You've GOT To Be Kidding!

No. Not kidding. Life is stranger than fiction. And I couldn't have made this up if I tried ...

I was at Walmart Friday afternoon, getting last minute supplies for the party on Saturday. (How do you know you've given a GREAT party? No one will go home, although the invitation clearly says it ends at 2:00. ) Accompanied by four children, I had performed a surgical strike for the few items I needed, hoping against hope to make it a "quick" trip to Walmart. We might have succeeded if only I hadn't chosen the line with the problem price-check!

So ... there we were ... standing patiently in line, resigned to our fate. One baby in the cart, three children unrestrained. To their credit, they were at least quiet, I suppose too busy touching everything to bother with talking. There was one person standing in line between us and the ProblemPriceCheckPerson. She was patiently waiting in line too, boredly watching my family manage to be functional in public. She sighed. She looked at the tabloids right there in our faces. She said "He's such a good boy, its not really his fault" I kinda nodded and looked away, refusing to be dragged into a conversation about the tabloids in front of my children. She continued "Its a shame he can't manage to have the Whole Package -- you know, marriage and kids. He had the marriage, and now he has the kids, but not together. He's such a sweet boy. You know he's from here, right?" She goes on to talk about him ... oddly. Not pushy, but very ... oddly familiar.

The only one really listening to her was Lee (who will talk to a rock if its a good listener) . When he pointed out that he didn't understand how you could have kids without being married (he's six), I decided to intervene. Politely but firmly, more to entrench the moral in his little brain than to enlighten the woman on the scandalous morals of some celebrities, I pointed out that what he did was wrong. That he cheated on his wife. That was unacceptable, and seemed to counter-indicate that he was a "sweet boy". That if he had truly been interested in a family, he and his wife could have considered fertility treatments or adoption. But that it was TACKY for his wife to find out about his affair on the front page of the paper.

She was speechless. I'm pretty sure that she thought I would be on the side of the poor little famous boy who was just misunderstood, whose family didn't like his wife (no matter the persona she projects to HER fans), who just accidentially fell in love with someone else while carrying the burden of international fame. That I would be so sorry for someone that just couldn't manage to have the familial bliss I so obviously have. That I would NOT think him a spineless cad.

She finally managed to stammer something to the effect of "but what does one do in that situation?" to which I replied (as if she were so slow as to miss the obvious) "He should keep his pants zipped, and get a divorce if he's so unhappy that she drives him to consider cheating, don't you think?"

Now, you (meaning my faithful readers) might be thinking "Oh, this is just a story about a woman who mistakenly thought Lucy is like so many who put celebrities on pedestals instead of expecting famous people to act like ... people". To which I would respond, "Indeed, Lucy DOES expect famous people to act like people. If its scandalous when my neighbor does it, its scandalous when a celebrity does it" But, that in and of itself does not make this story fascinating, or startleling, or so weird that you will gasp from the shock.

However, the fact that the woman was his MOTHER should!


Oh, I forgot to mention that she was very pleasent. Just very ... surprised ... that I seemed to think his physical beauty didn't compensate for his lack of morals.

She ended by blinking several times, and then telling my son pointedly that he was lucky he had a good mother.

Lucy | 07/31/2006 - 04:01 PM

You are my hero.

Leni | 07/31/2006 - 05:57 PM

Yeah, I'd be my hero too, except that I didn't realize during the vast majority of the exchange that she was related to him!

I don't think I was so much crusading into battle against all sorts of evil regardless of who was listening as perhaps just trying to engrain in Lee "cheating is tacky and bad" and never imagining it might pertain to someone in listening range personally!

Lucy | 07/31/2006 - 11:26 PM

Oh dear! Somehow, by free-association connect-a-dot, that reminds me of the time in college when some of us were eating together in the cafeteria, and I was going on about the horrors of Mr. Snyder, who had been one of my teachers in high school.

I got finished, and one of the girls at the table said, "Duke Snyder is my uncle."


Paul Burgess | 08/01/2006 - 01:55 PM

I really liked the way you handled that Lucy. YOur son was the best reason and I love that about you.

Janelle | 08/02/2006 - 03:36 AM
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