Then we returned home where Thing 1 said to me, "I want a new bigger house because this one is dirty." and my husband walked around the corner wearing his favorite sweatshirt. While the sweatshirt may make him feel warm and snugly, it has the opposite effect on me. I think that most of us have an item of clothing that simultaneously embraces and rejects you, like crawling into a warm bubble bath with your radio while it is playing your favorite song. It also usually provokes the question, "Is that person living in a cardboard box?".
Even though our house is indisputably too small and too dirty (just ask our 3 year old), we are not homeless.
|Protect and preserve Grizzly, my ass. How about protect and preserve my eyes?|
|Seriously, did a rat gnaw on this thing?|
Meet the Parents
*This is a ridiculously long story. If you are already bored or short on time please skip to the end- where I will give you the Cliff Notes version.
I started dating my husband on January 1st 2004. It truly was a great start to a bi-polar year that contained getting fired from my job of 9 years, finding out one of my best friends had cancer (again), finally getting to keep my horse in my backyard, moving twice and having a meltdown both times, buying our first house together, a haircut that made me cry and a really sweet engagement. I had introduced my man casually a few times to my folks, who live 800 miles away in Iowa. Things had gone well on those occasions. He was certainly not only a step up from my ex-husband, but he actually resided on the surface of dry land as opposed to the bottom of the stanky ass pond, so the rents where giving me a thumbs up. This is the benefit to making really horrible decisions in your past. If you even remotely get your shit together people start singing you praises. Daily tip: Keep people's expectations of you low and they will always be pleasantly surprised if you achieve anything that even slightly resembles success. *I am not referring to my husband with this statement, just my life in general.
It was soon August and time for our yearly Black Hills horse camping expedition. This was my husband's first time participating in a horse camping trip and he was very excited. I had already introduced him to many friends and he was getting the idea of how big my "circle" is. It is a daunting task meeting so many new people, but he was handling it all gracefully. This trip, however, is like a manic game of name association as there are usually 25 to 40 people present with our camping group.
|A portion of our Black Hills Group.|
The next night we were sitting around after dinner, much more laid back from the previous Taboo night, and someones starts another little game. "I am going camping and I am taking a ..." then they name something that starts with the letter of their first name. This goes around a circle of 15 or 20 of us a few times and most people are catching on. My dad, who is the master of games like Monopoly and anything involving a deck of cards, is sitting out of the circle, refusing to play. I think this is because he wasn't figuring out the game, therefore he was being a sourpuss. My husband, clearly the underdog here because he just met these people and doesn't even know the majority of their names, is at least participating, but is puzzled. The games keeps going and I can see he is getting frustrated, clearly intent upon reviving his social status from last nights debauchery. It goes around the circle a few more times. It comes down to my guy and a ten year old girl. She catches on. The interrogation lamp is on the final contestant, my guy. He is really concentrating, you can see the veins popping out in his forehead. It is coming around, back to him when the ten year old leans over and whispers to him the "secret" to the game. He was so embarrassed that he actually yells at her a little "I almost had it figured out!". Sure.
The next day was riding as usual, then a quick "Wildlife Loop". This is where we pile approximately 4 to 5 people in the front of a pickup and 10 to 12 in the bed. I am sure this is highly illegal, just as I am sure that none of us give a crap. When you are on vacation the law doesn't apply to you...right? Usually a couple of people sit on hay or a toolbox behind the cab (the prime seat), a couple on the wheel wells and a few across the back on coolers or in lawn chairs. We then proceed to drive a road that is a designated "wildlife loop" and the huntsmen of the group try and spot animals. Of course the animals hear the truck load of drunk people yelling far before any of us see them, and the elusive ones remain elusive. We usually do see the tatanka (buffalo)because they no longer fear white man, and then there is much rejoicing. Well, on this particular trip, my hub and I decided that we had been drinking enough beer to drown a buffalo herd and needed to lay off the ale. We then made gin and tonics (with a twist!) for the road. We are riding in the truck on the toolbox, sipping our cocktails and having a much better time viewing the herd o' bikers than the buffalo herd, as we are always there when Sturgis is in full swing. My husband was finally feeling comfortable with the group. He was talking and laughing, telling jokes and building camaraderie with the group.He then took a big swig of his gin and tonic and sucks the lime into his mouth, which he promptly spits out. What he failed to take into consideration was the wind, from being in a moving vehicle. There are 8 people between us and the tailgate, one naturally being my mother. It is painfully obvious what happens next. The spit covered, gin soaked lime that was hawked from my man's mouth lands right in my mother's face. Of course it does. Where on earth else would it go?
And that is the tale of my husband's first vacation with my family. No spit.
* (Campbell's Soup Version) The first real time that my husband spent with my family was on a vacation in South Dakota. He made good use of this time to make a stellar impression on them by proving that he was potentially the worst person on the planet at games and by drinking far too much alcohol(but we all did, so maybe no one noticed). Oh yeah, and he accidentally spit a gin soaked lime into my mother's face. I still chose to marry him and bear his children. The end.