In 1986, I was 23-year old stockbroker living in Greenbelt, Maryland. After a five-year effort, I was finally an alumni of THE University of Maryland at College Park!
Other than the diploma and job, you might not notice many other differences in my life. I still lived with Bruce Berlin and Kenny Abramowitz, my roommates from my “super-senior” year as a Terp!
That night, Kenny and I cleaned up well for the girls of Delta Phi Epsilon. That's me rocking the blue velvet smoking jacket.
During my eight years living in Maryland my parents were regular visitors. Never wanting to take too much time off from behind the counter at Tremont Paint, they would typically make the three-and-a-half-hour drive from White Plains to College Park on Saturday afternoon after the store closed, before returning home on Sunday.
Meeting my parents at the front door of my apartment, my mother gave me the traditional Lipton family greeting after a long car ride:
"Your father refused to stop. Where’s the bathroom?”
In less than half the time it took my mother to walk to the bathroom, she returned.
“Take me to the hotel” she said to said to my father. “I won’t sit in there!”
I guess it was only the girls of "D Phi E" we cleaned up for!
Home on the Range
After four days by the campfire in THE Texas Hill country, my “fiancéeic” Guy and I headed back to Austin to lasso a pair of cowgirl boots and to spend a few more days with my masterpiece!
The Buck of course is my 23-year old daughter Buck Wheat who in October added her beat to the ranks of those who make Austin THE live music capital of the world!
It's Time to Go
In the 2007 movie The Bucket List, the character Edward, played by Jack Nicholson shares that there are three things to remember as you get older." The one I can tell you about is, “never pass a bathroom.”
This is a family blog so you’ll have to Google the other two yourselves.
Steaming towards my 58th birthday, I appreciate Nicholson's advice. And so before leaving THE Buck’s apartment after a pre-dinner drive-by, I made a “pit stop.”
Which was what got me thinking about my mother in 1986!
Buck wouldn't let me publish the picture! That will give you an idea how bad we're talkin'!
If you are reading this and are a parent you know that the older your kids get, the less of your advice they want to hear. Not wanting to waste the words, and wanting to keep my powder dry in-case I was asked about the "boyfriendic," I held my tongue.
Which is not my natural state.
THESE Boots, Are (Hand) Made for Walkin'
If you are a regular reader you may be thinking, "Mark, didn't you buy Guy a pair of boots when you were in Texas in March of last year?"
I did! Would you like them? Because she didn't.
So for parts of each of the five-days my fianceeic Guy and I spent in Austin, we braided our way across the Texas capital looking to add to Guy's cowboy boot collection. As we shopped, Buck Wheat updated us on all the crucial topics: summer travel plans, career, health and of course, the new boyfriendic!
You have to be fast with your words if you want to be more than a listener when Buck is around. I'm fine just listening. Anyway, my silence saves Buck the trouble of working out her eye-rolling muscles.
Nothing Lasts Forever
Three days after I wish I hadn't taken Jack Nicholson's advice it was time to head back to the un-armed state of Connecticut. I hugged my daughter goodbye, with no plans to see her again until June.
As we embraced, I felt that the physical connection gave me an opportunity. A single moment! Maybe I could find some words which would help my progeny navigate through the treacherous waters of becoming an adult.
Perhaps I had some wisdom which would help her safely plan her summer, or impress her new boss?
Maybe a reminder to take it slow with the new boyfriendic?
As I put my lips to her ears and prepared to speak, I readied the words to address her most pressing need.
If her bathroom is clean when her mother get's there next week, I'll know she listened!
THE Last Word
The next time you hear from me, I'll get back to talking paint, paint dealers and e-commerce. Before that happens though, I wanted to say thank you.
When I lay off the paint topics, readership generally goes up and this trip was not exception.
I enjoy the time off task! And the opportunity to share a few more stories of my confounding family. I hope that in my words and stories, that you can feel how much love I have for the two amazing women I share my heart with; My daughter Miranda and my fianceeic, servant and master Gaetana, Guy!