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Conversations of our parents are now ours

September 4, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
It has been said that as we age, we become our parents.

It is happening more than I’d like to acknowledge, though being my parents is no bad thing. Love them beyond the grave. But I could do without some of the signs that I’m no longer the with-it kid I once was — if I ever was.

Surely The Drummer and No. 1 Kid can regale you with tales of weird, slippery conversations The Boss and I have had over the years, the kind that will make them both laugh when they think of us many years down the road.

I have one of those that instantly comes to mind about my mom and dad, having occurred sometime around the end of Gulf War I.

Mom: “Schwarzenugger should run for president.”

Dad: “He’s a Kennedy now, even though he supports Bush.”

Mom: “He’s not a Kennedy. He’s that general in the war.”

Dad: “That’s not Schwarzenugger. That’s Schwarzenkopf.”

Mom: “Schwarzenkopf is married to Sargeant Schriver’s daughter on NBC.”

Dad: “Nahh. It’s that weightlifter, Schwarzenugger.”

This went on for a few minutes until I fell out of the chair laughing and yelling, “Stop! Stop!”

Well, perhaps I should hesitate to laugh.

At some point amidst dealing with a head cold on Monday, I came to long enough to realize that The Boss was watching an “Andy Griffith Show” marathon. (Yes, she who is a year away from a doctorate loves 1960s sitcoms. Huh.) She, dealing with heavy shoulder pain from her July non-skiing accident, also was conscious. I decided with both of us enjoying a rare conscious moment together, it would be good to start a conversation. The names of our friends involved are slightly changed to protect their identity from all but themselves.

Me: “Look, Ernest T. Bass is on the TV. Your mom loved Ernest T. Bass. I can hear her laughing. And look, he’s in an elementary school classroom. This is one of her favorites.” (The General, mother of The Boss, was a schoolteacher.)

The Boss: “Hey, Charity is going to college.”

Me: “She is?”

The Boss: “Well, Jacob is going to Ohio Northern.”

Me: “Wait, wouldn’t he be going back to Akron? And I thought he was going to Gateway.”

The Boss: “She said Northern.”

Me: “She has to mean West Virginia Northern. OK. Go on.”

The Boss: “She said she would have to drive him.”

Me: “So Weirton every day, but how —”

The Boss: “Ohio Northern must have a campus at The Highlands.”

Me: “Huh? The Highlands is in West Virginia.”

The Boss: “Oh, not St. Clairsville. I always forget. Anyway, he’s taking up culinary arts.”

Me: “I guess that would be at The Highlands. And how did I end up in Cabella’s from Ernest T. Bass is in school?”

Eventually, I learned that Charity will be killing time in classes instead of shopping her days away.

Hello, Mom and Dad. You aren’t forgotten. You are in our every conversation.


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