Friday, May 06, 2005
They Are My Sunshine
Mrs. Dadmanly and Little Manly were joined by her two sisters, who are the unexpected blessing of marriage to a large Polish family. The restaurant has a pair of strolling musicians, with an accordion and mandolin, and they play Italian classics, big band, Sinatra, just about what you’d expect.
What they probably don’t often play is Polka.
Mrs. Dadmanly didn’t say whether it was her request, or whether by a twist of irony or humor, the duo started to play polka, “Roll Out the Barrel,” to be precise.
If that weren’t enough, Mrs. Dadmanly started clapping and whooping, with her sisters saying, "Oh brother," and trying to turn invisible in this plush Italian setting.
If you know my wife, you would know she’s just getting started. It stops being embarrassing exactly, after a decade or so, and once you’re beyond a certain point, it’s like your clothes are gone, there you are, and there’s nothing more to do but go the rest of the way and make a grand statement.
So Mrs. Dadmanly went up to the guys and asked them to come to our table and play, picture on these instruments, “You are my Sunshine."
(We’ve raised Little Manly to pray every night as we put him to bed, and our ritual includes singing “You are my Sunshine.”)
These musicians honored her request, and Little Manly was mortified.
Mrs. Dadmanly admits that she keeps forgetting that “her little boy” is a little man now, and Mom continually embarrasses him. "Get over it Little Manly,” she thinks, “or I should say get used to it.”
The next morning, Little Manly told a lady in our bagel shop what I did to him previous night, and she told Little Manly, "Your mother is a crazy person, and you take my phone number, and you call me anytime she does that kinda stuff to you again."
Then, as the crowning embarrassment, Mrs. Dadmanly accompanies Little Manly on a Class Trip after the Bagel Shop. In trying to be the FAIR MOM, she tries to keep a few boys "in line," listening to a museum narrator at the Shaker Museum. And this included Little Manly, who now won’t speak to his mom, because "He was not doing anything,” and she’s his Mother, and she’s not supposed to do that to him, if she’s “going to come on one of these trips."
Mrs. Dadmanly reports that she was the official “scrooge mother of the year,” when she picked Little Manly up at school.
(He really was pretty well behaved, the museum staff picked Little Manly to be the JUNIOR instructor, to teach all his classmates
how to use a loom and weave.)
She also reports that the ice melted later, after she had shared the details of her adventures with me. She hugged Little Manly, kissed him on the cheek, and asked, “Guess who that is from?” and immediately he said, "My Dad!"
They are my sunshine, even thousands of miles and a continent or two away from home.
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