At 83, my Dad continues to lead by example…I simply choose what I pay attention to.
When the hostess approached my father asked, “Is Mary here today?”
He always asks the same question of the same hostess and she always replies, “We have two Marys—which one?
This is where I speak up and say, “The sassy Mary. There she is…”
Mary notices us and gives me a hug.
Oh c’mon! Smile!
Once seated, my Dad looked across the table with a serious expression. “Gail—I had surgery on my head yesterday.”
Scrutinizing his age spots I replied. “Really? Tell me more.”
“Yeah, well…..I got my hair cut.”
Imagine sitcom canned laughter?
“Isn’t he handsome?” my dad’s ladyfriend asked.
Ladyfriend is such a weird word, but I’m at a loss for what else I can call Angel Jean who gives life and meaning to my father’s days. The pair has opted out of marriage to forego the legal aspects of tangling their finances. Last Christmas, Dad gave Jean a promise ring. I know he loves her, and suspect it troubles him that they’ve not gone down the aisle.
When Mary delivered water and poured coffee we quickly caught up on—How are you? Staying out of trouble? Did you have a good holiday? How’s your dog? Your kitten?
You see, we only know Mary as our Perkins waitress.
On our first visit to the restaurant a couple of years back, Mary’s wit and manner with my father almost knocked me off my chair. She don’t take no sass and gives back twofold what’s thrown her way. My dad has always been a jokester. Throughout most of my life I’ve shrunk in booths as my dad’s jokes fall flat.
He can do this thing where he balances a spoon straight up and down in his cup. Then, he calls the waitress over to complain that his coffee is too stiff.
A lot of people just don’t have the right fragments to connect with that humor.
Mary though….she’s got my Dad’s number.
The first day we met Mary she said to my Dad on our way out, “Come back on a Monday or Tuesday next time.”
“Why?” my Dad inquired.
“I don’t work those days!”
Sitcom canned laughter.
We NEVER meet at Perkins on a Monday or Tuesday.
And…I suspect the whole county has heard the story of why.
Why so serious?
Laugh a little
At 83, my father continues to lead by example…..
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