Last night, Corb and I were walking through the local Mall. We were looking to use up all the gift certificates that I had collected during Christmas. It's sort of a modern day variation of Bingo, I suppose.
He suddenly stopped to stare down at his new sneakers. "I think I love my new shoes," he said, contentedly.
I personally thought he was a little out of his head, but I kept my thoughts to myself. However, it's possible that his newfound shoe love rubbed off on me, just a little bit, because it got me to thinking (and not in a good way) about the two pairs of shoes that I typically wear to work. One pair has been worn so much that it had forced me to fall back on a pair of penny loafers my grandmother bought me years ago. And as Corb is fond of saying, "There's a reason that penny loafers went out of style. Years ago."
So, after picking up two new pairs of pants and two new shirts, we trekked over to a shoe store, and I bought myself a brand new pair of shoes.
And I have to admit, I am now experiencing a bit of shoe love, myself. I like the way they feel, I like the way my feet fit into them, I like the leather smell they have when I take them off. They are a bit squarish, I will confess, and I'm having trouble adjusting to that. That seems to be the style nowadays, but I have to admit, I think if I stuck a big old buckle on the front, I'd fit right in with the Pilgrims.
Ashes likes it when I type on the computer, while she's falling asleep. I think she finds it soothing.
But the big news occurred when I went to pick Corb up from work. Annie was working the front desk, and she was whispering with Corb as I entered.
"Guess who's staying here tonight?" Corb asked-announced, as I reached the check-in area.
"Not Sadaam Hussein," I replied.
"My biological father," said Annie, grimly.
I've mentioned this before, although it's not something I mention often, because I don't see it as such. However, Annie's my adopted daughter. She was only one when I started dating Josie, and I adopted her around the time she was eight. However, don't let that fool you: I've always been her dad, right from the start, and John, her biological father...well, he's just never been there. The last time he saw her was at his father's funeral. His entire conversation with her, on that day, can be summed up in one word, and at that, two letters: "Hi."
"I'll let you two talk in the other room," said Corb, leading us into the office.
Turns out that John had seen Annie earlier, and, true to form, had one word to say: "hi." He's a real talker, I tell you. Would make Lincoln jealous. Seriously, you'd think he'd have something to say to her after all these years.
I wish I could say that I gave her a rousing speech that reduced her to tears, but the truth is, she was crying a bit, already. What I did say was that I loved her and would always love her, no matter what. And, I gave her lots of hugs and told some bumbling idiotic story about how I knew John back in high school, when he dated Buns.
And also, I suggested that, one thing that I've learned through the years is that whoever's living on the top floor of the universe always seems to hand us challenges that we can handle, right around the time that we can actually handle them. When I look back on 41 years of life...after I get over feeling depressed about the fact that it's been 41 years of life...that's the conclusion I always draw: every experience, every incident in life, every side path I've headed down, has taught me something.
"And maybe, since you're here until eleven, and he'll be here all night...well, you know...if he actually decides to say a few words to you...maybe it won't be such a bad thing, sweetie."
"I honestly don't have any idea what I'd say to that man," she said.
"I know," I said, and hugged her. "But I want you to know I wouldn't feel that you were being disloyal if you got to know your biological father a little bit."
Don't know if he ever said anything else, although I'm taking Annie out to breakfast on Sunday. However, I did bump into him on the way out. He didn't say a word to me, although I did look at him. His face had a hard look to it. He looked weathered and older than his years, frankly. I think, perhaps, when you deny yourself the opportunity to get to know someone as wonderful as Annie, you truly to pay the price, in every way.
On another Annie note, she has a doctor's appointment next Friday. She's been a bit sick for months now, and her blood work came back abnormal. She's also gained a lot of weight. The doctor thinks he knows what's going on, however. He believes (and I'm not a doctor, so bear with me here) that her ovaries are not working properly, and the eggs are not properly being released at the end of the month. As a result, her body "thinks" she's pregnant, which is why she's been gaining weight.
If this is what it is--and we'll know on Friday--then the condition can be treated with medication. So, keep your fingers crossed. If it is, and it can be treated, then I'll buy Annie a dozen eggs for Sunday breakfast next week!