“Mom,” Kurt said with a firm tone. “I told you work keeps me too busy to date.” He glanced at his father. “You remember, right dad?” The pot-bellied elderly man waved at them from his recliner without taking his eyes off the TV.
“Leave me out of it,” he mumbled.
“No one said anything about dating,” Mrs. Stevens replied from across the feast-laden table. A perfect golden-brown turkey took up most of the center and it was surrounded by several colorful side dishes. Bright yellow corn, creamy white mashed potatoes, vibrant green beans and more made Kurt’s stomach growl. Dinner was ready and served, but Kurt’s mom slapped his hand away when he reached for a serving spoon. “He’s a nice young man and I couldn’t bear the thought of him spending Thanksgiving alone. It’s not always about you,…” she added an exaggerated shrug. “But.. if you happen to hit it off would that be so bad?”
“MOM,” Kurt whined again but the rest of his argument was interrupted by the doorbell. “At least I can eat now,” he reasoned. Mrs. Stevens hopped up from her seat and took the long way around the table to get to the door. The detour allowed her to pass behind Kurt and adjust the sloppy collar on his crisp white shirt. It was at that moment that he realized why she asked him to “look nice” this year. The elderly woman with silver hair disappeared into the foyer while Kurt sat and brooded.
He did try dating on a few occasions, but being a supervillain wasn’t quite the selling point he hoped it was; even with a name as cool as GrimDeath. It seemed like the couple of men he revealed his secret to didn’t believe him; they laughed at him like it was a joke.
“That’s my husband, and this handsome young man is my son, Kurt,” Mrs. Stevens said as she walked back into the dining room. She was followed by a lean, tan, handsome young man in a dark suit. “Kurt, this is Michael,” she introduced them. Kurt rushed to his feet to shake the man’s hands.
“Thanks for joining us,” Kurt said with a smile.
“Thank you for the invite!” Michael replied with his own grin and a firm grip that left Kurt’s knees weak.
“You two go ahead and get started,” Mrs. Stevens said and smiled at Kurt. “Your father wants to eat by the TV.” She grabbed a plate and began piling on little bits from each dish. Kurt gestured at a seat for Michael and the two men sat down across from each other.
“So how’d you meet my mom?” Kurt asked while filling his own plate. In the corner of his eye, he caught a smug grin from his mom.
“We’re in the same fan club,” Michael laughed.
“SnowBlitz fan club,” Michael explained. “They have meetings every month, and I met your mom when she first joined a few months ago.”
“Oh,” Kurt said softly. “That’s nice,” he quickly shoved a forkful in his mouth so that he didn’t have to talk. SnowBlitz: the city’s most popular hero and Kurt’s sworn nemesis. His mom used to talk about SnowBlitz so much it bothered him. It got to the point a few months ago that Kurt actually asked her to stop. He was surprised when she did, but it seemed she found another outlet for her fandom.
“How’s the food, boys?” Mrs. Stevens asked as she joined them at the table.
“So delicious!” Michael exclaimed. “I’m so glad I’m eating this with you kind folks instead of pizza alone tonight. I can’t thank you enough.”
“Well, no one should have to spend the holidays alone. Even if they are single, right Kurt?” she asked her son. Kurt nodded and shoveled more food into his mouth; he was thankful there was enough to keep him silent the whole night. “Did Michael tell you he works for SnowBlitz?” Kurt shook his head. Michael chuckled and shook his own head.
“It sounds a lot better when you say it like that,” he said. “I just work for the messaging service that SnowBlitz uses.”
“It’s practically the same thing,” Mrs. Stevens replied. “Have you ever met him? What’s he like in person?” she asked. Kurt’s mood was in free-fall. He wanted a nice meal with his parents. Instead, he got blindsided with a blind date and now his mom is focusing on SnowBlitz again.
“I got to talk to him once, just on the phone. He seems like a nice guy,” Michael said.
“I’ll bet he is. He seems like a great man, I’m sure his mother is very proud of him.”
“Excuse me,” Kurt said quickly. He did not have a plan, but he needed to leave the table. He wandered into the kitchen hoping to find some alcohol. After a moment the door swung open again and his mother entered the kitchen.
“Everything okay, dear?” she asked. Kurt found himself trapped in a corner between the sink and the stove; his mom walked closer and put a hand on his shoulder.
“No, mom,” he said. “You know it bugs me when you fawn all over SnowBlitz, and I don’t need that on top of a blind date that I wasn’t ready for.” Mrs. Stevens sighed and squeezed Kurt’s shoulder.
“Oh, honey, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, we should have talked about this when you brought it up.” She let go of his shoulder but stepped closer. She lowered her voice to a near-whisper. “At the time, I thought it was better to let you have your way, but I’m starting to think that didn’t work.” Kurt narrowed his eyes and tilted his head at her.
“What are you talking about?”
“This whole SnowBlitz business, it’s gotten silly. Do you honestly think your father and I care more about some famous superhero than our own son?” Kurt shook his head. When phrased like that, it did sound silly.
“It’s complicated,” he answered. He didn’t really think they cared more for SnowBlitz, but it bothered him that they couldn’t be proud of him the way they would be if he was SnowBlitz. Mrs. Stevens sighed.
“It’s not complicated, you’re making it complicated,” she said. “Do you think we’re stupid?” she asked.
“..What? Where’d that -“
“Do. You. Think. Your. Parents. Are. STUPID?” she asked.
“No! Of course not!”
“I’ve been waiting years for you to come out to us,” she said.
“Mom, you set me up on a blind date with a man. You already know I’m gay.” She slapped his shoulder.
“Not that, dummy. Your father and I are VERY proud of you, GrimDeath,” she said. Kurt’s eyes widened and his mouth fell open. “That’s why I’ve been needling you, to make you admit it to us. We can’t exactly brag to anyone that you’re our son, but, we can tell you how proud you make us. At least, we planned to once you came clean to us.” Kurt’s eyes filled with water and he hugged his mother tight.
“Thanks, mom,” he croaked. After a few more comforting minutes, Kurt spoke again. “So you know why I can’t date anyone, why’d you invite Michael?” Mrs. Stevens giggled.
“He thinks we’re stupid too,” she said.
“How so?” Mrs. Stevens rolled her eyes. “You’re going to tell me you don’t recognize him? Picture him in a blue snowsuit with some silver goggles.” Kurt did then gasped.
“SnowBlitz!” Mrs. Stevens nodded with a gleam in her eye.