As ’tis the season to be jostled, my girlfriend and I ventured into one of the last bastions of heterosexuality this side of the Anzac Bridge this week.
No, it wasn’t Men’s Gallery (we’d already been there and done that), or St Mary’s Cathedral (I was too worried about an Omen-style lightning strike).
This was a far greater subversion of the status quo. Son in pram, we braved the lunchtime rush at the David Jones Magic Cave.
Now, I’m not a total Scrooge. I like Christmas about as much as the next normal 31-year-old. But I really think there should be a consumer affairs investigation into the use of the word magic in this instance.
Yes, there’s a tree that talks. Unfortunately, said tree seems to be only able to say one thing: What’s your name? Occasionally, the non-NIDA graduate operating the magic tree branches out and mixes it up a bit: You, with the balloon! What’s your name?
But can someone explain to me what’s so magic about queuing up for 45 minutes to get to a tiny, over-lit cupboard to spend a few seconds with a guy in a fake beard? Can anyone let me in on the magic of paying $20 for two photos that take a whole WEEK to process? Has anyone heard of the magic of digital photography?
Anyways, in the spirit of festering festivity, we took our place among the Eastern suburbs mums, grandmothers and the very occasional metrosexual dad, as well as all of the little Isabella/ Ella/ Olivers. They all ran riot. As one mum wrestled an Oliver into a miniature man-shirt, her friend’s Oliver -“ already decked out in his miniature man-shirt -“ snuck down the magic hallway into the magic zone of magic caves.
In between their children’s screaming, crying, kicking, manipulating and man-shirt wearing, the other parents occasionally happened to glance at our son, happily hanging off one of our shoulders, staring at a balloon.
What a sweet baby, they said, eyes flicking between his two mummies, who were obviously co-parenting said well-behaved baby through the nightmare of the Magic Cave. Yes, we harmonised, as a random Oliver picked his nose. And at that moment, as he was single-handedly wrestled into a man-shirt I actually experienced a moment of magic. I could read Oliver’s mother’s mind:
I gotta get me one of those lesbians.