That which we call a rose by any other name would sound as sweet

The above image of my Pops is from a coupla five years back, which would have made him a spry, debonair 86.

Yesterday he turned 91. In our morning chat, which usually takes place on cell phone as I walk, he is having a harder and harder time making out various words. This morning it was “thrifty.”

Me (concluding a reference to something): “I felt really thrifty.”
Him: “You felt really chesty?!”
Me: “No, thrifty!”
Him: “Risky?!”
Me: “Thrifty! I felt thrifty!”
Him: “Ruskie?!”

In recent years we both seem to have enjoyed the frequently preposterous variations he puts on mis-heard words. Or rather, the variations provided to him by his beleaguered, four-score-and-way more than seven years-old cochlea(s), which have been slowly and certainly  giving up the ghost and throwing him just any old homonym that strolls along.  He’s been taking a running jump at this swap a mis-heard word for most hilarious and unlikely homonym for years now. Nowadays, the mis-heard words number into larger and larger percentages of the conversation.

I would have begun to spell it out for him, which I usually do when we don’t make it out by the third variation. That usually works, though there’s no guarantee we won’t wend our way down another rabbit trail, since I have to come up with words for the letters. Never having trainied in the international radio telephony alphabet, I take it as another opportunity for mirth-making and derailment, which of course he’s all in on (“R” as in Rasputin! “U” as in urchin! “S” as in sesquipedalian! and so on).

This morning, alas, there was no time to spell.  I had arrived at my place of employ.

Me: “Pops, I’m at work now, I gotta go. We’re going to just have to leave it at Ruskie.”
Him: “Anything you say, doll.”
Me: “Main thing for you to hear is, I love you and have a great Thursday, Pops.” (followed by “mwah” kissing sound)
Him: “Mwah to you too, sweetie.”

Loud and clear.

5 Responses to That which we call a rose by any other name would sound as sweet

  1. Laurie January 14, 2012 at #

    Aw Polly, he looks like a kick to hang out with. Happy birthday to your Pops.

  2. rev2bebt January 15, 2012 at #

    Oh, you really do look so much like him.

    It took me a while to respond because it took a while before I could read this without tears. You are so lucky. What a beautiful relationship you two have. Thank you for warm our own hearts in these glimpses of sweetness.

  3. SJnky January 16, 2012 at #

    I love your dad. How many times have I said that? I love hearing you talk about him.

    I’m still here, reading :)

  4. susan January 17, 2012 at #

    Your father is one of my favorite people in blogland. Happy, happy birthday to him, and much love to both of you.

  5. Lesbian Dad January 17, 2012 at #

    I can’t tell you all how deeply I appreciate his being in so many more hearts than ours, we who know him in the old fashioned, 20th century, “in real life” sense of the word. Love just needs to get spread, all there is to it.

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