I had the pleasure, recently, of being in Tulsa, OK for the first of many Centennial Celebrations. Oklahoma has made it to 99 years old. Either we’re just getting an early start or the education system is in worse shape than I thought. As usual we were traveling with our children—all four under the age of six. While this might sound like a daunting task, we took it in stride. They’re good kids as long as they get their naps and stay fed they generally behave pretty well.
We were staying at the Doubletree downtown. Our twelfth floor room actually had a pretty phenomenal view of downtown and the laser show and probably the fireworks. (We were having a barfing episode during those.) So it was a long elevator ride either way and the kids loved it.
On one of these occasions I had herded them all into the elevator and we hit at least five floors on the way down. One couple deferred “Man, you got your hands full” I heard. The next two men stepped in, looked at me and the kids and exchanged that look which among men says, “Whoa, that could be me.” Sometimes is sad, most times it’s relieved. This time it was the latter. They were the large ruggedly handsome regular gym membership types. Grinning their little grins the one on the left says, “Man you got your hands full.” My standard reply has become, “Hands full of joy you mean” but I’m beginning to hate that sequence of words.
Oh did I mention the incredibly lovely girl who had gotten on with them? Probably 22ish nice clothes, clean and perfumed and taking in the whole scene—I could see her face fall a little during their exchange. Is there any hope? Can a beautiful girl find a man who actually wants to settle down and have a family? I didn’t have any encouragement for her. “It’s not so bad” I said as the door dinged open and I herded them out. I understand what happened in those few seconds. Pretty much the entire focus of my life was in that elevator but it was completely marginalized by the Bicep Twins. By now I’m used to it but it was a bit of a shock to that girl on the elevator. No wonder the American family seems to be circling the drain. These boys were way too interested in their biceps to think about family as anything but an inconvenience even though there was a ring-less and by anyone’s standards quite eligible young woman standing in an elevator with them. I mean, I was juggling four kids, their luggage, and trying to speak intelligently, a chore under any circumstances, and I noticed she was single.
There’s something wrong there.
[more to follow]