Meet the parents (your own)
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
If I’ve learned anything in the last week, it’s get to know your parents.
Teenagers all over the world just rolled their eyes.
This epiphany came to me after I met my parents and their best friends – parents of four kids themselves – in Las Vegas last weekend.
Technically, I was the fifth wheel. But, really, I didn’t feel like I was the extra on a double date. I actually felt like a kid again, on vacation with the folks. Except the road trip only took half the time of our typical family road trips. And I wasn’t telling on my brother for crossing the imaginary line that all backseats have when children occupy them.
Someone’s always crossing it.
We did the normal stuff families do on vacation. We visited scenic Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon. We had several meals with bacon – including bacon waffles, peppered bacon strips, and bacon-flavored salt.
Maybe bacon is the real sin in Sin City.
We also played Sex and the City slot machines until we felt like $300 was a good pay out for a slot machine. That was before I hit three Carrie Bradshaws in a row and won a lifetime supply of Cosmopolitans, condoms, and Manolo Blahnik stilettos.
A girl can dream.
I also played craps and roulette, and stood behind my dad while he played blackjack. He will never do that again. My mom and I advised him not to bet all chips on one particular hand when, in retrospect, that would have been his best decision. He would have had a blackjack and won $200 in one hand. Instead he listened to his wife and daughter.
That’s not something I recommend.
Since the typical Vegas shenanigans I experienced were minimal, I had a lot of time to sit and talk with my parents and their friends, Ed and Kathie.
I always knew my parents leaned toward the funny side of life, but I gained a little insight about where the humor originates. A lot of times my dad gets the most credit for his sharp, deadpan wit. But I think, after nearly 40 years of marriage, my mom has the best sense of humor of all.
You have to know my dad to know how serious I am.
As it is with most moms, my mother, Dian, is the one we all turn to when we need help. Especially when we’re hurting, or when we’re sick. To this day, my mother is still there to sit with me and talk when I’m in a bad place – which means mostly on the phone these days. Without her comfort, I know many people in this world – especially me – would be in a sorry state.
She is great at blending sweetness with sternness, because, well, she’s a mom. And that’s what moms do.
I know when I make a bad decision, it’s my mom I’m afraid of disappointing.
Hopefully she is rarely disappointed, even as I’ve decided to pursue comedy. Just as long as that college degree comes in handy on some level, she’ll be fine.
Both my mom and dad have developed a vested interest in my comedy lately, providing me plenty of fodder for joke telling. At dinner at Batista’s Hole-the-Wall in Vegas – one of my favorite old spots in the city – I was even compelled to scribble down on a bar napkin a joke they both composed.
My dad said something to the effect that when he hit it big in Vegas, he was headed to the beach where he would be covered in women and tequila. He is joking here, remember. This is one of those times when saying, “You had to be there,” applies. My dad can say this with a straight face, ending with a small smirk to let people in on the joke. Then, my mom comes back with gold.
“Good to know what you’ll be doing with your half,” she said.
Like the song, I really did get it from my momma.
April E. Clark tried to talk her parents into renewing their vows in Vegas, but her dad wasn’t having it. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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