No – don’t be gross. I’m not talking about some bizarre-o, backwards Oedipus scenario. I’m referring to my husband turning out to be just like my father.
We recently returned from a family trip. On this vay-cay, my husband did not take a break. Instead, he constantly worked. His cell phone was attached to his ear and he would say things like, “Everything falls apart when I’m not there. These idiots can’t do anything right.”
This jolted me so far back in time that for a moment I almost asked my mother to roll down the window and please pass the Wheat Thins and squeeze cheese to the back seat.
When I was a kid, here is how our family vacations proceeded:
1700 Hours (we’re a military family): My dad would inform the troops (my sister, brother, and I) that we had better be ready to go by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow or sorry Charlie, you would be left behind. This would prompt my mother to usher us into our baths and bed, only after we picked out one toy and one toy only to bring on the trip, because there’s just not enough room in the car for all that crap.
0600 Hours: We are up, fed, and dressed. My mother has placed all luggage at the back of the station wagon because she has been up since 4:30 a.m.
0700 Hours: We sit, buckled up in the station wagon waiting for my father because he is on the phone in the kitchen (pre- cell phone days) to some business co-hort.
0750 Hours: We are still in the car, my brother has to pee, mom tells him to hold it (Why? We are in front of our house.). My mother has gone into the house twice now to retrieve my father only to be placated with, “I just have to make this one last call.”
0800 Hours: We hit the road with my dad saying things like, “George is an idiot with his head up his ass.”
Lunch Stop: Eat, drink, and bathroom or forever hold your pee.
1500 Hours: I have been holding my pee for a while and really need to go. I speak up only to be berated with, “Didn’t you go when we stopped?” (Yes) “Why do you have to go again?” (Uhhhh???) DAD: “Rochelle, I told you not to give the kids so much of that juice crap.” DAD: “Next stop is fifty miles and we are making good time, you can go then.” ME: Avoiding bladder explosion by using distraction tactics such as putting mousse in my little brother’s hair.
1600 Hours: An all troupe coup occurs demanding the a/c be put on since we are driving through Arizona. DAD: “We get better mileage if we keep the a/c off. Just take off your shoes and be quiet.” Just then my sister slides off the vinyl seats from an extraordinary amount of sweat. I keep my “Jellys” on and flip over the Dokken tape in my walkman.
And on and on it goes. When Miami Vice block phones were invented I think my mother cursed the sky and cried. Great, more talking. Now during family trips, we not only had to hold our pee, but also had to turn down the radio and be quiet so my dad could say things like, “Aw c’mon, that’s bullshit Frank. Tell him to get his head out of his ass.”
I am grown woman now, and other than being able to drive, my traveling experiences have not changed. My husband is usually on the phone making “it” happen, requiring the rest of us to turn down the radio and be quiet so he can say things like, “Sorry to tell you, but that’s a dog shit territory…Just be knowledgeable about your product so you don’t look like an idiot with your head up your ass.”
While this is just one small example of the similarities between my father and my husband, they are unmistakable, and there are plenty more. And while my husband may be eighty-seven business deals, two wars, and one Purple Heart behind my dad, he’s still pretty awesome. (Plus, he’d tell you he deserves a Purple Heart for being a passenger while I drive.)
Luckily for me, I think my dad is a bad-ass, and I love him, dearly. So having a husband who is even just a smidge like my dad, I consider myself doubly lucky.
Especially since I don’t have my head up my ass.
Sometimes, I feel like I married my mother…Hmmm – I don’t think Freud ever covered that one.