July 23, 2024

Column: “That Got Me to Thinkin’…?” “On Privacy”


“That Got Me To Thinkin’…?” “On Privacy” Chapter 51
By Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams

Judging by my ‘tween daughter’s over-the-top reactions and obvious mortification this week, I believe she cracked the door open an inch or so looking for us while her mother and I were under the covers in the throes of coitus rapturous.  Neither of us noticed until later—when we would enter a room where she sat over the next few days and she would immediately and dramatically bolt out.  We’ve had “the talk” already (followed by a memorable Q & A session afterwards)—going over at length what goes where and so forth a couple of years ago, but she’s made it clear by repeatedly wedging herself between us while we embrace in the kitchen that she prefers parents of the more platonic variety.  

I remember my own mortification while manning my childhood bedroom next to my own parents—the headboard knocking against the wall and the escalating, “Jim…JIM!” as I’d cover my head in horror and wait for the storm to blow over—my sisters sleeping peacefully and unaware at the other end of the hallway.  

You might ask, “Well, why don’t you just lock your doors?”  Our house, while relatively new (six years old), mysteriously has very few working locks on the interior doors.  I’ve spent many nights lying awake in bed counting all the door handles that I would need to replace (24 to be exact) to keep them all uniform, often lulling myself to sleep with the thought of all the money, effort and time it would cost me to replace them as I drift off thinking of that someday when I’ll actually get around to it.  It’s become my equivalent to counting sheep, and it’s quite effective in producing slumber.

Thankfully my daughter is not yet interested in boys and still spends her time FaceTiming her friends, watching Bob’s Burgers and defacing Barbie dolls instead of texting sullen, mop-headed teenage turds with entreaties to “Go with me?/Yes, no or maybe”—though I’m so out of touch to how they do it now I’m sure my conjurings are a little rudimentary.  But those days are just over the horizon, and even the blur of locks and door handles won’t bring sleep when that time arrives.

In the meantime I ordered those hotel Do Not Disturb signs from amazon to put on the outer handle, but that’s as good as advertising what’s going on inside there.  It’s already a fine line, coaxing a wife that gets up at 5:45, and with a household chock full with two kids, two dogs, a mother-in-law and various other rotating house guests—I don’t want to make any sudden movements or loud noises and scare off the opportunity.

Well, I better go now…I’m sure my mother, wife and daughter are all about ready to kill me, but I do love them dearly.  Kids have been disgusted by their parents ever since Abel accidentally spied Adam and Eve going at it through the palm fronds.  Is it too much to ask for a little privacy?  For now, I’ll look at one of those sliding locks for the bedroom door and start saving for my daughter’s therapy sessions.