February 24, 2014

7 in 7: Sorry, Old Man

[This is day one of 7 Posts in 7 Days.]

Having two children, I know all too well the joy, hilarity and, occasionally, the embarrassment of the funny things kids say. And I was certainly not immune to this during my own childhood. Let me take you back to the 70s for this one.

I was probably about four years old at the time, and my family lived in south Florida. I had a grandmother who lived in Philadelphia, and it was a tradition that she would come down and stay with us for Christmas.

She was afraid to fly, so she always traveled on Amtrak, and our family would pick her up at the train station in West Palm Beach. That's the location where I rattled off one of the craziest kids-say-the-darndest-things lines of my life.

West Palm Beach train station in modern times (Courtesy: trainweb.org)

When my parents, brother and I walked into the lobby to wait for my grandmother's train to arrive, it was very crowded. Luckily, we found four seats together. The seats on either side of these four available ones were occupied. When my mom or dad told me to climb into my seat, I immediately noticed with disdain that I would be sitting next to a stranger.

In my four-year-old mind, I wasn't down with this. So, as the story has been told many times over the years, I blurted out quite loudly, "I don't want to sit next to that gross old man!" Just imagine the panic and embarrassment of my parents at that moment.

I don't know whether the man was truly gross or old (probably neither), but it wasn't my business to point it out publicly. So today, about 38 years later, I'm offering my apologies to him. Sorry, old man!

(See a list of other 7 Posts in 7 Days participants here.)



  1. Hi! I'm visiting from Jen's. This is so funny! I LOVE it.