He’s a handsome, sophisticated, dashing older gentleman, and we enjoyed a fine evening of gourmet food and wine.
The fact that he’s my dad doesn’t make it any less scandalous. On the contrary, I saw several sets of raised eyebrows.
You see, my dad is a retired teacher who spent 30 years at the same school. Pretty much anywhere he goes in Salem, Oregon, there's a chance he'll run into a former student, parent, or colleague.
Since my mom and Pythagoras both prefer their wine to include the word “cooler,” it’s one of those things my dad and I enjoy together. We enjoy it best of all at the Celebration Oregon, an annual event that includes wines from 50+ wineries and food from 15 chefs.
|Taking wine notes.|
We’ve been attending for years, and without fail, we always run into someone who knows my dad.
On Saturday night, it was a perky 20-something pouring for one of the wineries.
“Mr. Fenske!” she called. “Hi, Mr. Fenske! Remember me?”
As always, there was a long pause. I could see the wheels turning in my dad’s head. I could see him trying hard to place her – maybe in the back of the classroom in 1999? No, no, maybe third seat from the front the last semester of 1997– did she have braces then?
“It’s Jane,” she announced. “You were my English and Social Studies teacher. I thought you were the best!”
As my dad continued to study her and wait for recognition to dawn, I watched the girl steal a look at me. That’s when I saw the wheels start to turn in her head:
Wait – that’s not his wife. I know that’s not his wife, he had a picture on his desk. Is she the mistress? Oh, man. Maybe I’m not supposed to see this. Or maybe his wife died and he got a younger one. Wow, that’s so sad, but good for him. I mean, a guy deserves to be happy, right?
If I were a nicer person, I’d step in every time this happens and clear the whole thing up by introducing myself as Mr. Fenske’s daughter.
But the fact is, I enjoy this. For all those times my dad went out of his way to embarrass me in middle school by calling me by my nickname in front of my classmates (Buzzard Snot, if you must know) this is payback.
Eventually, we wandered off with our wineglasses in hand. I was already scanning the crowd for the next former student. Just for fun, I reached up with my napkin to dab some barbecue sauce from my dad’s chin.
I’m a considerate sort of trophy wife.
Did you have parents who liked to embarrass you? Has the tide shifted now that you’re older, or are they still yelling across public places to ask if you need to use the bathroom? Please share in the comments.
I’ll be deciding whether my mom has something coming in return for all those early curfews.
|Is he my dad, or is he my sugar daddy?|