Thursday, September 30, 2010

Give Me Land Lots of Land

This weeks Theme for Theme Thursday is Fence. As in “give me land lots of land under sunny skies above, don’t fence me in…” Now that I have given you that nice little ear worm that is what got me thinking about today’s story. I know you think I’ve had an interesting life but honestly it doesn’t hold a candle to Trooper Bob. He is a quintessential story teller and 99% of them might be true but all of them are interesting. He shared this story with me some time ago and honestly I don’t remember the names but I remember the jist of the tale and I’m sharing my version with you. So in order to get off the fence and get this thing done, read here then go on over to Theme Thursday and find what my cohorts have offered.

This happened long before Trooper Bob became Trooper Bob. It was back when he was just plain Bob. He had aspirations of being a lawman. He could picture himself a real life Pat Garret or Bat Masterson. He imagined himself riding the range wrangling cattle rustlers and bringing in the train robbers. He was a Texan through and through. He proudly wore his handmade Luchasse boots and sported his Stetson hat. He was always mindful of someday being a real life Texas Ranger.

It was a pretty fall afternoon and Bob and his buddies were trying to make it through Coach Blackburn’s math class. Their eyes kept shifting to the golden hue of the autumn day and what they could be doing if they didn’t have to solve for X. The bell rang and there was a great cacophony of desk banging and feet shuffling as Bob and his buddies ran down the steps and out to the parking lot. Sonny and Ted had already made it to the Dodge pick-up as the rest of the boys piled in the back. They dug in the cooler and pulled out some iced down Nehi grape sodas and few stray Pearl beers. They hooped and hollered as they bounced over the railroad tracks and headed down Mockingbird and out of town. They had their shotguns ready, it was Quail season, and they were going to go shoot something.

Ted shifted the truck and stepped on the gas as the boys in the back told stories and felt the rush of the crisp air on their faces. “Hey Mack, whatcha gonna do with that rope? Lasso a Bob White?” Bob yelled making himself heard over the roar of the engine. Mack sat on the side of the truck bed and spit out a thin dark stream of tobacco juice “nope, I figured I’d get in some ropin practice.” The truck left the asphalt and skidded onto the caliche road. The boys held on as they fishtailed left then right. Freddie pounded on the top of the cab “hey watcha tryin to do? Dump us out?” Sonny turned and laughed with a thumbs up then grabbed the wheel and pulled hard to the left and then to the right causing the boys to almost topple out. It was a great day and everyone was having a fine time.

Mack gathered up his rope, made his noose and began to toss in the direction of the cedar fence post which held the strands of barbed wire along side the road. The boys got into the rhythm of it calling “wait, wait, NOW!” each time Mack would toss the rope towards the cedar post and each time he would miss. “Well you ain’t much of a goatie-roper are you?” they would taunt. Mack would spit a stream of tobacco juice and wind up his rope again. S

Sonny watching in the rear view mirror poked Ted “look at that dumb-ass. Let’s slow down a bit and make it easier for him.” Sonny left off the accelerator and watched in the mirror as once again Mack wound up his lariat and made a pass.

Low and behold this one took hold. Mack watched in elation as the noosed flew from his hand and made a perfect circle around the cedar post. He watched with fascination as the rope unwound and became taut. Then they all watched as that cedar post held fast into the ground and Mack went flying from the back of the truck. They all hooted and hollered for Sonny to stop.

The truck came to a sliding stop with dust and gravel billowing upward. Bob and Fred jumped from the bed of the truck and started running toward Mack as Sonny got the truck turned around. Bob reached Mack first and found him picking gravel from his bloody face. “Mack, you aheight? You look messed up!” Mack shook his head side to side belched “I think a swallered my tobacky.” Bob dusted off Mack's hat and put it on his head “Mack, I think you better stick to ropin steers, them fence post are a little too honery for you.” Mack dusted off his ripped and dirty dungerees “Yep, they don’t give like a steer do.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wednesday Rant or Gladys Has Her Panties in a Wad

It’s been awhile since I went off on a tangent and well honestly, I’m over due. Just like that library book you found under your sofa that was due in 1987 I am that past due. I’ve been sitting over here in my corner quietly and calmly observing all the doings and goings on and I’m about to pop. I’m about to explode like a candy stuffed piñata at Mark McGuire’s birthday party. Oh shut up I know Mark drank from the steroid fountain that is why I said exploding piñata. See I’m already diverting from my original rant.

This brings me to my first and foremost rant. The country is broke right? We are WAY over budget, right? If you were overdrawn at the bank 7 trillion dollars wouldn’t they cut you off? I’m telling you right now if my checking account is a hundred bucks from being empty and I try to pull out another $20 the ATM yells at me then spits out a nasty note that says “you can not have any more of your own money.” Now this is a good thing because it keeps me from thinking “hey I still have checks…that means I still have money!” or in todays terms “II still have my debit card…” You sitting there nodding your head yes but you are wondering “Gladys, that’s all true, but what is your point?” My point is the country is upside down, inside out and sideways budget-wise, which means we don’t have enough money to pay attention. Which makes me wonder then why in the hell are we paying over a million dollars a day for the president to get on an airplane fly to Timbuktu to campaign for the democratic candidate for dog catcher? Really Mr. Obama, you want to help balance the budget? Sit your ass at home and let them campaign for themselves.

What the hell is the deal with Lindsey Lohan? She is in jail, she is out of jail. She is in rehab she is out of rehab. She is sober she is wasted. Can’t the judge see she doesn’t get it? The girl needs a real mother. She needs a court appointed momma. Someone to tell her “Lindz, what the hell are you thinking? You got like a bazillion dollars! Get off the crap, stop drinking and enjoy your life.” All the while flushing her Oxycontin and pouring out her Chablis. So my advice to Lindsey is if you are dying to spend all that money you are wasting on booze, drugs and attorneys buy President Obama a coach class ticket to Timbuktu and put him up in the Econo-lodge so he can campaign for the dog catcher. Or better yet get off your overly privileged drugged-out ass and go work in an animal shelter. Let me be her mother, I’ll give her the Nurse Meme treatment.

Next rant is Paris Hilton, see above.

Finally, not that this is my final rant, it’s just the last one I’m going to subject you to; Real Housewives of D.C.? What’s next? Real Housewives of Chunky, Mississippi? I think it would be more interesting watching Lurlene and Becky Jo duke it out in the local Food 4 Less over the last package of pork chops than to watch a bunch of over-made, botoxed, silicone and acrylic-ed up rich women whine about how they aren’t being respected. So BRAVO listen up, we want REAL housewives not these Lindsey Lohan want-a-be’s.

Rant over.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Jewel in the Family Crown

Beautiful Addie Jewel on her 90th

The phone rang and I reached to answer it.  The voice on the other end of the line was that of my daddy.  Yes I am a grown woman who calls my father Daddy.  He will forever be my Daddy and you can’t make me call him anything else.  We chatted for a few minutes then he said “I wanted to let you know that Aunt Jewel passed away.”   I would like to share a little about my memory of Aunt Jewel.

My grandfather had 5 sisters and two brothers.  Yes FIVE sisters, each with their own personalities and idiosyncrasies.  The other thing is these sisters were old when I was a child and now that I am old, well, they are still old.  My grandfather went to that large cabinet shop in the sky some years ago where he may or may not have had some explaining to do to my grandmother, but that is a story for another day.  These sisters out lasted their brothers by decades.  Sadly now each of them is going out like lights on a pre-lit Christmas tree.  One moment it’s there flashing brightly then it’s forever dark.

Aunt Jewel was one of the sisters.  She was the “flashy” one.  Not that each didn’t have their own style; hers was just a bit more flamboyant.  I think that Matilda takes after her just a bit, but then again that is a story for another day.  What I remember most about Aunt Jewel and the “sisters” was that no matter what, no matter when they would show up for family functions. 
This another of the "Sisters".  Gorgeous isn't she?

This in of itself is a miracle, since our family is more dysfunctional than functional.  When one of the clan died, out of the woodwork the “sisters” would appear with trays of steaming fried chicken and casserole dishes full of macaroni and cheese.  They would regal us children with stories of loading up in a Tin Lizzie and heading to California to work in the fields.  They would share adventures of growing up poor in the country and using grain sacks tied to their feet for shoes. 
Once when I was a wee child my Daddy loaded us up in the family station wagon and took us to Six Flags Over Texas where Matilda promptly came down with smeales or mops or weasels or some childhood disease and they stuck her in the infirmary.  When we finished our fun day at the amusement park we made our way back to my Great Grandmother’s house.  There on her front porch was a myriad of people.  There were old folks and young folks and skinny folks and well in my family there were always plenty of fat folks all sitting on the front porch eating snow cones and laughing and kidding one another.  This was a conglomeration of my Daddy’s kin folk doing what they did best, eat and talk.  Now poor Matilda was ailing and I’m sure I was whining but they didn’t pay us no mind at all.  Those people went on eating and laughing and talking like there was nothing wrong with us.  Aunt Jewel sat on the porch drinking ice tea from a Ball jar smoking one cigarette after another while I sat there and inhaled the deep laughter and spark of life she was. 

Years went by and I grew a little older.  I was working as a surgery aide at the hospital when one night I was dispatched to a patient’s room to prepare them for surgery.  I walked in the room and in the corner sat a woman with a gigantic bee-hive hair-do and a cigarette in her mouth.  I thought she looked familiar but I was a teenager and thought all old people looked alike.  The woman came toward me took me in her arms and squeezed me until I thought I was going to suffocate.  My first thought was that this was a very friendly person then she held me at arms length and declared “GLADYS!  Look at you all growed up!”  Still dazed and a bit confused I mumbled “um yeah and look at you all um old and stuff.”   She slapped me on the back and said “honey, I’m your Aunt Jewel.”  Then it hit me.  This bee-hived, rouged over cigarette smoking woman was related to me.  Her husband, I’m not sure which husband she had several, was having surgery.  I got to spend every evening with her for the next several weeks.  She again filled me full of images of her and her sisters in their teens traveling eighteen hundred miles from home to pick vegetables and make enough money to survive and escape the dust filled skies of the mid-west.  I had my very own John Steinbeck right there in my grasp and I did nothing about it.

As the sands sifted through the hour glass of years I ran into Aunt Jewel here and there.  She and her sisters would appear at funerals and weddings.  It was if they were tucked into hat boxes on the closet shelf and someone would dust them off and send them casseroles in hand to whatever event was taking place.  They would be dressed to the nines but none would be more blinged and ringed than Aunt Jewel.  Her hair was always perfectly coiffed; her jewelry was always heavily layered.  She would come telling stories and spreading her spark and laughter through the crowd.   

I look at pictures of her in her youth and wonder what it was like to be her.  What stories did she have that I didn’t hear?  What secrets would she have shared if I would have just taken the time to prod?  Did she write them down somewhere?  Are they buried forever with her?  All I know for sure is she was always a firecracker and now her spark is out. 


Monday, September 20, 2010

What Was Behind Curtain # 2

Wow did that birthday flu ever really knock me for a loop.  I mean here it is Monday night again and I haven’t even posted my Theme Thursday.  They are doing it a little different this week.  They, again who the heck is ‘they’, gave us a theme ON Thursday and sent us out into the world to reveal the theme.  I wallered and wrestled and tried to think of how to reveal the theme.  Then it hit me square in the face they wanted me to WRITE about reveal.  I thought long and hard and tried to think of something to reveal then it hit me.  So I am here to REVEAL my story for Theme Thursday on Monday.  Go on over to THEME THURSDAY and see what everyone else revealed.

Gladys fluffed her hair and applied another layer of mascara then smiled to make sure her luscious pink lipstick hadn’t stuck to her teeth.  She smiled in the mirror and turned to Alice “I am so excited!  Bobby Lee and I are going to dance in the tango hustle contest.  You know first prize is a trip for two to the Bahamas.”  Alice swept another brush full of bronze beauty blush on her cheekbone and raised her eyebrows “you really like Bobby Lee don’t you?”  Gladys giggled a little “he is soooo good looking and dances really good.  Don’t you think he’s handsome?”  Alice turned put her hand on her hip and replied “yeah, he’s good lookin alright but somin just ain’t right about him.  I mean he’s big and tough but I’m tellin ya there is somein weird about him.”  Gladys waved her hand and headed out the door. 

Gladys walked out to the big GMC Jimmy and let Bobby Lee open her door “Gladys you sure do look sweet tonight.  I am so glad you wore that blue leotard it matches your eyes.  I love those shoes.  Are they new?  The ankle strap looks very retro.”  Bobby Lee looked Gladys up and down one more time before he helped her into the truck.  Gladys smiled at the thought that Bobby Lee always noticed every thing she was wearing.  He always commented on her clothes and her jewelry, heck sometimes he made suggestions about which earrings or shoes she should wear with certain outfits.  Most of her boyfriends thought that a mule was something that pulled a wagon and a pump was what brought oil out of the ground, not Bobby Lee.  He knew mules were shoes with no backs and pumps went with everything from blue jeans to evening gowns.  Yep he was a man’s man who knew what looked good on women.

They arrived at the disco and made their way through the waiting crowd.  Everybody knew Bobby Lee.  He was friendly and amiable and just a fun guy to be around.  They greeted him with hoots and hollers as he adjusted his Angel Flight polyester pants and pulled the collar up on his polyester shirt.  John Travolta had nothing on Bobby Lee.  Gladys beamed with pride to be on Bobby Lee’s arm as they sashayed to the dance floor and began to hustle.  They sashayed left and boogie right.  They dipped and turned and began it all again.  Dancers separated and circled the floor as the couple danced across the floor.   They were the Fred and Ginger of the Hustle. 

The disc jockey announced that the dance off was about to begin.  Gladys and Bobby Lee checked their appearance each adjusting each others outfits and then hugged.  The music began and they moved in perfect rhythm.  He gripped her tight and they moved across the floor as he twirled and whirled and dipped her.  They were perfection both moving as one Bobby Lee offering little whispers of encouragement.   Their turn was almost over when Bobby Lee dipped Gladys into a deep back bend and leaned over and whispered in her ear. 

Instead of releasing and being pulled back into his waiting arms Gladys turned the wrong way and landed on her back.  He reached to pull her in as if it were all part of the choreography but Gladys was in such shock from what he had just revealed she couldn’t move.  The crowd gasped and there she lie on the floor in a strange contortion.  Bobby Lee quickly grabbed her up into his arms and did a couple of spins but his revelation had spoiled the synchronicity of their dance.  The song ended and so did their chance of winning the big trip.  Gladys walked off the dance floor in shock and embarrassment. 

Alice ran after Gladys as she made her way to the ladies room.  “Honey!  What happened out there?  You guys were winning it.  You were perfect.  What the hell happened?”  Gladys turned her glazed stare towards her friend and said “it was what he revealed to me.”  Alice hugged Gladys trying to reassure her “oh, honey it can’t have been THAT bad.”  Gladys sniffled a big sniff and began to cry.  Then she revealed what Bobby Lee had said.  “Alice, he said if we won he wanted to take his boyfriend with him.  He is GAY!”  Alice sat down on the floor with a whomp and said “well that explains a lot!”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Birthday Salutations

I just had another birthday which caused me to wonder, why exactly do we celebrate birthdays?  Is it because we are amazed we have made it through another year?  Is it because it is the one day of the year that we are allowed to be a total attention hound?  We can parade around with a silly grin on our faces throw ourselves a big party and declare I AM IMPORTANT?  Or is it just another excuse to get rotten stinking drunk, eat cake and throw up?  What ever the reason it really fascinates me how different people celebrate the day.  Are you the get drunk type?  Are you the eat a whole cake all by yourself type?  Or are you the understated lay low and tell no-one type?  Oh come on think about it. 

I have to tell you I have gone through different stages of birthday celebrations.  When I was little I always shared my birthday with Matilda.  Her birthday is a couple of weeks before mine and so I always stood in her shadow and celebrated with her.  I think she was sixteen before she was allowed her own birthday.  Okay, you have to bear with me here because I’m using the term “birthday” loosely here.  It is just too hard to say “found under the rock day”.  When I was thirteen my found under the rock day was on Friday the 13th.  Now being superstitious and fearful I awoke that morning in pure panic.  I was afraid that the boogeyman, which later became known as Jason or Freddie or Leatherface or Al Gore, okay maybe not Leatherface, would come and spirit me away to the lower bowels of hell and I would be stuck there for eternity. 

Instead I had a wonderful thirteenth birthday complete with surprise cake and a brand new bicycle. 

I thought I would share with you how I spent my birthday this year.  First let me tell you this was one of those landmark Birthdays.  This was one of the BIG ones and by BIG I mean the number is BIG.  No, I’m not going to tell you what the number is but I will tell you when they lit the candles the fire department showed up and Johnny Cash descended from heaven and began singing “Ring of Fire”.   

I am enclosing a copy of an email I sent to my family and friends.

Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for all the wonderful birthday wishes.  I’m sorry I was out of pocket yesterday.  I had 3 on-line classes that I had to get in before they were no longer available.  Ah yes sweet procrastination.  Anyway the other problem I had and still have is I have no voice with which to speak on the telephone.  I know it was my birthday gift to the world.    Gladys quiet it’s like the Christmas miracle.  Maybe it is because I talked so much the first 50 years it’s a sign from GAWD to be quiet the next 50.  NAAW  that will NEVER happen.
I did want to let you know I had a wonderful birthday.  Kahuna took me to the Early Bird Special at Denny’s and we had the Senior Citizen grilled chicken with extra Flax Seed breading, stewed prunes and a big glass of Geritol.  Then he took me to the Senior Citizen Center for a rousing game of Checkers and Rocking Chair races.  I would have won but I fell asleep before the end of the first heat.  Then he took me to Rite Aide and had them fit me with a walker and some Depends.  We had such a late night I was completely wore out and went home and went to bed, at 8 p.m. 

Love you all

So how do you celebrate your birthday?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Love You For Sentimental Reasons....

I’m checking in for Theme Thursday.  I’m in between classes and decided to sit down and write my post.  I flipped over to the Theme Thursday page to see what today’s theme would be.  There on the front page everyone had signed up already.  I am late to the party again.  I clicked on Brian and read a nice bit of poetry.  I toggled over to West Valley Photo and up popped the picture of REASON.  Yes this week’s theme is REASON and Nonamedufus gave me a REASON to Believe.  Now there has to be a reason for that, right?  I mean it would seem to reason that the powers that be, just who are those powers anyway and are they SUPER powers, would choose it for a reason.  I took a personality test this week and found that I am one who likes to have stability and a reason for doing things.  Here is my take on reason or at least my reason for something.  I’m reasonable like that.  Once you read my little ditty go on other and check out what other people reason is reasonable for a REASON THEME THURSDAY.

Gladys sat at her computer trying to compose the letter.  It became increasingly evident that she just couldn’t find the words.  This was a first for Gladys.  She never ran out of words.  She had more words than she had breath.  She leaned back and closed her eyes and tried to come to reason with herself. 

She drew in a deep breath and the exhaled sat up and placed her fingers on the keys.  She waited for inspiration.  She waited for the muse to inspire her with words that spoke her heart.  Nothing.  Nothing at all came to mind.  She knew she wanted to express her feelings but she just couldn’t find the words.  She waited fingers poised.   Then they began to move.  Her fingers flew over the keys, fingernails clicking out a steady beat.  Gladys looked up at the screen and read “the quick grey fox jumped over the fence”.  She sighed and hit the delete button. 

She reached over and took a bite of the cookie and began once again.

Dear Keebler Elves,

The reason for my correspondence is I have forever loved your creations and my particular favorite is your Danish Wedding Cookies.  I have not been able to find them here in Southern California and am saddened that I can not partake in that magical goodness. 

I know it would be too much to ask for an Elf to come live with me and stay in my kitchen cranking out copious quantities of these delightful little cookies.  Would you consider instead giving me the recipe?  I am convinced that there is some magic dust or some kind of special something (crack cocaine?) that you may need to send me so that mine will be as wonderful.  I promise I will not share this recipe with anyone; it will just be our little secret.  I mean it’s a win, win situation right?  I would be more popular than a super-delegate at the democratic convention and your secret is safe.  I promise I will share the finished product with those less fortunate who have never had the pleasure of eating a whole box in one sitting, then licking the wax paper lining to get the last speck of that white powdered goodness.

Again, I will gladly give an elf a warm bed and a kitchen instead of a tree in which to bake.  Should you choose to send me the recipe and some of your elfin goodness to go in them I will be forever grateful.

Yours forever addicted,
PS  Could you send me the Pecan Sandie recipe too?  Maybe you should just send me the elves.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Be Careful How You Flap Your Wings

A couple of years ago someone sent me an email labeled “THE DASH” from the Simple Truth’s website.  I clicked on it and it took me on a journey that touched my heart and my soul.  Mac Anderson the originator of Simple Truths has recently sent out another touching video called “The Butterfly Effect”. I am a student of the human condition.  I believe that what we do individually effects us collectively.  Then I received an invitation from Thomas Nelson to review Andy Andres in his new book “The Butterfly Effect”. 

While this is a little book of 58 pages it speaks volumes.  Mr. Andrews takes the theory of Edward Lorenz’

“the Butterfly Effect”, a butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air-eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet, and shows us that we are the butterfly flapping our wings.  He reiterates over and over that YOU DO MATTER.  What you do, say, think and feel affects each and every person. 

Kind of takes your breath away doesn’t?  Just think, you may have touched someone’s life and not even realized it.  Heck you may have not even been anywhere near them.  That bad mood you were in last week when you snapped at the barista resonated throughout the universe and may have even come back full circle to the snide clerk at Costco.  YOU CAUSED THAT.  Or the dollar you gave the man with the "What if You Were Hungry?" sign might be on his way to curing cancer and you just made it possible for him to go back to school and find that cure.  Makes you feel mighty powerful doesn’t it?  Now how are you going to use that power? 

I highly recommend this book.  It is a quick read.  It is a great “gift” book and it is one to keep with you just to remind yourself that what you do matters.

Now then go out there and be good to one another and remember thoughts become things, think good ones.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Dating Game

I wanted to repost this story from my old blog because I don't think some of you have read it.  Now I know you are saying "WAIT! You had another blog before me?"  Yes, dear hearts I did and some of it didn't get brought over.  I will try to finish bringing them over for your criticism, I mean enjoyment.

I wasn’t allowed to date until I was sixteen.  I was a junior in high school when I finally turned sixteen and really didn’t embark on the dating scene until late in my junior year.  I was introduced to a boy from our rival high school across town at a party one night.  He seemed nice and my friend who introduced us vouched for him.  He seemed to be interested in me and me in him.  When he asked me out for the following Friday I was thrilled, elated, heck I all but floated out of the party.  I mean this guy was cool.  He dressed differently than the cowboys I was used to dating.  He didn’t have a dip of snuff under his lip and he quoted poetry!  Be still my beating heart. 

My parents were still quite strict even though they had been through this dating thing twice before. They had gone through this with my rebellious sister and the other with my elusive brother.  I am sure that is why my mother set my curfews so early and my daddy insisted each boy come up to the house and meet one of my family before I could leave.  I had rules.  Rule number one, no boys in the house when my parents weren’t home which meant never since my parents were rarely home.  Rule number two, home before 9:00 pm on school nights and 10:30 pm on weekends, because we all know that you won’t get into any trouble or have s-e-x before 10:30.  Rule number three, no drive-in movies, because that was where kids had s-e-x. Rule number four, the boys had to come to the house and meet someone from my family before they could cart their daughter out on a date. 

I spoke to let’s call him Craig, because that was his name, on the phone several times during the week before our date.  Each time getting a more of a sense of the Rebel Without a Cause vibe from him.  He was funny and intense and sort of moody.  He was everything a teenage girl finds attractive; thank God we finally out grow that.  He agreed to pick me up Friday evening at six because the movie started around seven that would give us time to grab a burger before the show.  He got directions to my house and I told him my “house rules”.  He just chuckled and said “we’ll see”. 

Friday finally arrived and I couldn’t wait for school to let out so I could go and primp and prune and polish.  I tamed my frizzy hair as much as I could trying to look like Farah Fawcett but instead looked more like Rosanna Danna Danna.  I put on my high waisted Faded Glory Wide legged bell bottoms, my cutest tallest platform shoes lifting me up from 4’10” to 5’1” and my cutest hippest Hang Ten tee shirt.  I was a vision of 1970’s loveliness.  I was dressed and ready to go by five o’clock and sat in the den with my dad waiting for Craig (le sigh) to show up.  My dad was entranced by something Walter Cronkite was saying on the six o’clock news when I heard a honk from the front of the house.  I got up and ran to the front door.  At the end of our side walk sat the coolest, hottest trans-am.  It was black and gold with the big eagle on the front, t-tops and loud pipes.  My heart leapt in my chest.  Craig is just the coolest! I thought.  My daddy on the other hand was not impressed.  He yelled from his recliner.  “Young Lady, YOU are NOT going out there!  You can yell at him and tell him to come in and meet me or you can just sit your little butt back down on the couch and stay home.” 

I did as I was told and opened the door and asked Craig to come inside.  I was mortified, but I would have been more so if I hadn’t.  He got out of his car very much put out to be made to come inside but he did. My daddy gave him the third degree and asked him all but what his blood type was.  Then he said “Okay, then Greg, you have my little girl back home by 10:30.  You got me boy?”  To which Craig replied “My name is Craig and I got you.”  Daddy narrowed his eyes and looked at Craig and said “Alright then Greg we’ll see you later and you drive careful.”  I literally wanted to crawl under the couch and have a tea party with the dust bunnies, well if my mother would have had dust bunnies.

Craig and I walk out to the car with me chattering on about some nonsense and I walk around to the passenger door and wait.  I notice Craig has already gotten in the car.  Now I was raised that it was only polite and the gentlemanly thing to do for the man to open the woman’s car door as a sign of respect.  I stood there dumbly looking at the door when he said “What’s the matter don’t you know how to open a door?”  Well of course now I felt stupid so I opened the door and slid into his purring machine.  My teenage hormones were at full tilt and I just knew he was going to be “the one”.  I would have to work on his manners but hey that was just a minor set back.

I sat back ready to enjoy the evening.  Craig put his foot on the accelerator and laid rubber half way down the block in front of my house.  I could feel my daddy’s eyes rolling from the end of the street.  Craig took the first corner on two wheels only instead of being frightened I felt exhilarated.   Like I said I lived in a very strict household.  We stopped briefly at the little drive-in diner and wolfed down a hamburger and some fries and then we were speeding across town again.  The next thing I know we pull into the drive-in movie theater.  I looked at Craig and said “I’m not allowed to go to the drive-in.”  He just smirked and replied “What your parents don’t know won’t hurt you.” 

We pulled into our stall and he rolled down his window, took the speaker off the stand and hooked it on the door.  The movie had not started yet and they were playing some rock and roll tune that we both sat and sang the lyrics and kept the beat to.  I was trying to feign comfort but the situation just felt all wrong.  I kept hearing my daddy’s words in my head and I just knew my mother with her voodoo who doo or extra sensory perception would know.  I had images of an errant meteor hurdling towards earth and unfortunately striking right in the center of the theater parking lot.  There I’d be on the news being interviewed about a meteor hitting the front of the car and my parents would know.  I was petrified!

Nighttime snuck in and the movie trailers started.  Craig put his arm over the back of my seat and leaned across the console and in a very husky almost whisper said “So would you like to get comfortable in the back seat?”   I was taken aback.  I was shocked.  I was aghast.  I looked at him with my big eyes and squeaked out a “No thank you; I’ll just stay up here with you.”   His mouth snapped shut, his eyes turned black and he threw the speaker out of the window revved the engine on his car and peeled out of the theater lot.  He sped 100 miles per hour across town weaving in and out of cars running red lights and sliding around corners.  He skidded to a stop in front of my house reached across the car and opened my door.  He then spoke the only words he had spoken since he had asked me the confusing question “GET OUT!” he said. 

I begged, I pleaded, and I groveled.  What had I said?  What had I done to invoke his ire, his wrath, his hate?  He said nothing just sat there looking at me like I was covered in rat shit.  I slowly crawled out of his super cool car.  The next thing I knew the door was slammed and all I could see were his red cat eye tail-lights speeding away.  I was crushed and confused.  I didn’t understand why he was so angry.  I didn’t understand why he would turn on me.  My inferiority complex just tripled in size as I drug my feet to the door and let myself in.

Daddy was still in his recliner now watching a western or Nova or something.  He looked up when I entered the room and asked what I was doing home so soon.  I was crushed and began to tell him what happened. The slightest curl went to my father’s lips.  He suppressed a chuckle or two and very calmly said “You did good kid.”