Friday, November 14, 2008
Birthdays Mean Our Parents Had Sex
Exactly nine months and 41 years ago, my parents had sex. If one were to count backwards by nine months, it is rather obvious that my father came home with flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day in 1967. And then look what happened: me. Me the last of six, and a yearly reminder that my parents are capable of sexual activity. My eyes burn.
I wish it were the last time I could accuse them of marital duties, but no. There were those odd times in the day I would be encouraged to go play, come home later for a snack to find the door locked and the shades drawn. No matter how hard I pounded on the door, even though I knew my folks were home, there was always a ten minute delay. It never seemed gross to me then, like it does now, because I thought my parents were napping.
Every year in my hometown there is a summer fair. One can visit the dime-toss, have a handful of fresh cotton candy or take a ride on a Tilt-A-Whirl. When I was a kid back in the 70’s, the world was my oyster during the fair because Dad always sent me off to enjoy life with a crisp $10 bill. One year the prices changed and that $10 got me through about an hour’s worth of fun-time. My sister Gail told me to go home and get more scratch from Pop, and off I went. “La la la, I hope I get five bucks…IhopeIhopeIhope…”
When I got home, the door was locked. So I knocked harder. All of the lights were off and I thought my parents accidentally locked the door and went to sleep, which seemed unusual to me because it was only 6:00 at night.
“DAAAAAAAAD, I need more MONEEEEEY,” I yelled. No one came. Feeling rejected and because I wanted a corn dog, I started kicking and pounding on the door. Still nothing. So I walked to the side of my parent’s house where their bedroom is. “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, unlock the door, please! Tell Dad I need more MONEEEEEY.”
Seconds later my father came to the door wearing nothing but pants. “How much?” he said. And he only cracked the door open. He wouldn’t let me in. I said, “I dunno. How much can I have?” Come on, I wasn’t stupid. What was I going to say? “Oh father, if I could have one dollar I’ll give fifty-cents to the church and spend the rest on prosthetic limbs for diabetics.” Not likely.
Something miraculous happened. He gave me a $50 bill. I never had my hands on one of those before. It was stunning! I said, “$50? I think you made a mistake, Dad. That’s a lot of dough!” I’ll never forget what he said next. “You can have $50 if you don’t come back until 10:00.” Deal! Thanks Pop!
I ran back to the fair and found my sister. I showed her the money and her eyes fell out and rolled around on the grass.
Years later it dawned on me what had happened that night. It’s a good thing my Pop got fixed after I was born. I would have hated being a middle child.
Timing is everything.