Living Retired –‘Raised Eyebrows’
Living Retired — ‘Raised Eyebrows’
By Gary Chalk.
Friday got off to a good start: I arrived at the breakfast table with my fly done up and the toilet seat down. I thought this would impress Jan.
“Good morning, Dear.”
“Gary, your eyebrows are up.”
That was a new one for me.
“Jan, what do you mean my eyebrows are up? Are they up overtop my eyes? The last time I checked that is where eyebrows are supposed to be.”
Jan explained that when I said good morning my face took on an expression that turned my eyebrows upwards, more than normal.
“What can I say Jan, I am an expressive guy. Like when I saw the outfit you were wearing when we went out to dinner with Paul and Susan, I expressed my pleasure. When Codi cuts our lawn each week I express my thanks. So, when I said good morning, I guess my eyebrows raised. All I can say is just face it.”
Jan also expresses herself. But she does it without raising her eyebrows. One time Jan, Tyler and I were in New York City. We were in a taxi returning to our hotel after seeing a Broadway play. Jan was chatting up the driver: “Are you busy this evening? How do you manage all the traffic? And doesn’t it bother you that the cars are forever honking their horns?”
Jan figured talking with the taxi driver was her way of expressing herself. But Tyler, who was maybe twelve years old was mortified! When we stepped out from the taxi, he expressed his displeasure. “Mom, what were you doing? You don’t talk with New York City taxi drivers. He probably thinks we are real country hicks visiting the big city.”
There was a time many years ago, that Jan and I were country hicks, and I am sure we raised many eyebrows. This is what happened…
Friends organized an evening of square dancing, that’s right SQUARE DANCING! The plan was to meet up for dinner beforehand and have some drinks and something to eat. I was convinced it was a joke. Square dancing?
Everybody wore their best country attire: blue jeans, red plaid checked shirts, and leather boots. Heck one guy wore denim overalls with suspenders and even had hay sticking out the back pocket! Eventually we headed to the hall where the hoedown was happening. Thats when the wheels, well, fell off the tractor…
Buoyed by beer, we — okay the guys! — made our arrival a once in a lifetime, never-to-be-forgotten entrance. We were slapping each other on the back, and yelling “HEE HAW!” One friend, Greg, had one of those massive, oversized foam country hats that covered his entire head! He made a big deal entering the hall: he pointed the foam hat downwards and exploded through the doorway into the room. He screamed: “HOWDY!”
Laughing, we looked up and realized this was no night for beginner square dancers! Seated alongside the wall were honest to goodness real square dancers: women dressed in their finest peasant tops with flouncy crinolines underneath frilly skirts. Guys wore handkerchiefs around their necks with western string ties, with fancy blue jeans and expensive shiny leather boots.
Soon, everyone lined up: women in a line facing the men. The music began and the caller took to the microphone. “Do. Si Do. Promenade, women to the left men to the right. Women pass through, and men weave the ring. Now allemande to the left, and men roll away to a left sashay.”
It was a long night — especially for the guys. Every time Jan looked at me she raised her eyebrows.