponsibility incompatible with caring for their precious little bundles of joy. This, of course, backfires when you acquire your own sprogs and your siblings decide to make up for lost time and dump Delilah and Sebastian on your doorstep with annoying frequency.
- You are trusted to go on long weekends of fishing/shopping/insert gender stereotype of choice here, with your best friend’s husband or wife (whichever one you’re not supposed to be attracted to). These weekends live on in friendship group legend; anecdotes are retold at BBQs for years to come while your best friend smiles smugly at other friends who can’t believe such a set up is allowed. (Don’t ever date someone of the opposite sex again though – these weekends will suddenly be analysed with a fine-tooth comb).
- Your wedding day is your day. Your mother is just relieved you managed to find another one ‘like you’ and is content with investing in a new hat for your ‘commitment thingamajingy’ rather than simultaneously performance managing the florist, photographer and guests. And your dad is forced to neglect his life-long collection of sexist wedding jokes in favour of an awkward same-sex dance with an embarrassingly drunk gay friend.
Disclaimer: tongue firmly in cheek whilst writing. We know it’s rarely like this anymore…
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