This story was inspired by a recent conversation about the picture Tony kept in his wallet in Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?
Kathleen was sitting on her couch enjoying a cup of tea contemplating the evening. It had started out awkward and tense filled- it always was when your boyfriend met your Father no matter how old you were- but had ended up being a very pleasant evening. Tony had charmed her Father so much that he had asked him to play war games with him the following day. It was very rare that her Father asked just anyone to participate in the game so him doing so proved to Kathleen that Tony had won him over. Of course she had been mortified when Tony had told her that her Father had told him about his biological clock. She had been about to confront him when Tony had stopped her telling her that he understood where he was coming from. He said he wanted the same for Sam. It was then the idea of marriage and kids started to appeal to her. While she didn't want to get married and have kids right away she had to admit the thought gave her goosebumps. So even though she had been embarrassed by her Father's outspokenness she had also been thankful. She was happy that the evening had gone as well as it had. Well except for one moment. When her Father had discovered Angela's picture in Tony's wallet.
Luckily she had already known about it so she hadn't been blindsided. But still the idea that her boyfriend had a picture of his boss- his female boss- was unsettling to her. Tony had tried to joke his way out of it by asking her Father if he kept a picture of Eisenhower in his. Or was it Bush? Oh well it really didn't matter she reasoned. The point was her Father had discovered that the man she was dating kept a picture of another woman in his wallet. While she knew that they were very good friends; best friends in fact their relationship still made her nervous. Especially after he had taken her out to a very fancy French restaurant only to find out that he had just wanted to spy on Angela and her date. She had been so angry that she had walked out on him and had refused to answer her phone until she had calmed down enough to talk to him. Tony had as always charmed his way back into her heart and good graces. Of course this had been after she had read him the riot act. But after that things had been going relatively smoothly until Tony,Angela, Mona, and Jonathan had gone to New Mexico to visit Sam who was thinking of postponing going to college. While she had been put out that Tony hadn't invited her along and had taken Angela instead she had to admit that Tony inviting Angela along did make sense considering she had known Sam since she was 11? 12 years old? So okay she could understand that Tony had wanted Angela by his side in that situation.
But the fact that he kept a picture of Angela in his wallet unnerved her. Especially considering that he didn't have one of her. At all. She had one of the two of them that she kept in a frame on her bedside table. It had been a candid photo that one of their classmates had taken. She had liked it so much she had it framed so it would be the last thing she saw before she fell asleep and the first thing she saw when she woke up. She had offered to make a copy for him but he had declined. She had wanted to push the issue but had decided against it. Now she wished she had since he had no problem at all keeping a picture of Angela.
If it wasn't for that picture things would be perfect.
Kathleen's Father was in his hotel room going over the events of the evening in his mind. He hadn't been too pleased with Tony at first until he discovered that he was a single Father himself and was working to put himself and his daughter through College. He had been impressed and usually it took a lot to impress him. He always considered himself a tough; hard headed, no nonsense kind of guy who didn't take flak from anyone especially his daughter's boyfriends. He had to admit though that Tony had won him over with his love and concern for his daughter especially when he heard that he had moved away from his home just so she could grow up in a safe neighborhood to get the best education she could. He had also been impressed when he had been on the phone trying to convince the little kid on the other end to go to sleep. He had been firm, gentle, warm, and loving. Just how he wanted his daughter's husband and his grandchildren's Father to be. Tony fit that position perfectly. So much so that he gave him his "My biological clock is ticking." speech. He wanted Tony to father his grandkids. He wanted his daughter in a happy marriage to a kind and loving man. Tony was just that man. He wasn't perfect but after all the losers Kathleen had dated in the past he came pretty close. There really was only one negative. The fact that he kept a picture of his boss in his wallet.
What was her name? Andrea? Anna? No, it was Angela. Well the name really didn't matter. What mattered was the very idea that he kept a picture of her. Although Tony tried to joke his way out of it and they had all laughed albeit very awkwardly it still puzzled him. Why did he keep a picture of his boss in wallet?! What kind of a relationship did the two of them have? Tony had said that he had been her housekeeper for nearly seven years so it did make some sense that they would become friends. Even if they were employer and employee. But was that it? Was that all they were? He certainly hoped so because he wanted Tony and Kathleen to stay together. He had waited a long time for Kathleen to date a decent, upstanding guy and Tony was it.
If it wasn't for that picture things would be perfect.
Tony was in his room going over the evening in his mind. It had been one nerve wracking night. Whenever you met the Parents or in this case just the Father of the person you are dating it always is no matter how old you are. And meeting Kathleen's Father definitely was. He had tried to downplay it by telling everyone that it was "No big deal!" but he knew that it was. While he could understand why Kathleen wanted them to meet- they were dating after all- it made him nervous just the same. Usually when you introduced the person you are dating to your Parents it means you want the relationship to move forward. Was that what Kathleen wanted? They had never really discussed the future but after her Father had given him his: "My biological clock is ticking speech," they had talked about it. At first she had been angry with her Father but had calmed down after he told her that he understood where he was coming from. He wanted the same for Sam. So as a Father who loved and wanted the best for his little girl he understood his point of view. Unfortunately though it seemed like she had gotten the wrong idea when he had given his "Children and Children's children speech." He hadn't meant to make her think that it was what he wanted for the two of them. He just wanted her to understand that her Father only had her best interests at heart just like he did with Sam.
To make matters worse that hadn't been the only awkward moment of the night. That had been earlier when Kathleen had told him to show her Father a picture of Sam. Of course he had obliged and handed over his wallet. Up until then things had been going relatively smoothly. He had seemed to be impressed that he was putting the both of them through college by working as a housekeeper and that he wanted her to have all the advantages that he never had. But then he had noticed the picture of Angela and while it was only natural he would ask who she was it still made him antsy. How do explain to the Father of the person you are dating that you keep a picture of your boss- your female boss no less in your wallet? Not too many people would have a picture of their boss and if they did it probably would have mustaches or horns on it; the fact that he did must have been a shock. He had tried joking his way out of it by asking if he kept a picture of Eisenhower in his. Or was it George Bush? He couldn't remember what President he had actually said. He had just wanted to ease the tension. The three of them had laughed it off and the matter had been dropped. But, now in his room he couldn't help but think of the picture.
He had the picture for a while now. Even before he started dating Kathleen. It wasn't a posed picture or anything. Mona had taken it when the Family had gone to Cape Cod for the weekend. But, he had liked it so much he had asked her for a copy. Mona being Mona had tried to make it more than it was but all he wanted was a picture of his best friend. What was wrong with that? Nothing as far as he was concerned. It wasn't like he gazed at her picture all the time. So in hindsight it really wasn't that big of a deal. Well not until Kathleen's Father had seen it. If it had been a guy Sam was dating he would want answers too. But what was done was done and there wasn't anything he could do about it. He knew though that the picture bothered Kathleen- especially considering the fact that he had declined her offer of making him a copy of the picture she kept on her nightstand. The truth was though he really didn't want a picture of the two of them anywhere on his person or in the house. It seemed like a betrayal in a way. Yeah he knew it didn't make any sense since everyone knew they were dating but he knew it would make him feel uncomfortable if he had one of her or of them. So while he was enjoying dating her he didn't want things to become too serious. He wasn't ready to become a husband or a father. At least not with her. He hoped that Kathleen would understand and let the matter drop. A flash of Angela went through his mind but as always he denied what it meant. Sure he had thought about the two of them getting married in the past but he was dating Kathleen now. Of course no one knew what the future held but for now things were okay the way they were. Well except for Kathleen thinking he wanted to get married and have kids.
He didn't want that. Not at all.