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A Millionaire Asked Me To Marry Him… and other moments of falsified bliss.

05 May

California Department of Motor Vehicles headqu...

I went to the DMV today. With my son. To get his driving permit. It was bliss.

And if BLISS is what you call standing in a packed room, or sitting in uncomfortable chairs next to a coughing/hacking/wheezing woman for 4 hours then that’s exactly what it was.  (Did I mention the 3 screaming toddlers playing World Wide Wrestling in the isles while their moms chatted it up in a language unknown to me?)

That is not the bliss that I mean, actually.  The bliss came in the sliver of a laughing out loud moment while a crowd laughed with me. It came in between numbers 118 and 129, I think. (We were number 139, and had been there since number 85.) The bliss came after the harrumphing at “those out-of-control kids”, and the glaring at “those-irresponsible-moms”, but before Clovis the cougher admitted that she was getting sick. And it definitely came while we were getting a bit restless. And so was the group around us.  There was a temper or two lost, just seconds before I blurted out to my son, “Did I ever tell you that I have been proposed to by a millionaire?”

Cropped screenshot of Betty Grable in the trai...

Cropped screenshot of Betty Grable in the trailer for the film How to Marry a Millionaire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My son, in the middle of a meaningful glare at the two kids that were pulling each others hair and wailing at the top of their lungs, pulled back a bit and said, “What?”  “Did I ever tell you-” I started again.  “I heard what you said, mom. I just don’t believe it.” And, of course I had to tell him that he could be filthy rich. So I did. I told him that not too many years ago, a millionaire became interested in me. It was very flattering, and he lavished his attentions on me and my boys, for about a month. He told me he was a pilot and was one of the original owners of… Fill In The

I pondered the possibilities of being married to a millionaire, and it felt GOOD.  No money problems at all. Companionship with all the wealth that came with it and…and…and… and then I was shown that he was not what he seemed. At all. (Imagine that. Imagine my surprise.) He was a student in a small town that, apparently, liked to spin a good yarn. And all it took was a mom and sister hiring a private detective to bring me to reality.BUT FOR THAT MOMENT, I told my son, I KNEW WHA

T IT WAS LIKE TO BE COURTED BY A MILLIONAIRE.”Was I ridiculous to fall for an internet story?”, I asked him. “Oh yeah.” He smirked. “Did I feel like an idiot?” I asked him. “Um, Dur.” He said. “But for that 1 moment in time, you knew what it was like to be woo-ed by a millionaire. And not many people can claim that.”  My son stared at me. He gaped at me. He had no idea, and could not believe that any millionaire wooed me. But he laughed hysterically when he found that I had been had. As well he should. It was funny. In fact, it was funny to a few people around me, as well.

The DMV numbers had moved from 118 to 121, and I didn’t even notice. I must be doing something right. The couple on the right of us, and baldy to the front had turned their chairs to face us, smiles getting large. (Lets do it again, shall we? This thought goes through my head, and so I do.)

The American professional tennis player Serena...This time, I poll the group and ask, “What moments have you had? The ones that you know are amazing and you love, even if it is only for a moment or two, before it goes sour?”  The crowd looked blank. I just kept blathering away. I figured if they were listening, it was their fault.

“Ok, how bout this. I HAVE BEEN ASKED BY A TENNIS STAR TO BECOME A TENNIS STAR IN THE MAKING.”

This perked up a few people, and a few others leaned closer (which wasn’t necessarily good because someone smelled a bit like a fart. Just sayin.)  I warmed up to telling my story, and it went like this:

“When I was 15, I went to the tennis courts to play tennis.  It is what I always did because at that time I ate, drank, and breathed tennis. ( I played mostly with boys because the girls didn’t like how competitively I spanked ’em.) And, tennis was the major activity in our small town. So I played . This particular day, I didn’t have anyone to meet at the court, so I went, hoping for a Pick-Up Game.  Which I got.

A man I had never seen before was also looking for a quick game until his opponent showed up. He agreed to play while he was unoccupied. I figured right off the bat that I could take him, because he looked a bit old. So I, in my cocky way, dHe whooped me.  He didn’t just whoop me, he pulverized me. After I amped it up, he just looked indulgent as he creamed me over and over. I felt ridiculous, and tired, and cramped up, but also I felt in awe. Who was this man who could be this good, and what was he doing here in small town tennis-ville…?

After his partner showed up, he gave me a card and let me know he was something called “a pro”. This obviously meant short for “Professional Tennis Player, Ranked and Successful”.  And that he would love to let me come to the city and  train with him.  And then I went home, and he went to play his new level of tennis that I had never seen.” (By this time, 10 or 15 people were standing/sitting/coughing around us, and all I felt was a bit of humor. Because of what I said next:)

“This man, whom I perceived to be a tennis star, a tennis pro on some tennis circuit that stopped in small town me-ville, had shown a singular interest in me. He had singled me out to be his prodigy, and I was on my way to making bank! Fame and Fortune were mine, as this had been the big break I had dreamed of.

I hummed the whole way home, fantasizing about how I would break the great news to my mom. She would be proud of me, and would even throw a party! (I forgot conveniently about how I had been wiped all over the court by this man.)

Sam Arnold - Touring Tennis Pro

At home, I relayed my version of my day, and my mom guffawed a bit. She let me know that this man was only called a pro by his profession. PROfession, maybe. (Guffaw) And that we would have to pay HIM for lessons. He was a teacher, not a star. My heart broke. (Guffaw and snort. Then back to her dishes)

There would be no recognition for my skill. There was no singling me out. There was just me being taken in by the possibility of fame and fortune. I felt ridiculous.   BUT FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS ON MY WAY TO BEING FAMOUS!  I knew that feeling, and not many people did. (I haven’t played tennis for about 20 years, by the way.)There were guffaws there at the DMV as well. I know, because I did one, thinking back to my arrogance. And circumstance. The numbers crept up, and the audience got a bit bigger. I didn’t mind because my son was asking for another story. I asked him for one first, but I knew he wouldn’t have one. He hadn’t had life happen to him yet. So I thought a minute, and immediately launched into the normal stuff. Like:

Hitting it big at the craps table, making everyone else there wealthy; only to find that I had misunderstood the rules, had lost my 30 bucks at the same time, and got the stink eye from the other crap-ees. The girl on the left actually asked me to leave the table. I did.

A quick-pick ticket with two sets of numbers f...

How bout buying the scratch ticket that had 28,000 dollars on it, and I had just scratched it. I checked the rules 3 times, and I HAD WON!  Being absolutely high on life as I fantasized about what bills I would pay off, and what gifts I would give to my family as a surprise, and it only cost me 3 dollars.  Only to find that I had misread the rules on the scratch ticket and my dreams were shattered by the gas station attendant, Lilly. She laughed quietly, and behind her long hair, but FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS THE ONE PERSON IN A BILLION THAT GOT SOMETHING FOR ALMOST NOTHING!

The rest of the time at the DMV went slowly, but when I looked around, people were shaking their heads and smiling at me. Sure they didn’t share what their amazing moments were. Of course they were smirking at me, but my son… he told me that was the best part of the day. Only to be topped by getting his driving permit.  I’ll take it.

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  • At home, I relayed my version of my day, and my mom guffawed a bit. She let me know that this man was only called a pro by his profession. PROfession, maybe. (Guffaw) And that we would have to pay HIM for lessons. He was a teacher, not a star. My heart broke. (Guffaw and snort. Then back to her dishes)

    There would be no recognition for my skill. There was no singling me out. There was just me being taken in by the possibility of fame and fortune. I felt ridiculous.   BUT FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS ON MY WAY TO BEING FAMOUS!  I knew that feeling, and not many people did. (I haven’t played tennis for about 20 years, by the way.)There were guffaws there at the DMV as well. I know, because I did one, thinking back to my arrogance. And circumstance. The numbers crept up, and the audience got a bit bigger. I didn’t mind because my son was asking for another story. I asked him for one first, but I knew he wouldn’t have one. He hadn’t had life happen to him yet. So I thought a minute, and immediately launched into the normal stuff. Like:

    Hitting it big at the craps table, making everyone else there wealthy; only to find that I had misunderstood the rules, had lost my 30 bucks at the same time, and got the stink eye from the other crap-ees. The girl on the left actually asked me to leave the table. I did.

    A quick-pick ticket with two sets of numbers f...

    How bout buying the scratch ticket that had 28,000 dollars on it, and I had just scratched it. I checked the rules 3 times, and I HAD WON!  Being absolutely high on life as I fantasized about what bills I would pay off, and what gifts I would give to my family as a surprise, and it only cost me 3 dollars.  Only to find that I had misread the rules on the scratch ticket and my dreams were shattered by the gas station attendant, Lilly. She laughed quietly, and behind her long hair, but FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME, I WAS THE ONE PERSON IN A BILLION THAT GOT SOMETHING FOR ALMOST NOTHING!

    The rest of the time at the DMV went slowly, but when I looked around, people were shaking their heads and smiling at me. Sure they didn’t share what their amazing moments were. Of course they were smirking at me, but my son… he told me that was the best part of the day. Only to be topped by getting his driving permit.  I’ll take it.

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