Between working at BioSyn and helping Maggie plan the wedding I haven't gotten to see dad much lately. However, I did make it home for Father's Day this year. As always he was glad to see me and annoyed that he had to accommodate company, not that he did much beyond fixing the bed in the guest room.
At some point among reminiscing about my childhood and debating over current sports, I threw in a question from left field. I don't know for sure why, maybe anticipation of my own wedding brought it to the front of my mind, but I asked dad how he met mom. There was an almost imperceptible pause, followed by bellowing laughter. When it finally cooled to a chuckle he began his tale.
"How I met your mother. Boy, I can't believe I never told you about this. A great story. Okay, this would have been back, oh, in 2015 or so. A good friend of ours must have seen some kind of common spark. He set us up on a blind date. Well, not quite a blind date, but about as close as you can get. I think we may have met before that, but I didn't really know Jen."
Dad stopped for a moment, trying to remember, eventually shrugging it off.
"Anyway, we met at some ethnic restaurant trying to look more expensive than it really was. Did the usual small talk, what do you do, where'd you go to school, do you know so and so, you know the stuff."
Maggie and I didn't actually get to a lot of those details until our second date, but I knew what he meant.
"But after the meal we didn't really have anything planned. Somehow I convinced your mom we should drive out away from the city lights and go stargazing. Don't know how I managed that, or even why I thought of it," another shrug, "not really sure why she went for it either."
"Well, anyway, we got out into this field and laid out on the hood of the car. I got my arm around her and pulled her close. I thought everything was going great. We started kissing and I slid my hand up her back, started working on the bra. Well, apparently she wasn't ready for that yet."
I interjected, "Let me guess, she slapped you and you didn't see each other for a month until you called and apologized."
That bellowing laugh again, "Dammit boy, my story. But yes, I got slapped, that's the only part you got right. Her slap taught me two things. One, that she had a prosthetic arm, and two, what a concussion feels like."
"Why'd the prosthetic matter?" I was confused for a moment, forgetting the history of my own field. It makes me feel like an idiot thinking back.
"Well back then they were all made out of aluminum, plastic, and latex. They weren't the cloned replacements that you work with. Getting hit with that thing was about like getting hit with a brick. Shouldn't you know this stuff?"
"Yeah, I wasn't really thinking about it."
"Fortunately, she realized what she had done the moment her hand hit my head. She packed me into the car and drove me to the clinic while I drooled all over my seat. Drove me home when they released me, and stopped by the next couple days to check up on me." He chuckled to himself. "I never knew you could start a romantic relationship with violence."
"That's quite the way to meet dad."
"Yes it is."
Later, on the drive home, I reflected on how fortunate I was that Maggie didn't have one of those old prostheses. Then I reflected on the fact that she had never slapped me, apparently I don't take after dad.