Saturday Hobbies

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When my parents married, my father didn’t really like ‘jocks.’

He was, and always will be, a ‘nerd,’ in some people’s books. I

laugh at the line in Shania Twain’s song, “That Don’t Impress

Me Much,” when it talks about a ‘rocket scientist.’ My father

could have easily been a mechanic or a carpenter. He was good

with his hands. As a hard-working pre-teen, he hitchhiked to

Covington, KY to work, sweeping White Castle out, for his and

his mother’s rent money. Once a kindly truck driver took him,

(I have mentioned this before) to the top of the hill overlooking

the ‘ghetto’ or poor section of town. My Dad was told the magical

(paraphrased) words, “You can be somebody, if you go to this

college,” (University of Cincy) and ‘rise above your roots.’

My Dad took those words to heart.

I won’t repeat my parents’ love story but I will tell you another

facet about my Dad’s life.

He was not interested, once married to my Mom, in extra-curricular

activities. My Dad enjoyed hobbies, such as painting, building and

fixing things around the house.

Working first at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on the nuclear reactor, then

settling into Sandusky, Ohio working as a team leader at Plum Brook,

he was happy to ‘putter’ around the house, ride bikes with us, go

on hikes or build treehouses, sandboxes, bookcases or other things

that made our lives enriched. He was a Boy Scout leader for my brothers’

troop and gladly square-danced with my friends and me, at our annual Girl

Scout’s “Father-Daughter Dance.”

He was not asked to golf or go out for drinks after working at NASA all day,

since he was known to be a ‘straight shooter.’ Sometimes, my Mom will lately

wonder what would have happened with his career, had he done these simple

activities with coworkers. Would he have not chosen to retire at age 55, when

he reached his thirty years’ mark?

Later, when he wrote a semi-autobiographical book called, “Hot Lab,”

he did it under a pseudonym. He didn’t want to get in trouble, but

he predicted nuclear reactor’s breakdowns, like “China Syndrome” (film)

and Chernobyl (real life). But probably most of the purchases of his

book were by coworkers and neighbors. I was proud, at age 15, to have

been the one he turned to, to be his ‘editor,’ since he wanted it to

‘flow’ and be readable. He included a part of the semi-autobiographical

book, where the main character indulges in ‘feeling up’ a secretary.

My mother never gave it a second thought, she knew it wasn’t possible

for her husband to engage in adultery. She did get upset, during one

period of my Dad’s career, the way a secretary flirted outrageously,

with my father. There is a post, where I wrote about this, but my Mom

‘put a stop to that nonsense!’

My parents, like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, were very loud

and raucous, at times, before I took over the editing and typing the

manuscript on one of those old black, gold letter typewriters. Maybe

it was a Royal, but it could have been a Remington?

In other words, had my Dad given any advice at all about marriage, he

would have said to be passionate, involved and ‘don’t fool around.’

I passed this on recently to my handsome son, who could easily choose

to go down the ‘wrong path’ his own father chose. My first husband,

first love and meeting on the first day of college, my only chance at

a lifelong marriage, chose after we had children, to wander off on

weekends, after work to bars and basically, not be ‘engaged’ in his

children or wife. My son is quite the opposite, works all day as a

cook (now a ‘chef’) and comes home to clean the kitchen, make dinner

and plays with his children. He loves to hike, climb on the toys and

I have two pictures of him, up in a tree, one with his five year old

and the other with his three year old girls, (My M & M granddaughters.)

So, don’t take this personally, guys. You may go off and make your wives

‘golf widows,’ and that may be their means of escaping to the grocery

store or malls, watching romantic comedies with girlfriends, or other

ways to show their freedom, too.

My youngest daughter and I watched, “The Other Woman,” movie last night

at the Polaris Rave Theatre. The audience included mostly women, along

with a few elderly couples. A lot of raucous laughter ensued! I would

recommend seeing this with a daughter, niece or if you are young, friends

who are heading to the altar. The trio of comedic actresses are Cameron Diaz,

Leslie Mann and Kate Upton. Don Johnson plays Cameron Diaz’s father. The

best actress in a comedy role, since Melissa McCarthy, is Leslie Mann! She

is hilarious! If there is a part of the movie, that will burst you into

roaring laughter is the ‘bit’ where Leslie’s character is getting ready to

be a burglar, private investigator and follow her husband around; That

sneaking ‘bastard!’ (Excuse the swear word!)

At the end of the movie, we hugged and smiled. But then, as we walked out

to the ladies’ restroom, my only ‘single’ daughter, age 28, said these

serious words, “Mom, how did you do it? How did you trust again, after

you were in a couple of marriages with men who put their own personal

life ahead of their family?”

Great question! I should not have married the fraternity man, the one

who loved the Bengals and who was the quarterback on his high school

football team! What was I thinking at age 22?

I believed that it was possible for my ex, to be like my Dad, with

absolutely no ‘frame of reference,’ and choose to be a better person.

It still to me, constantly amazes me! (I mean, who “falls in love” on

the first day of college, age 18?!)

My second husband, came from a family of a father with a stepmom, who

met all the qualities of the “Evil Stepmother.” She had cream carpet

upstairs, so she put the three boys in a cold, cement basement with

beds and an area rug. They were aged 3, 5 and 7. I think about my

wishes for ‘saving him’ from his past. You cannot sometimes ‘fix’

someone, no matter how hard I tried to pour love, sex (lots of it!)

and my family who accepted this ‘broken man.’ It didn’t work.

You may wonder where I am going with this, I am heading to the humorous

part. My daughter will find a much better man, having my life to be an

example of ‘don’t do as I did, do as I say…’ policy.

She sees her brother doing a great job, braiding My Little Pony’s tails

and manes. She knows a Doctor, who she worked for as a babysitter first.

Later, she worked on breaks from college, in his office. This man will

be one she can focus on. He cherishes and adores his wife and kids.

And, yes, on Saturday mornings, he walks the two boys down the street to

eat breakfast at Hamburger Inn. He allows his wife and baby daughter to

sleep in, to indulge in a few extra minutes of rest. While he is ‘building’

two fine, young men by setting an example of a good husband and father.

While building a relationship with his family, he is also setting a role

model for my daughter. My children had a grandfather, but no great fathers,

to set these examples for them.

Here are two golf jokes that are stories, but not true! Mom found them:

1. “Ed and Nancy met while on a singles’ cruise. Ed fell head over

heels for her.

When they discovered they lived in the same city only a few miles apart,

Ed was ecstatic. He immediately started asking her out when they got

home.

Within a couple of weeks, Ed had taken Nancy to dance clubs, restaurants,

concerts, movies and museums. Ed became convinced that Nancy was indeed

his soul mate and true love. Every date seemed better than the last.

On the one-month anniversary of their first dinner on the cruise ship,

Ed took Nancy to a fine restaurant. While having cocktails and waiting

for their salad, Ed said,

‘I guess you can tell I’m very much in love with you. I’d like a little

serious talk before our relationship continues to the next stage. So,

before I get out of my jacket a little box for you, I think it is only

fair to warn you, I am a total golf ‘nut.’ I play golf, I read about golf,

I watch golf, in short, I eat, sleep and breathe golf!

If that’s going to be a problem for us, you’d better say so now.”

Nancy took a deep breath and responded, “Ed, that certainly won’t be a

problem. I love you as you are and I love golf, too. But, since we’re

being honest with each other, you need to know that for the last five

years, I’ve been a hooker.”

Ed said, “I bet it’s because you’re not keeping your wrists straight

when you hit the ball.”

2. Subject: Golf Joke

“Wife: ‘Where the heck have you been? You said you’d be home by noon!’

Husband: ‘I’m so sorry, honey… but you probably don’t want to hear

the reason.’

Wife: ‘I want the truth, and I want it NOW!’

Husband: ‘Fine. We finished in under 4 hours, quick beer in the club-

house, I hopped in the car, and would have been here at noon, on the

button. On the way home, I spotted a girl half our age, struggling

with a flat tire. I changed it in a jiffy, and next she’s offering me

money. Of course, I refuse it. Then she tells me she was headed to the

bar at the Sheraton Hotel, and begs me to stop so she can buy me a beer.

She’s such a sweetie, I said ‘yes,’ before you know it– one beer turned

into 3 or 4. I guess we were looking pretty good to each other. Then she

tells me she has a room there, less than 50 steps from our table.

She suggested we get some privacy while pulling me by the hand.

Now, I’m in her room… clothes are flying… the talking stopped…

and we proceed to have sex in every way imaginable. It must have gone

on for hours, because before I know it the clock says 5:30.

I jumped up, threw my clothes on, ran to the car, and here I am!

There. You wanted the truth. You got it!

Wife: Bull —-! You played 36 holes, didn’t you?!”

Hope you got a few laughs out of these! Imagine, my Mom (age 86),

saving these for me to share with you!

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18 responses »

  1. Wow, Robin there are a lot of serious stories embedded in here under an innocuous title. You created a brilliant character sketch of your father. I would love to know your father. He sounds great. As far as your ex-husband goes, he had a good role model right in front of him in the form of your father and didn’t take advantage of that good fortune–and instead made poor choices. That’s is loss because of what he lost in doing so. You’re such a neat person. xo

    • Thank you, Luanne! I was just wanting to go with the movie review at first. Then I thought of the way it has a real plot behind the humor. The conversation with my daughter, inspired the idea of ‘adding to a family, rather than taking away’ from it. I am blessed with a friendship with my ex-husband and his wife, (he has been married 3 times, too.) We share children and grandchildren. I hope that youth is what caused the rift, more than other things. He did seem a little surprised that I told him at a March birthday party, that I have a photo of him, my college roommate and me, framed in a flower power frame. I keep it on a bookshelf. One of the grands noticed it. We are on the beach in Michigan, Sleeping Bear dunes..my hair is almost to my waist and he has a scruffy beard. I think having grandchildren that ask me, “Why is Poppy married to Mimi?” And “How can he still be your children’s Daddy?” has brought me to be more sentimental on that account. He did not ever (nor did the #2 one) listen or respect all that my Dad had to offer.Like you said, Luanne, “their loss!”

  2. wow, i love this profile of your dad, what an interesting and very real man. interesting looking back, how much we (i know you and i both have) learned about relationships and what they should be like, as opposed to what the ones we were in were like. great post )

  3. You laid it all out here, Robin. I’m glad to hear you had a great dad, and sorry to hear that your two marriages didn’t last. You know, that old cliche, “It’s complicated,” right? Well, it is. We learn as we get older, I think. Hopefully your next relationship will be a forever relationship. I read the hope in your posts, and that is half the battle, not to shut the world out because of past hurt.

    I love your golf jokes. Hilarious, both of them, to this golfer. Here’s one you can tell your mom:

    A guy is out golfing with his wife. He slices his ball behind an old barn. He’s scratching his head trying to figure out where to hit his next shot, and his wife comes up with an idea. Look honey, she says, if I open up both barn doors, you can hit your shot through the barn and onto the green.

    He agrees. He hits his shot toward the open door, but it’s too high, and it hits the side of the barn. It bounces straight back, hits his wife in the head, and knocks her out cold.

    He takes her to the hospital where she has to stay a couple of days.

    So he slips out the next day to play golf with his buddy.

    His pal slices his drive behind the same barn. He looks it over and says, hey if I open both barn doors …

    But the first guy interrupts him and says:

    Don’t do it!

    I tried it yesterday and I got a triple-bogey!

    • These supportive comments about my Dad and then, my hopeful happy ending were so nice, Mark!
      As far as the golfing jokes, so glad you liked them, I loved yours, too! Thanks for adding a lot to this post! Have a good rest of your Sunday, Mark!

  4. Hi Robin, love the post, I am glad you dad was such a nice man, my dad was a nice man too. I really want to see the movie now, will go with a friend my mo does not speak English but when is in video I will rent it, since I am not married see what we talk about after the movie.

    That is true you cannot fix someone is just not going to happen. You know I always wanted to meet a chef, I do not cook so well, no for some reason in tv the chefs seam so caring, glad your son is like that with his family.

    Have to say your daughter will do fine, nobody cannot predict what will happen, marriage is different for everyone. One my best friend got divorce last year and I told her I was happy for her, she started crying everyone told her the opposite, I do not get how people can stay in a relationship that is not working. I think you had to live through those divorces it was part of the learning process.

    take care like the jokes you mom is so cool….I think kids no days say she is the bomb lol. Have a great weekend.

    • I am so happy to see your face, Doris! I so enjoyed your comments, too. The movie is really not dirty or raunchy so your Mom will enjoy this. I am also appreciative of your comments about my son and daughter. I have hope for my youngest daughter, as you have a niece you may hope for, as well.
      I have said, “Congratulations!” to people who were in ‘bad’ marriages. I did not get tears, thank goodness! I think that it was a fun day, when I chose to burn my marriage license from my husband #3. I never celebrated saying goodbye to the first two, since I had children with them. it is always a mixed bag!
      When my Dad was dying of cancer, I asked him what my problem was and he was so sweet, he told me I ‘trusted’ and ‘believed’ in people too much. But, then being my Dad, he hugged me and said, “Don’t change a thing! It was their problems, Robin!” Hugs for you, my friend!

      • He is sooo right, don’t ever change. My friend change so much after her divorce she was doing all the things she always wanted, so I was happy for her and she loved my comment.

      • I will listen to my Dad and now, you! Thanks, Doris! I will try to stay the same, but like your friend, try new things and ways to enjoy life, too! I can see she was glad you were honest with her!

  5. it would have been very interesting sitting down with your father and listening to the true stories of what happened inside those facilities in those days…it always seemed like a mystery years ago. as for the husbands, i understand all too well…it is equally harmful to be married to a selfish woman who leaves you…or just disappears….

    • I agree, it is not all men’s faults! Never would I say that! I have written about a few men, in support of their freedom, Mark the fisherman is one and the other one, a kept man, two. Plus, I have two brothers who I believe are great men, one has been married for over 20 years, the other doesn’t seem to have any that stick around… I think the best word you included in this comment, my friend, was the word, “mystery.” It is what my good guy friend says, “Love is a pot shot!” Smiles, Robin

  6. Sometimes I find it more than a challenge to read to the end of lengthy posts – time and business preclude – but this one got me and I read every word. A most engaging post, Robin.

    I wonder how many women and grandchildren feel that there could never be a man like their father / grandfather… it’s certainly the case in our family.

    • Thanks for your support and also, good summary, too! I wish there would be more people who would stick together and work things out. Unfortunately, in my cases, it did not. I apologize for my short stories and essays! I am like you, have little spare time, but write and then cannot edit out much. Believe me, at home, with a notebook I am not counting my words. Then, once I get to the library and type my posts, they get edited, due to not wanting my entire time to be used up! Smiles, Robin

      • Ditto, dear Robin… some things you can and others you simply can’t… we must make the most of the pitifully short lives we have on this earth. x

  7. I love to read about your life Robin! My father wasn’t anything like yours. He meant well, but he was emotionally unavailable and didn’t provide very well for the family. When he passed away 8 years ago, I remember grieving afterwards, not so much because I missed him (he lived in a different State, so I only saw him typically once a year), but because my chance of ever having the type of father/daughter relationship I yearned for was gone forever. You were blessed!

    • I am sorry to hear about your father. I wish you could have had a closer relationship. It is hard to be glib and say, “It’s his loss.” But, it truly was both your losses. Sad when you hear this happens, thanks for sharing this, Sherry! Hugs for your kindnesses in your comments, too!

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