Tuesday, 15 February 2011


My parents were both pretty good at being tough cop. Mom had a meaningful frown, and Dad had a loud voice, so my brother and I spent a fair amount of time working out how to break bad news to them. Sorry, I forgot (to go, to do, to write, to walk, to say, to thank, to bring home -- whatever) wasn't usually good enough. Especially if you had also forgotten yesterday and last week and the week before. Dave and I would dream up excuses or prior commitments, we'd lie and deny and back each other up, we'd ... why am I going on? You know what we did. You did it too. We acted like a typical family.
So now it's a long time later and my dad has some news to break to us. And the shoe is on the other foot. He calls me first.
Your mom and I are not going to Florida, he says. The doctor doesn't like her cough, and he thinks we should wait. So I am going to have to cancel the tickets.
This is indeed bad news. They've been trying to get down for a while, and it looked like they had finally found a window of time between appointments. I said I was sorry to hear, and we chatted for a bit. I got a sense of him not wanting to hang up.
Anything wrong? I asked.
I ... don't want to phone Dave and tell him, he says. He'll get mad, and say we should get another opinion. Or go anyway.
My brother argues for a living, and doesn't have a lot of respect for the medical profession. And he really wants our parents to have a good time.
You mean, I say, that you're afraid he'll yell at you.
Well, yeah, says Dad.
I'm smiling on my end of the phone. I tell Dad about Dave feeling exactly the same about him, back when we were kids. I offer to call Dave for him, and let him yell at me first. Dad is laughing himself by now.
No no, he says. I'll face the music.
I wondered what typical looked like so I googled it. The picture up there is titled: Another Typical Breakfast. I want it badly.


Anonymous said...

Fruit salad on french toast, bread and butter or both. Wishing Happy Typical Breakfast to you and yours.


Marilyn said...

Life's not fun sometimes, that's for sure! It was easier being young. Nobody educates us on all this stuff.

Richard Scrimger said...

The education is free, though, and available to all ...