The story so far:
Tonight was Parent-Teacher Conferences.
There's one thing I hate almost as much as I hate school...Parent-Teacher Conferences. I'm pretty sure the teachers think it sucks too. They have to dress up nicer than they ever do on any other day, without getting paid extra money, just to waste an evening dodging the evil eye from angry parents who refuse to accept reality that their kid is the slacker that they were...as well as trying not to puke on the those other parents of the 4.0/A students who refuse to leave after their designated 10 minutes just so they can hear how wonderful their precious nimrod is.
After Mom and Dad spread the evil eye around from teacher to teacher tonight...it then became my turn to get their attention...and their evil eye-balls.
"I'm so disappointed in you," said Mom. "Your English teacher showed us your work."
I bit my tongue. I let her say her piece. Her peace? Well, whatever it is it's her job to complain. But I should have been graded for holding back. I would have approved the old GPA for sure.
"Is there something you want to say?" she asked as she could read it in my eyes.
I thought, Yes there is, Mom. I am disappointed in you. I am disappointed that you didn't marry the future General Internist you lost your virginity to and instead settled for Mr. 'I got arrested for mooning a rally for the Equal Rights Amendment.'
I smiled at Dad and said, "I really got nothing to say...sorry I disappointed you guys. Can I have my PS3 back?"
They looked at each other like they always do just before collaborating on a mutually acceptable punishment. It's funny how chores around the house have replaced Hail Marys.
Before I went to sleep, looking forward to a day of grass-cutting, garage-cleaning and car-washing, Dad came into my room. He usually avoids my space, which is the way I like it. He stepped over a pair of fresh Nikes and visably avoided looking at my poster-covered walls.
"I'll turn the lights off in a minute," I said trying to deflect any attempt on his part to have a fatherly-talk.
He smiled and said, "I was just like you."
Well...that's a different way to insult me. But he kept smiling. Then he quietly handed me a piece of paper. His eyes said, 'read it and don't tell your Mother.'
It was a poem. My dad handed me a poem. What the hell?
"I wrote it last week while I sat at my cubicle when I should have been working."
THE LADIES ROOM
When others settle in to work
they enjoy a lovely view
a cubicle with windows near
for the sunshine to shine through
Not me, you see, not that lucky
My view is of the John
for Jane and Jill, not Jim or Bill
where girls water the lawn
They pile in eight at a time
with their cell phones all whipped out
and no one there to pee
I couldn't believe I was reading crappy poetry written by the man who purportedly donated half of my DNA. "Why am I reading this?" I asked.
Is this some cleaver form of punishment? To believe that, gives my Dad way too much credit. He just kept smiling.
"What's your point?" I asked.
"My point is," he replied, "I got paid $36/hour to write that when my boss wasn't looking. Keep writing. You got talent, kid, talent to entertain while the world takes itself too seriously...a chip off the old blockhead."
I smiled and gave Dad the inheirited evil eye. He returned the smile as he backed away...over my fresh shoes and out of my room. I heard their bedroom door close as I figured they'd start collaborating on something other than their slacker kid.