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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oh, About Four Pounds or So

Seems that my parents and Mary did some bonding whilst Mary worked her sneaky wiles around the surprise party she threw for my birthday.

“When are you picking her up?”

“Who?”

“Mary!” I can hear my mother moving around her kitchen. Putting away the silverware would be my guess. “Aren’t you bringing Mary with you for lunch tomorrow?”

“What? When did this happen?”

“Oh, you know,” my mother says. “At the party. I said you were coming up for lunch and she said she wished she was coming up for lunch and, well, you’ve seen her, haven’t you. All big eyes and – Paul! Close that door! For cryin’ out loud!” She sighs. “Your father enjoys aggravating me.”

And so I pick Mary up for the two hours’ ride north to my parent’s.

She climbs into the passenger seat.

“You look nice,” I say.

She pulls down the sun visor. “I’ll have you know,” she says, smiling at the image she finds in the mirror there, “that I am wearing lipstick just for your mom.”

“Not for me?”

Mary, a woman notoriously good at taking care of everyone but herself, has had chapped lips since we met.

She shakes her head, flips the visor up. “I used to wear it for you, but now I wear it for your mom.”

“Well whoever you’re wearing it for, it looks nice.”

It’s quiet as we let this sink in.

“You’re lucky, you know.”

I know what she’s talking about. Mary lost her mother when she was quite young, her father a number of years ago.

“You can –“

“Can I –“

We stop.

I keep my eyes on the road, hands at 10 and 2. “You can use them, if you like.”

Mary stares out the passenger window. “They know stuff, you know,” she says. “Parents and older people. Like how many cups to a quart.” She looks at me. “Do you think your mom knows that?”

“Yes.”

“I’ll bet she makes the best desserts.”

I don’t say anything.

“Does she know how many feet to a mile?”

“Maybe not, but I’m pretty sure my dad does.”

This seems to satisfy her. “Seems like a Dad question, doesn’t it,” she murmurs.

I smile. “Hey, and if you’re going to ask my dad questions, be sure to ask him about his collection of literature, in particular his henways.”

Mary frowns. “What’s a henway?”

I smile. My father, the king of the clean joke, is going to love this.

“Oh, Mary,” I say. “Just be sure to ask. My dad loves questions like that.”

31 comments:

Linda O'Connell said...

That is my brother's favorite joke too. Love the understated nostalgic feel of this post. Treasure your friendship!

Douglas said...

About 7 lbs or so... for a good one.


Even though I loved my mom and feared/respected my dad, I always though other peoples' parents were "cooler" or nicer.

I like yours... can I use them too?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

True friendship...sharing parents. Sisters.

Amber Star said...

Oh my, Pearl! I had to look up the henway. I like your parents. Mine have been gone for a long time.

That gentleman's lady said...

Awwwww, I share parents too :) It's the best ever, especially when they treat you like a daughter too. I have three sets. Wait no, three and a half.

R. Jacob said...

I hope someday to be that kind of dad.
sniff

ray

Joanne said...

My mom told every young person she met, "Just call me grandma." It worked for all of them.

Hilary said...

Henways... Grecian Urns.. I think your dad and my late dad were cut from the same cloth. Yes, you are indeed lucky. And I'm so glad for you. :)

terlee said...

Well, I might be totally off here, but if this were my Dad? The henways would mean his collection of Hemingways. Maybe you'd have to belong to my strange family to get that one.

Sweet post about family and friendship...good one.

Clipped Wings said...

As always, a joy to read. Sweet Mary. Very nostalgic today.

jenny_o said...

If I didn't still have my parents, I would so wish for a friend to share hers. You're a pearl, Pearl.

And is the hen in question located in the grocery story or still running around? Those feathers aren't as light as a ... well, maybe they are ...

ThreeOldKeys said...

What's a breezeway?

NotesFromAbroad said...

Oh, Pearl, this was so sweet... sniffle sniffle :)

Ahhh, the henway .. been there ..

Gigi said...

How sweet of you to share your parents. I have made use of some of my friends parents in the past - I am forever grateful to them (and their kids for sharing).

Sush said...

Yep Yep Yep...my Dad's and my husbands fav! I miss my parents so God awful much. They were always there for us and a great positive influence.
Hope your lunch was wonderful...well I'm sure it was!
Again...
Happy Birthday!

Leenie said...

Potfor. When you're cooking on the stove you need a potfor.

Tell Mary HOWDY from ID. You're so blessed to have her for a friend. But you know that. She's so blessed to have you AND your mom AND your dad. As much as we irritate each other parents and kids need each other, but don't know how much until they're gone.

Pat said...

5,280 feet to a mile.
Can I be Mary's auntie?

Shelly said...

This squeezed my heart...

Ms Sparrow said...

Reminds me of another setup for a joke: I stepped in a bunch of snew...

Eva Gallant said...

I'll bet you two had a fun trip! 2 hours each way!

Eva Gallant said...

I'll bet you two had a fun trip! 2 hours each way!

bill lisleman said...

I had to look up henway - good pun. This was a fun post to read.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

How lovely of you to share your parents with Mary. My hubby and I used to be "adopted" parents for a lot of out kids' friends when they were growing up. Some of them still keep in touch with us.

HermanTurnip said...

5280.

It's one of the rare facts from high school that I managed to retain. Weird...

Belle said...

Mary and you are the dynamic duo to me. How lovely she likes your parents and how lovely for you to share them.

River said...

Oh Bugger!! Now I want to know what a henways is....

Daisy said...

I had to look up "henway" too, and it did take awhile to sink in due to heavy rain, early hour, and lack of coffee!

Have fun, you and Mary!

vanilla said...

Can't beat the oldies; and the parents are the repositories for just such information. Bet you had a fun visit!

Susan in the Boonies said...

And here, with that title, I thought you were going to make me guess how much weight you put on from eating birthday cake.

IndigoWrath said...

"What's a henway?" Hehehe. Almost as good as "What's a hendu?" It lays eggs! Damn, now I have hiccups. Why, I oughta... Indigo x

Craver Vii said...

That's great!! Your parents are so cool. :-)

"Henway." heh, heh