Lynna Clark: It was only pie
“I need to hang up mama. My yard guy thinks we have a relationship.” Our middle daughter who lives in Texas would have to call me back.
“You have a yard guy?” I asked.
“I’m not sure. We may have broken up. I need to get off the phone so I can read the five texts he’s sent while I’ve been talking to you. I just noticed the word relationship. I wasn’t aware that we had one. Apparently they take mowing very serious down here in Corpus Christi. I’d better go find out exactly what I signed up for.”
My very happily married daughter was laughing at the miscommunication. “I just want somebody to mow so Shane won’t have to do one more thing once he gets off work.”
It reminded me of a similar mishap I had when I was about her age. I was traveling home with three little girls in tow when the car had a flat tire. I limped it into a service station where a nice young mechanic came out of the garage area wiping the grease from his hands. “What can I do for you ma’am?” he kindly asked.
“I’ve got a flat.” I showed him the back left tire as I got out of the car. “Could you fix it for me?”
“Sure thing ma’am!” he was all over it lickety split. Three little girls watched from inside as he made quick work of something that would’ve taken me all morning to figure out… if I could’ve done it at all. I asked sheepishly if he’d take a check as I had zero cash in my purse.
“No problem! That’ll be five bucks for the use of the wrench,” he kindly replied.
“Are you kidding? Let me pay you more than that…” I protested. When he shook his head no and repeated, “Five bucks.” I asked “Would you like an apple pie?”
I had a yard full of apple trees at the time and had learned to make homemade pies. That would be the least I could do. He suddenly got his back up and replied in a tone I will never forget.
“My WIFE would not be happy! I try to stay away from things like that!”
No wait… what?
“Things like what?” I wondered though I couldn’t speak. I have no idea what the man thought I was offering, but believe me, it was PIE.
I was so embarrassed.
Look at me man! Of course I’m terribly attractive here in my pleated mom jeans, blinding white tennis shoes and big eighties hair. I’m sure it’s hard to resist a woman with three kids in a hatchback who has to write a check for five dollars. But c’mon man! Pie is not CODE for anything.
I only told one person what happened in case she was aware of something about offering pie that I was not. She was hip like that. I knew I could trust my friend Ann not to tell anyone. She didn’t. But every once in a while something would come up and she’d ask, “So did you pay with ‘pie’?” …wink wink
Even now as I confess this indiscretion to you, my neck turns red with embarrassment. It took me thirty years to tell my husband who loves me with all his heart. Why?
It’s hard being misunderstood… maybe because we feel the shame of what others assume about us.
But I’m telling you… it was only PIE for crying out loud.