Mike will be living with us for a while until he gets on his feet. Hmm. What to say about Mike? I guess I can only begin at the beginning. I met Mike on the first day of class in my teacher credential program. They didn’t have a program going in the Valley so I had to drive to the Pasadena campus. The University of Phoenix is gung ho on study groups, they call them learning groups. They assign you a group and like it or not you are going to spend a lot of collaborative time together. From the moment I walked in all I could think of was “Dear Lord in Heaven, please, please don’t put me with That Guy.” And as you already know, that guy was Mike. My sister, Lisa, can attest I am not known for my ability to discern who is good, kind and a decent person by my first impression, so I guess this really did bode well for Mike in the long run. Anyway, we were two of three people from the Valley and so we were thrown together with Linda, whom I thought might make a great friend, but I’ve since lost track of her.
I saw Mike as this opinionated, loud, know-it-all, who would be difficult to deal with. Well, he is opinionated, but the truth is, he is always willing to listen to the other side – even if he’s only humoring you. He is loud - no question about that. He’s got a booming voice that’s embarrassing in a library or bookstore. He cannot whisper. He is a know-it-all in a way, because the guy’s brilliant. He knows something about everything; he’s been on “Jeopardy™” of course. Mike’s been in the Navy, has a law degree and now he was going to be in my “learning group” getting his teaching credential. In the end, he comes off like Patton, but he’s really more like Captain Kangaroo. He loves little kids, fat cats, strawberry shortcake and reading-out-loud. He is unbelievably formal. He can rant on anything from politics to paper towels. But he’s got a good sense of humor, generous to a fault and has been sort of adopted into our family. He’s housesat, babysat and dog sat for my sister and me. He doesn’t bake or cook anything unless you count microwaving a cheese sandwich. Mike is the dumbest smart man I know.
Mike taught fifth grade next door to me our first year of teaching at Woodland Hills Elementary, then he moved to middle school science. When my family and my sister’s family decided to make the move north, Mike decided there wasn’t anything holding him to Los Angeles. And Mike had always talked of one day moving to the Pacific Northwest. His only brother lives in Arizona. Now everybody who meets Mike eventually says to me “He’s so formal, do the kids, dogs and cats bother him?” The funny thing is, next to his brother he’s like a game show host. When his brother came to visit one 4th of July he washed his hands every time he inadvertently touched the children.
I need to find Mike a tolerant woman and marry him off.