Disclaimer: These two tales don’t really have to do with working out.
Anyway- Encounter #1:
Scene: Brownline “L” station.
Situation: This station butted up against a bunch of houses, and my son and I were standing on the platform waiting for the train to arrive. From out of what I can only imagine is one of the back windows of a house I hear, “Hey mister! The redcoats are coming! The redcoats are coming!”
I look around.
Sure enough, it’s only me on the platform with my boy strapped to me…and underneath you can see my bright red sweater.
Haha…really funny. Good one, girls. Obviously some sleepover happening.
Then out of the turnstiles comes a young father with a toddling child my way.
The girls are back at it again, yelling, “Hey mister! Watch out for the redcoats!”
“It’s a sweater!” I yell back.
Giggling from the darkness.
Then, “Hey mister! Your daughter walks pretty well!”
As the young dad passes me he says, “He’s a boy…”
I chuckle and loudly inform the girls, “It’s a dude!”
The train pulls up, and me and dad get on the same car. I sit down by the door, and dad and son come and sit next to us.
And then he does the unimaginable…he begins talking to me.
“So, what’s his name?”
This is breaking all sorts of dude codes, but I say, “Findley.”
“Oh! My son’s name is Phineas!”
Yes…we both call them Finn/Phin.
But then he says, “So, where did you deliver?”
My brain misfired at this point because that is a) not a question I was expecting nor b) a question I’ve ever been asked.
So I just stammered, “Uhm…I didn’t.”
And then the train stopped and I left.
In retrospect, I wonder if dad with toddler needed a friend. Our generation is really pretty bad at making friends because we’ve pretty much kept all of our friends from childhood through social media. He was a nice guy; we could have had a beer.
But don’t ask me where I “delivered” unless your an OBGYN and you’re checking in on the reputation of a colleague.
Situation: Finn and I have just left his daycare, and dad is stopping off for his version of a “nite-cap” (aka: coffee)
We sit down next to a woman, and I notice she’s reading the book of Revelation from the Bible.
I immediately say to myself, “Shut up, Tim. Don’t ask anything. You don’t want to know…you don’t want to know…”
But I don’t listen to my own advice, and as I’m unharnessing Finn I say casually, “Weird book you have there.”
“The Bible?” she says, half offended.
“No. The Bible isn’t a book. It’s a library of many books. I mean Revelation.”
…yes, I’m a pretentious jerk from the get go. Not by best moment.
“Oh, Revelations. It’s amazing, right?”
“Yes, well, it’s amazing that REVELATION (emphasizing that there is, in fact, no ‘s’ on the end of the name) made it into the Bible at all.”
…I’m still on the pretentious a-hole kick at this point because, well, that day was not particularly great at work. Please note: I am not proud of this fact. I am amused, but not proud.
She says, “Do you go to church?”
At this point I begin laughing kind of like Clark Griswold does in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Mary at the lingerie counter asks if she can “pull something out for him.” It’s a laugh like, “Oh, you have no idea…”
And then I simply say, “Yes.”
And then she says, “You should come to my church! We have great programs for kids! I teach his age group. I would be all over that little one! He should come sit on my lap. As Jesus says, “Suffer the little ones unto me…'”
At which point I turn to Finn and say, “See buddy…this is why you need to learn to crawl. So you can suffer yourself on up to Jesus.”
And then I grab my coffee, thank her for the invitation, and leave.
On the one hand, I’m a jerk. On the other hand, I’m a jerk.
Really, there are no two ways about it.
But honestly, she had a weird super-happy-creepy vibe to her, and although I think she was just being nice, you’re not going to get me to put my kid on your lap by comparing yourself to Jesus and then utter the word “suffer.”
I applaud her for her zeal. A+
Her delivery? D-
My attitude? G. Because it was much lower than an F.