Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Cheesy Present

Fraternity brother Lowell Laitsch, an attorney in Alexandria, VA, perused a recent post and dispatched this e-mail:

“I note that the UW colors are properly reflected on the cover of Days with the Dads. . . even though you are now a Michigander or whatever. . . ”

The cardinal and white sweaters pictured on the cover of my book were gifts from Sandy’s mother, who lived in West Bend, Wisconsin. She spent hours knitting the three surprise Christmas presents. She got the colors just right. I have been among the most fortunate of men. I had a wonderful mother-in-law as well as a wonderful mother.

But even the best don’t always get it right. It happened on a visit to West Bend years after the sweaters arrived. With a little smile but no comment, Sandy’s mom handed me a cheesehead—the ludicrous headgear favored by rabid Packers and Badgers fans. I handed it back, and said “I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one of those.”

“Didn’t you know that was a gift?” Sandy whispered to me moments later.

“No, but if did I probably would have said the same thing."

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