“Wow!” says my wife. “Cousin Bonnie’s really gotten into piercings. And Ricky Junior is sporting a few fresh tats. He’s got an angel on his shoulder.”
“The angel’s there to keep the monkey off his back,” I say. “He’s a wild one. Wish he’d turn off his Harley.”
We’re at the annual family picnic and my wife is describing the gene pool I can’t see.
“What color is Brittany’s hair this year?”
“Chicago Bears orange. It clashes with her Packers jersey. She’ll need to change one or the other before football season. Here comes Cousin Eddie showing his vacation videos. You’ll be spared that torture. And Aunt Caroline’s snapshots of the grandkids.”
“I doubt Caroline will ask me to babysit anymore. I’ll miss those great games of Hide and Seek.”
“You never did find Little Nellie last year,” says my wife. “I think she hid in that tree all night.”
“But I whacked that piñata before any of those kids got to it,” I say, relishing the memory.
“Honey,” says my wife, “I think today you’re better off not seeing what’s out there.”
“The mere sound of it frightens me.”
“And the amount of flesh on display terrifies me,” says my wife. “When was the dress code abolished? What happened to self-respect? Do I sound old?”
“Well, the radio said the average American woman weighs 165 pounds. And it was rare to find a guy without a pot belly even when I could see. So I ask you—how do we stack up compared to what’s on display here today?”
“Shall I be honest or make up something?”
“Make it believable,” I say. “Age-appropriate is a good image. But flatter me a little. Not so I’m better than anyone, just OK.”