There was one thing you did not do at 282 Riverview Road in the seventies; or should I say there was something you had better do and that was fill my father’s ice cube trays. When Steve came home from his travels as a sales engineer for a paper company, he went directly to the freezer, in search of the frozen pearls that would help keep his alcoholic beverage of choice as cold as the Northern Hemisphere.
Of course, as kids and then teenagers, we had absolutely no respect for his wishes, and this would never end well.
“Son of a B I T C H,” was all he had to say and us kids would run in thirty different directions.
“Jesus, Christ, Mary and JOSEPH, what the hell happens to my ice cubes??????? Is it THAT HARD TO FILL A G.D. TRAY WITH WATER AND PUT IT BACK IN THE FREEZER? Mary Lou!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The kids screwed me again……son of a B I T C H!”
For some reason, (pretty sure my dad had laser vision goggles, which he would don as soon as he pulled into the driveway)….he would go from the kitchen, directly upstairs to unpack-and there he would once again become the victim of unspeakable foul play, for he would immediately notice that I, his very own daughter, had borrowed a pair of his socks!!!!!! This would only serve to further provoke him, and for the life of me I can’t remember why I didn’t wear my own tightie whities. Were daddy’s tube socks that big of a temptation? Apparently so, because that scenario wreaked havoc on my weekend plans, ears, and self esteem in general.
Don’t get me wrong, that poor man never bought a thing for himself. If it weren’t for my mother, he would have walked around in holey shoes, tattered shirts, or, God FORBID, stretched out stockings. Steve had another quirk, and that was his propensity to find something, anything wrong when we cleaned up the kitchen. I will never forget the hours I spent in a Bennigan’s, preaching to my sister that dad was not a monster, he loved her and there was absolutely nothing to fear but fear itself.
And so it was, that drunken evening, when my dad said goodnight on the way through the kitchen, I gave her the nod, like, okay, now tell him you love him.
“I love you dad.”
“That’s nice honey. Don’t forget to load the dishwasher.”