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
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
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!