Friday, January 5, 2018

Headlines From My Life

by Jean Roberta

Parents Show Photos of Baby Daughter to Guests

(In real life, I was fifteen when my parents insisted on displaying numerous photos they took of me in my first year, mostly crawling, squatting, somersaulting and squealing with joy, completely naked. Back in the day, no one seemed to think this photo gallery might show questionable taste, if not something worse.)

Nude young Canadian Woman Opens Door of London Sub-let for Nigerian Boyfriend, but He’s Not Alone

(In this memory from 1974, Boyfriend came home from a meeting with a male guest who apparently owned most of the media in two African nations. I was 22. I ran into the washroom, and didn’t want to come out.)

Professor’s Wife Warned That her Husband Has Been Seen Driving Young Co-ed to University Every Morning

(Of course, the co-ed was me and the prof was my dad. Shocking!)

Nigerian Man Blames Most World Problems on “the Jews” at Home of Wife’s Family Friend: Chaos Ensues

(Nigerian boyfriend, now my husband, accompanied my parents and me to Christmas Eve supper in 1970s at home of an old friend of theirs who taught in the English Department of the local university. One of the other guests, a Jewish literary scholar, had recently gone completely blind from diabetes. He was known for his bitter world-view before he met my husband, who drove him into a shouting rage. I wrote a blog piece on this.)

Acquaintance Says He Knew Woman in University: He Remembers Her as Nude Model in 1970s Art Class

(That was me, of course.)

Elected Block Rep in Single-Parent Co-op Hosts Meeting for Block Members with Speaker from Insurance Company: Block Rep’s Toddler Escapes from Bathtub and Entertains Guests

(This is a memory from the 1980s. I had cleaned my apartment, laid on tea, coffee and munchies for the women in my building to meet an insurance salesman so he could explain the terms of tenant insurance, since most of my neighbours were completely uninsured. My three-year-old thought it would be fun to streak wet and naked through the room, as I chased her with a towel.)

Graduate’s Mother Removes Jacket to Reveal Shoulder Tattoo: Family Is Horrified

(This is a memory from the early 2000s. Spouse and I had gone to another city to attend my daughter’s graduation from art college. Most of my daughter’s classmates were pierced and tattooed, as was she. My two sisters, their men, my daughter and her boyfriend discussed tattoos. I mentioned my upper-arm tattoo of a turquoise lizard, and took off my cotton jacket which was covering it. One man said, “Whoa!” and everyone else stared. I said, “I just took off my jacket. Now I’m putting my jacket back on.” I’m sure this episode was turned into a funny story about how the graduate’s insane mother began taking off all her clothes in public, but was stopped by quick-thinking bystanders.)

“Chloe” and ”Kelly,” Girlfriends of Two Brothers,* Agree to Start a Lawn-Care Service Together: On First Job, Chloe Insists that Kelly Was Irresponsible for Not Showing Up in Morning, but Kelly Says There was No Agreement Re Hours of Operation

(*Jean Roberta’s stepsons)

(This credibility gap was followed by dissolution of business and two years of family discomfort. Kelly would never attend family events if Chloe was there.)

Stepson’s House-Mate and Oldest Friend Expresses Interest in Kelly, and Vice Versa: Stepson Is Not Amused

I think I’ll stop there.

:( :( :( :(


  1. One of the benefits (??) of long life - one has many awkward moments to remember!

    Very funny... now!

  2. Gawd! What a lineup. The first one struck me as... well, kinda common. But it certainly progressed... or maybe regressed?

    Jeez, Jean!

  3. Thanks for commenting, Lisabet and Daddy X. True, quite a few awkward moments, but then, I’m old. :-)