Since it is Halloween, I will tell a true-life horror story.
During college I lived on-campus, but I came home regularly to wash clothes, eat home-cooked meals, study, and just hang out with Mom and Dad. Although Mom and Dad built a custom home just before I started college, and this house wasn’t my childhood home, they did build a small bedroom for me and they gave me a key to come and go freely. That worked pretty well until one horrifying afternoon when my eyeballs were seared with an image that I can’t forget, even now.
I have written before about my mother’s “assets”. My father makes no secret of his love and admiration of his wife (46 years now and counting), and her physical proportions. And, growing up, Mom and Dad kissed and hugged each other routinely in our presence, often causing my sister and me to groan and roll our eyes. Really, when you are a teenager, who wants to consider their parents doing “it”? Especially when “it” is generally still a mystery other than perhaps a basic health class or two. Even the frankly clinical birds and bees discussion with the aid of the World Book Encyclopedia plastic multi-page overlay colored illustrations delivered one afternoon in the family room by my mother, without me even asking for such knowledge, did not clear up the mystery. And applying such information to our parents, well, blecchh.
One spring afternoon I came home to do laundry and hang out. Mom and I whiled away the afternoon. My laundry was finished and folded just about the time Oprah came on, about 4 p.m. Dad wouldn’t be home from his office until about 5:30 p.m., and I had other things to do on campus. So, I left. I drove away, and just down the street I remembered I had left something or another at the house. I turned around and pulled into the half-circle driveway, bounded up the front steps, and used my key to open the front door and step into the foyer. I had only been gone five minutes, and certainly not as many as ten minutes.
My mother, hearing the door open, stepped into the foyer. Except that Mom wasn‘t expecting me. She was expecting someone else. She emerged from the hallway and upon seeing me she was not happy, not happy at all, to greet me in the foyer. “SUZY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?” My mother was now wearing a floor length black negligee with an extremely plunging neckline. Extremely. This was not Oprah watching attire. I left her in house clothes and came back mere minutes later to find Elvira, Mistress of the Dark right there in suburbia. Stunned, I could only stammer, “Um, um….what are you doing? I mean, I was just here.” Mom vaguely stuttered something about she expected Dad home early and I had to leave immediately. She was slightly frantic when she said “immediately”.
I left even quicker than immediately. I do not know whether their afternoon was delightful or not, but my afternoon was quite disturbing.