So, I spent last weekend at the coast with my family - or most of 'em anyway. My daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Jeremiah, were there. My son, Jeremy, and his fiance, Cassie, were there. My dog, Rudy, and my daughter's dog, Hank were there as well. PLUS, my Mom and Dad came along too!
We were in Cannon Beach, just a block from the ocean. The beach is Rudy's favoritest place in the world. She would probably run until she collapsed if I let her. The best part is when she tries to run down seagulls. That is pretty dang funny! I'm surprised she isn't all covered in birdie doo doo afterwards! Her other favoritest past time is chasing Hank everywhere. She is like a junior high girl when she's around him. "Hi Hank! I'm over here Hank! Do you see me Hank, do you? I love you Hank! Do you know that Hank? I love you! I really, really love you!"
But that's not what I wanted to tell you about. For me, the best part of the weekend was dinner on Saturday night. We were sitting around the table eating lots of crab and I started to ask my Mom and Dad about a few stories from their childhood that I thought my kids should hear. My Dad talked about getting hauled off to the police station for dropping "bombs" off a bridge where some construction workers were fixing a culvert. At least until my Dad and his friends scared the crap out of them. And then there is the truly weird story about my Dad getting shot in the face with a .22 pistol by his best friend when he as about 12. (And even weirder is that he went on to make gunstocks for a living!)
But that's still not what I wanted to tell you about. The TRULY best part was getting my parents to talk about how they met. It's a cute story - at least the way they tell it - and it was made even funnier by my kids inserting the phrase, "that's what she said" under their breath, at inappropriate points in the story. (I'll let you figure out where that may have occurred!) Here's kinda how it went . . .
Me: Hey Mom, do you remember when you first met Dad?
Dad: Yes, it was in band. (They both went to Oakland High School in Oakland California in the early 40s)
Mom: Yes, that was it. I played the, you know . . . (makes hand motions that I interpret to be the flute)
Me: Clarinet? (Cuz I know she played the clarinet, not the flute. My Dad played the flute.)
Mom: No, the, (makes hand motions for the flute again) . . . You know . . .
Me: The flute? I thought Dad played the flute?
Dad: I did!
Mom: Oh yeah. What did I play then?
Me: The clarinet. (I make hand motions imitating a trumpet)
Mom: No, not that.
Me: Oh maybe I got that wrong. The clarinet is more like this (I make hand motions imitating a clarinet)
Dad: It was the oboe player, actually.
Dad: There was an oboe player who sat between me and Billie who dropped out of band. When that happened, we moved our chairs together.
Me: You at one end of the flute section and Mom at one end of the clarinet section?
Mom (whispering and wrinkling her nose): I thought he was ugly!
Dad: What? What did you say? (My Dad's hearing is pretty dang bad)
Me: What? You thought Dad was ugly?
Mom: Oh yes!
Dad: . . .
Me: So, how did that first meeting go.
Dad: I asked her if she was the one in that picture.
Me: Wait. What picture?
Dad: Our fathers worked together for a while selling Electrolux Vacuum Cleaners in the early 1940s. One day Billie's father showed my Dad and me a picture of one of his (nine!) daughters holding two enormous salmon she had caught. Me, being a huge fishing nut, I immediately thought that any girl who loved fishing was the girl for me!
Me: So, in band that day, you asked Mom if that was her in the picture?
Me: And what did Mom say?
Mom: I told him it was me.
Dad: But actually it was her older sister Clara. They looked alike.
Me: Mom! You lied to Dad about the picture?
Mom: Yes, I wanted him to like me!
Me: I thought you thought he was ugly?
Mom: Well, yes, but when I got closer he looked better (At this point my Mom leans forward and raises her eyebrows in a manner meant to convey that she thought he was sexy. And let me just point out that when your 80 year old mother does this it is creepy and funny all at the same time.)
Me: But still, you're whole relationship began with a lie?
Dad: And I didn't figure out that she hated fishing until we'd been married for five years!
Me: Still bitter about it, huh?
Me: So, did you begin dating soon after that?
Mom: Yes, I think so. But he was kind of slow. He wasn't like other boys. He didn't try to kiss me.
Dad: . . .
Me: So, what did you do on your first date:
Mom and Dad: A hay ride!
Me: How romantic!
Mom: (Does the "sexy" eyebrow thing again.)
Me: So what happened.
Mom: He kissed me . . . oh . . . you know . . . here (points to her forehead)
Me: He kissed you on the forehead?
Mom: More than once.
Me: So, what did you do.
Mom: Well, finally I . . .(makes a motion with her hands like she was cupping his face)
Me: Aww, that is sweet. And . . .
Mom: I kissed him.
Me: You made the big move?
Dad: . . .
Mom: Yes. (Smiling broadly and giving the "sexy" eyebrow thing again.)
Dad: Well, I was pretty shy with girls and never would have made the first move.
Me: So, was that your first kiss, Dad?
Me: And Mom . . .
Mom: What . . .
Me: Was that your first kiss?
Mom: Ummm . . .
Mom: Uhhhh yes . . . that was my first kiss.
Me: As far as Dad knows, anyway.
Dad: . . .
So, there it is. The story of how my parents met and about their first kiss. As if that were something you ever thought you'd wanna hear . . .