Sunday, October 3, 2010

I didn't know I had it in me!

While in Indiana recently, Beloved and I spent two-and-a-half hours with an ex-girlfriend of mine, eating breakfast. Not that we ate breakfast for two-and-a-half hours (though I wouldn't have minded a second helping of biscuits and gravy), but we sat in the restaurant that long, swapping stories and catching each other up on what had happened in the 15 years that had passed since we last saw each other.

Contrary to what some of you might be thinking about a face-to-face between an old flame and a current flame, there were no emotional fireworks. Two reasons: 1) Beloved happens to think the old flame is a very nice, interesting person; and 2) Beloved knows she owns my heart (and half of all my worldly goods).

The best thing I gained from the morning (in addition to a bit of plaque in my arteries) was hearing the story of something I did in my late teens...something that I had no memory of whatsoever, but which fills me with belated pride.


A small group of us had been the entertainment for a monthly meeting of the Elks or Lions or Fraternal Order of the Manly Muskrats. After thrilling them with a condensed version of The Wizard of Oz, we piled into OldFlame's car. As she was backing out of the parking spot, she ran into a pole, denting the rear fender of her parents' car.

Burying her head in her hands, OldFlame lamented, "Oh no! I'm going to be in so much trouble!"

We drove to her house and I told her to wait at the car. "Let me handle this."

I went into the house and gravely spoke with OldFlame's mother, who we lovingly referred to as "Ina Mae," which was very convenient, as that also happened to be her name.

"Ina Mae...we were in an accident."

Motherly instincts boiling over, Ina Mae asked, "Is everybody all right?!!?"

"Yes. We're okay. It just dented the fender."

"Oh, well, thank goodness!"

* * * * * * *

I actually got her to be thankful for a dented fender! Pretty good for a sixteen-year-old theater geek.

Epilogue: Apparently, OldFlame's dad didn't take the news with quite the same level of gratitude.

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