Monday, June 18, 2007

Going Home, Coming Home

"So what was one of the slightly inappropriate things my dad said?"

"'You seem like the kind of lady who can suck and blow at the same time.'"

"Riiight. There was more though, wasn't there?"

"Oh, you mean the part where he threatened to break the guy's arm if he moved the cigarette butt pail?"


I have spent the last two weeks scaring Eric into thinking my father was some kind of boyfriend-eating monster. Thing is, my father used to be a boyfriend-eating monster. The boys of my youth were terrified, if also a little in awe, of my father.

But he looooooves Eric. Loves. Him. Told me, in front of Eric, "not to let this one get away." He has barely spoken to most of my boyfriends, never mind told me to hang on to them.

So when my dad was laughing and cracking jokes and being a generally very jovial man, Eric was not the only person slightly non-plussed. Later that night, he said "Your dad is really nice and funny. He's like Dad two-point-oh."

It's possible that I needed to see my dad through someone else's eyes. I knew he had mellowed out a bit over the last 5 or so years, but the only people I really have to talk to about him (besides you, dear internet) are my sibs and my mom. Who don't have exactly unbiased opinions about him- for good or bad. It was good for me, I think, to get a viewpoint from someone who hadn't lived with my dad when he wasn't a very happy person.

The rest of the weekend also went well, though it wasn't as surprising. Everyone really liked Eric. I had been a little nervous, not that they wouldn't like him, because 1) really, what's not to like, 2) as long as I seem happy, they'd be inclined to like him anyway and 3) it doesn't really matter what most of my relatives think because I don't see them enough for it to matter much. No, I'd been nervous that I'd revert to weird unflattering childhood patterns, or that even if everyone liked him, it just wouldn't be a good fit.

Sometimes I just like to worry though.

Eric and I "camped out" on my mom's back porch. Pretty fun, though the first night, we froze our asses off. Well, I froze my ass off until I hogged all the covers and tucked them in tight around me. I might seem like a nice person, but when the cold seeps in, it's another story. I will throw you over for a little nylon and down.

In my defense, I do it either when I'm completely or mostly asleep. Friday night, every time I came out of the haze just enough to realize I was cold, I'd tuck another inch or two under me. Until Eric woke up freezing and barely covered. Though that did give me the opportunity to wrap myself around him pretty tightly to warm him up, and he didn't seem to mind that part too much.

The next night, however, we piled on the covers and were quite toasty.

My mom's house backs on to a pond. I got up at 445 am saturday morning to pee. It ended up being quite the excursion, since the air mattress wasn't quite full and I was on the side away from the exit. So I was on my knees, bent over Eric's legs, arguing with the flap zipper and kept tipping over and falling on top of Eric, but not in a sexy way. In a clumsy "I know you're trying to sleep but I really really really have to pee" desperate kind of way. When I finally did make it out, half dragging and half launching myself, and nearly breaking Eric's knees in the process, my very presence irritated the Golden Labradoodle* next door, who proceeded to bark until I was in and out and back in the tent.

But the sunrise was stunning.

The drive home was good too. It was me and Eric in the front, switching off on driving duties, and Amy and Aurèle in the back seat. I'm not sure we could have fit much more in the Yaris, which has about 8 cubic feet of storage space. When Amy went to get her camera out of the back, it was a bit like those snakes-in-a-can tricks. Not quite as sproingy, thankfully.

She got her camera out of the back because we stopped at a place in Orono called the New Dutch Oven Restaurant, and I wanted a picture of the sign.** I felt compelled to stop, since I had been talking a week or two about a dinner Eric had made me in a dutch oven. A lot of sniggering ensued as I vainly attempted to stand my ground and point out that it was a cooking pot long before it was a fart joke.

It was like the little car was magnetized, and even though we'd only meant to stop somewhere for a sandwich, we all felt that a meal at the New Dutch Oven Restaurant was something we couldn't pass up. The food was what you would expect: it tasted good with ketchup on it.

We got home around midnight and it was nice to be back, even after such a short time away.

*"It's a what?"
"A Golden Labradoodle."
"Labradoodle? What kind of name is that?"
"Well, it's a mix of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. Labradoodle."
"Who owns a Standard Doodle?"

**I'll post it when she sends it.

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