Monday, May 16, 2011

About My Parents

Some may wonder how I wound up this way.  It was a combination of many things, I assure you, but I'm sure a hefty hunk of it comes from the fact that I was not only born from my parents, but raised by them.

They sing together and everything.  Honestly, watching them together over the years gave me higher expectations than any Disney movie. 

The following are a couple of tales from my parents.  Little bits from the way my mom tells it and little bits from my father's version smooshed together, makes for a conglomerate of awesome that probably doesn't really resemble what actually happened at all.

There’s an old picture of their chorus…  Everyone was supposed to be wearing black pants (black skirt for girls), a white shirt, and a black tie.  You can pick out my parents rather quickly, as my dad is wearing a paisley tie, a shirt that’s something other than white, and blue jeans.  My mother?  Her skirt is just a liiiiittle too short and she’s got a big honking Minnie Mouse bow on her damn head.

While my father was quick buddies with the entire wrestling team in high school (just in case), his real love was the theater.  He and my mother were in musicals together.  Yep.  High school.  Yep.  Disney or what?

Around this time, he looked over to see my mom.  She was surrounded by her friends (mostly gay men) and he decided to give it a shot.  She said no.  In fact, the story goes that when he said “Want to go on a date?” she laughed right in his goddamn face.

My father taught me the art of determination.

He’d ask her, she’d say no… Eventually he said “It’s okay.  You’re gonna marry me one day” and she LAUGHED forever.  (Can you tell which parts my mother told me?)

One day, she had left a book at school   Being the adorable obsessive stalker my father was, he trudged through the snow for who knows how far to give her the book.  My grandmother said, “You should go out with the boy”, and so she finally agreed to a date. 

 My mother had a few other prospects at the time, and my father was not necessarily top of the list, but he had set about to change that.  

A few dates and some songs later, she was hooked.

They were, again, in shows together.  He sometimes had to play her father… which is awkward… but they would pass notes to each other down the chorus line.  As his name started with G and hers with S, you can imagine how many other people probably read a lot of shit they did not want to know.

When college happened, they were spending less and less time together.  My mother decided that, maybe, they should break up due to that.  My father decided “I know how to fix this!” and asked her to marry him. 

 She said she’d think about it.

Well, she didn’t want to give him an answer over the phone, so she went on an adventure to see him in person!

She reports that she ran out of bus fare along the way…
 Which lead to hopping on a friend’s motorcycle.


The problem was, my father was sitting there expecting a call.  More than that, he was pretty much assuming that the love of his life was going to say no.  As such, he had a friend over to comfort him when he got the bad news.  This was made complicated by the fact that his “friend” was a hot red head named Ester.

My mother was unamused, standing in the doorway.  She took the ring off of her finger.  My father says, to this day, he can still feel where the ring bounced off his cheek.

Ester drove my mother home.  “You know, we really weren’t… I mean… He’s not even my type… Umm… Awwwwkwwwwaaaarrd…”

Some time past.
My mother, being a woman, wouldn’t answer his calls.  Her friends would answer and say she was busy.

My father was not having that shit.

He sat in the lobby of her building holding a small Donald Duck.  My mother, being completely obsessed by all things Disney, sighed and let him speak.

“His friend is outside” said my father.

She opened the door, and sitting before her was a three foot tall Mickey Mouse, with ring in hand.

They were married in Autumn. 

…That sounds pretty, I know.  The problem was, it was the 70’s.  My father was not the style guru he is today and my mom was… My mom.  Her favorite color is orange.  My dad being color blind probably didn’t help the situation.  Otherwise, he can be quite the savvy fashionista.  

My father wore a crushed brown velvet suit.  He had facial hair at the time and he was not a light man.  My father… Looked like a bear.  A dirty-hippie, song singing… bear.

 So, yeah.  That's the kind of love story that any relationship I ever have will need to live up to.  Fuuuuuuuu.

Here are some others as they have been told to me over the years.
My father vs driving (as told by my grandmother):
She says that one day, when my father was a budding teenager, he came back from practicing his driving.  He had the steering wheel in his hand.

My father vs the newspaper and the microwave:
It had been raining.  Normally, when it rains, the newspaper is put into a little newspaper condom to keep it dry.  This rain must have been unexpected, however, as the paper was damp.
My father decided that the fastest way to dry the newspaper would be to put it into the microwave.
He was smart about it though, and very proud of himself at the time.  He would stop it every so often to make sure that it was drying, but not on fire.  He'd check it, then put it back in.
Content that it was done, he tucked the paper under his arm and walked up the stairs to the bedroom, pleased in the knowledge that my mother would soon come after with his "personal tea".
As my mother tells it, as soon as my father opened up the paper, the inner part hit oxygen and burst into flames.

She, without much expression on her face (as if to say "Yep, saw that coming...), tossed the iced tea onto my father, putting out the flames.  She says she then turned around, without a word, and went down to get him another cup of tea.
I'd like to think that she checked to make sure he was okay... or something?
I wish I could say that this was an isolated episode, but there was also a "paper towel vs toaster oven" incident that was quite similar. 
...This is also the same man who dropped the same fishing knife into the same toe twice, about a year apart.  However, he is a very intelligent man, despite these moments.  Really, it just makes him all the more interesting.