How I Met Your Mother

So the story of how my dad met my mom is a fairly simple one with no fancy frills or bells and whistles, but the way it has been told to me can be fairly confusing because various parts of the story always change. It involves a newspaper ad, a boxed lasagna meal, a mustache, dog, and some rather business like ideas. Just like the show’s nine seasons, a real life journey to meet the mother of the eventual children in question has a lot of twist and turns and ultimate choices that impact the outcome. And sometimes the eventual outcome is bittersweet compared to the crazy adventures beforehand.

Now, unlike Ted from the show, my dad never really had a rich dating life before he met the Mrs. to be. Shortly after he graduated from university, the groom to be put an ad in the newspaper looking to find a match. It was this blind date service and this was way before online dating was even a thing, like 1985. The bride to be answered the phone number provided there and got a hold of the person on the other end.

Now the guy in question, my future dad, didn’t know how to cook so a box of Stouffer’s ready made lasagna was substituted for a homemade meal. No one could tell the difference though, not even my future mom, not even his mom.

My dad sported a big mustache back then and always wore a suit coat and tie and carried a briefcase. Well, one day while he was out to meet my mother’s mother, he hung his expensive suit coat on the stair banister. That seemed like a swell idea until the dog named Putzie went and lifted his leg and peed on it.

What followed next was a cruise and some other details.

Confusing

Advertisements

Not A Chip Off the Old Block

Super Nintendo photo nintendo_zpsjva4vure.jpg
I am a fan of the Super Nintendo like my mom

I definitely like to say that I’m not like my dad, who is so square he could be pass as a building. Stuck in his ways, unable to do anything new. His clothes have stayed the same, his haircut has stayed the same. He was in the marching band; I wasn’t. He had a dog as a kid; I’ve had nothing but a clowder of cats.

The world also revolves around him, as far as he’s concerned. Getting mad at pedestrians for crossing the street, flipping the bird at a driver who cuts him off, and then proceeding to put on a “I hate the world” look for the rest of the day. He also doesn’t know when to not text, sending one about his work schedule every week, sometimes in the middle of the night. It’s the same thing and I don’t really care. He’s been listening to the same music for as long as I’ve known him, the oldies station going back to when it wasn’t known as the oldies station, but something like “new wave” or “new rock”. Flipping through the stations and coming across a catchy Katy Perry or Maroon 5 song, I know it won’t stay on there long. And, flip, I’m right.

On the bright side, he loves hockey and has been going for the Red Wings ever since they were called the Dead Wings. I remember when he used to tape the games on a VCR (sad nostalgic tear), getting it programmed to automatically record the primetime game on the channel, while he was away at work. He would watch the game later, with a bowl of sherbet in his lap and usually shirtless with a hairy dad body, now enjoying having the power to speed through commercials and get to the good parts of the game. As a little kid I would sit down on the couch and observe the game, he occasionally shouting out a random swear word, yelling at the TV everytime a call didn’t go the Wings way. I didn’t have much interest in sports back then like I do now but I tried to watch and understand the meaning of the game, getting that these red suited guys skating up and down the ice and crashing into other players, trying to put a little black rock into a net, was a very special thing to my dad. He still love the Wings to this day, now going down to the Michigan Theatre to see them compete in the playoffs. 24 straight years now, every year since my birth. They don’t always win but they sure put up a fight. I’m not a big fan of hockey like him though. I love football; he only watches it occasionally.

I have realized I’ve inherited some of his self-centered attitude. I do think about myself a lot and am very private with my thoughts. We both can be quieter than a calm sea at times and go off into a corner with no one realizing we’re there. We’re both highly intelligent and have a way with crunching the numbers and strategizing, especially with board games like Clue. He’s very crafty at that game and has a religious passion for it but I’ve since caught up to him in skill after years of trying to figure the game and his sneaky strategy out (some cheating probably involved). He is a good father though who has been through some tough situations in his life, like having to have artificial hips implanted and not being able to enjoy the freedoms of running and excessive celebrations, in fear of misplacing his hip plates and possibly having to be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Which would only add to his pleasure of having people seek pity for him.

My mom, on the other hand, can be a bit of a dim lightbulb. She has a limited education and can say some derogatory things without knowing exactly what’s she saying. She is also absentminded and always forgetting something: wallet, keys, charger cord, driver’s license, library card, credit cards. I like to joke that she would forget her head if it wasn’t screwed on tightly. She not very good with vehicles either, every car she’s owned being broken down and the victim of wear and tear as well as a chronic messiness of bills, wrappers, cans, bills, bottles, crumbs, bills, candy canes, and more papers.

If there is one thing we have in common, it is probably our forgetfulness. I have left behind a couple of possessions in my lifetime and am always misplacing things like my wallet, phone, and those tiny memory cards that like to flip across the room and land in oblivion, being found a year later when things are being moved around. The charger cord extension for my Handycam was left behind in a hotel room last December, forcing me to charge it by plugging it into the computer with its short cord. I’ve gotten along nicely so far, having used the camera to take shots of full moons, the blood moon coming up in a couple days.

There are some similarities between me and my folks, such as the way we look (people are always saying my dad and I look alike) but I like to have some separation in terms of personality and style, even staying away from getting into the same jobs, just to say that I am my own unique person. I love my parents, but sometimes they can do the stupidest and most embarrassing things (please don’t pick your nose, dad, and touch the chips we share) that make me want to never totally end up like them. A good way to be, I say.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I’ve Become My Parents.”

Do you ever find yourself doing something your parents used to do when you were a kid, despite the fact you hated it back then?

From Under the Coffee Table

What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective.


Obviously, the vague memory of my mother and the time she picked me up off the floor to go to the hospital is the first thing that comes to mind. That was the first time I can remember seeing her. I was a little older than one. According to mom’s frantic pants and hints about “It’s acting up again”, I was having digestive problems once more. The following is me following the experience as my mom.

~~~~

“Matthew!”, she shouted with panic in her voice.

He was crawling under the living room coffee table, hitting his head against the wood and making some sort of grunting sound. Jill immediately became concerned and thoughts of those grueling doctor visits came back to mind. Obviously it was his digestive problems again. Bob was working the night shift at Meijer so she was the only one around to take action.

“I can’t do this anymore, we’re going to the hospital.”

Jill scrambled over and picked up the little baby, dressed in his red and white striped outfit, in her rough callused hands and rushed out the white front door and into the chilly air in the middle of the night. Running across the slick pavement, her motherly instincts kicked in with more worries of trouble with Matthew arising. She reached the family’s purple mini-van and slid open the side door with Matthew in one arm.

P100605125

Jill tucked him into his car seat, he just sitting there and not saying anything, and hopped into the driver’s seat, pulling out of BA’s parking spot with the fierceness of a deranged woman. She kept looking in the rear view mirror to see if Matt was okay. He still couldn’t talk so her assessment of his problems was tough, having to go by certain signals that arose, things that immediately made Jill know he was in trouble. Matthew just sat there calmly, probably having no clue what was going on right now and would likely not remember much of tonight’s events.

Rushing out of the subdivision and into the bustling city of Jackson, Jill arrived at the hospital, checked in, and got Matthew into a room quickly. The nurse already knew about his problems and calmly nodded and placed the baby carefully on the bed.

“I’ve been through this so many times already”, Jill said sarcastically. “How long will it be before you are done with him?”

The nurse looked apologetically at me and said calmly, “He’ll stay overnight, but you’re free to stay with him if you like.”

“Yeah, that won’t be a problem.”

So as a mother protective of her first newborn, Jill sat through the night in that hospital room, as Matthew was treated for his IBS. But she didn’t remember all the details since the nurse told her to step outside while certain procedures were done. So Jill waited in the lobby, impatiently sitting in an uncomfortable armchair, her face all flushed, heart rate jumping a mile a minute. She just wanted to have her baby back and have everything be okay with him. Jill was tired of these regular trips to the wing. Something needed to be done quickly about her boy’s problems.

The next morning, she went in the room and saw the nurse standing at the end of Matthew’s bed. He was lying near the headboard, quiet and innocent looking. The nurse was checking something off a clipboard she held. White curtains hung around the bed, shielding Matthew from disturbance and creating a peaceful canopy for him.

“Is he okay?”, Jill asked.

“Yeah, it was a rough night, had to get him to stay still while I took care of things. He cried a lot”

“Will we have to do this again or is this it?”

“No, I believe he is going to be okay now. Everything has been taken care off. But if the problem resumes, you can always come back and we’ll do more tests.”

“Okay, well, I’ve got to get to work soon.”

Jill looked at her baby thoughtfully, just happy that he was still there, as unassuming as could be. Her love for him increased largely.

“You’re coming home with mommy now,” the nurse said to Matthew in a playful voice. He looked at the nurse curiously while fidgeting with the folds of the blanket he was lying on.

There was a certain airy feeling in this room, almost like a dream, or at least that’s how Jill felt, feeling joyful, waiting eagerly for her baby to be back in her arms.

“Are you okay, Matthew?”, she asked with light concern. “We’re going home today, you should be all better now.”

“Yup, he’s doing fine now”, the nurse agreed, moving over to the bed to pick up the baby.

“Matthew”, Jill cooed. “Hey, look up here at mommy.”

And indeed, everything was fine now because the nurse smiled happily at Matthew as she held him and then at me, and Jill chortled softly, knowing that this was just one of countless experiences to happen with her child down the long road. She wondered if he would remember even the faintest details about it.

– Obviously what you just read here might not all be true. I improvised some of it since I do not remember what happened in between the trip to the hospital and the next morning.


Daily Prompt 10/17/14