I’m down in North Carolina visiting my parents and I’ve been spending some time at my father’s desk. Remember my father’s desk? I’ve been opening up drawers and flipping through papers and generally just being a nosy busy body because every one else is watching TV and ignoring me. By the way, Mom and Dad are watching TV and the volume is so high, I think I could take a chain saw to this desk, transform it into a boat, haul it into the bathtub and play Titanic and no one would even notice.
I kind of feel like I did when I was ten and I rifled through my dad’s desk on one of the many days he wasn’t home as he traveled quite often for work. I was probably hunting for some sort of evidence that he had a second family, possibly somewhere in Canada. Why else did he always have a lot of Canadian change on him? I mean, we only crossed the border to visit MarineLand and ride Maid of the Mist once that I could remember. What was up with all those weird looking quarters? I envisioned him spending half the week at his job at home and the other half trekking into great white north country and I assumed he did that because Mom tended to yell a lot. And he liked Canadian bacon. I often wondered if I could get across the border with my bike and have him take me to lunch with my half brothers and sisters.
Turns out, my dad didn’t have a second family. When you lived an hour from the border in the seventies with an exchange rate that was actually worthwhile, you often accumulated a lot of Canadian change. So, as it turned out, I was just a nervous, high strung kid.
I won’t bother asking if any of you are shocked by that revelation.
Anyway, I’ve found an email that Dad printed almost four years ago and I wanted to share it with you because it’s adorable. It’s one of those joke emails that winds up going viral and lands in everyone’s inbox except mine. Why? Because I’m the last one to ever find out about anything. If you check me out on Google Earth, you’ll see that as of the moment, I’m about 7,844 light years due west of the loop. Check back in an hour and you’ll see that they moved the loop a few galaxies to the south, just to screw with me.
I’m not sure who “they” are, but they’re out there and they know exactly who I’m talking about.
Turns out, that nervous, high strung kid grew up to be a nervous, high strung and slightly paranoid adult.
I won’t bother asking if any of you are shocked by that revelation either.
~ FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES ~
How do you decide whom to marry?
You’ve got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports and she should keep the chips coming. – Alan, age 10
No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with. – Kristen, age 10
You flip a nickel and heads means you stay with him and tails means you try the next one. – Kelly, age 8
My mother says you look for a man who is kind … that’s what I’ll do … look for a man who is kinda tall and handsome – Carolyn, age 8
How would the world be different if people didn’t get married?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain. – Kevin, age 8
What is the right age to get married?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. – Camille, age 10
Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife. – Bert, age 5
What is marriage?
Marriage is when you get to keep your girl and don’t have to give her back to her parents. – Eric, age 6
How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. – Derrick, age 8
How did your mom and dad meet?
They were at a dance party at a friend’s house. Then they went for a drive but their car broke down. It was a good thing because it gave them a chance to find out about their values. – Lottie, age 9
My father was doing some strange chores for my mother. They won’t tell me what kind. – Jeremy, age 8
What do most people do on a date?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. – Lynnette, age 8
On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go on a second date. – Martin, age 10
Many daters just eat port chops and french fries and talk about love. – Craig, age 9
What would you do on a first date that was turning sour?
I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make they they wrote about me in all the dead columns. – Craig, age 9
When is it okay to kiss someone?
Never kiss in front of other people. It’s a big embarrassing thing if anyone sees you. If nobody sees you, I might be willing to try it with a handsome boy but just for a few hours. – Kally, age 9
When they’re rich. – Pam, age 7
The law says you have to be eighteen so I wouldn’t want to mess with that. – Curt, age 7
The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do. – Howard, age 8
You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a ring and her own VCR ’cause she’ll want to have videos of the wedding. – Allen, age 10
Is it better to be single or married?
It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. – Anita, age 9
I don’t know which is better but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m never going to have sex with my wife. I don’t want to be all grossed out. – Theodore, age 8
You should ask the people who read Cosmopolitan. – Kirsten, age 10
It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble. – Will, age 7
How does love happen between two people?
I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be so painful. – Manuel, age 8
What is falling in love like?
Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life. – John, age 9
If falling in love is anything like learning to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long. – Glenn, age 7
How do you make someone fall in love with you?
One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me. – Bart, age 9
Is love important?
Love is the most important thing in the world but baseball is pretty good too. – Greg, age 8
I’m in favor of love as long as it doesn’t happen when “Dinosaurs” is on television. – Jill, age 6
I’m not rushing into being in love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough. – Regina, age 10
Why do lovers often hold hands?
They want to make sure their rings don’t fall off because they paid good money for them. – Gavin, age 8
How would you make a marriage work?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck hit her. – Ricky, age 10