Extreme Makeover

The time: about 4 or 5 years ago

The places involved: my store, the Woods Hole Steamship parking lot, and the Silver Lounge Restaurant

The people involved: my ex-husband Barry, my daughter Sarah, my son Damon and me.

I was targeted first.

I was in my store and a customer walked in and I told him if he needed any help just let me know. I looked at him a couple of times just to make sure he wasn’t stealing anything and went back to my bookkeeping.

After about 3 or 4 minutes he looked directly at me and said, “You really don’t recognize me?”

I stared at him for a few seconds and realized from his voice it was my ex-husband. This was a man I saw almost weekly and I had no clue it was him. From his early 20’s till that day he had a full beard. I mean a real big beard and no one , including himself knew what was under it. He was now 53 years old and no one had ever seen his face. It was totally shocking. He was completely clean-shaven and I had no clue it was him. It freaked me out.

barry-and-sarah-4-months-old.jpgThis is Barry about 28 years ago and he looked like this always except his beard was a little greyer and he had less hair as he got older.

I wish I had a picture of him clean shaven but I was too shocked at the time to think of it.

The second target: Sarah

After Barry left the store he headed down to Woods Hole to meet Sarah at the boat. She worked on Martha’s Vineyard. He had called her at work immediately after he shaved because he was in shock over what he had done . He said when he looked in the mirror it was like looking at someone else through a piece of glass. So she knew ahead of time that he would be beardless. They were supposed to meet at a restaurant but instead he thought he would surprise her at the boat. It only took her a second but she recognized him (from his clothing) in the crowd and she burst into tears. She still to this day doesn’t know why she cried. She ended up crying and laughing at the same time. We decided to all go out for dinner.

The third target: Damon

Sarah called Damon and told him to meet us at the Silver Lounge for dinner. She told him that I had a new friend and he was coming with us. Sarah sort of hinted that he might become a new boyfriend for me.

So Barry, Sarah, her husband and I got to the restaurant before Damon. We were sitting in a darkish corner at a round table. Damon finally arrived and came over to us.

I said to Damon, “I’d like you to meet my friend Ed.” Damon shook his hand and “Ed” trying and doing a good job at disguising his voice said, “Your mother says you like fishing?” Damon went on and on about fishing. He still hadn’t sat down yet and he still didn’t know “Ed” was his father.

Sarah and I started to squirm in our chairs because it was just so weird that Damon still hadn’t recognize his father.

Finally Sarah couldn’t take it anymore and said, “Damon, that’s not Ed that’s dad”.

Damon took a good look at him, turned around and walked out the door.

Sarah ran after him.

Poor Damon, he was in shock that he didn’t recognize his own father. I don’t know whether he thought he should laugh or cry or be embarrassed. I think there was even a little bit of anger in there too, mostly at himself.

He finally came back in and sat down and we all ended up hysterically laughing about the whole thing, even Damon. I think people in the restaurant thought we were crazy.

This reminds of the time Barry tried to get the grey out of his newly grown goatee. This happened right after the above incident. But that’s another story.


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. moonbeammcqueen
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 20:52:20

    Oh Joan, I wish I could hug you! You make me laugh!


  2. Wendy
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 21:26:22

    I feel like Sarah … I don’t know if I should laugh at this, or cry for Damon. That is just bananas! And I can totally see how it could happen. If Buck walked in the door without his mustache I’m not sure I’d know him. I probably wouldn’t. Nobody’s seen his naked face since 1968.

    You have the best stories.


  3. Wendy
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 21:30:44

    And Barry looks like Jim Henson in that photo. 🙂


  4. romi41
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 23:57:41

    Hahhaha…..oh poor Damon, going on and on about fishing…I was very surprised when he walked out of the restaurant, but when I think about it, I can kind of understand….a little sneaky that was, but I’m glad you all laughed about it after 🙂


  5. joanharvest
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 00:44:50

    @ Romi

    I just think he couldn’t believe and felt really bad about the fact that he didn’t recognize his own father. We still laugh about it when it comes up. Once Damon got over the shock and calmed down he saw the humorous side of it.


  6. Sarah
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 21:47:58

    I don’t think mom really emphasized the fact that this went on for at LEAST ten minutes. I mean full out conversations, back and forth not just an introduction. I mean he REALLY had no idea it was dad. It was one of the weirdest experiences of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that bad for Damon.


  7. moonbeammcqueen
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 22:13:29

    Ooooohhhhh…I’m really enjoying reading “Sarah the Daughter’s” perspective on these stories!


  8. joanharvest
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 22:37:58

    One thing about my daughter, she tells it like it is. Now I’ll have to be careful not to say anything about her that might embarrass her (or myself). LOL She and I were just laughing about her comments. She has a good sense of humor too.


  9. joanharvest
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 23:58:51

    I guess I better not post the picture of her tattoo (at least not without permission).


  10. moonbeammcqueen
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 00:15:48

    That’s why I’ve never told my kids about my blog, Joan. I have to sneak around like a teenager smoking in the bathroom.


  11. joanharvest
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 00:53:33

    Well, I’m not telling my son or my wasband, that’s for sure. But I don’t mind Sarah knowing, She’ll keep me honest and vouch for the fact that all this stuff has really happened even though some of it must sound made up. Sarah and I and my sister, Barbara, and her daughter, Emily are like the four musketeers. We tell each other everything.


  12. David
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 21:27:53

    Very touching post joan. Thank you!


  13. joanharvest
    Jan 22, 2008 @ 01:45:47

    Thank you. Notice my daughter made a comment. She was so nervous when it happened that she couldn’t bear to watch it and had to tell my son. He took it well in the end. She also made a comment on the story of when I broke my eardrum. She actually corrected me on the incident. I think we will be hearing from her more often.


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