I should preface all this by saying that groping, under any circumstance, is a crime, those guys are scum, and it’s almost never, ever something to joke about. Almost. In fact, I can think of only two examples when it was funny, the first being from a co-worker in Japan. Listen:
She was walking to work, early morning, busy street, when she suddenly felt something squeeze at her bosom. Brring brring! went a bike bell ahead of her. This dirtbag bicyclist zeroed in and swooped down like a red-tailed hawk on an unsuspecting titmouse. It was such an unexpected occurrence and such a Death Star-ish shot (one in a million, kid), that she just stood there, stunned for several seconds trying to piece it together. Brring brring! The whole thing was so foreign, so ridiculous, so dexterous, that ultimately all she could do was laugh at him.
Now here’s the second…
“Your son just groped me,” Mommy said, returning from the bedtime ritual.
“Oh, come on, define grope.”
“He stuck his hand down my shirt and grabbed my boob.”
“That’s my boy!” Wait…
“That’s not funny. You need to do something about that.”
“Shall I, um, dust for fingerprints?”
“I’m serious. What if he gropes someone else?”
A serial gropist? Truth be told, he had already groped someone else, quite extensively. Me. But where did he learn that behavior? I haven’t groped my wife in months, and would only do so in front of the kids under very, very unique circumstances.
I fear this gropage may somehow be my fault, the culmination of not nipping some nabbing in the bud. It started with my neck at bedtime a couple weeks ago. I was singing to him, suddenly felt a gentle caress on my nape. Barry White coming from somewhere. Whoa, who was putting who to bed here, anyway? That quickly degenerated, though, into ear tugging, cheek pinching, and a clumsy attempt at an amateur skin graft.
Like my co-worker, I was too stunned to really react much. He’s not the most touchy-feely kid, but we’d only assessed that in terms of us touching him. This was the first time he’d put the moves on us. This was unexpected, foreign. Kinda weird. We had no rubric for this, no protocol.
But for now, we’re chalking it up to him just feeling things out, so to speak. Exploring tactilely, with a lack of tact, much like he does with his wiener in the bath (Dude, I’m sitting right here!). I think he’s mostly over it; figured out that we all feel pretty much the same. Some of us with less hair. Fun while it lasted, though. Now kindly stop fondling your mother, Bub.