Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Set Up.

So, my mother calls and launches into a story about how my father -- in an effort to save money -- once reverted to a "party phone line." This means that at some point in the late 70s, my family shared a phone line with the Cunninghams who lived down the street. We had a family of six -- and I think they might have had a family of ... 8?

In any case, my mother would pick up the phone and someone up there would be chatting away. We'd talk and they'd pick up. My mother said, "Your father! He really had a way with pinching pennies!"

At the time, my mother said this as if it were a good thing, as if my father possessed some rare talent -- circus worthy.

But later, as I'm telling my husband the story in bed, I realize that my mother was setting me up. Pinching pennies? That's not a rare talent. That's something that one would deride in a public forum if one were a writer and said person with said rare talent were the writer's father...

In other words, my mother was totally setting me up to tell a penny-pitching tale on my father ... in hopes of ... what?

The man is un-embarrass-able. He lacks the genetic coding.

And so here I am ... Who's having the tale told on whom?

I have no idea.