It’s hard to be nostalgic when you can’t remember anything but nostalgia.
I received an e-note from an ex-Malibuite that follows the local Malibu adventures via the Internet edition of The Malibu Times. Or as she stated, “the greatest little tabloid west of Lost Hills.”
She is a mother of four boys, CEO of a successful business and general manager of a Northern California household. Writing a relevant sequence of nostalgic memories about her early days growing up in our community (one of which was me). She reminisced that, as there were no bus lines in Malibu, and gasoline was sold on odd and even days, so she and her siblings would find ways of convincing me that her posse needed an automobile ride to a local store. Of course it was always to retrieve an important item for a school project, only to come home with a pencil and bag of candy.
She was always the deputy in charge of the confection posse and thus the handle of Silver Tongue was bestowed upon her. If the brothers and sisters were short of money you can guess who came up with the difference. Silver Tongue recalled the puzzling time of courtship as a Malibu teen and communicated to me some of the dialogue that her father would have with her youthful suitors. His most memorable comments:
If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating my daughter.
My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than striping Pacific Coast Highway.
If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck.
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers too big and teeming with holes. I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your pants full of holes, underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.
I’m sure your parents have told you that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, in this family when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports or grades. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early.”
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, deputy sheriffs, or Sisters of Saint Louis within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater and a goose down parka — zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided. A movie, which features 101 Dalmatians, is OK. Baseball games are OK. Visiting old folk’s homes are better.
My favorite particle of fatherly advice to one of Silver Tongue’s boyfriends: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, middle-aged, has-been, but on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
And that’s the total truth.