Teddy Kennedy at IKEA

People sometimes ask me about my days at this still relatively new stage of my life. My answer is that every day starts with structure: first Wordle, then Artle, and then writing a postcard to someone and mailing it. Barring appointments in my Outlook calendar or travel, the rest of the day can go in any direction.

Today, Amy and I were visiting IKEA looking for drawer dividers as part of a kitchen renovation project. I was musing on the need for a haircut because my silvery locks are unkempt.

In the hallway for the restroom, a normal-looking, angry suburban dad with gray, curly hair and wearing a power-blue rugby jersey passing in the opposite direction suddenly turned his attention to me and asked rather pointedly, “Would you be interested in portraying Teddy Kennedy in a movie?”

Images and thoughts immediately flashed in front of my eyes:

  • That time in 1981 when a clearly annoyed Teddy Kennedy walked past my house on Reservoir Road in northwest Washington DC while I was sitting on the porch. I understood immediately that a good friend of mine, who was employed as his driver, had missed a connection.
  • My unkempt hair looks like middle-aged Teddy Kennedy’s hair.
  • Teddy Kennedy was three inches taller than me.
  • I could never pull off Teddy Kennedy’s accent.
  • I carry too much weight, but not as much as the late senator.

I turned as the inquisitor passed and, possibly with a smirk on my face due to the absurdity of the request, said, “No.”

Then man’s face turned dark, and he hissed, “You son of a bitch.”

He continued walking towards the men’s room. Amy and I continued walking toward the parking lot, wondering what had just happened. I believe that I need to talk to more people in person because I missed the opportunity for a far more interesting conversation with this strange man.

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