This evening I cleaned up my kitchen. Even seasoned my cast-iron
pan with some flax oil I overpaid for today. And I must admit it
came out really nice. Yes, I watched about a dozen (two dozen?)
YouTube videos on seasoning cast iron pans yesterday evening,
what’s your point?
Anyway, my clean kitchen. Go me.
Feeling rather successful I decided to reward myself with a cup
of hot chocolate.
Unfortunately that was… not quite so successful. So I took that
picture to the right, cleaned up and tried again - setting the time
Being me I thought it would be an amusing Facebook post - a mini-Augean
Stables tale but with me and chocolate replacing horses and poo.
But I forgot the words on the mug.
So to explain… The mug was a gift. I got it in college. I’ll get
to “who from” in a second.
At the time I was living in a house near campus with three other
people. I worked with my girlfriend (G) at a convenience store.
And my mom was up visiting - she stayed in my room and then I slept
on the couch in the living room.
The day before I got the mug, I worked the evening shift. Myself
and G closed up the shop (well, she closed it, I arsed around) and
headed to my place. It was midnight or so when we got there and the
house was dark. Everyone was asleep. We quietly went into the living
room and as college lovebirds are wont to do, well, things happened.
Not too much, but enough that you wouldn’t want anyone walking in.
Particularly your mother.
Which of course was exactly who did walk in. G took an extreme
interest in staring at the floor - a hobby I must admit had a lot
going for it at that point. I can’t recall exactly what my mom said,
but she wasn’t angry or anything. And at the end I remember a comment
like, “you two should be careful, imagine if one of your housemates
had come in.”
“Yes, wouldn’t that be horrible!” I thought sarcastically.
Mom went back to bed, G shot out of the house a second later and I
tried to forget the past five minutes and sleep. The next morning
my mom and I had breakfast. We were just chatting and I eventually
noted how unfair it was because I knew something like that had never
happened to her. Her mom had chased her down the yard, snapping her
with a wet dish towel, for messing up a butter churn, I can’t imagine
she’d survive getting caught making out with a boy.
Again, I can’t recall exactly what was said, but she wasn’t critical
about it. Looking back on it now, we were both figuring things out.
I wasn’t a teenage kid anymore and while I might not have been a
fully functional adult, I was an adult. I might not have figured
that out, but my mom had. In fact I think she pointed that out at
the time. Your parent is always your parent, but eventually you’re
not a kid. And I suspect for parents that’s a good thing - at least
that was my mom’s view.
I went off to class and came back in the afternoon. My mom was
clearly amused when I got home. She didn’t say why though. She said
she’d made me tea.
Which is how I got the mug. She’d gone shopping.
“You’re a riot.”
My mom laughed and reminded me of what I’d said before; that it had
never happened to her.
“But I thought about it and it had.”
My parents had lived in Salina, KS when they dated. I left there
when I was 12, so I don’t know where couples in cars went to make
out, but apparently my parents did. And they were there one time
when, just like in the movies, a cop showed up. He wanted ID from
both my mom and dad. My dad gave his up, but my mom from a small
town in Ireland where everyone knew everyone balked. She wasn’t
giving hers up. The cop pushed and my dad stood up for my mom and
the cop relented.
So over that yellow mug, my mom told a story where my dad stood up
to The Man for her. Go dad. And she survived - and so would I.
Going through her pictures after she passed away, I realised all
her ID from that time had her in a habit. She knew Salina was a
fair bit bigger than the small town she grew up in, but she also
knew that ID would get gossiped about.
Amusingly I also came across this news clipping from “back in the
day.” As a nurse chances are she had interacted with a number of
cops over the years. ID or not I wonder if he relented less due to
my dad’s valiant stand in her defense but instead because he
remembered Sister Kevin.
I’ll never really know now, but we’ll give my dad credit for an
assist at least.
A good day. Weird, but good.