Parental paybacks…

The Boy and The Girl came to town today to join me at an awards ceremony.   Patient and graceful, they sat through an interminable presentation, which followed a soul-crushing splendid dinner of rubberized chicken and partially thawed green beans, on a bed of Uncle Ben’s Instant wild rice, smothered in completely unrecognizable white sauce. 

They endured the evening, surrounded by about 100 local nerds, their doting wives and a few scattered children, as eight engineers and scientists were honored for geek-tastic achievement.  Presentations mired in scientific minutiae, photos of smiling families on vacation and proud pictures of honorees with grandchildren… oh, and in some cases, every other word was an unintelligible acronym*.

They made the best of it.  The Girl was happy to slug back the house wine while admiring the high style of the attendees**.  The Boy discreetly escaped for a couple smoke breaks to disrupt the drudgery.  The event started early (5:30) in order to finish in time for the overwhelmingly geriatric crowd to be home and in bed before the 10:00 pm news. 

The Boy planned to find a bored spouse and entice her to get him hammered with “Evening, Ma’am.  I’m sure you’d like to buy me a beverage at the bar.  Funny, but i seem to have forgotten my ID…”.  It wasn’t necessary – the guilt overpowered me, and i smuggled a few beers back to our table to help him pass the time and further numb his senses.

Why did they do it?  Why did i ask them to to?  That horrifying moment during the presentation when there is acknowledgement of the loving wife.  Posing for photographs after the event, the supportive and beaming spouse there beside her humble, appreciative man… The only woman in this batch***, it was awkward enough not having a wife, let alone a husband. 

All of those soccer games, school recitals and fund-raising events i attended all those years?  Time to call it in…

Until i teach the fucking dog to wear a tux and hang a medal around my neck, they are going to have to suck this shit up.  I’ll keep buying the booze…


* Guilty.  Mine was probably the worst… 

** Hiking boots with a suit.  Sweet….

*** To pass the time, i counted.  only 10 testosterone-deficient recipients among the 400+ going back to 1971.  She-it…  Still a man’s world…


7 thoughts on “Parental paybacks…

  1. Go girl! They are exploitable domestic labour. A chauffeur, cook, maid… Work them to the bone and reward them with booze… harsh but fair they’ll say! Though next time you have a do, splurge and rent a hunk. Your colleagues’ wives eyes will pop with jealousy if you show up at each new do with a stud!

  2. paisley – they were very sweet about it, pretending to have a good time, telling me “it’s really not that bad” and that they’d do it again…

    uw – yes, the bar. I taught them at an inappropriately young age that the best way to survive family weddings and other such events was through alcohol exploitation.

    nm – thanks. It wasn’t really a big deal, but several people had worked hard on a nomination package. Very thoughtful, much appreciated and all that, but I’d have rather been in the back of the room causing trouble…

    BB-“exploitable domestic labor”? Spot on! And should there be a future opportunity, I’ll simply bring one of my pretty young theater friends! Brilliant! Especially the concept of rotating them like a traveling hockey team!

  3. kyknoord – thanks. The Girl opted for the vegetarian entree, which was believed to be a portobello mushroom, topped with Chef Boyardee spaghetti. She ate rolls, salad and dessert. The light meal made for a better buzz, however, so all was not lost…

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