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For The Record, This One Has A Happy Ending

, , , , | Related | July 30, 2021

This was long ago, when I was a teenager. I’m in my sixties now. My stepfather was a perfectionist. I wasn’t allowed to shovel the walk in case I missed a spot and someone slipped and sued us. I wasn’t allowed to wash his car because I might scratch it. And I definitely wasn’t allowed to touch his stereo system. Back in those days, a good record player/radio with three-foot-tall speakers was expensive, but the sound quality was amazing. 

One day, my stepfather was listening to the radio on his sound system. 

Stepfather: “You know, if you listened to decent music like this, instead of that garbage kids like these days, I’d let you use my record player.”

Me: “Oh, really?”

I ran upstairs and grabbed the record my friends and I had been listening to every day since it came out the week before. Coming back downstairs, I put it on the turntable, switched it on, and dropped the needle… right on the song we’d been listening to on the radio, almost perfectly synced up. 

He takes a moment to think.

Stepfather: “Fine, you can use the record player.”

Me: “Thanks, Dad.”

Stepfather: “Not too loud, mind! You could damage the speakers.”

Me: “Yes, Dad.”

Stepfather: “And only decent music, like this. None of that hippie crap.”

Me: “Sure thing, Dad.”

Stepfather: “And not too late. Or too early.”

Me: “Right.”

Stepfather: “And mind the needle! If you wear it out, you’re buying the next one.”

Me: “Of course, Dad. I can do that.”

He finally ran out of stipulations.

Stepfather: “Well… fine!”

I sat back to enjoy the first of many evenings enjoying my records in the living room. And my relationship with my stepfather improved as he began to trust me more.

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