My dad is a Harley riding, tequila drinking man's man who was in the Air Force for 20 years as an F-15 simulator bad ass. He grew up on a farm, and mostly spent his time stirring up trouble. My mother on the other hand is an ex-principal who works for community services, and was raised in a very strict baptist family. She was a stay at home mother for a few years, and the main caregiver for the family.
Now that I write it out this way, it makes complete sense that my dad is the one constantly reminding us to watch our language, behave, and drive carefully. When I say "us" I generally mean, "my mother." It's not that she curses like a sailor or gets out of hand. It's just that when it comes to a game of "How far are we going to take this joke?", my mother is the champion. The undisputed champion.
While everyone in my family loves to push the limits without crossing the line, my mother is the proud owner of property far far on the other side.
About 2 years ago my dad, brother and I were going to Quizno's for dinner.
"Just use this door over here" my brother said, pointing to a closer, easy to miss side door.
"Oh. Back door huh?" I quipped, quoting the great Han Solo from Return of the Jedi.
"Back in my day we called that the old dirt road" dad added without missing a beat as he walked up to the door, now by himself.
My brother and I had stopped dead in our tracks. While my dad is very quick witted and amusing, he never ever makes jokes that are dirty, or sexual in nature. It was something I'd never seen from him, and something I haven't seen again since.
I've never been more proud in my life.
Back in June of 2008, I had been dating Roseann for about 2 months. Despite the initial hiking trip, things were going well and we had progressed to a point where I was ready to introduce my family to her. More importantly I was ready to introduce her to them. My family tends to get a bit silly when everyone is together, but I figured she'd have to face them eventually if things were to work out.
The typical meet the parents jitters were in full effect for Roseann and she spent the majority of the time quietly listening, and answering the onslaught of my family's questions.
Nobody seemed to care too much, except for my mom. She pulled me aside midway through dinner and asked if she had embarassed me in any way. I reassured her that everything was fine.
I write a public blog about every stupid thing I've ever said to a woman. What could possibly embarrass me?
At this point some friends came in and surprised us. They had come through the side door.
"Oh, the old dirt road?" Miranda said, barely able to get her joke out through her own laughter.
Roseann looked confused, and I quickly launched in to the story of "The Old Dirt Road". My dad was out of earshot, but mom, now 2-3 glasses of wine in to the night followed along intently. As I hit the punch line and everyone began laughing, a wistful look of rememberence washed over mom's face. She leaned back in her chair, lifted up her glass of wine, as if toasting to a higher power and said, "Oh... the back seat of that old '57 Ford"