Our new home is right around the corner from where janet’s best friend’s parents live. We go there from time to time to visit and sometimes like to crash their saturday or sunday mornings because there’s always a whole lotta bacon, eggs and toast goin on. And I’m always offered a soda and homebaked brownies (sometimes there’ even fresh baked bread!) when I go there…which I always accept because we don’t usually drink or eat such treats in our home. It feels like when you were a kid and you’d go to that friend’s house that had all the sugary snacks and cereals and your mind was just blown.
Janet’s known them since she was 5 years old and so, for some strange reason, even though we’re now in our 30′s, still refer to them as Mr. and Mrs. Lee. What’s even stranger is that I have been compelled to do it too, going on about 10 years now. Want more? Janet’s friend’s husband (their son-in-law!) ALSO calls them Mr. and Mrs. Lee. What is going on here? Is it just some type of strange child/adult honor and respect phenomenon that we really just can’t shake? They’re extremely nice people and a lot of fun to talk to and joke around with. What’s wrong with calling them by their first name? I’ve spoken to janet a few times about trying to crack the code and address them by their first names and she always says that I should just do it, and I say I will…but always chicken out when we get there. Between the sugary soda treats and all the “Mr.” and “Mrs. Lee’s” it’s like some Hansel & Gretel twilight zone where once you enter the door you’re a kid again.
So where is this all leading? Well, today when we were driving back from our daily Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee run (large, please), I came about 2 inches from crashing through a median because I thought I saw Mr. Lee driving past us in the opposite lane. I yelled “I think that’s Mr. Lee!” and Janet just shouted “Stu, look out!!!”. I veered out of the way and she asked, “What are you doing?!”…and my response was just…”But…but I thought it was Mr. Lee!”. I think at that moment I realized how funny and odd it is that, no matter where we are or what the situation, we revert back to kids when we see them. It’s also one of those things when you always see someone in a certain context (i.e. their own home) and then when you see them in public it feels like a celebrity sighting.