Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: Mom finds it disappointing, though not surprising, that, since the argument last month, Dad has dyed his hair brown, bought a fancy new car, and taken to wearing Loose Fit blue jeans, proving that he is out of touch with gray-haired, old-car-driving, Classic Fit–wearing Americans. The effort is emblematic of 20 years of failed Dad policies, not to mention a misuse of family funds, providing a glimpse of how Dad would embarrass the whole family, instead of just himself, if forgiven.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: Dad’s actions are a direct result of Mom’s “Sleeping in Separate Beds” policy, for which he plans to seek reparations when forgiven, and which Mom enacted, in a shameless effort to dredge up past grievances, on September 4, the 22nd anniversary of Grandma’s historic “But He’s Jewish” speech.
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: It may interest Dad to know that when Mom implemented the “Sleeping in Separate Beds” initiative, on September 4, it was not, as she claimed at the time, because she suffers from restless-legs syndrome.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: The revelation that she lied about restless-legs syndrome, a debilitating condition affecting millions of Americans and therefore not to be kicked around, is indicative of Mom’s long-standing culture of deception, though it’s just as well, since Dad has a long record of not really wanting to touch varicose veins. Oh, did Mom really think Dad didn’t notice? Dad’s noble refusal to utter the words “gross” or “so, so sick” in reference to the veins, or to say during car trips that “we’re not there yet, but we’re getting varicose,” reflects the tone of civility that has been the hallmark of Dad since his life began, about three months after his conception. And Mom’s lies are all the more startling in light of the fact that Dad is an American hero.
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: Mom has repeatedly expressed her utmost respect and gratitude to Dad for the two hours he spent locked in the second-floor bathroom at the 2003 Stevenson dinner party.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: Dad’s two hours and twelve minutes in the bathroom, during which Mom indulged in the carefree, selfish practice of feeding herself, exposed the faulty lock installed on the Stevenson bathroom door and directly led to its replacement. At a subsequent holiday party in 2007, Dad returned to the second-floor bathroom, in spite of the lingering trauma and Carol Stevenson’s announcement that the first-floor powder room, which was much closer, had just been redone.
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: Mom has repeatedly acknowledged Dad’s courage in returning to the bathroom and has the utmost respect for him and other Americans who, because of faulty locks or their own gross incompetence, get locked in.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: Mom’s acknowledgment of Dad’s heroism rings hollow, since Mom joked to Carol Stevenson after the party that Dad was not actually locked in the bathroom but seeking refuge because he hated having to hear Don and Cindy Blake brag about their son Ronald and the Princeton rowing team.
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: Mom has always felt that Don Blake is a tool.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: Mom’s characterization of Don Blake as “a tool” is refreshing and accurate. If only Mom would bring the same sound judgment to the other pressing issues affecting the marriage. Also, why didn’t Mom come to check on Dad in the bathroom after, say, an hour?
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: Mom finds it telling that Dad has been unable to, so to speak, flush the toilets of the past, to metaphorically take off the porcelain lid and reach his hand down into the water and reattach the chain to the thingy. Instead, Dad prefers to revel in the relative glory of the bathroom incident over drinks at the local bar rather than move forward and confront issues affecting the marriage today.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: It is ironic for Mom to call on Dad to sever his ties with the Thirsty Bishop, a venerable neighborhood watering hole, since it was there, in 1986, that Dad realized he wanted to marry Mom. Consumed by love, Dad downgraded immediately from Budweiser to Pabst Blue Ribbon, and also stopped tipping, a sacrifice he was more than willing to make while he saved for an engagement ring.
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: Mom didn’t know that.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: Mom was all Dad could think about. Dad didn’t quote poetry, like an East Coast elitist, or try to speak French, like a French guy visiting the East Coast, but expressed his love like a common American man, in tired clichés.
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: Mom remembers when Dad said, “You take my breath away,” and Mom was startled, because his flushed complexion and hyperventilation suggested at first that he really wasn’t getting enough oxygen.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: Dad was wondering, if Mom isn’t doing anything tonight, if she would care to talk things over, directly, over a cup of coffee, without spokespersons.
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: Mom would like that.
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: To tell the truth, Dad doesn’t even remember how the whole crazy fight got started.
Mom’s Campaign Spokeswoman: On September 3, after returning early from her night class, Mom walked in on Dad with Janine, the hot secretary, who was huddled close to him and gazing up with wide eyes, one of them shaped like an almond, the other like a pecan, asking, “Weren’t you scared, in the bathroom?”
Dad’s Campaign Spokesman: Mom’s characterization of Janine as a hot secretary is further evidence that Mom is out of touch with working Americans. Janine is a hot administrative assistant. As for Dad’s fear and courage in the bathroom, his experience is well documented. As he wrote in his memoir, Fantasizing About My Fathers: “It was that day in the bathroom when my faith in God, which had eluded me in my arrogant youth, ascended to the realm of fact, for, had I been locked in any other room, I would surely, in the face of such hopelessness, have wet my pants.”