January 22, 2007

"Your dad scares the crap outta me."

Well, good.

And I didn't even have to tell him about that time I had to strangle a terrorist with my bare hands.

Who am I talking about?

Oh, I think he's either Beau #5 or #6, but no matter, he's a guy, and as I keep trying to tell both Oldest and Reba, no matter how nice he is, no matter how polite, no matter how solicitous, no matter where he goes to church, he is still a guy, and he still only wants one thing.

I have tried my dead level best to tell them this ever since Beau #1, and I think it might finally be starting to get through. I can kinda understand Oldest's naiveté, but Reba's been married twice, and one of those was to me, and so she SHOULD know I have a one-track mind, but still, they look at me with equal parts shock and disbelief when I don't immediately start hyperventilating about the good fortune of another hulking goober calling on the phone.

Anyway, #6 and Oldest had a date Saturday night, and he didn't start off impressively. It was almost enough for him to be endearingly dim, much like me.

First, he lives on the other side of town. Now, if I'm going to go pick up a girl at her house, I think I might get directions to her house, either from her, or the miraculous Internet. As proof of my one-track-mind theory, he didn't do either of those things. He just headed for Trussville. ::sigh::

As you could expect, he got lost before he even got there. He called several times, and Reba talked him to the exit and tried to explain the rest of the turns. And so, thoroughly confused, he was then given to me so I could play the role of Lloyd Bridges as Steve McCroskey in Airplane. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

And don't call me Shirley.

Anyway, I talked him through all three traffic lights, the turn, across the tracks, up the hill, down the hill, up the hill, around the turn, and into the driveway. "Don't hit my car when you pull in."

"Yes, sir!"

He got out and I stood there at the door with the phone in my hand and brought him inside. Nervous shaking handshake. Again--good. He and Mom and Oldest chatted a bit and I moved into the kitchen to be out of the way, then came back to see where they were going to eat and what they were going to see at the movie. They had no idea. Again, I would sorta think these things would be sorted out ahead of time, but what do I know?

I reminded Oldest that we had the church lectureship Saturday morning at 9:30, and to be home, and she started to complain, but #6 reassured me that they'd be home at a decent hour. Eddie Haskell? Maybe.

Out the door they went (after the obligatory invasion by Catherine, who had to go show off for everyone), and it was time for us to start fixing food for Saturday.

Did some junk, and then about ten minutes later I hear the doorbell ringing and the sound of someone pounding on the door. Oh sweet @#$!. I got to the door and found them standing there, with #6 having an embarrassed look on his face as Oldest piped up, "HIS CAR WON'T START!!" Well, it's actually a truck, but no matter.

"You need a jump?"

"Yes, sir, please."

And then he continued to alternately thank me and apologize and express his embarrassment at his predicament during the entire jumping-off process. To make it worse? He couldn't get his hood open. In the five minutes it took to get him going, he was a puddle of nervous chatter.


Off they went, and we got on with our cooking. I made some 16 bean soup with smoked sausage, Reba made sandwiches, and I went up and got my tee-shirt and shorts on after putting the beans on, with the intent of getting the soup poured into the crock pot and then going to bed, being that I was about to collapse from fatigue.

Came back downstairs, turned off the beans (in case you're wondering, I did the fast cook method where you boil them for twenty minutes instead of soaking them overnight) and sat down on the couch to wait the required hour for the beans to steep before transferring them.

And promptly went right to sleep.

And an hour later was woken by the doorbell. Why doesn't Oldest use her key!? I stumbled off the couch and went to the door, looking much more disheveled than I did four hours earlier, and let them in. They seem to have had a good time--went to eat at Zaxby's, saw Night at the Museum, and then came straight home.


Reba talked to them for a bit and I went back to the kitchen to finish putting my soup in the cooker, and then #6 was on his way, and Oldest was full of giddiness.

And I got to hear once more how frightening I am.


And then, I went to bed, because I was still very tired, and we still had to get up early on Saturday.


Up early. Got everyone ready, fixed some microwaved breakfast, settled the crockpot into the van, and got us on the way. Good set of lectures, then lunch, then a couple more talks, then back to home, and got the kids to go out and play with the cat so he'd have some company. Did some more laundry, then that evening Reba took Oldest out to go get some pictures made for the school pageant, I got the kids to go get cleaned up, fixed a big salad for Sunday's dinner at church, and then afterwards played several rounds of dominos with Catherine.

I still don't quite know if we're playing by any known set of rules, but, hey.

Sunday, up early again, popped some taquitos in the oven (again, for lunch--and guaranteed to get devoured by the kids like hyenas on a wildebeest), fixed our breakfast, and with ten minutes left before time to go, a request from upstairs for a blouse to be ironed.


I very nearly requested that my dear wife wear another blouse of some sort that wasn't wrinkled, but I knew this would take more time than ironing. Funny how that works out.

Out the door, more or less on schedule--although no small amount of schedule adjustment was made by the judicious application of force to the accelerator pedal. Got to church, unloaded, got to class and was only about five minutes late. Amazing!

Another good set of talks, then it was time for lunch again, with the added anticipation of possibly a visit from #6! I'm just a'quiver with excitement!

We got finished eating and he called to say he was almost there. Once more, if you're going to an unfamiliar place, it would seem like a good thing to figure out your route ahead of time. It would seem.

Anyway, Oldest started talking him in, and I began to agitate for someone to fix the kid a plate for when he did get there, and noticed the food was quickly being taken up and wrapped in foil. I kept asking Reba if we should make him a plate. "I don't know." The ladies were now in a flurry of wrapping activity--again, something like hyenas on a wildebeest, except instead of gnawing and snapping at each other, they were a whirling mass of plastic wrap and aluminum foil, apparently having a race to see who could finish first in wrapping up their piece of haunch or belly.

Well, dangitall.

I got up and got a plate and got him a couple of sandwiches and some salad and some meatballs and a drink and came and sat it back on the table. He got there not long afterwards, and I told him if he had any complaints, to tell me, because I fixed it for him. I didn't tell him he had to eat it all, but he must have gotten the idea, because he got full and told Reba he was afraid I might come back and see he didn't eat it all and get offended.


Anyway, they got finished up and came on back in the auditorium with us and sat through the last sermon of the day. And, of course, #6 was quite the subject for much gossip. He took his leave, because he had to get back home and we had stuff to do at the building afterwards, which was fine by me.

Finally home.

I like it when we have those days where the evening service is at 1:00. Finished doing some laundry, watched the football games, ate some leftover soup and salad, played some more dominos, got the kids in bed, and then tried my best to go to bed at 9:30, because once more, I was wiped out with fatigue.

Alas, 9:30, #6 rang the telephone beside my bed, and so I had to get up and go hand it to Oldest, whom I hope told #6 that he had woken me up. They had a long conversation, which didn't end well (we'll let all the tumult of that remain private), but I think my antipathy toward all potential suitors is finally being seen for the wise prudence that it is.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at January 22, 2007 09:53 AM


You're cruel, just cruel!

Maybe you can get that rest you need this week, on the job.

Posted by: Nate at January 22, 2007 10:03 AM

It IS time for a nap.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 22, 2007 10:04 AM

I think there's a lot to be said about having children young.

At 50, my brother Bill's children had their bachelor's degrees.

Let's see, you're four years or so younger than I am, so Cat should be dating when you're, what, 51-52-52-54?

Posted by: Janis Gore at January 22, 2007 11:59 AM

Yes, your math skills are right on. I'm hoping I'm still frightening by then.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 22, 2007 12:04 PM

That curling the teeth and exposing your fangs ... yeah, that would scare the crap out of alot of suitors. I thought for sure you were going to get another call Friday night for another jump of his truck, since you went to the trouble of changing into shorts and a t-shirt.

Who knows Janis - by the time Cat hits dating age PossumPapa will have gone through two dating daughters, and he may just be resigned to "whatever". Well, that and his advanced age causing the disinterest.

Posted by: Marc V at January 22, 2007 12:06 PM

I have no regrets.

Posted by: Janis Gore at January 22, 2007 12:10 PM

I thought about that, too, Marc, but I figured he could surely find someone in a parking lot full of cars to help give him a boost. Although I found out later Reba had told them that if they had trouble to call home and I'd come jump them off again. I sure do wish I would be told of these things before I get into my loungewear.

As for advancing age and disinterest, I will only repeat what has become a favored motto: in the end, youthful exhuberance and skill will ever succumb to old age and treachery.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 22, 2007 12:14 PM

Daddy was 66 when I was pulled out of the car wreck at Northwest Highway and Preston. I was 21.

Posted by: Janis Gore at January 22, 2007 12:26 PM

I'm so glad that we have three boys and one girl and at age five she is already a pistol. I pity the fool that dates her.

Posted by: Sarah G. at January 22, 2007 12:28 PM

Gee--and I wonder why I've got all this gray hair.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 22, 2007 12:49 PM

I take it Miss Reba might not like you standing there in farmer johns, camo gimme hat and a shootygun (side by side oh course) w/Mr 1911 at the waist when these young lads a come a traipsing? *sigh* Just what is a Father to do?

Posted by: Chef Tony at January 22, 2007 06:07 PM

Yes, I think she'd believe that was a little over the top. But since it seems I'm scary enough in a shirt and tie, well, that's okay, too.

(As for the shootygun, it's a Mossberg 590.)

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 23, 2007 08:21 AM