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Monday, October 06, 2008Don't Be Afraid To Take a Chance Kid
My mother and I were discussing some of our most embarrassing moments when my father said that nothing that ever happened to us could top his most embarrassing moment. His “moment” occurred the first time he ever met my maternal grandmother, twenty- something years later it still makes him blush.
When my father met my mother she had her own apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan half a block away from Central Park. She’d had the small one bedroom apartment since she’d been 17. Her father allowed her to get her own place on the condition that she had to live within walking distance of one of her parents and that said parent have the spare key to her apartment. Despite the fact that mom was financially independent she caved in to her father’s demand just to set his mind at ease. Mom chose to live in the same neighborhood as her mother. My grandmother pretty much entered the apartment whenever she felt like it. Every night when my mom arrived home from work around 1:30 am she’d find dinner on top of the stove courtesy of her mother, Delia.
Then my parents started dating. After witnessing her parent’s turbulent marriage my mother had commitment issues. As long as the relationship felt casual to her she was willing to continue it. “Enjoy what we have today. I’m not making any guarantees that I’ll be around tomorrow.” was her mantra in their relationship. Whenever a relationship got too serious for her she’d run away. My father was a very patient man. He’d fallen in love with my mother the first time he’d laid eyes on her and decided right then and there that she was “it” for him and he was willing to stick around no matter how long it took for her to realize he was “it” for her.
My dad a rookie cop back then would spend every waking moment he could with my mother. During the day he’d call her and even switched over to the night shift just so he could pick her up from work and take her home every night. Even though they were intimate he could never convince mom to sleep over his apartment nor would she let him spend the night at her place. One night while in her apartment with him nature took its course and mom s heart softened. My dad was feeling really happy as he snuggled up with mom in her bed. She had decided to let him spend the night; he was starting to break through her defenses. As they drifted off to sleep they heard a key jiggling in the lock. Delia was having trouble with the door because mom had put the top lock on something she only did when she was home. There was no key for that lock it had been lost months earlier and mom still hadn’t hired a lock smith to replace it.
Mom shot up in bed and panicked. As she handed my dad his uniform she instructed him to hide in the bathroom. My dad wanted to meet my grandmother but seeing the stubborn look on mom’s face he caved in. He wasn’t about to risk their relationship over her fear of commitment and he already knew that if he were to meet her parents it would make her feel like as if their relationship was getting serious and he knew her well enough to know that she would end it between them the minute she felt that happening.
Delia entered the apartment and if she noticed something off about her daughter she didn’t let on. She hung around for about 30 minutes and while there managed to casually walk through the apartment depositing things she had purchased for my mother along the way. When my dad heard her near the bathroom he stepped into the tub and drew the shower curtain. Delia opened the bathroom looked around and put several rolls of toilet tissue under the sink and a tube of toothpaste on the counter and then closed the door. My father meanwhile had been reverently praying that she not throw open the shower curtain.
Finally Delia kissed her daughter good night as she walked towards the exit as she turned towards my mother and said, “You can tell the police officer it’s safe to come out of the bathroom now. I’m leaving.” My mother was struck speechless, “I saw his shoes under your bed. What’s his name anyway?” “William. How do you know he’s a cop?” “During the 60’s and 70’s being arrested was my way of life. Trust me I know cop shoes when I see them.” My grandmother then walked back towards the bathroom and opened the door talking to the shower curtain, “Nice to meet you William I’m sorry if I scared you.” My dad stepped out of the shower and offered his hand to my grandmother, “Do you love her?” she asked him. “Yes. I’m going to marry her when she gets over her fear. ” he replied. “And if she doesn’t?” “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll take her anyway I can get her.” She nodded her head and handed my father her spare key “Here I don’t think I’ll be using these anymore sweetie.” As she walked by my still speechless mother grandma told her, “Don’t be afraid to take a chance kid.”
Labels: mom and dad
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