Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dads: Real and Fake

So yesterday I implied said clearly that Rod Stewart is my real father. I feel I should follow this up with a story. And its State Fair season and there is no better time to talk about my Dad than State Fair season...

I come from a long line of funny and irreverent women both on my Mom's side and my not-real Dad's side. So it was no surprise to my Mom that by the age of 4 I "got" her jokes and wickedly fresh sense of humor.

One evening when I was about 6 or 7 my Mom was in our tiny apartment's even tinier bathroom primping for a date with Roy. We all called him "Roy Boy" and for that reason alone I can be thankful that things didn't work out between he and my Mom and that he didn't become my step dad or I may be riding on the back of a hawg on my to Sturgis right now instead of writing this post in my pajamas in my sweet little suburb neighborhood.

Anyway, I remember this evening and the bathroom perfectly. I can still see the little wood plaques with a little boy and a little girl painted on them. They each had those big mushroomy looking hats on and were wearing green. You could see them from wherever you stood in the bathroom because even if you had your back to them you could see their reflection in the mirror.

My Mom was primping in the mirror and I was sitting on the closed toilet seat lid adoringly watching her put on her makeup. She was beautiful and I wanted to be just like her. That evening she looked particularly gorgeous because she was wearing the-most-awesome-brown-cowboy-boots-ever. They were super hot looking, not cowpokey, and when she wore them I always had to help peel her out of them. "Pull Jenny, pull" and I would pull until the boot came flying off and I would fall to my boney butt from the force of it; Mom and I would giggle as I stood up to do the other one.

We were listening to our favorite record, Rod Stewart! It was the one where he's wearing that shiny pink shirt and has flowy blond hair on the cover. Dreamy. Mom stopped singing Maggie May and slowly put her mascara wand back in its tube. She looked at me earnestly and said, "Rod Stewart is your real dad". She sighed and went back to applying her mascara.

Again, totally getting my Mom's sense of humor I knew it was a fabulous lie and remarkably to this day we still have the ongoing "joke" that Rod Stewart is my real dad.

Somewhere in Montana my Mom is clutching her heart and gasping for air right now because I just shared this story with the whole wide world internet. Breathe deeply Mom, breathe deeply. No one can call child services on you 28 years later.

And so this brings us to the State Fair story and my Dad. The real one. Well the not-real one since Rod is my real one.

My Dad split when he found out my Mom was pregnant. You can't blame him--here she had been having a steamy affair with Rod Stewart all this time; you can't expect a guy to stick around after he learns that so he did what any guy would do in his situation: he became a carnie. A State Fair carnie. Wow, I am so proud of my roots right now it is friggin' ridiculous.

And legend has it that on that early Autumn night in September '76 when I was born somehow my Mom got word to him that he had a daughter and not having in cigars handy, he passed out cigarettes to all his carnie buddies.

God bless the Tilt-a-Whirl, Its a Girl!


Marya said...

This is one of the greatest stories EVER! As in...ever and ever and ever and ever! Every time I see a TiltAWhirl or go to the State Fair, I'll think of you and some random carnie passing out celebratory cigs to all his toothless and near toothless carnie friends.

Dr. Goose said...

My Henderson respect meter has just been cranked up a few notches. Love it.

jessica said...

Awesome post Jen! You are a truly gifted writer. You made the words so real, I could see the scene playing out in my head!

Love it!


Heather said...

My sister, Vanessa, sent me your way and told me I HAD to check out your blog. LOVE IT! You have a gift with words and a wicked sense of humor. Can't wait to read more!


Mia White said...

You have Rod's eyes.

Jennifer said...

Welcome Heather!

Marya, you're my new favorite person with that whole "ever and ever and ever" bit.

Bex said...

wow. this is a fabulous post. I so respect you.