Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Holy Moly

"She's expecting her first child in August," said my mother.

"Who is?" I asked.

"I'm talking about your sister's niece. Haven't you been paying attention?"

"Not since you and the Lovely Bride started discussing spinal fluids. Seriously, at breakfast? What's wrong with you?"

"Stop being so squeamish," she said.

"It's Sunday," I replied. "Why aren't you at church? Sinner."

"We were at a family wedding last weekend," said the Lovely Bride, trying to change the subject. "The ceremony was performed by a Baptist preacher."

"How was that?" asked my mother.

"Different," said the Lovely Bride.

"'Different' as in 'nuts,'" I said.

"That's a little strong," said the Lovely Bride.

"Not hardly," I said. "He told some bizarre story about kinsmen redeemers. If I started jabbering like that you'd think I'm schizophrenic."

"It's from the New Testament," said the Lovely Bride.

"How about the part where Naomi marries Ruth?" I asked.

"He might have gotten the story a little confused," she admitted.

"It did make it more interesting," I said.

"What's a kinsmen redeemer?" asked my mother.

"You'd know if you were God-fearing," I told my mother.

She turned to my middle son. "What do you think about religion?" she asked.

"I really hope I'm right about the whole 'God doesn't exist' thing or my being dead time is gonna be bad," he said.

My mother started at her grandson for a moment. "Well," she finally said. "Alright."

"I'm so proud," muttered the Lovely Bride.

"Anyway, what's the story about this person I don't know who's having a baby?" I asked.

"Don't be snotty," said my mother. "It's an unfortunate situation. The father's not around so she's going to have to raise the child without any male support."

"If she needs mail support she could always call the post office," I suggested.

"Please die," my son told me.

"Does she know whether it's going to be a boy or a girl?" the Lovely Bride asked.

"A girl," said my mother. "She's planning to name her Sophie."

"She'll have to make a decision then," I said.

"What sort of decision," my mother asked suspiciously.

"Sophie's Choice."

"You see why I don't believe in God?" asked the boy.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The World's Smallest Violin

"Where are you going to be using these?" asked the saleswoman as my middle son tried on a pair of indoor soccer shoes.

"I have to go play soccer in Costa Rica," he replied.

"You have to?" she asked.

"For the love of God," I sputtered. "You'd think you were going to the gulag."

"You didn't remind me it was the rainy season when I picked the trip," he said.

"Please kill me," I asked the saleswoman. She gave me a nervous grin and sidled away.

The boy and I were shopping for the two week trip to Costa Rica his grandmother was sending him on. She's promised to send all her grandchildren anywhere they want to go between their junior and senior years in high school. What do I get? The joy of knowing the lives of my children are infinitely better than mine.

"You do realize that nobody in the world feels sorry for you?" I asked my son.

"Wait until they find out I have to wear hippie sandals."

"They're not hippie sandals. They're ungodly expensive Tevas that we bought for whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River. This is the most expensive free trip in history."

"They make me look like a hippie."

"Are you on crack?" I asked him. "Seriously. Let's have a 'Go Ask Alice' talk right now."

"Alice was a hippie too."

"Or is it meth?" I asked.

"It's like those people in the movie 'Hair.' They should get a job instead of hanging out in a park."

"You're still mad at a bunch of fictional characters from a movie you saw ten years ago?"

"You're the one who's always telling me I need to work harder," he reminded me.

My headache was coming back, to the extent it ever leaves.

"Can we buy these shoes and get out of here?" I begged. "We have more shopping left."

"What else do I need?" he asked.

"A backpack," I said. "And some patchouli. And I have to go to the liquor store."

"You didn't tell me we were going to the liquor store."

"That's because I didn't need to go until now."

"I should have let Mom bring me shopping."

"I should have let Mom raise you by herself," I said.

"At least you can't annoy me when I'm in Costa Rica," he said.

Mission accomplished, I thought.