Enter That Old Dude. I have never met him before but, apparently, he is a distant cousin of Dad’s who was a big support during his college dorm days. This guy pays a visit yesterday evening (totally out of the blue), tells Mom he’s been hankering for some home cooked fish dish I never heard of (which Mom graciously obliges to prepare), and then presumes to give me a talk on how in his old age it’s a sincere wish to see grandchildren. Seriously, I never met the guy but he is of the mind that my kids (if I ever have any) will be his grandchildren.
I looked at Dad and he sort of shrunk away from my gaze. So I decided to take pity on the general male species for the day. I smiled and asked if the Old Dude did not have children of his own to place this request to. All politeness and murmurs, if you please.
He did, and they do have kids.
I take a fortifying breath through my frozen smile while willing myself to not point out his greediness, and ask instead if he isn’t satisfied with the outcome of said grandchildren.
Oh, he was. Very pleasant grandchildren they were too. But do I not desire the same happiness for my parents?
I supposed I should be gratified that he assumed any children produced by me would be a source of happiness for my parents so I checked my words. I told him we have a cat. At which point, Mom called me over to help her set the table. I arranged the table as asked but forgot the fish dish. I don’t need to relate all of the excruciating details of our scintillating dinner conversation, do I?
Later, I was helping Mom put on new bedsheets in the guest room when the Old Dude again pops his head in and makes a comment in the ballpark of how my efforts would be much better invested if supplied for a nice young man.
Mom looked at me, quite as startled as I felt. She dreaded the worst and with good reasons. Old Dude had finally rankled my feminist sensibilities beyond care for my parent’s home politics.
I replied, “Any man of mine better know how to snap out the bedsheets on his own” and got myself out of there before I really lost my shit.
Evading the parson’s mousetrap is no easy conquest, folks.