Exercise #3

Happy Hump Day Kiddies!

As a bit of random trivia for you- researchers (I think in Europe) did a study and apparently Wednesdays are the day of the week that most people kill themselves.

That little factoid always pops into my head on Wednesdays and I am either in a crappy mood or a little punchy.  Today was an exceptionally punchy and silly sort of day and I found myself getting the “What the Hell are you doing” look for more than one of my co-workers more than once throughout the day.

Time for the next exercise!  And I do hope that Mrs. Batty’s keeps on keeping on because I love the story of how her parents met- it reminds me of a 60’s romantic comedy.  Unfortunately, I don’t need to imagine how my parents met, but it does take imagination to try and remember that it really started out as a happy union, if just a bit naive.

3.  Imagine how your parents met and write the story.

My parents met in Japan in the summer in the early 1970’s.  He was a lifeguard at the American Club in Japan and on break from Dartmouth and she was the vagabond hippie daughter of my Grandfather and Grandmother (a story for a later date).  From all of the stories I’ve been told, they got together because he looked good in a Speedo, so I don’t think that I originally thought my mother loved my father for his brain.  After I’d thought about it, I know that their marriage wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did had she not found something in him that she liked.

So, they were married in Japan and there was tension between my mother and the in-laws.  She apparently never felt like they approved of her as his wife, but not recognizing her own husband at the airport probably didn’t help on that front.  I found out many moons later that there was an incident involving the big A prior to their marriage and this was suspected to have poured the guilt onto the fire of whirlwind to spur the union on.

After Japan came the mid west.  They moved back to America and they both graduated from college. He got a job that had him traveling quite a bit and she didn’t.  They had a son and my brother was born.  My mother was never meant to be a stay at home mom.  While not working, she organized a bowling league, a daycare “group” for the town home community, and was still not happy.  She eventually got a job and work overnights as a waitress.  Like most young families- her wage were spent to pay for the babysitter.

My father was still traveling for work and my mother was still finding herself, so they had already begun to grow apart.  My theory is that I was born as either an oopsie, or as an attempt to save their marriage, but either way- I came along.  Born by cesarean section at a local hospital on my father’s birthday I was a scrawny, blond, perky bundle of joy (don’t scoff at me, people change!).  They were divorced about a year later.

Oddly, and not so oddly, the man who would become my mother’s second husband was actually at the hospital with cookies when I was born.  Too bad he turned out to be a complete D-Bag.

This little tale is so pregnant (Ha HA) with other stories that it’s nearly impossible for me to start on the details without devolving into another tangent, but needless to say- they met, they fell in lust, they married, they bonded, and they grew apart.  It was only 2 years ago that I actually had a moment where I broached this subject with my father in a non-serious way (it isn’t something that we talk about in his home with his wife and his son and his daughter) when my younger Half-Brother was accepted into a program where he would study in Japan for a semester.  I asked my father if he could see the irony of this moment, and it took him a minute, but he did.

My father seems to have gotten it right the second time around and his children are much more successful and well adjusted than my brother and I, so I’ll put that in the win category. My mother seems to be happy at this moment.  Husband number 3, though I think not so nice things about him, makes her happy and she has made her choice to stay in Europe with him.  ‘Nuff said.

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One thought on “Exercise #3

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m trying to keep on keeping on, as you say…

    This is FULL of fiction…

    “Why in the world did I let you talk me into this?” Cathy said with a sigh. “I have enough to do as it is without playing chaperone to your dates.”

    “Oh, come on Cath, it won’t be that bad, if anything it’s a few free drinks. And you’re not chaperoning, you’re on a date too with his friend!” her sister Ann responded.

    The two sisters were putting the final touches on their make up before their double blind dates at the Pub down the street. Cathy, was only doing this for her younger sister because she had been harassed enough to finally agree simply to shut her up. Now that the day had actually come along, she didn’t particularly feel like going out, meeting some bloke who wanted nothing more than a peek at the goods and fighting him off all night. But, she did agree and so here she was, all dressed up and heading out for the night.

    Once they arrived, they peered through the smoky room to find an empty pair of seats while waiting for their dates to find them and introduce themselves. They found a small table in the back corner and quickly moved to claim it.

    Cathy kept her eyes trained on the door watching people streaming in and out waiting to see a pair of men come in and look around. “Oh come one,” she thought to herself waiting to get this over with. Glancing down she noticed they were still a bit early and leaned back in the booth reaching for her lighter to light a cigarette.

    She wasn’t leaning back for long, as she continued to stare a young man entered, alone, that caught her attention. “Now that,” she thought to herself” if a handsome man. It’s a shame he’s come in alone, he’s not one of our dates, then.”

    The man was dapper and he stood in the doorway with an air of casual authority as he glanced around. As his eyes swept the Pub, they met with Cathy’s and held. As they started at each other, another man entered the Pub and joined him. At once, the other man’s attention was directed to the table the sisters sat at and the two made their way to them.

    Ann had noticed the two young men by now and was nearly bouncing in her seat with anticipation while Cathy still held the gaze of the handsome stranger and remained perfectly still.

    Once he’d arrived at their table, he said, “Ann?” and immediately Ann stood up and said hello.

    “I’m Ann.” she said excitedly.

    “Ann, I’m Andy, you’re date for the evening,” he responded finally tearing his eyes from Cathy’s.

    The second man introduced himself as Steven and sat down beside Cathy. As
    the evening droned on, Cathy couldn’t have repeated later that evening what anyone at the table said other than Andy. He held her attention rapt the entire time and although she attempted to wrap herself with disinterest she failed at convincing anyone.

    Andy was just as taken with her and by the end of their date, the two couples had traded partners and each was happier with the new arrangement.

    As they left their dates at the front door later, Cathy turned to Ann and said, “Thanks for talking me into this. I just met the man I’m going to marry.”

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