It was this time – Christmas – of 1997, and the whole world was happy. I had just gotten back from Panama, and with my hazardous duty pay and my Christmas bonus, I bought a brand new shiny black Dodge 4×4 pickup. It had the works. Everything from leather seats to CD player, heated mirrors and one of those bitchin’ built-in cell phones that looks like a pocket calculator embedded in the visor. It was Wednesday, December 24, and I had spent the better part of three hours negotiating this buy at the dealership. I finally fiinished and tore off across I-20 for Dallas to go pick up my family for dinner. We would head to Three Forks for steak and brandy, followed by lavish dessert and maybe the men would venture outside for a cigar. Well, my Pops and I at least. My grandpa wasn’t much into that.
All was well, and I was waiting patiently for them to activate my visor-phone. They said it would be a few hours, but guaranteed it would get done that day. Don’t know how they could guarantee that, but you know dealers. Anyway, I finally arrived in North Dallas and took the exit to head to my parents’ house. As I pulled onto the exit ramp, my visor phone rang. Hell yes. I pressed the Receive button and the stereo muted real low and the phone call went through all my speakers. I was grinning and giggling like a little girl. “Mr. Spacey, this is AT&T Wireless. I wanted to let you know your phone service is now active. Have a safe and happy holiday.” Well thank you, Ms. Wireless. I appreciate you guys working on Christmas Eve to make sure I had connectivity.
I hung up and immediately called my girlfriend, who shall remain unnamed here, because some of you know me and can figure out who I’m talking about, and let’s move on with the story, with whom I’d be staying that night. Since I was in town. I caught her voice mail and left her a message, left my new number and told her I was in town. Right about then, I pulled up in front of the Spacey Senior residents and put my new shiny truck in park. After loading up Grandma and Mom in the back with my Pops, Spacey Senior got up front with me. He’s the eldest, he gets the honors, you know. They were all admiring the sleek machine.
So we rumbled out of Spaceytown Texas and headed for Downtown Dallas just as the sun was beginning to set. It had been a long day. We’re listening to a little classical music on the stereo and my Grandpa is conducting the music with his hands. The ladies are talking and everybody’s g- – wait… what’s that? Oh hell yes. It’s my phone ringing! I pressed the Receive button, knowing whom it was, as I’d only gotten the chance to give my number to one person yet. Perhaps I was even a little excited to get to show off that I was taking a call from that lovely prissy girlfriend of mine. They’d all met her. She was classy and beautiful and had that thick accent and was – well, a little out of my league, though they’d never say it out loud. Not when I’m around.
Hello? I say. “Hey baby! How are you? Are you in town?” says she. Yeah. I just pulled in. About to head to dinner. “Ooh, okay. So what time you think you’ll be over here tonight?” Ah, probably around nine, nine-thirty. Something like that. “Yay! I’m so excited!” she said. “Are we still going to try it in the ass tonight?”
You know how when someone says something stupid, everyone gets quiet? Because no one wants to laugh at a bad joke? Yeah. Well, aside from the motor rumbling in my new Dodge, there was absolute silence. You could have – well, you know. You could probably hear the blood flowing into my cheeks. I could see my Pop’s smirk in the mirror. Proud of his boy. But my grandparents? My mom? Dear Lord.
After about six and a half years of this silence, she finally spoke again. “They’re in the car with you aren’t they?” Uh huh. “Oh. Uh, hi everybody!” she said. Everyone said hi. Thank you all. “Well I’m going to let you go. I’ll see you tonight then?” Yeah, I’ll be there. I’ll call you when I’m on my way. “Okay sweety. Well Merry Christmas everyone! Have a great dinner!” Meh, yeah, thanks, yeah, meh. “Okay, by lovah.” We disconnected.
Dinner was good. The steak was good. The conversation seemed a little stilted though. I wonder what everyone was thinking about… Well, I know what I was thinking about. And I couldn’t wait for that dinner to be through. My face was on fire!