Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I knew I liked the Golden Girls, but...

             As I suspected, my father, never one to suffer in silence has been milking his fall like a dairy farmer, y’all.  His rants are usually forlorn and punctuated only by heavy sighs and head nods.  Well, let me tell you, today he was in rare form.  He got irritated at Lord only knows what, probably when I refused to buy his diabetic self a cupcake, and he began to loudly protest the pain and suffering he was experiencing and while I didn’t quite understand everything he was saying I can attest to the fact that I have never heard a-double-s used so many times in a 5 minute period.  I liken it to the number of times Al Pacino says the f-word in Scarface.  For those who haven’t watched that family-friendly flick, let me just say it was a LOT.

                Now I don’t know if my father became so adept at cursing once he began working off-shore or if he entered marriage with my mother pre-packaged with a filthy mouth.  Throughout my life he has taken his cursing to a Master level.  If there was a certification in potty mouth, I can assure you he could serve on the curriculum team, do you hear me?  Of course I have cursed in my day but usually only in the most trying of circumstances like when an inanimate object won’t do what I want it to do, like stupid socks, an uncooperative umbrella or that irritating napkin that REFUSES to remain covering the dish in the microwave while it rotates ever so slowly.  I also dislike people who can’t drive, which includes most everyone on the road except me and the relative few of you who can navigate our nation’s highways and bi-ways.  What is a bi-way, I wonder?

                And, honestly, one cannot live in a curse-filled household (although my Mother remained above the fray) and it not affect your speech.  I did pretty well with no cursing until I was in college and, just like eating potato chips, once you start it’s hard to stop.  Now, I don’t curse at work and I definitely don’t at church and I don’t typically in public, but boy howdy I sure do when I’m alone and I get irritated.  And I try to keep it under control but like my best friend Christopher says, “Screaming ‘strawberry’ doesn’t have the same satisfying effect.”

                Am I proud of this?  Absolutely not.  Am I working on fixing this?  Absolutely.  Have I been successful?  Depends on your frame of reference for success.  I have tried substituting different words and phrases for some of the more foul sayings in my verbal arsenal but that often leads to confusion for those around me.  Hearing someone say, in a loud annoyed voice, “Brenda Fricker!” is cause for concern.  The full statement, depending on the level of irritation at the person, place or thing, “Brenda Fricker won an Oscar for My Left Foot!” makes no sense to anyone other than Oscar trivia buffs and, including me, which consists of about 3 people.  And even they would wonder why I am so passionate about an actress that no one remembers, if they ever knew her to begin with.  I have learned to wear my ID photo badge on my nightly walks around the hospital grounds lest anyone suspect I have managed to escape from the locked ward.  I also ensure that I have rid myself of the pastel chinos prior to these walks as well.  No need to add fuel to that fire, am I right?

                I was discussing my new thrift store finds today with my management team.  We had an off-site retreat and, wanting to set the right tone for an informal gathering that would generate ideas, I chose to wear and multi-colored-striped button down and white chinos with matching navy suede belt and wingtips.  I have been told that my three-piece suits with coordinated tie and pocket square were intimidating to some and I wanted to take a much more casual approach for this particular session.  During the course of the day, I was speaking to them about the unique situations you encounter when you supervise people. 

There are 3 staff members who have recently been promoted to management positions and their co-workers have been treating them differently.  I said, “You have to develop a thick skin (in leadership roles) because people will invariably talk about you.  I have a very thick skin; I couldn’t dress this way and expect to not have people question everything from my political leanings to the state of my soul.”  One reason I love living in Menlo Park is that no one bats an eye when I wear my outfits as the majority of the denizens of this fair burg are wealthy older people and the women love my ensembles; odds are the shirts and pants belonged to their dear departed husbands.  I have been hugged on several occasions by exquisitely-coiffed, teeny tiny ladies who tell me how “adorable” I look.  If you’ll pardon the poor grammar, I loves me some older ladies, y’all.

I just decided that I may need to start looking to this older group for dating and possible marriage.  As someone who is uncomfortable talking about, much less contemplating, “relations” with anyone, I feel pretty good about the odds of finding someone who shares my love of seersucker and doesn’t want to degrade themselves (or me) in the boudoir, if you’re picking up what I’m throwing down.  I have it on good authority that many women would love a husband who would voluntarily take them shopping, understands the need for multiple pairs of black shoes and doesn’t want to “mess with” them. 

Also, no awkward first dates.  Really, no dates at all.  Getting them coffee before the church service one Sunday could count as second base.  I’ll be like Truman Capote, when he escorted all those society ladies in New York.  Eww, wait.  Okay, NOT, Truman Capote.  I know, I’ll be like Bernie from the movie “Bernie” except I wouldn’t shoot Shirley MacClaine; I’d just give her extra wine and put her to sleep. 

This might actually work.  Look at the things I have in common with this particular crowd.  I go to bed at 10, get up at 6, like to eat dinner around 5:30, hate to wait in line for anything, think most young people are disrespectful, am very conservative in my dress and have always been partial to Lincoln Town Cars.  Plus, I make a “mean” pone of cornbread, always have a can of cream of mushroom soup in the pantry, hate most TV shows because they are filthy, watched “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” on purpose and am always cold.

Well, this wasn’t the outcome I was expecting.  I mean, I don’t mind being an old soul; I just assumed I would be an old man.

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