Saturday, November 25, 2006
Your Correspondent Returns
I am back from the grazing-, oil- and cotton-leases of Corn Hole, KS, and am home in the grazing-, oil- and cotton-leases of Hill Country, TX.
Yes, we visited The Sod. We stayed at the Pee and Em’s, and my daddy even allowed Monsieur and me to sleep in the same room. Not like there was any chance that Monsieur’d give me any loving, what with my penchant for Rather Loud Noises during the physical act of love.
Monsieur survived Midwestern hospitality with great aplomb. He successfully won the approbation of My Seven Aunts by remembering all of their children’s names flawlessly, and also won the approval of My Five Uncles because he is able to talk about Big 12 Football despite the handicap of being born a foreigner – and a French one, at that.
“He’s all right,” said The Uncles, each in his own way, which is as close as this taciturn bunch gets to hoisting Monsieur up on their collective shoulders and giving him a victory parade.
“Let me know when you’re tired of him,” whispered my very-married Aunt Louise, with a wink.
The boys were spoiled with breakfast cereals and presents, cable TV and all of my old Disney videos. They didn’t let it spoil them much; in fact, Bigglest Boy was heard to tell Littlest Boy, “I think we’ve watched enough TV today, don’t you?”
At some point when Monsieur and the boys got corralled into going to fetch groceries with Daddy, Mom sat me down and, while we snapped some green beans, she asked me if I will always be “doing your teaching and whatever else it is you’re doing with the kids.”
I just said that I didn’t have any immediate plans to change.
“I’m just checking to make sure you are happy,” she said, “and you don’t miss being just a student without the responsibilities of a classroom or houseful of kids.”
I don’t remember what I said to that, but it was something along the lines of, “I’m fine, very satisfied with what I’m doing, and I find it very rewarding,” – which I do, actually.
She talked about her teaching years for a bit, and how she stopped when she got pregnant, and then she said, “Are you still using birth control? You can tell me it’s none of my business if you want.”
I blushed beet-red, and bit my lip to avoid sneezing. “No, I went off that a couple years ago,” I said. “But he um, he uses birth control.”
“Well, that’s good.” She looked around and then whispered to me, “I never could get your daddy to use those things.”
“No, Mom, I mean, he’s had a vasectomy.”
“Oh!” my mom said, startled. “Is it … is it permanent?”
“Pretty permanent, as far as those things go,” I said, trying to reassure her.
“So … so if you wanted to have kids, he’d need to have surgery?”
“Probably. But I don’t want to have kids,” I reminded her.
“Right,” she said. She poked through the beans, making sure she hadn’t missed any.
“We’re not even married…” I continued.
She looked up at me from over her bifocals. “Not yet, anyway.”