It’s no wonder I don’t make any sense. I’m a combination of two polar opposites, who by all rights, should never have met much less married. My mother came from a Nazi-strict household where she wasn’t allowed to see movies or go to football games, for fear she would encounter Satan himself. She also wasn’t allowed to celebrate Christmas which explains why we have presents piled from the floor to the ceiling every Dec. 24 and a Christmas tree in every room of the house – including bathrooms. Except the bathrooms are small and the only space is above the toilet… and that can get prickly.
My father, on the other hand, had no parental guidance, unless you’re including alcoholics. He took off when he was 18, with nothing but $60 bucks and a dream in his pocket. That dream, consisted entirely, of doing nothing.
For years, my hippie father hitchhiked across the country, attending approximately 4 different colleges and surviving on randomness and sheer luck. For awhile he slept on a beach in Destin (no, no- not in a house, on the actual beach), working part time on a fishing boat – until he discovered he was very prone to seasickness. Then he camped out in the Rocky mountains, where he was told it was perfectly fine to drink “the fresh spring water.” But that person had been grossly mistaken. So he headed out West.
Me: So, where did you stay when you were traveling?
Dad: With whomever took us in. One time I stayed at the Cadillac Motel for a buck twenty-five.
Me: Cadillac Motel? Was it decorated with car memorabilia or something?
Dad: Not exactly. It was an open field with a bunch of old Cadillacs up on cinder blocks. With a mattress inside.
Eventually, he made his way out to San Francisco where his older brother awaited. They thought it was a great idea to start a moving business called “We Merry Movers,” for which they had no insurance.
Dad: One time, we had this expensive leather couch and we were taking it down the stairs and it caught on something and sliced open the entire back.
Me: So, what happened?
Dad: We set that side against the wall and started a different business.
Then for a while, my dad went to school at Illinois State University, where he lived in a farmhouse with five other guys, out in the middle of a cornfield.
Me: So that house must have been crazy.
Dad: All we did was drink until there wasn’t anything else to drink. One of the guys worked at a liquor store and stole booze so he could resell it and pay the rent. It was like a black hole. We were in the middle of nowhere and I couldn’t even save enough gas money to drive to the next town.
Me: That house must have been filthy.
Dad: Yea, we cleaned our floor about once a year…. in beer.
Finally, my dad would make his way back home, where he played in a band and started to get his life together. One snowy night, my mother, a shy and gorgeous woman, happened to be dragged out to a party where they were playing.
Me: So, how on earth did you meet someone like mom?
Dad: We were at this party. I was walking by the front door, when it opened and your mother tripped on a pile of snow and fell through. I went to help her up and all I could think was, “This woman is hot. I don’t know anything about her…but I’ll figure out a way to love her.”
Me: So …?
Dad: So as she was leaving, I ran out and wrote my number in the sleet on her windshield. That probably wasn’t the best idea, considering her defrost was on. A year later we got married on my birthday. You know, that way I would always remember the date.
Needless to say, by my mother’s mesmerizing powers of persuasion and the grace of God, my father changed his ways. And I couldn’t have custom built a better set of parents. I adore them.
…But that doesn’t mean I still can’t blame all my issues on you.
p.s sorry about stealing those pictures and broadcasting them on the internet. you guys still don’t even know what a blog is right? so we still cool, right?