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When do we all grow up?

It’s no fun poking fun when things aren’t funny; when someone gets a conscience and repents.

So goes David, Al’s brother, the seventy-seven year old great-grandfather of all Casanovas.

When David called, I asked him about his girlfriends.

He said he was giving up on them for awhile.

Wow! What can I write about? That’s no fun. It trickles off my fingers when I write about the twenty-two, Double D’s with the two-year-old twins, who tore up his television schedule. Now he calls Al every week for the weekly schedule. She is double trouble and has gone on to someone else.

Then, there is the woman from South Padre Island, who is still married to a man in Albuquerque and hopes to get a divorce eventually. She opened a gambling casino there with her sister. Her sister stole all her money and calls David daily for sympathy.

He said, finally, “She has too much baggage. I’m not going with her anymore.”

You think? I reminded him that her husband might shoot him.

He said, “And there is that, too.”

There is a new girl on the block who walked into his restaurant, and by his description, is a knock-down, drag-out-gorgeous, thirty-year-old. Her number is in his phone in case he decides to call, but he has sworn off women for awhile. This gorgeous little thing has been married three times. David knows her last ex-husband, and says he has been married to everyone in Albuquerque. David is still holding on to her number, just in case.

He says he sees his ex-wife out in the clubbing scene every night. She is now forty-eight, lonely and looking for her youth and love. She is out there with a slew of forty and fifty-year-old women looking for the same thing. I remember when he married her. She was a cute little thing.

He says, the women are not going to find what they are looking for. He tells me it is really sad out there, really sad.

Is this David, the Casanova, my brother-in-law, who is finally growing up?

Maybe it’s the trouble at home that is making David grow up. His two boys, who were raised with too much money, are now 46 and 48 years old. They are both messes. One can’t keep a job and is living with his mother, the other has anger and other issues.

David’s son’s ex-wife is angrier than he is and she is also vindictive. She had him thrown into jail, and when he was released, she had the newspaper reporter there. With a front tooth missing, on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal, he claimed he was the poster boy and was framed. The newspaper wrote how the wealthy escape jail and he had escaped the court system. He lost his front tooth in a drunken brawl and he thinks it is a badge of honor and he is proud of it.

Oh, me!

So, guess who is the stable one in the whole lot?

David is.

He has paid for attorney after attorney, kept his boys out of jail, put them up, took them in.

Believe it or not, David is the good guy here. He is the one who is called when there is a knock-down fight and he is the only one who seems to quiet down their family. His heart is breaking for his kids.

So, when seventy-seven-year-old David confessed to me that he had made a lot of mistakes, my heart caved in and cried for him. I told him we have all made a lot of mistakes and it is the grace of God that we need in order to get through this life.

We are all growing up. If we don’t, our kid’s problems will insist we do. We will spend the rest our life undoing what we have done.

Well, Sweet Al hasn’t had to dodge a frying pan lately, and by God’s grace I haven’t needed a Get Out of Jail Free Card. And maybe that is what grace is: a Get Out of Jail Free Card. A lot of prayer, patience and grace have kept Al and I out of the police blotter and off the front page of the newspaper.

Final brushstroke: Well, I’ll be darned, I think David is growing up. Eventually we all have to, either by choice or by life aging us.

Artist quote

“Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine.” — Kathleen Norris.

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