—The Twins now have the worst record in baseball. I’m still on the wagon. The 2019 Washington Nationals started 19-31 and went on the win the World Series.
—I don’t know if its sad or exciting, but I’ve reached the point in my life where cleaning out all the laundry baskets of socks, and matching probably 25-40 pairs, is something I’m proud of accomplishing.
—The day before my father-in-law arrived my mother-in-law told Harrison and Mara to come upstairs and hang out with her. (During these times, unless I’m in the middle of getting them prepped for something, I never argue with her. Even if I know I plan on going outside with them at 10:00 o’clock and its 9:45, I’ll always let them go for the 15 minutes and then go get them. Any break I can get I take it, because not since I played golf with Doan last September have I asked for one.) The older kids and my wife were on the couch watching a movie, I went into my office to get some ‘work done.’ The kids were up there for maybe 20 minutes. When I hear all sorts of screaming and fussing. The ten minutes later she comes down stairs, stomping around, dragging her feet in her sandpaper slippers all around the kitchen and living room saying “Why am I the only one right now not relaxing? I’m the one who should be. I’m the one who needs it…” As she trails off. Ridiculous. Like the friend that insists you borrow money from him, tells you not to worry about paying him back, just get him back whenever you have it, then a few days later is saying where’s my money. Never ends around here.
Some highlights of my father-in-law’s visit so far:
—As the hours counted down to his arrival this past Sunday, his “ex” wife, who lives with us, became even more anal than normal about cleaning up the house, and I noticed she was definitely more “dolled up” than I’ve ever seen her. For merely walking around the house, she had quite the get-up.
—A couple minutes after arriving he started bringing multiple bags of camera equipment into the house. Then he cornered Travis and talked to him for at least an hour about how all that stuff works. Travis couldn’t have been less interested. At one point I yelled “Is that a telephoto lens?” from across the room, just to be a jackass. That sent him down a different path with Travis for another 20 minutes…explaining lenses.
—This one has been my favorite so far. A couple hours after his arrival, after the dust had settled, my mother-in-law (Regina) finally came to the bottom of the steps, said hello, and asked how my father-in-law (Broderick) was doing. His instant answer was “I’m doing good, I’m twelve dollars and fifty cents richer.” He started puffing his chest out, sort of gloating, laughing, etc, after the comment. He was extremely proud of himself. Regina muttered something under her breath, was clearly agitated, and went back up the stairs. My wife was laughing and left the room, and I was just standing there confused. What the hell did that mean? Turns out (and I can’t get too specific for legal reasons) the two of them needed to pay a 25 dollar fee to get some paperwork/documents/certificates/ renewed a few months back in regards to something that mutually benefitted both parties. Broderick went ahead and paid the $25 and hasn’t been reimbursed. This fact has apparently not slipped his mind over the past few months. Even more hilarious was the fact that he clearly didn’t care or need the $12.50 based on the way he was spraying out money to all the kids and my wife only minutes after walking through our door.
—Two and a half days went by, including one where Regina told me ‘that’s twelve dollars and fifty cents that man ain’t never gonna see,’ until there was more news on that front. Regina had graciously decided to pay her half. When Broderick received the money he caused an even bigger scene than when he walked through the door asking for it. He went running into Tabitha’s office, interrupted her work meetings, told her to plaster it all over social media, yelled throughout the house that he was going to frame it, went back to Regina who had been standing patiently in the same spot she was in when paying him off and told her there was actually a three dollar processing fee too but he’ll let that slide. (No one could tell whether he was serious or not.) He then said to her, “It’s not the money, it’s the principal. I’d give you the money back no problem…but I’m not going to…” As he trailed off and walked away.
—Later that evening the two of them had a discussion in the laundry room hallway, loud enough for me to hear in the kitchen, but both thought was muffled enough to be private, the gist of it being him saying he was just having fun with that whole thing and her saying she didn’t care, and didn’t want to speak with him the rest of the time he was here.
—One night this week while we were cooking dinner outside Tabitha asked her mom if she could do the broccoli, to which she complied. A few minutes later I came in from outside and uttered “Ugh, what’s that smell?” before surveying the room and quickly realizing that wasn’t the right thing to say. It was the broccoli. I don’t know what she was doing to it, but it smelled like we forgot to take the garbage out for a couple of weeks or something. I spent a few minutes attempting to put out that fire with her, explaining I was just thrown off by the new smell, didn’t know we were having broccoli, I was just kidding, etc, etc. Right on cue, about 5 minutes later Broderick comes in from outside and says “What in the hell is that smell? Smells like sewage in here, etc.” Priceless. Meanwhile I don’t know how that broccoli got to smelling so bad. I’m not sure how she did that. I’ve botched many cooking attempts, but I don’t remember anything I’ve cooked every smelling bad in mid-attempt. Usually something is burnt, not cooked well enough, or just tastes bad. I’ve never stopped and thought to myself this smells like shit in the middle of cooking.
—The first night he slept over Harrison and Mara, who called Pie-pie “Pipes” all week long, wanted to sleep on the air mattress with him. He came down the next morning saying he got no sleep because Stoney, our dog, was all over him and Regina kept coming going in and out of her room, which was close by.
—One of the mornings he came to the park with Harrison, Mara, and I. He told me some St. Louis Cardinals baseball stories that were interesting. Many of them I verified on google. He knew “all the brothers” on the team back in the day. Specifically Terry Pendleton, Willie McGee, and Vince Coleman. Used to play a lot of pool with those guys apparently.
—He asked if he could use our laundry machines. After we said of course, he went ahead and took Regina’s clothes out of the dryer, put them in a garbage bag and set them off to the side. This clearly frustrated Regina when she came down later, but I wasn’t close enough to hear exactly what was said.
—I was caught in a discussion with two people who are out of their minds, that being my wife and my father-in-law, when they both told me several times that Draymond Green is a better player than John Stockton was because “assists are overrated, you still have to make the basket,” both of their career scoring averages are about the same, winning is the only thing that matters, and Stockton had Karl Malone. (Yeah, Draymond Green has never played with anyone very good.) Nothing really more to say here. I think the shock value of this content speaks for itself. I wasn’t gonna argue too hard. Anyone crazy enough to think John Stockton, the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and steals, isn’t as good as Draymond Green is never going to be persuaded to change their mind.
—BBQing out in the backyard one evening my father-in-law stepped in dog shit. He stomped and slid his shoes across the grass a few times, and went on with his life. A couple minutes later we walked inside and he took three or four steps into the house before remembering (I think) about the shit on his shoes. He took them off and left them there, slightly off to the side of the carpet between the kitchen and the living room. I didn’t know if he had a plan for them, but as time went on it became clear he didn’t. An hour or two later his shoes were still in the same spot…rolled over on their sides, with one still containing plenty of dog shit. So I didn’t say anything, picked them up, took them back out into the backyard, hosed them off, and brought them back into the garage where he had been keeping them during his stay.
—During one of several dinner discussions between father and daughter this week Broderick incorrectly argued that it’s a choice to be gay, while Tabitha correctly made the case it was not. The topic came up after I told him about a religious retreat I went on a few years back where all forms of homosexuality were blamed on poor relationships with your father growing up, and should be treated like any other addiction (alcohol, drugs, etc). No exception.
—Regina’s overall attitude has been amazing to watch this week. I would describe the way she’s talked all week when he was around as extremely high schoolish. When she has talked to me or the kids she has made sure her tone was loud enough for him to hear but acted like she didn’t even know he was there. Similar to a guy in high school talking to a group of his buddies and getting louder and/or repeating something funny when a pretty girl walks by. She has overruled me a couple times on some decisions with the kids this week, something she’s never done in the past, both times doing it when he was in the room. She’s lucky I’m a nice guy that can read a room and appreciate the comedy aspect of what was going on. In doing so I decided to step away. I could’ve caused a big scene and put my foot down with the “They’re my kids” trump card I’ve heard a lot of parents like to use. I’m yet to pull that one out by the way. I don’t anticipate ever having to. She capped things off this morning beautifully when she criticized Broderick for harping on the older kids too much and pestering them too harshly about doing their chores correctly. She told him to leave the kids alone and that they get it. Unbelievable. She does that same thing to the kids ALL THE TIME when he’s not here. I never care because they need to be held accountable and I’m not great at that. Still so comical though.
—Probably my favorite part of my father-in-law coming here this past week was the trip to Sam’s Club Travis, him, and I took together. There’s a movie called Forget Paris staring Billy Crystal I saw when I was in middle school. It features a scene in which Crystal’s character is giving his father-in-law, an extremely old man, a ride somewhere. Every business the father-in-law sees he comments on. This is EXACTLY how the trip there went. When we got there he was borderline out of control once we hit the inside of the building. He accidentally got in the way of an older gentleman and said chummily “Oh hey there I’m sorry young man.” The other guy didn’t seem too amused but it wasn’t a huge deal. Broderick can’t hear real well anymore, so he talks too loud without knowing it or caring, and this would become the source of the comedy for the entirety of the Sam’s excursion. As we walked a little further he announced to Travis “Well yeah, you gotta call all the old people young, it makes ’em feel better.” Loud enough for the same guy to hear him. He started yelling at Broderick from a distance but he had no clue. Meanwhile we kept moving on, and a little ways down the line this time it was a female’s turn. He asked a woman how she was doing and then announced he was doing a lot better now that he’s seen her pretty eyes. This was done from about 30-40 feet away. Many shoppers heard, not just the woman, who appeared to enjoy the little extra attention. Until he told Travis, loudly enough for this woman to hear as we closed in closer to her, “Well yeah, you gotta tell all the women, even the ugly whale women that they got nice features. Even if it only works one time outta fifty. Once is all I need.” There were no real crazy reactions to him doing this, but many times the outlandish things he thought he was just saying to Travis and I were clearly being heard by others. Another time he was telling a white woman he accidentally bumped his cart into that he wasn’t the crazy, mad, black man she sees on tv, he’s a friendly old grandpa, etc. It was like he was on stage performing during that trip. He literally talked to everybody he could the entire time we were in there.
—Yesterday he told the story of how he met Tabitha’s mom. It was at a bar and she offered to buy him a drink. He knew she was the one right there and then. When Tabitha went upstairs to ask Regina to tell the story about how she first met him, she blushed a bit, smiled, and then quickly flipped back into pretend-to-be-above-all-this mode and said “What the hell he down there talking about all this for?”
Overall he is one hell of a nice and interesting man. He lives alone in St. Louis and couldn’t wait to get down here, see everybody, and talk talk talk. It was a pleasure having him. We talked a lot about sports. Every once in awhile he was way, way, way off, (like saying Rodman averaged just as many points as Stockton the two years the Jazz and Bulls played in the finals) but most of the time he was pretty dialed in with his accuracy.
He hopes to be able to make it down in October when my parents visit. I’d love to see that.