Our five offspring have had a tough time with Father’s Day in the past three years since Bing died. They miss him every day, as do I, but the June celebration is a poignant reminder of what a wonderful part of their lives he was.
I’ve tried to think of how to make the day bearable for them and so have decided to re-run a column he once wrote – the only time he ever ventured into my Ink Spots space. It made them laugh at the time, and I’m hoping it will make them laugh again.
I’m often asked, “When are you going to reply to Molly’s columns?”
My reason for this column at this time is that last weekend we were moving beds around. I had to take one bed apart, which involved loosening 4 recessed bolts. Naturally, I didn’t have the right tools. I never have the right tools.
As a matter of fact, I am so unhandy, I don’t think there is a right tool for any job I’m undertaking. As I was struggling with the recessed bolts with a pair of needle-nosed pliers that kept pinching my fingers instead of the bolt, Molly announced casually, “You know, if you mess up, it goes in my next column.”
Great confidence-builder, that girl.
I would like to explain why I backed out of our garage with the door closed while my 4-year-old son in the back seat yelled “Yea, Daddy” and his teenaged sisters looked on, laughing. I live in a house dominated by females – it’s like living in a sorority. We have one main-floor bathroom that is cluttered with blow combs, hair dryers, curling irons, hairspray and mousse (foamy white stuff that does something to your hair, I guess).
Walking into our bathroom at 7 a.m., I’m apt to be blown, tripped by a cord, asphyxiated by strange fumes, or burned by one of the electronic marvels. Usually, however, I can’t even get into the bathroom. We also have a downstairs bathroom, supposedly mine. However, since the girls like the shower better in “my” bathroom, I can’t always get in there, either. When I do, there is so much steam I can’t see anything.
If I’m lucky and the bathroom is empty, I always check to see if there is a towel handy. My chances are 50-50. Half the time the towel has disappeared, wrapped around someone’s head. The other half of the time, the towel, sopping wet, is mixed up with the bathmat, also wet, on the floor. We have an abundance of hairspray in our house. I understand this spray is supposed to keep one’s hair from blowing (which would seem to defeat the purpose of the blow comb, but I guess there’s something here I’m not quite grasping).
One day, my daughters said that my few strands of hair were standing straight up and that I should try some of their spray. One of the girls assisted in the application. All of them thought it was extremely funny when the spray ran in streams down my forehead. I had not been told that an abundance of hair is required to absorb the spray.
To try to maintain our male image, my 4-year-old son and I started a boys club. Some club. After several meetings, my one non-teenage daughter, 8-year-old Amy, was upset because she wasn’t in the club. After a quick board meeting, the club was re-named the kids club, allowing Amy to be a member. The agenda for our meetings is flexible. I yell “Kids Club meeting” real loud to generate enthusiasm, then when they come running, we all wrestle on the floor.
All of which is leading to my explanation for backing out of the garage with the door closed. In addition to coping with our normal morning routine, which is anything but normal, I had banged my head getting into the car because the last driver had moved the seat so far forward only a midget could fit. Trying to move the seat back while holding my head, I jammed the shift into reverse. The ensuing crunch and peals of unsympathetic laughter from the peanut gallery did nothing to relieve my headache.
Someday the kids will be gone and my mornings will be quiet, but I must admit I hope that time is slow in coming. Somehow, I’ll survive.
But I’m through with hairspray.