Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another Story for the Parental Archive

This past weekend, Mr. Wonderful and I took my parents to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Hollywood as a belated Father's Day gift for my dad. In traditional fashion, my mom showed up with holiday gifts in tow. A wooden "Merry Christmas" sign and a sprig of real mistletoe for us to hang somewhere in the house. As if newlyweds need parasitic plants around to prompt them to kiss...

Having not visited since the spring, my mom and dad were very interested in all the details of our house. They loved seeing our holiday decorations and the new coffee table Mr. W built (future post to come...and by the way, I was in a furniture store recently and noticed that they're now calling them "cocktail tables"—is this a new thing?). In the hallway, my mom temporarily confused a picture of her own mother-in-law with Mr. W's grandma, saying, "That looks just like Grandma Hetherington!" Yes, that's because it is Grandma Hetherington.

When my dad put his glasses on in the hall to inspect all the pictures a bit more closely, he too malfunctioned:

I immediately started to laugh, and he very dramatically yanked them from his face and stared at them in horror, declaring, "I thought one of my eyes had gone bad!"

This isn't the first time my dad's been convinced he has lost his sight. He has a tendency to immediately jump to the worst-case scenario rather than think logically for a moment that perhaps it's just dark or there's a lens missing from his glasses.

My mom was standing in a nearby doorway doing the silent cackle we know so well as the precursor to pants-peeing incidents. Like the one before Christmas in 2008. Mr. W later said he was very worried that she would have to borrow a pair of his jeans to wear to the museum.

Thankfully, we all left the house dry and sighted.

The best part of touring the museum with my parents was all the stories they shared as we looked at the different cars. A refurbished streetcar reminded my mom of how she used to take the "dinky" from Montrose to Glendale as a kid. Another car sparked a story about a thief jumping on the running board of my great grandparents' Ford (or was it a Chrysler...or a Studebaker...) and reaching inside trying to steal my great grandmother's jewels right from her neck. The race cars brought up a tale of my grandpa's cousin who had been a professional driver and lost his leg in a crash. And the suburban garage display of course reminded us of what my parents' garage looked like for years and years.

Mr. W and I took them to lunch at Umami Burger when we were all through, and tried not to be too embarrassed as my dad read the menu with one hand covering the missing lens of his glasses.

Near the register at Umami, there was a tray of homemade ding dongs that somehow my mother heard the waiter say were "favors." As though that's the new thing in Hollywood—you go to a restaurant and then you get a little gift for dining there. I think the waiter was describing the "flavors."

So I have one blind parent and one deaf one...

Overall, it was a highly entertaining day made better by the stories that were told to us—and created by my parents' hijinks. We may take them out again on the town sometime soon. As long as my dad vows to buy new glasses and my mom promises not to have to borrow any of Mr. W's jeans.


  1. I love parent stories. Non stop blog fodder. I laughed at your mom and dad numerous times here. Tell them thanks.

  2. Your family stories are always so entertaining. :-)

    I wish restaurants gave out homemade ding dongs!

    It reminds me of when I went to the theater with my Mom. At intermission I went to the restroom while she waited in the lobby. When I came back she was drinking a cocktail and I was like "where did you get that?" and she said they were just sitting there seemingly for free on the bar. Um, no. My mom stole someone's pre-paid cocktail order!

  3. Y'all are hilarious! I love you love spending time with your family. Not many people are so lucky as to enjoy loved ones to the extent you do!

  4. So, is that why everyone on the H side of the family seems to be SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS during casual conversation at the holiday get togethers? In fact, that trait has clearly rubbed off on Big Sis on my side. I will miss the brunch this year, but can't say I'll miss the ensuing headache. ; )

  5. So my sister called to tell me to read this post, and I happened to be having dinner with my parents when she called. My mom's response..."oh, is it about Sunday? and then she proceeds to tell my dad what happened with your dad's glasses, and how this exact same thing has happened to her before in a restaurant"...my dad's response..."did they have to use a wet/dry vac to clean up Denice". Good lord...we may have to put them all into a home sooner than we thought. Like BEFORE Christmas.

    Oh, and a few years back Danny and I were riding bikes through the harbor and my parents happened to be driving by and my mom told my dad...that looks just like Laura! So obviously they come from the same gene pool (not that this hasn't been proven time and time again).

    Can't wait for the post-Christmas post! (wait...I used the word post twice in one sentence..hmphm).

  6. I'm sad I missed this missing lens incident. Sounds like a typical gathering of 2 or more Hetheringtons in the same vicinity.

  7. Too funny! I hear people say all the time they could write a book with the stuff their kids say. I think my mother alone could fill volumes!

  8. Well you can chalk that up to a comedy of errors! But I do have to say, I am flattered that Mr. W would think I could even fit into a pair of his jeans!
    All in all, we had a wonderful day with you. Thank you.

  9. Wow TWA - You always have great parent stories on your blog. Maybe we need to start a co-op blog dedicated to this sort of content...

    Sizzle - That is so funny! Did you guys just make a run for it or did you go back and pay? I love it.

    Nilsa - It's easy to want to spend time with them when they're so entertaining!

    HunnerWoof - I have no idea what you're talking about.

    Laura - I love that your dad said that. It made me laugh all night. And my mother got a kick out of it. I'm sure there will be more tales after the holiday for sure.

    Sister - I know you can envision it perfectly, though. The dramatic scared look as he pulled off his glasses to make sure he wasn't blind...

    Lesley - Totally! Look at the guy who started Sh*t My Dad Says - he totally took off. Parents produce great material. :)

    Mom - It's ALWAYS a comedy of errors. And you're welcome.

  10. I wished I had been warned before reading this.......I would have dawned my Appends attire. Too frickin' funny. This is what I love about the Hetherington Family. My kids don't particularly find these things funny either, but I laughed my ass off!!!!! Perhaps because I can totally relate to it??????

  11. Life in Paradise - I was hoping you would read this! My mom and I knew you would love the story. And yes, you would have had to be "cleaned up with the wet/dry vac" if you had been there!


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