I believe in Karma. I believe that when you do good deeds, they come back to you in the form of good deeds; and when you do bad deeds, it comes back to you in the form of bad deeds. Sometimes Karma takes her own sweet time in delivering on the goods, but other times she smiles upon you and brings her tidings quickly . For once, Karma smiled on me.
About two weeks ago, I posted on this blog about a prank my 19-year old daughter played on me. She called me at 1:30 in the morning, nearly giving me a stroke, telling me that she was going to marry her new boyfriend in the next few days. You can read it here for background. I nearly had a stroke and my blood pressure remained elevated for a full 12-18 hours afterwards. Today, I got to return the favor.
Facebook is a wonderful tool and has put me in touch with my daughter’s boyfriend’s grandmother — a truly lovely woman and I enjoyed getting to know her. During the course of our original conversation, however, I learned that her husband’s mother’s maiden name is the same as mine. Well, anyone who knows me knows that I love figuring out family ties; and my maiden name isn’t particularly common. Over the years, I’ve discovered that most of us with that last name are related in some fashion.
Now before anyone freaks out, keep a couple of things in mind: First, the relationship — if there is one — would be far too distant to cause any legal or otherwise issues. But, second, the family ties in this case aren’t blood-related, so both potential issues are moot. But I just couldn’t let this go by without having some fun with it.
First I messaged the boyfriend and told him that I was gonna have some fun with my daughter, Amber. I asked him to play along and he was reluctant, but said he’d stay out of it. He didn’t want Amber to be upset with him. He did ask me, though, what I’d tell her and I promised to tell her that any children from their union would run the risk of being born three-headed. He wasn’t amused.
So I called Amber.
“Hey Am, are you sitting down?” I asked.
“I can,” she said.
“Then you probably should. I have something to tell you and you’ll want to be sitting down.”
“Okay. I’m sitting.”
“Okay…so I’ve been talking to Nick’s grandmother. In our conversation, it turns out that his grandfather’s mother was a Hedrick. Nick’s a Hedrick. We’re related,” I told her.
“What? What does that mean?” Her voice was already showing signs of panic.
“Well, that we’re related. He’s a Hedrick. You can bring him to the family reunion this summer and I’ll buy him a shirt and he can wear it proudly. He’s a Hedrick. We’re all one big happy family.”
“Wait. What? What does that mean? How? How is he related?”
Patiently I explained his relationship to the Hedrick family on his side, then maybeeee implied a direct connection that didn’t necessarily exist, leaving her to believe that she was the same relationship to her boyfriend that she is with her second cousins once removed (the grand children of my 1st cousins). You see, I come from a very large family and the distant cousins are as close in my family as first cousins are in most families. Needless to say, then, the idea of my children marrying my cousin’s grandchildren (who are the same age) is really icky.
“Okay, then,” she said. “So we’re not really that closely related, right?”
“Well, it depends upon your point of view,” I told her. “How would you feel about dating Sage or Casey?”
“What? No! That’s gross! They’re my cousins! Yuck!”
“Well then, there ya go.”
The silence on the other end was deafening. I actually had to ask her if she was still there. She had no words and she simply couldn’t speak.
“Am? What are you thinking?” I asked.
Another long silence. Finally, “I don’t know. I can’t think. What does this mean?”
“Well…it might mean nothing; but it might mean that any children you might have could be three-headed.”
“What? Wait! What?”
“I’m sorry. It is what it is.”
Suddenly her voice turned panicked, resembling Sally Field in Mrs. Doubtfire when she discovers that Robin Williams’ character is pretending to be the nanny.
“I gotta go. I just…I gotta go. I gotta hang up. I can’t think. I gotta go.” Click. The phone hung up.
Uh oh. I never got a chance to tell her that it was a joke. Visions of her jumping into the Mississippi River raced through my head. I tried calling her back. No answer. I tried four or five more times before she finally picked up.
By the time she’d picked up, she’d called her boyfriend and he’d bailed on me. He told her the truth.
“Why would you do that?” she said, not really with anger but with a lot of shock.
“I owed you. This is your payback for the engagement prank.”
“But mine was funny. This one wasn’t! This one was….life-changing! If you were serious, my life was about to be ruined!”
I’m still giggling.
The exchange of messages afterward was interesting.
Nick: Did she fall for it?
Me: Um. Yeah. Until you FREAKIN’ BAILED IN ME!
Nick: I didn’t
Me: Yeah, you did! LOL
Nick: She was going to cry!
Nick: I heard it in her voice!
Me: Hahahah! You’re forgiven.
In the big picture, this is what I learned: Revenge is sweet, but ya gotta love a guy who won’t let your daughter cry on his watch. Bonus points for Nick.