Growing up, we were regaled with stories of my parent's courtship and early marriage years. I've heard some of these stories so many times that I can see the faces and expressions of those involved, even though I wasn't there, just based on their faces when they told the story. This is one of those.
My mother was one of two girls. Growing up, they were often separated, living with different family members due to my grandmother's health. My mom grew up as the oldest and, at times, the youngest. My father, on the other hand, grew up in the classic Irish Catholic home; he was the fifth of eight kids. Of those eight, one died when she was a child. Needless to say, they had somewhat different outlooks on life. For whatever reason, Dad never told Mom about large his family. Personally, I think he didn't want to scare her off.
About two months after Mom and Dad started dating, Dad invited Mom over to his sister Catherine's house for dinner. Catherine was married with two kids. While dinner was being cooked, my dad worked on his motorcycle in Jim's garage. Mom handed Dad the tools he requested. At one point, he stuck his head out from under the bike and said, "so, whatd'ya think? You wanna get hitched?" (Oh yeah, he was a real romantic, my dad was.) And thus, it was settled.
The next week, Dad told Mom "I want you to meet my brother Tom", so off they went to dinner again. This time, there was a wife and two kids again. Mom asked Dad how many kids there were in the family. "Oh, a few", he replied. The next week, Dad took Mom to dinner at my uncle Jim's to meet his wife and three kids. Mom thought for sure she that Jim was the last brother. Dad did say that she had met all his nieces and nephews, so she thought she was safe (if not somewhat overwhelmed by his large family).
Finally, about two weeks later, Dad invited Mom over to his mother's house for Sunday dinner. Thinking she had met everyone, she went expecting a quiet meal with Dad's parents. Not so; Dad still had teenagers Mike and Dorothy to introduce to Mom.
Fast forward eight months. By then, Mom and Dad were married and living in a little apartment. Both of them worked full time, odd hours. Due to their schedule (and general lack of housekeeping knowledge, I think), they would let all the housework pile up all week long. Then, on Saturday, they would join efforts and do a mass cleanup. All the dishes and laundry would get washed and the house would be cleaned up. I'm sure you can imagine what the house looked like by Friday...
Well, one Friday evening about two months after they were married, Mom came home before Dad. As she went to open her apartment door, she realized it wasn't locked. As she walked into the apartment, she saw that all the mess had been cleaned up. The living room was cleaned and vacuumed; the dirty clothes were all picked up and she could hear water running in the kitchen.
"Honey, is that you?", she called. Out from the kitchen came a man my mom had never seen before, wiping a freshly washed plate. "Well", he said, "they were right. You're a cute little thing, but don't you ever wash the dishes?" Mom was shocked to find this stranger who looked so much like her new husband standing in her living room, She figured that Dad had forgotten to mention something. It was soon revealed that he was, indeed, the last brother. His name was John and Dad hadn't mentioned him yet, either, since he wasn't able to attend the wedding.
Because he was in Leavenworth Federal Prison!*
*Naw, he wasn't dangerous; just slippery. He was there for writing bad checks.
And here's some comments from this story:
Goodness, Blond Girl! I've known you for 13 years and you still keep coming up with stories I've never heard! This is a good one. Your uncle John must have been a sweet guy to jump in and help like that, and his comment is just classic!
What a funny story! You and your family are just full of 'em! Thanks for sharing. :-)