Friday, January 16, 2009

The Hickey

When I wrote last week about my new haircut and Justin's grandfather, it brought back all kinds of memories from those early years with Justin. Some of them were sweet and romantic, reminding me of why I began to love him all those years ago. Others were funny and embarrassing.

This is one of the latter. And being one of my few memories about Gramps, I am grateful for it. Yes, I just said I was grateful for an embarrassing moment. (Is it snowing in H-E-double hockey sticks?) (If it's this cold here, surely it's near freezing there.)

(Don't you love parenthesis?)

This particular memory happened on the same day that Gramps saw my million-dollar haircut. He was in the hospital in Wichita, and we had come for a weekend visit.

A few days before this visit, I gave Justin a -gasp- hickey as a joke. He told me he'd never had one before and neither had I. Nor had either of us ever given one. Chaos ensued, with us wrestling to try to mark the other with an ugly hickey. I won (probably because Justin was laughing too hard at my lack of strength; I sure showed him!) and placed a lone bruise on the back of his shoulder.

Somehow, his mom noticed it one day when he was getting dressed, and he told her it was from a soccer accident. Believable, huh? Isn't it really common for a large round soccer ball to leave a small round bruise on a shoulder bone?

So, that weekend we left for Wichita. My hickey was still very noticeable...I had no idea they lasted that long. While we were talking with Gramps, the subject turned to Justin's soccer team, and how much time he spent playing or practicing. We were just trying to keep the conversation on light topics, and Gramps had always been proud of Justin's athletic abilities.

I could almost feel it coming...soccer...bruises...hickies...oh...no....

I tried to steer the conversation elsewhere, but, hi? Have you met me? Small talk and I do not mix well.

Before I knew it, Justin's mom said, "Just look at this terrible bruise he got from his last game..." and quickly lifted his shirt all the way up to his shoulder.

There sat the hickey. I think its color was heightened by the reflection from my shining red face.

Gramps, without missing a beat, chuckled and said, "That's no bruise...That's a LOVE BITE!"

Oh, it's funny now. But all I could think at the time was, "this poor old man must think his grandson has gotten involved with a trashy...hickey-giver!" I wanted to yell, "NO! It was just a joke! I swear!" But, hi again? Do you know me? All the blood gets diverted to my cheeks in times like these, so my brain is left without knowing one measly sensible word to utter.

I think I sweated through my shirt all the way down to my elbows before the subject finally, blessedly, was changed.

No more hickies for us, thanks. I don't recommend them at all.

1 comment:

  1. I have personal knowledge of a pinch on the neck that looked like a hickey. I wasn't the pincher or the pinchee, but the guy whose neck was involved claimed that his wife was some type of upset when she saw what looked like a "lovebite" on her husband's neck. Just one of those stupid games that guys play in factories. You know, the kind where one says he won't flinch, the other says "oh yeah???...." and then some type of stupid pops out.

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?