I am off to London, England in just under two weeks (or whenever the paperwork is completed) to take over the new and exciting position I mentioned last week.
I am now kind of surprised at myself for not jumping at the offer the very minute it was dangled in front of me. I mean it is a fantastic promotion, the city is full of life, loads of very hot women and to top that all off, there are pubs and more pubs.
What more could a man need! I am going to be like a kid in a candy store!
I broke the news to my parents right away and they were almost as excited as I was about it. Mom of course was born in London and Dad, who is originally from Aberdeen, was living there when he met her. This was all years ago before they settled here in Canada.
I went over to their place this past weekend for the usual Sunday evening meal which was attended by the whole family.
"I don't know if I can honestly say that London is my favorite city." Dad continued. "Being a born and bred Scot, I'd never admit to it anyway. But it is the place that I met your wonderful mother, so I have very fond memories of it."
I saw his eyes quickly glance over at Mom as he said this, obviously for her benefit. I later learned he had accidently broken her favorite vase earlier in the day and he had been 'sucking up' since then.
Sis of course was in her general foul and combative mood. Being a new mother, I figured she would have mellowed out somewhat, but no such luck.
As I was just explaining that I hoped to make a positive and fresh impact on the new department I am taking over, Sis rudely interrupted.
"I'm sure there will most certainly be an impact - to the pubs and prostitute industry as they will experience a noticable upward swing in business once you arrive." Sis snarled.
I figured if she wanted one of our usual good 'war of words', this was a perfect time for it.
"You actually seem to be gaining weight since little Emily was born." I casually observed aloud. "You are the only new mother that seems to put ON pounds after a child is born. What has it been now 6-7 weeks?"
I figured that would get a rise out of her and either Mom or Dad would tell us both to shut up and act our ages. But nothing. No response from any of them.
"Hmmm," I thought to myself. "This is rather odd. I better 'push the envelope' a wee bit further."
"Oh yeah, Sis." I started. "I forgot to complement you on your new look. That moustache you are starting to sport is really quite becoming."
Sis just shook her head silently, and Mom looking even sadder, got up and started to clear away the dishes.
Dad just chuckled under his breath muttering 'mustache...HAHA...very witty."
This definately was not how my family acts, EVER. What was going on here? Whatever it was, I didn't like it.
The rest of the evening was non-descript with everyone being very cordial to one another. It was all rather eerie. No matter what I said to Sis or anyone, I couldn't get anyone upset at me. And then it finally happened.
Dad got up and announced that he was going to pour himself a small drink of scotch.
Not thinking, I slapped him on the back and laughingly exclaimed "Well old Simon, I'll join you if you break out your good stuff and not the cheap 'rot gut' that you offer your usual guests."
That did it. Dad exploded.
"Boy, you are still not too old for me to knock some manners into you." He seathed. "You will address me as either Dad, Father, Sir or something equally as appropriate. Do you understand ? Am I making myself clear?"
"Yes Dad." I responded rather sheepishly. Deep down though I was kind of happy that at least he was treating me normal tonight, both Mom and Sis had been so silent & looking like they were going to cry that it was really depressing.
"Now come out to the garage with me and you can help me change the tire on the car before you go home." Dad barked.
As I entered the garage, I noticed immediately there was no flat tire. The car was fine.
"Have a shot of this, boy." Dad said as he pulled out one of his most expensive and rare bottles of scotch. I knew he had this for years and had never opened it as he had been "saving it for a special occasion". I assumed it was gone years ago as I had not seen it for so long.
"I figured us men would have a few drinks. The women are all sad and teary eyed that you are moving overseas. Too emotional, these women."
He then smiled & handed me a rather large glass and then poured himself one. "I always told you I was saving
this bottle for a special occasion if you recall. Well I can't think of a more special occasion then this, since we may not be seeing each other for quite some time after you leave."
I was quite taken aback by this. I had never seen this side of Dad in all my years. It was kinda cool.
As I was just starting to say how much I would miss everyone, Dad quickly interrupted.
"Shut up, boy. I have a toast to make tonight. Save your blubbering for the women." He laughed.
With that he raised his glass in the air and recited the following old quotation.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain
fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand."
Now it was my turn to get a little emotional but I knew that would definately not go over well with Dad at all. I quickly poured myself another drink hoping he did not notice my expression.
Man, this saying goodbye stuff is harder than I thought and I still have a couple weeks to go.
I'll be back next week with my final entry.