As I awoke on that beautiful day back in October of 2005, a cheshire-like smile pulled the corners of my lips into sleepy, comfortable smile. As I lay in silent contemplation, a deep gratitude filled me, energized my spirit. The world felt softer somehow, the sunrise resonating inside me as I set my intentions for the day.
It was one of those breathtaking days that makes you feel truly alive. Supremely blue skies, whispering white clouds. Oak and Maple trees boasting their royal fall foliage; plum, crimson, burnt orange and majestic gold leaves seemingly painted by an Indian paintbrush. The air was so cool and crisp, compelling you to drop your head back, close your eyes and savor it’s very essence of it as you inhaled. All of this punctuated by the sound of rustling leaves in the invariant breeze.
At the time we lived in a converted barn built in the 1800′s. One of the coolest houses I will probably ever live in, but it was not in a neighborhood, and not safe for taking a baby in a stroller along the narrow back country roads. So, my husband and I decided to take our 5 month old son over to my Father (Dad) and stepmother’s (Paula) house to go for a nice long walk in their picturesque neighborhood. It was just that kind of day.
We pulled on our jeans and quarter zip fleeces, bundled up baby, loaded up the jog stroller and headed over to the folk’s place. Once we arrived, we all went inside to chat, play with the baby, and ensure sufficient caffienation before beginning our walk. Dad and Paula were dressed for business. No jeans and sweaters here, Dad boasted an underarmour shirt and full-on running shorts. Paula had on athletic pants and matching zip-up jacket, with perfect hair and gold jewelry, of course, to complete the look.
We buckled the little guy into the jog stroller and set off for our stroll. Dad and Paula were doing that powerwalk thing that makes you look like you’re trying really hard at not trying really hard. It’s always an amusing thing to watch. We wound our way back and forth through the neighborhood while the babe snoozed away happily with a little smile on his innocent face.
After about 45 minutes, we decided to head back to the house, warm up and have a bite to eat. We all went into the living room, which adjoins the kitchen in an open and inviting floor-plan. Paula was putting lunch together in the kitchen and my Dad was lounging on the couch as I sat on the floor in front of him peeling layers off of my son like an onion.
Let me reiterate that I was sitting directly in front of my Father on the floor, like right at his feet. I was hunched over taking off teeny tiny baby shoes when I lifted my head and turned to ask Paula a question. It was then that The Very Bad Horrible Thing I Will Never Get Out Of My Brian happened.
My Father was sitting with his legs open, leaning forward on the edge of the couch with his arm extended pointing the remote toward the TV. As I looked up over my shoulder, approximately no more than 7″ from my face, at eye level, was Dad’s old frank and beans, fully exposed out of the leg of his very short running shorts. Apparently underwear were not part of the outfit, and apparently he had no idea or feeling that all of his reproductive organs were hanging out in a panoptic display seven inches from his daughters face.
I was a deer frozen in headlights. No one had any idea of the psychological damage that was taking place right before my eyes. Seriously, hold your arm out parallel with your face, now bring it halfway in. There it is, your Fathers nutsack, right there.
It. Was. Fucked. Up.
After what seemed like an eternity, I felt myself getting up and leaving the room as if in an underwater dream, heavily sedated. I stood in the hallway and tried to compose myself. I needed a brain eraser, but was not privy to one. I flagged my husband over to tell him in a frantic whisper what had happened. He laughed so hard I thought he would shit himself. At the time, I failed to see the humor in the situation, how would I ever look my Father in the eye again, ever? But I had to, because my infant son was sitting there on the floor in front of Grandpa’s junk and I was afraid he would reach up and grab it, and then I would have to hang myself.
I went back over to grab him, and thank God he had tucked his shit back into those ridiculous shorts.
At this point on our program, Paula was looking at me quizzically, she could tell by the look on my face that something was awry. I just met her eyes and shook my head slowly with an accompanying eye roll. She smelled gossip and pulled me into the kitchen. “What happened? You look like you saw a ghost?” I could barely bring myself to say it, so I just said, “You need to tell your husband that he needs to wear underwear with those shorts.” She looked back and forth from him to me, as if mentally putting together a puzzle. When she got the last piece locked in place, she burst into hysterical booming laughter, which caused my Father to finally pay attention to something and turn his head back to us with a “what’s so funny back there girls?!”
A little too quickly I said “Nothing!” knowing that Paula could really have some fun and run away with this nightmare. Now everybody was in on the joke that was not at all a joke except my Father.
As you should realize by now, not much embarrasses me. With that said, when there is a situation that arises with the potential of not only embarrassing me, but humiliating me, people will jump on that train faster than Todd Akin can say Illegitimate Rape.
My Father’s in his own little world much of the time, which helped with this chuckle fest going on around me. Then Paula blurts out, “Oh honey, that was nothing, you should see him in all his glory!”
I threw up in my mouth.
My Dad was all “What’s going on!?”
“Tracy thinks you might want to wear underwear with those shorts next time.” Exclaims Paula.
Eye roll from Dad, who goes back to watching football. Oblivious
With that exchange, I make uncomfortable small talk as I gather up all of our stuff making excuses about how we have to get back for something or another and scurry my gang out the door before my Father dropped another nut out of his ridiculous shorts.
Moral of the story:
If your father ever has on running shorts, do not do the following: Sit indian-style in front of him on the floor.