My adult daughter and I share a few personality traits, and anyone who knows either of us would instantly recognize those shared connections. For one thing, we both have problems with folks who consider themselves "authority figures", especially those who haven't earned that title by anyone's estimation. I like to tell people she was born middle finger first, although I'm pretty sure that's not exactly how she made her arrival.
Several years ago she made a habit of obtaining, and then losing, a series of menial jobs in the fast food service industry, usually because of her refusal to take unnecessary shit from managers or customers. In that regard, we differ slightly. I kept a job I hated at a factory for thirty-five years, despite multiple temptations to flip off a boss or bitch-slap someone who desperately needed it... proof (somewhat) of some degree of self restraint on my part.
But my daughter lacks that "you better shut the hell up" gene. A customer at one restaurant pushed her buttons one evening when she wasn't feeling particularly chipper, and my daughter's smartass reply cost her that job. Asked if the "patty melt on the menu is going to be warm", she replied, "The word warm ought to be a clue, ma'am."
Sounded reasonable, to me. But then, most of her termination stories went that way. Everything would be fine, until... someone tried to act like her boss, or one too many customers simply demanded a verbal rebuke. It was always something minor.
But she's gone back to school, acquired a Masters degree, and she's probably the best writer you've never read. If anyone is bold enough to publish one of her novels, you can tell people you heard about her here, first. I have no doubt you'll know her name well one of these days. She's that talented.
At this very moment, she's waiting for the contractions to start. Her due date is still a week away, but she insists her little bundle of joy isn't going to hang around in the oven much longer. It's her first child, and will be my first grandchild upon arrival. We're excited. Sort of. I mean, I'm cool with the grandchild thing, but don't really think I'm in any way old enough (maturity-wise) to be someone's grandfather. Grandfathers are supposed to be wise, solid individuals a kid looks up to for advice. I'm still looking around for advice, myself. As Paula Poundstone once said, "The reason adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up, is because we're looking for ideas!"
Anyway, I called my daughter in Virginia yesterday and asked how she was doing. She gave me an update on the last ultrasound, let me know what my soon-to-arrive grandson's name would be, and then told me the story that is the basis for this post.
Seems she and the baby's dad were taking a tour of the birthing center where this is all scheduled to take place, and the elderly nurse who was showing them around gave them an inspirational little speech about how much she loved her job, saying, "Every day I watch the world change. Every birth changes the world. Just think! The next child born might turn out to be the next Mother Teresa!"
And that's when my daughter blurted out something she instantly regretted saying:
"Yeah... or Hitler."
She said this woman's face just dropped, and she stood them in stunned silence processing the comment.
"Dad, this sense of humor you've passed along isn't always a good thing! I don't know why I said Hitler! Of all the names I could have said, why Hitler? She just looked so sad..."
That grandson of mine is going to have his hands full trying to get over on his mom. And I'm looking forward to watching that process as it works itself out. God knows, she gave me and her mom fits. I figure the Hooey Gods owe her at least five or ten years worth of grief for all the gray hair she put on MY head...
(Here's a link to a previous story about this child from when she was but a baby herself. It was the first time she scared the hell out of me, for what it's worth...)