These are my parents, with whom we spent a very enjoyable holiday over Thanksgiving week. Hi guys! (((waving furiously))) I miss you already.
My mom’s the one wearing sunglasses. You know that phenomena where you begin to look like your spouse after eons of marriage? I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart when we first got down there but as luck would have it, Mom has continued to shrink at an alarming rate so it wasn’t an issue after all. However, I am little concerned that we’re going to either step on her or lose her under the couch one day.
As a side note, I think it’s painfully obvious why I had rhinoplasty at an early age.
Dad is going to be eighty this year. Mom is going to be seventy-eight and apparently, this came as quite a shock to her as she had been telling everyone that she is turning seventy-seven before Dad set her straight. And he lived to tell about it.
My parents are deaf. And I don’t mean clinically or legally or anything like that. I mean deaf in a NO, THAT’S NOT AN F-16 TAKING OFF IN THE LIVING ROOM, MY PARENTS ARE JUST WATCHING TV kind of way. This is good news for Nate who enjoys watching TV at 635 decibels and bad news for me because I’ve never been any good at charades so when I mime the act of ripping the ears off my head in protest and bleeding out, my mother shouts down to my lifeless body that there’s ice cream in the freezer if I’m hungry.
One of these days, I will no longer be able to withstand the ear shattering level of volume emitting from the TV and I’m going to go all Vincent van Gogh on myself, I swear to G-O-D. So, you guys? Don’t come running to me, asking how the remote being run over in the driveway fifteen times constitutes an accident, as I won’t hear you because my bloody ears are hanging out somewhere in the back yard.
My mom and dad have been married almost 47 years and they’re still speaking to each other. How about that? Nate and I have been married a little over nine years and I’m currently trying to remember if I’m on speaking terms with him today. I think I am. I’ll ask him when he gets home.
Being able to communicate after 47 years of marriage is huge. HUGE! I’m very proud of them and I say that in all seriousness. Granted, their form of communication is a bit odd, but hey, it’s worked for them for almost half a century, so who am I to question it?
DAD: Andy and Nate, did we tell you about the restaurant we ate at last week?
MOM: Oh yes! Andy? Nate, my dear? Did we tell you about the restaurant we ate at last week? (eyebrows raised, eyes closed in preparation, takes a deep breath)
DAD: So, last week …
MOM: We ate at this restaurant last week.
DAD: It was over in Fayetteville …
MOM: No, it wasn’t. It was in Aberdeen.
DAD: No, Dee. It was Fayetteville.
MOM: IT WAS ABERDEEN, PETER.
DAD: Don’t tell me it was in Aberdeen! I drove there, didn’t I?
MOM: And who was that sitting next to you? Are you calling me crazy?
DAD: IT WAS FAYETTEVILLE. Right after my doctor appointment. We got lost. REMEMBER, DEE?
MOM: Oh! Yes. That’s right. I was thinking of something else. Nevermind. My mistake. So we go to this restaurant in Fayetteville.
DAD: We went to this restaurant …
MOM: We went to the restaurant …
DAD: We order our food …
MOM: We ordered our food.
DAD: And when it comes out …
MOM: Andy, it came out and UGH (shaking head back and forth, left speechless, hand over heart)
DAD: It was …
MOM: It was terrible. TERRIBLE. Andy, I’m telling you, IT WAS TERRIBLE. Nathan, it was just horrendous. HORRENDOUS.
DAD: Alright, Dee! I was going to say, it was terrible. The sauce was watery and pink …
MOM: The sauce was watery and pink.
DAD: That’s what I just said, Dee! Do you want me to tell the story or not? For crying out loud.
MOM: SIMPLY INEDIBLE, I TELL YOU. Nate, it was terrible. Andy, did I mention it was terrible? As God is my witness, I’ve never had such horrid food (appears as if ready to collapse at any given moment)
DAD: (*sigh*) Are you finished? I couldn’t eat it.
MOM: I thought I was going to be ill (shaking head, puts hand to forehead, other hand remains on heart, for emphasis.) Really, Andy. I did. Nate, I thought I was going to be ill. PHYSICALLY ILL.
DAD: Dee, they get it.
MOM: Physically ill.
DAD: Where was I? OK, so we sent the food back to the kitchen …
MOM: We sent it back to the kitchen.
DAD: And when it comes back …
MOM: It came back.
DAD: I looked at it and I says, I says …
MOM: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? That’s what we said.
DAD: I says “What the hell is this?” because it came back worse.
MOM: (*gasp*) It came back worse. IT CAME BACK WORSE. If you can believe that. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? Nathan, can you believe that? Andy?
DAD: Dee …
MOM: It came back worse.
DAD: For God’s sake, Dee. Can I tell the story or not?
MOM: What? What am I doing?
DAD: Where was I?
MOM: You don’t know how to tell it. I’ll tell it. So, our food comes back …
(Five minutes or ten years later)
MOM: It was absolutely inedible. I was physically ill. TO MY STOMACH. Can you believe that? Wasn’t I, Peter? Peter?
DAD: zzzzzzzzz … zzzzzzzzzz
MOM: Peter! PETER! FOR GOD’S SAKE. WAKE UP.
MOM: He always does this. Jes-us Chr-rrrr-ist.
DAD: What’d I do? (looks at us blearily) … What time is it? Did I take my pills? What’d I do?
MOM: Nothing, Peter! NOTHING AT ALL (leaves the room in a huffy disgust).
DAD: Hey Andy, did I tell you about the restaurant we ate at last week?