Category Archives: jocks

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!

Fence Post Buddies

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My friend and coworker, Tammy, likes hearing about all the love stories

and my blog. I have bad news, folks, my friend Anna got fired! (She did

not use swear words, but assertive words and mouthed off to a clerk,

another coworker wrote a report, and she is fine looking for a “better

job.”) Due to our table being less crowded and a few absences, I have

a treasure of a story to share for you!

Growing up next door to each other from elementary throughout their

childhood, teen age and young adult years, Tammy always considered

Mike, her neighbor and brother of her best friend, Mary,  a good friend.

She knew all the details of their lives, where they vacationed, when they

had a small tragedy, when they got their haircuts and lots of intricate

patterns and habits one learns from being neighbors for years. She always

knew what their family was ‘up to’ and sometimes got to tag along, since

she was the youngest and last one left of her siblings in her family at

home.

Sharing a lot of good times, laughs, playing games and hanging out,

Tammy knew Mike, she says, (at least in elementary school) “like the

back of my hand.”

Tammy and Mike’s sister, Mary, were good friends from kindergarten

on. Mike was only two years older, so he was included in their inside

playtime. He was sometimes enlisted to play the “Daddy” in their

playing house and even, when it was a cold and boring winter day,

would allow himself to be the groom “Ken” doll for Tammy’s “Barbie.”

He also was chosen to be the “tester” of new recipes, concoctions

and helper in preparing things in the kitchen. There were times,

(rare indeed), that he would help set up a tent in the dining room, lie

down on blankets and chat with the girls. In junior high school, he

allowed himself to practice dancing with the girls.

I interrupted the flow of Tammy’s story,

“Wait! Did you say he played the groom and you the bride with your

dolls? Is that why you two have never married?”

Tammy laughed, “You are going to need to listen to the WHOLE story,

Robin! There’s more to this and why we never tied the knot!”

She recommenced telling her love story to me, saying that they were

living in a housing development, where there were side by side houses,

some looking like cookie cutter editions of the others. On the other side

of Mike and Mary’s house, new neighbors moved in during their middle

school years and they were from hence forth, called the “rowdy boys.”

Mike’s personality changed, partly from his older age and mainly due

to these boys’ influence. He was suddenly choosing to use squirt guns

or even buckets of water, to soak the girls while they were playing in the

yard. The girls were “telling on Mike” more and more.

One day, while they were in seventh grade, the girls had their one piece

bathing suits on, slathered Coppertone suntan lotion and were lying on

Mary’s patio in the bright afternoon sun. All of a sudden,the girls heard

some catcalling and rude comments from the boys on the other side of

the privacy fence. Then, there were tomatoes being pummeled over

the fence, landing on the patio and one even splatting on Tammy’s chest!

This was not funny! The “pranks” were getting carried away and the joke

was not a game anymore!

Poor Mike got “told on” and got a paddling by his father that evening.

Tammy said she never heard nor knew if the rowdy boys next door to

them faced any consequences. That fall after summer ended, Mike

was told by his father to join either junior high football or consider

running. He needed to get his energy out on something more productive

than the neighbor boys, who Mike and Mary’s father called the “trouble

makers!”

Every summer for a few years, the “tomato war” was mentioned as a

poor choice for the boys, the patio even had some reddish stains that

darkened like blood stains on the concrete. It was a reminder of the

change, also, in Mike. He was from that fall on, a “jock.” His haircut

was a sign of being in sports and during the seventies, a rare sight

to be seen. He was starting to get a stubble on his chin and chest hairs,

Tammy noted.

In junior high through high school years, the neighbor girls joined

chorus, choir and later, Glee Club. They were also members of Key Club,

a Kiwanis sponsored leadership club. Mike was president when they

joined and Tammy says, “a little bit of his ‘coolness’ rubbed off on us,

too. He also was very protective of me, as well as his sister, Mary.”

The front yard metal fence that separated their yards, now tended to

be where they would lean and talk. Mike would be getting home from

sports and hopping out of his old “beater” car, would see Tammy and

shout a big “Hi!” to her. If she had been to a party or on a date, they

would chat and review their lives for a short while. She looked up to

Mike now, listened to his opinions on who was a “good guy” and

who was a “stoner,” “loser” or “not worth wasting your time on”

guy.

They also, by the time Mike was in senior year, spent time talking

about their futures, dreams, college and plans. Tammy said she never

flirted nor did Mike hint at any interest in her, other than as a friend.

Neither hinted at each other being “good dating material.”

The year Mike went off in the fall to OSU to live in a dormitory, Morrell

Tower, Tammy said they were sophomores. Mary’s family never asked

Tammy to go to see the dorm or campus. Mike was not coming home

until Thanksgiving, she felt a twinge of regret but nothing really

noticeable. Two years later, when the girls graduated, Mary had chosen

Marion Technical College to study beginning nursing courses and Tammy

entered the same place to begin studying stenography, communication

and business coursework.

One hot summer evening, Mike was coming in from a day at football

camp down in Columbus, when he saw his sister and Tammy over in

her front yard. He stopped to say, “hi!’ and noticed the girls were all fixed

up and they told him they were heading over to a local Marion bar, called

the “O.K” but it was called, “O.K. Corral.” This was in the days where

you could drink something called, “3.2 beer” and you needed to be

18 or older.

Later in life, Mike told Tammy,

“Your hair looked like burnished copper, long and brushed, halfway

down your back. I noticed it being silky and even though I would never

had told you this then, I wanted to bury my hands in that hair!”

(Hot, huh?!)

He also told Tammy years later,

“When I looked at the two of you, I always used to see ‘two sisters’ but

on that evening, I saw my sister with an attractive stranger. My heart

gave a flutter, but I did not focus too long on it. Tired, went on in,

grabbed a beer and joined my Dad on the couch watching the Indians.”

Tammy remembers, though, a different look passing over his face, she

swears she noticed! She turned to his sister, Mary, and made a smart

remark, they both rolled their eyes and giggled.

She remembers his noticing the secret words whispered about him,

actually thought that they were saying he was a sweaty mess or some

other rude comment and stomped off. Tammy remembers he slammed

the front door behind him. He doesn’t remember slamming the door,

she says.

“At this point in my life”, Tammy says, she was thinking he was a foreign

person to her, enigmatic and godlike. He was an OSU football player

and she was (in her mind) ‘only a business tech student.’

When we went off that night, for some reason I did feel more confident

and I led a much better social life that summer. Mike noticed but said

not a word!

I started to date a member of a local band, he was dark, long haired and

very sexy looking. We spent a lot of time making out, sometimes in the

front of my house. We were lucky, I felt that there were no front lights

on the garage. We had so much more in common, music since I liked

seeing, and his band. I became a “groupie” and followed him to other

towns, with Mary and her boyfriend, at the time, too.

Fast forward two years later, the guy ended up going with his band

to California along with a blonde chick he noticed in his group of fans.

Mike was home from college senior year for Christmas. He had spent

the past two summers staying around Columbus, living with groups

of male students in big, ancient houses. Mary and I never went down,

not even once, to hang out with Mike and his pals. They were happily

dating other men in their classes.

Tammy recounts, “I remember it being their turn to invite us over for

a pre-holiday meal and it was just our parents and the three of us

present. Sometimes, in the past, it was more of an Open House and

we would bring dates to each other’s houses. People in the neighborhood

would be invited. We sang Christmas carols around their upright piano,

we played games of Charades. We had an odd number of people so

it ended up the team of us “kids” versus the parents. It was joyous and

I felt so at peace, I felt like we were all family. It settled down into my

heart and I felt a little differently towards Mike over this evening.

Mike had changed, he had longer hair, he was wearing older, more

raggedy blue jeans and a cream colored sweater. I thought he looked

very handsome. He no longer looked just like a “jock” or the brother

of my best friend. I thought, “if I ran into him somewhere else I would

want to dance with him or talk to him.” She went on…

“He didn’t look like anyone I had ever dated. He looked nice, REALLY nice!

I felt ‘butterflies in my stomach’ and I could not look directly into his eyes.

I was afraid he would be able to ‘read my mind!'”

Tammy told me she felt “Oh no! I am attracted to him!”

“I saw Mike head off to his room, as we were leaving and I asked if Mary

could come spend the night.”

My parents looked at us funny, we were in technical college and it had

been years since we had had a sleepover, but said, “Fine.”

Tammy confessed she had feelings for her friend’s brother and Mary

was very excited! She confessed to Tammy that she had always hoped

they would become sisters.

Although Tammy had older siblings, she also had the same feeling

about Mary, that they were ‘lifelong friends and sisters for life.’

It took almost six more years from then, Mike moved into his own

Columbus apartment, got engaged and his heart broken.

Tammy went from one man to another, always hoping that Mike

would notice that he had feelings for her, it was very similar to that

familiar 1991 song,

“Saving the Best for Last.” (Sung by Vanessa Williams. Please listen to

those lyrics if you haven’t heard it for awhile! So appropriate to this

almost frustratingly long back and forth interplay between Mike and

Tammy!)

I also like the song, “Patience,” by Guns N Roses, that seems like it

would  apply also to this relationship.

This couple has never married but they had cosigned for a lovely

house in the country (in a place called “Big Island” in Ohio.) They

have lived under the same roof for over 24 years and next year,

they just may celebrate that 1/4 of a century with a big party.

I could not believe that Mike’s bad engagement caused him to say

he would NEVER get married!

I have my fingers crossed that at the 25th anniversary of their life

they began together may be finalized in marriage. My happily

ever after wish has been told to her on more than one occasion.

These good, steady long enduring friends, have grown up, shared

a life where their beautiful house is where their families celebrate

the holidays. They have never had children. Tammy muses,

“Maybe that might have brought Mike to his knee to ask for my

hand in marriage.”

I like to point out that old expression,

“NEVER SAY NEVER!”

Onward to Another Meet and Greet

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I have another meet and greet so I needed to choose a quick time and date. I picked Tuesday

at 6:00 p.m. at Panera Bread. If it is chilly and there is a table by the fireplace, at least that

night won’t be a total waste! Trying to fit it in before I take off with my 3 year old grandson

to spend Thanksgiving up in Cleveland, Ohio. (I sense another Mom story or family one

coming up next weekend!)

I have been a little bit let ‘down’ after my fun vacation and have been looking at the men who

send me “winks” and just sighing. I don’t have a clue how to pick and choose. I think they all

seem nice but have a few things or interests that I would not be interested in. Especially this

season, I have been telling the skiiers the joke that if they drive me to the lodge and don’t mind

buying me an egg nog, hot coffee, cocoa or Bailey’s Irish coffee, I wlll be happy to wait there for

them. The same thing happened this summer with golfers, I would say such things. I talked to

a man who golfs at work and he said that he truly doubted that the men golfers wanted someone

to go and golf with them. But, I would reply, it says, “looking for a partner who likes to golf.” Is

that just a lot of baloney? And he says, “yes” He claims most men want to go off and be with other

guys.

Oh well, so I am meeting a man named Tom. He works as a manager at a business, he lives in the

Columbus area, not in my small town. Good for now, at least! Also, he did bring up high school in

an email and I found out he is what he claims a ‘former football player.’ He asked about my sort of

nerdy pursuits, 3 forms of band, Science Club, Quill and Scroll, Yearbook, and my drama interests.

I liked back stage, makeup committee, being a director my senior year and National Acting Camp.

He is not a golfer nor a skiier. I brought those up since those are the ones I passed up in Summer and

so far, several this Fall/Winter.

Wait a minute, do you think that we can outgrow our statuses from the past? After all, I can throw out

I was in a sorority and dorm co-ed sports, along with a brief year in French Club in college. I did not

go there, because I have always felt more comfortable in the less popular group so no use pretending I

was ever really in a more popular group.

We will see how it works out with the “jock.” Pardon the  label!!