462. That Day

In doing my research for how stupid I can make myself I was watching “Watch What Happens Live” and Matt Lauer was answering Andy Cohen’s  question which was,  “Is there anything you wish you hadn’t done on the Today show ?”

Matt had no trouble recalling the time that Amy Grant and Vince Gill were on the show and while Amy was singing, Matt noticed that Vince was staring at a very voluptuous background singer. Matt leaned over to Vince and said “I know what you’re thinking, are they real?” After a beat Vince answered “I hope so. She’s my daughter”

Now I’ve had so many moments like that in my life that there are too many to count. I still wake up in the night cringing at some remark I made that I thought was a scream but lay there like a lox.

I know that if my sister Iris were alive she’d still regret a moment in time that she always had trouble talking about. It was when she goosed my father.

To explain the enormity of this I’ll have to give you a little background information. My father took himself very seriously. Don’t get me wrong, he was charming and witty but he liked to think of himself as a David Niven type of guy. While the secretaries in his office might have called my darling Uncle Louie, Louie or my half wit Uncle Julius, Julius, they called my father Mr. Smith.

He cared how he appeared to the outside world. He was always impeccably dressed. Even when he retired to Florida and started wearing those horrible golf clothes, his pink shirt was sure to pick up a pink stripe from his plaid pants.

I don’t even remember ever seeing him with his hair uncombed. Like I said, he cared and took his demeanor seriously

Which is why “that day” would torture my sister Iris for over 50 years.

My other sisters and I knew never to walk up the stairs in front of Iris. If you delayed even a bit, she’d speed you up with a playful but firm goose. Maybe that explains, but doesn’t justify, even in her own mind, why when following my father up the stairs, she totally lost her mind and goosed him.

As she told it to me, on the one time she was able to actually able to talk about it, her hand went way farther up his ass than she intended and he made kind of a squeaking sound and hopped up the 6 or 7 remaining steps. He turned and looked at her but never said a word to her directly. His silence said it all.

The truth is, it’s always worse for the person that does or says this stuff than the person it’s done to. I’m sure my father never gave it another thought but that didn’t help Iris with the willies.

Since I’m always saying things I shouldn’t I am very understanding of people who do it to me. I remember the horror on my husband’s and mother in law’s faces when I was describing how I had negotiated the purchase of a samovar at an antique market and my mother in law filled in the term that I was searching for quite incorrectly as  “jewed him down”.

I was more amused than anything but dave  begged my forgiveness and my mother in law wrote me a letter of apology referring to her “little faux pas”.

I couldn’t have cared less and in fact if I had had to write an apology letter for every shitty thing I’ve said about her through the years and about dave in the past 2 years I’d have writer’s cramp like nobody’s business.

I’m only writing about this to warn the other angels in heaven not to walk up stairs in front of Iris because though she always regretted that particular goose it didn’t stop her from continuing to assist the slow climbers in reaching their destination in a timely manner.

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