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I’m standin’ in our bedroom lookin’ out the window in the house I paid for.

July 29, 2012

After I pulled my duffle bag out of my car and closed the trunk on Friday night, a white Dodge Stratus turned into my parents’ quarter-mile driveway. I bowed up and squinted at it during its slow trek toward the house, prepared to protect my family from murderers, Jehovah’s Witnesses or children exploiting their cuteness for school fundraisers. As the vehicle approached, I realized a couple was dropping Daddy off after a local prayer meeting.

“Thanks!” Daddy screamed and slammed the back door, clutching a sandwich bag of trail mix.

“Daddy, who brought you home?”

“Beats me! I coulda told you if you hadn’t asked.”

I followed him inside and into my parents’ bedroom, where Mother stood rolling buttercream paint across the wall.

“How was the prayer meeting?” Mother murmured.

“It was good. They sent me with this snack to give you. Can I have it?”

“Sure.”

Daddy and I moved to the living room, where he inhaled the trail mix, feeding stray peanuts to Mother’s dear West Highland terrier Obi.

“Your mother hates it when I do this,” he said, placing a peanut at the edge of the recliner arm so Obi could leap and snatch it with his tongue.

Daddy disappeared into the kitchen and quickly reemerged with a hastily thrown together bologna sandwich, meat flapping from the bread’s edges. Mother had banished him from the bedroom so she could finish painting, so he fell asleep, snoring until allowed entrance into the back of the house again. At one point over the weekend he innocently stood in their bedroom, and Mother asked, “What are you doing?”

“I’m standin’ in our bedroom lookin’ out the window in the house I paid for.”

The next morning we took the dogs for a walk at the local recreation center.

“Where are the doo doo bags?” I asked. Even though Calhoun doesn’t post dog poop removal signs like the ones intermittently scattered throughout Atlanta’s parks, I regularly scold my parents for not throwing away Obi and Winston’s mounds of elimination.

“Obi already doo dooed this morning,” Mother huffed at me. “Talk to your Daddy about picking up after WINSTON.”

“I don’t need one. I’m not gon’ doo doo out here,” Daddy projected forward while leading Winston away from me.

Soon Winston squatted in the middle of the sidewalk and deposited human-sized turds onto the cement. Daddy and Winston scurried forward.

“That is SO RUDE!” I yelled.

“Hopefully the rain will wash it away,” Mother shrugged.

“Yer Mother and I are gon’ eat at the Cock-eyed Spaniel this week,” Daddy announced when we caught up to him.

Mother rolled her eyes. “It’s amazing how employing good-looking women with big boobs improves business. Women look better when they don’t have enormous boobs, though.”

“WHO TOLD YOU THAT?!?!” Daddy stomped to a halt.

Before I left for Atlanta, I promised Mother I would take Daddy to town to purchase a new printer.

“I really need to print a World Market coupon. It expires tomorrow,” Mother explained with great urgency.

Before leaving the three of us stood around in the kitchen, and Daddy asked, “What’s our phone number?” I recited it and pursed my lips, disturbed that Daddy forgot a string of numbers he’s been using for more than 30 years. Mother’s and my eyes met for a second of unspoken understanding.

During the ride to Wal-Mart, I interrogated Daddy about his dating life prior to marriage.

“I didn’t really date. I had other stuff to do.”

“What about in college? Did you make out with anyone at least?”

“No,” Daddy answered with conviction. “I just waited for your mother.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    September 26, 2012 5:25 pm

    I think my favorite part is that Daddy ate the snack intended for mother. You know, I just asked Daddy to recite our phone number the last time I was home, and he did it with no problem. Sometimes I think he just asks out of insecurity. Well, at least I hope he hasn’t forgotten that yet.

  2. September 26, 2012 8:04 pm

    I thought that tidbit was particularly funny, too. It’s true that some of Daddy’s questions might be a product of insecurity instead of memory loss. After all, he has had the same phone number for like 30 years.

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