Nowadays, it is fashionable to rewrite history.
Such efforts are the result of wishful thinking or political correctness. In either case, please remember, accuracy is not the intent of the revisionist. Although the modifier is serious about his version of the facts, the results tend to be either groan-worthy or downright hilarious.
These folks take themselves and their opinions seriously. So, as a word of caution, please wait to burst out laughing until they are out of earshot. Laughing at some folks’ efforts may result in bloodshed or a fistfight between the laugher and the person who has lost touch with the truth.
We all have childhood or later memories that, upon further consideration, we would love to rewrite. In the case of youthful memories, we yearn to create a happier or more acceptable outcome than what we recall.
Before we get started, please note that overall, this writer had a great relationship with her father. We could talk about anything without him being judgmental. On the other hand, her mother had a fairly clear black and white outlook on behavior. There were no grey areas in her life view.
It is also important for the reader to know, this woman’s parents were from Europe, and the men of her father’s generation tended toward lording it over their families. Consequently, this writer’s recollections of her father’s interactions with his wife and the rest of the family begged for her to perform a bit of cosmetic surgery on certain events. The way things should have happened.
Let’s look at a couple of snapshots and how she would like to revise them.
Mornings tend to put folks in two camps: the grumpy ones and the cheerful ones. Upbeat personalities, like our mother, tend to make the grumps even grumpier.
The bathroom in the house where the following event occurred had a mirror over the sink with a narrow shelf under it. Father was nearsighted, and without his glasses, he was nearly blind. Therefore, any task he undertook, including shaving, required him to wear his glasses.
It was an average morning. Father got up, performed his morning ablutions, and shaved. Then he went to the kitchen, sat down, and waited for our mother to serve him his coffee and breakfast. Her attention was on carrying the food to the table and not on him.
Father looked down at his breakfast, then at his wife and frowned.
“Do you notice anything different,” he asked.
Since his wife was busy preparing breakfast for the rest of us, she barely glanced at him and replied, “No.”
Father became upset and demanded she look at his face. Mother did so and then laughed. Her nearsighted husband had shaved off half of his mustache.
“How did that happen?” she asked.
“I was tired and did not pay attention to what I was doing,” he replied.
To commemorate that chuckle-worthy moment, his wife embroidered a cloth for the bathroom shelf. The picture showed a man squinting into the mirror and shaving his reflection instead of his face.
The revised version: Father would walk into the kitchen. Kiss his wife and say, “Good morning.” She would smile at him and immediately notice the half-shaved mustache.
Since we lived close to the university where our father taught, he always came home for lunch. Usually, the food was on the table, ready for him to gobble up. He rarely ate slowly enough for his taste buds to even registered that he had eaten.
When he walked into the kitchen, his wife was a few steps away from the table with his plate in her hand.
The lord of the castle became upset and scolded her for not having his meal on the table. As was often the case, the lady said nothing.
The revised version: Even though time has cooled this writer’s temper, there was a time volcanic temper eruptions were, sad to admit, common. Consequently, if her father had yelled at his daughter for slow food delivery, she would have dumped the lunch on his head and said, “Enjoy your lunch.”