i have a thing for old men.
not older men in an “ohmigoodlord Liam Neeson is HOT for a man his age” sort of way (which, i mean, yes, he is, but that’s not the topic for today. maybe tomorrow. is it getting hot in here?)
old men. like, grandfathers. great-grandfathers, even. i just love them. especially when i see them alone. on the subway. in restaurants. on the street. on park benches.
yesterday, i was in Tim Horton’s grabbing my morning large, and i spotted this old man sitting alone at a table, drinking his coffee and eating a donut (it was sour cream glazed, my favorite). in a trucker hat, Ashton Kutcher style. or Mom101 style. i suddenly wanted to run over and sit beside him. i wanted to plop down and tell him about my day yesterday. i wanted him to tell me his stories. i wanted to see him grin from ear-to-ear.
i wanted him to be my grandfather.
you see, it was the hat. my grandfather was king of the ironic hats. he may have been wearing them to cover up his bald head, but i really, truly believe he was wearing them to be funny. he was just that kind of man.
a man who survived the Dachau concentration camp and moved to Montreal (because New York wouldn’t take him, on account of his “radical” movements in the ghetto) to start a family and a new life.
a man who moved to Milwaukee (i know, right?) to help his only daughter raise her children. a man who would smile at everyone. a man who would burst into song (in broken yiddish-english) in the middle of Bayshore Mall. a man who would dance with the waitresses at his favorite restaurant (Baker’s Square)
a man who taught me to walk. to talk. to speak Yiddish and German. a man who let me pick the marshmallows out of the cereal box. A man who taught me to appreciate soap operas. a man who played barbies with me. and my little pony. and strawberry shortcake. a man who taught me how to ride a two-wheeler. a man who had more energy than i will ever have.
a man that i didn’t get enough time with.
a man i miss with all my heart. every time i see an old man in a hat.
(can we pause for a second and talk about the clothing that i am sporting in these photos? because…um…REALLY?)