Nobody informed me that when my dad passed away that men could be rather creepy toward my mom and me. It didn't occur to me that this would be an issue until it was one. My mom had my father's wedding band, along with her wedding ring, melded together to create one ring. I thought the double wedding ring that my mom wears proudly on her finger would be a deterrent, but apparently it acts as an invite for unsolicited attention. I also realized that since my father passed, I spend a lot more time with my mother, so maybe the increased time together has something to do with it.
Here are a few occasions that my mom and I have encountered odd interactions.
It was roughly two weeks after my dad's funeral when a nice engineer at my mom's work decided to stop in her office to pay his respect. He graciously told her that he was sorry for her loss. He proceeded to say that he understood that she had a very loving marriage, which she did. He paused and then basically hit on her, but it was done with much respect. WTW. Why are some people like this. Completely inappropriate. Completely unacceptable behavior. How can anyone extend grace during a situation like this.
One of our favorite go-to, comfort restaurants was located just a few blocks from where I used to live. We would frequent it at least a few times a year. To be cont.
I remember my high school graduation. Dad yelled out during my brother’s ceremony when his name was announced, and everyone laughed. I forgot that he might do the same to me. I remember walking up to receive the diploma from the superintendent. Right when I did, and as the applause died down, dad yelled out "it’s about time" making everyone laugh. I didn’t hear what he had said, nor could anything embarrass me. I remember after the ceremony the photographer came up to me, still laughing, face red, and said how sorry he was that he didn’t get a photo of me receiving my diploma, that he was laughing too hard from my dad’s outburst. That sort of sums it up.
I was lucky to be surrounded by at least one funny person – if not more than one – at all times growing up. When I started kindergarten, I quickly met a boy. Let’s call him Bobby. Bobby was very amusing, so where I left my dad for the day to attend school and he work, Bobby picked up the responsibility of making me laugh.
Now, we always maintained a very sibling-like relationship. I felt as if I spent more time with Bobby than my actual brother, and maybe I did. This may have helped me with my volleyball spiking game later in school as I had to keep Bobby in line, and the only effective way was to smack him in the face. That sounds brutal and harsh, but it wasn’t. Each smack carried the same minimal impact but yet forceful enough, making him act somewhat civilized. I couldn’t have hurt Bobby too much as it was a continual battle to keep him in line.
It was “Bobby, sit down” “Bobby, turn around” ‘”Bobby, stop it” “Bobby, don’t tie the kid’s shoestrings to the bus seat” “Bobby, leave the kids alone” “Bobby …just don’t do whatever you were about to.” Bobby had a formal last name, and it wasn’t “sit down” or “stop it” however, at times it felt like it was.
I remember one day in grade school that someone had to fill in for the PE teacher. One of the elementary teachers volunteered. This particular teacher was on a diet. She was abiding to a strict exercise regimen in order to lose weight after going through a divorce, I believe. (Why I knew this at the time, I don’t know.) We gathered in the school gym, where we spaced out and proceeded to follow Ms. grade schoolteacher jazzercise. Oh, yeah. She was sporting the appropriate 80’s workout attire, which included the sweatbands for head and wrists. We jazzercised to The Heat is On song. I remember thinking how I wish this could stop and we could play basketball or something. I felt like we were being punished, and then Bobby glided in front of me, pumping his fists, bopping his head back and forth while yelling things like “Keep it up, Ms. grade school teacher” and belting out a few whews every now and then. Bobby had a natural way of either making everything better, more tolerable, or did the opposite as he could also prompt you to say, “Bobby, stop it.” We all need a Bobby in our life.
First grade Anna McKay