I decided to leave my phone in the car. I rarely, if ever, do that. It’s an area in my life I’m working hard to improve. Being present. Putting the phone down. Avoiding technology’s distractions and showing whomever I’m with at that specific time that they are more important than my iPhone. I wanted to actually be present at dinner with Chase’s family and not be periodically checking the screen of my phone in the middle of a conversation.
After a lovely dinner, we made our way to my car. I slid into the passenger’s seat and grabbed my phone from the middle console to see what I had missed during my phone-free dinner. During the previous hour, I had two missed calls from my brother, three missed calls from my dad and a text message from him that read “Call me. Please.” I had immediate anxiety. A blanket of fear crept across my body and I worried that the repeated attempts to unsuccessfully reach me was an indication that something horrible had happened. I wasted no time calling my dad to make sure I was just overreacting.
This is a recap of our conversation.
Dad: Answering in a soft, whispering voice as to make sure nobody overheard him, “Hello?”
Me: “Sorry I missed your call. I left my phone in the car. Is everything okay?”
Dad: Still whispering, “Are you at a computer?”
Me: “No. I’m in the car. What’s up?”
Dad: “You have to look at this website. You aren’t going to believe it. I’m just sitting here blown away.”
Me: “What is it?”
Dad: “It’s your mom.”
Me: “Mom is on a website? What’s the web address?”
Dad: “Call me when you get home. This is just too freaky.”
Me: “Is it a dating website?”
Dad: “No. I just can’t believe it. It’s your mom for sure.”
Me: “Just give me the website and I’ll look it up on my phone.”
Dad: “I’m warning you. It is freaky. Call me back as soon as you look at it.” Continuing to whisper almost inaudibly, he spells out the website address, which is at least 30 characters long, as I feverishly write it down on an old deposit slip.
Me: “Dad. What kind of website is this?”
Dad: “I can’t tell you. You have to see it for yourself. Just call me back.”
Confused, I pressed end on the phone and tried to contemplate what had just happened and what was about to happen. My fear had turned into intense curiosity. What kind of website was I about to open if it’s wasn’t a dating website? The frantic phone calls. The softness of his voice. The vague details. All of the signs pointed in the same direction – porn. I was about to see my mom on a porn website.
It isn’t the first time a bomb has gone off and left one of my family members exposed. In fact, my family members are a lot like land mines. Concealed and secretive until one day their lives explode and we’re all left picking up and making sense of the pieces. I like to think I know my mom and based on what I know, I don’t think she’s in the running for any XXX awards. But to be honest, nothing surprises me anymore. I come from a long line of beautiful crazy and it would take something unimaginable and unthinkable to honestly shock me. I wasn’t as worried about knowing my mom was on a naughty website as much as I was about actually seeing my mom on a naughty website. There are some images your memory will never erase.
After a few more phone calls back and forth to my dad and my brother trying to get the website address correct, I finally pulled up the page that had caused such a Friday night fuss among my family. And there it was. A gorgeous blonde haired woman, leisurely sitting outside on some rocks, glancing away from the camera and holding two puppies, one under each arm, to her chest. A chest that was, by the way, completely clothed because it was a website to buy freakin’ German Shepherd puppies in Kansas City. And it wasn’t my mom at all. It was just some random woman who apparently resembles my mom.
And that’s my family. And a glance into my daily life. It’s a constant chaos that frequently leaves me bewildered and mystified. I should have known better. It is isn’t uncommon for someone to call me to tell me they are becoming a race car driver, a millionaire in six months, adopting a child, moving to Colorado-the beach-the mountains-Nevada, going abroad for dental work, opening a car lot-hotdog stand-auto detailing-pound cake bakery-house cleaning business-pumpkin farm. They sent me into full panic mode thinking someone had died to thinking my mom was involved with porn when in reality, it was just something my Dad thought was ironic and wanted to share.
And that’s why I love them. They are dreamers who never stop dreaming. They evoke emotion. They make my life exciting. They give me fun stories to tell and great material to write about. They remind me to have an imagination. I’m glad you can’t pick your family because there is no way I could have chosen a better or more fascinating one. And no, to my knowledge, my mom is in no way involved with porn.