Friday, June 16, 2017

Ch 2 January Sly says he is glad his sons didn’t have to be in the military and it’s not because he suffered so much – he was on a ship during peacetime, unlike my father, who actually went to war and whose death was caused by exposure to Agent Orange – but because – I don’t know why

Primo: My dad asked what rank your dad was.

Me: Why?

Primo: Why what?

Me: Why did he ask that?

Primo: I don’t know. He was in the navy for a few years and when I told him your dad was career air force, he asked what his rank was. Why wouldn’t he ask?

Me: Because asking someone’s rank is the equivalent of asking a civilian not only how much money he makes but where he stands socially. It is actually a very rude question. A civilian might not know that, but your dad would know for sure. When I was at my friend Julie’s wedding breakfast,[1] another guest, whose son was the aide de camp for some general, asked me what rank my dad was. The second I told her, she turned her back on me and talked to someone else. She knew that my dad could not help her son get promoted.

Primo: Oh. I didn’t know that. So I told him.

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: And he said, “He sure didn’t get very high, did he?”

Me: This coming from someone who was in the navy only because he would have been drafted into the army otherwise? Not because he had a sincere desire to serve his country? And who didn’t get promoted past lieutenant jg? Nice.

Primo: I know. Anyhow, he said he was glad that my brothers and I did not have to be in the military the way he was. Then he said it’s not like the military would have taken us anyway.

Me: Why not?

Primo: Because Ted and Jack have asthma and I have flat feet.

Me: I didn’t know you had flat feet!

Primo: I don’t. And Ted and Jack do not have asthma.

Me: But your dad says you do. So you must.

Primo: My dad is wrong.

Me: I’ll bet nobody has ever said that to his face.

[1] Totally not relevant, but when has that ever stopped me – that breakfast was where I learned how wonderful grits can be. In college, the grits were watery and bland. Julie’s breakfast grits had butter, cream, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese in them, which made them as wonderful as you might imagine.


  1. She asked outright? Tacky. Whatever happened to "Oh, I met a Sergeant Digger the other day, was that your Daddy?" And then you say, "No Ma'am, my father is Lieutenant Digger, stationed Far Away."

    Or, "Oh, my son is aide de camp for some general! Do you know Some General? No? Well, maybe your father knows him... do you think your father knows Some General, and might have met my boy?" Still annoying, but at least in the realm of polite conversation from a mother who is really only capable of talking about her baby boy.

  2. Aw yea and no calories in those grits either!