Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission

About a month ago Jason and I took two couple friends of ours on the boat for the Joan Jett concert.  They met us at the marina and loaded their stuff up while I was still in our truck trying to hold back a puke from a migraine.  It's usually my job to offload the boat into the water after Jason backs the trailer down, but since Brett was there, I got to just be a passenger and relax with everyone else.  This was NICE.

I noticed in one of the two wake/surfboard holders a wakeboard I had not met yet.  It was black with shiny chrome "stuff" on it.  Since Dustin has his own boat and Brett has been known to own such things even without a boat I asked which one of them it belonged to.  They both shot nervous looks at each other, then their wives joined in.  Finally one of them piped up, clearly annoyed with her hubs.

"He didn't TELL her?"

The boys knew they were caught, and immediately backpedaled with the whole I-told-him-he-should-have-told-you thing.  Jason was still parking the truck.

As he made his way down to the dock and onto the front of the boat sans flip-flops, everyone waited in silence for the bomb to drop.  Eventually one of the guys couldn't take it anymore.

"Dude, she knows.  She noticed like right away, I couldn't lie about it."

Jason has apparently learned quickly from my dad, the master of making purchases without any discussions or decision-making sessions with my mom.  I think his best one ever was rolling in the driveway with a backhoe.  Then he bought a trailer to put it on, then a full size construction dump truck to pull it.  He once tried to get Jason to buy a wood stove for the shop behind my back.  Jason wouldn't do it and Dad was annoyed.  Dad wanted so bad to buy the stove just to "force" him to do it, to stand up to me.  He told Jason it's always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.  Funny thing is I don't really remember Dad or Jason asking for forgiveness on any deals.

This purchase was no exception.  No begging for forgiveness, only justification.  Something about an awesome deal and blah blah blah.  To be honest, he and his buddies were all trying at once to try to make me feel better about it so I don't even remember what all was said.  I actually wasn't even mad, but man it was fun to watch all three of them squirm.  When all was said and done, who can be upset over such a device that lets one's Prince Charming catch sweet sweet air like this:

...and keeps a smile on his face like this:


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Good News/Bad News

Isn't it funny how when someone says they have good news and bad news, it's usually just bad news?

Esten came barreling down the stairs in his undies Friday night.  He casually walked along the back of the couch and said matter-of-factly, "OK guys, I have some good news and I have some bad news".  I have no idea where he has picked this phrase up, likely from Phineas and Ferb or King of the Hill for that matter.  After Jason and I exchanged confused and hesitant looks at each other Jason said, "Tell us the bad news first".

"The bad news is that one baby wipe is still in the toilet."

That didn't really seem like bad news, especially considering the baby wipes do NOT go in the toilet.  There might still be a chance to retrieve it.

"But the GOOD news is that ALL the other baby wipes went down."

We could not help but both break into gut-bomb laughter.  Esten was annoyed.


I tried to regain my composure.  "How many of the wipes went down?"

"Like ten or something."

BREATHE.  BREATHE.  It's going to be okay.  Needless to say, it took me and the plunger quite a while to undo the "good news" part of this dilemma.  In reality, it's probably at least partially the same conversation we would have had with a plumber, in the alternate universe where I actually call on professionals to bail us out of maintenance disasters.

"I have good news and I have bad news.  The good news is I can fix it.  The bad news is you're going to have to sell one or both of your kidneys on Craigslist to cover the repair bill."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friends are the family you pick for yourself

We just got back from yet another not nearly long enough visit with friends.  Jason's college buddy and his wife have 3 kids, two older and one younger than Esten and Clayton.  We try to get together at least twice a year, but this year we happened to cram both visits within about 3 weeks of each other.  As we reluctantly packed our bags for the 6 hour road trip home, I came to understand that friends, especially friends you want to call in sick just to spend another day with, are really the family you pick for yourself.

I grew up with an Uncle Bill who wasn't even related to us.  He was from one of probably the richest "old money" families in the Valley.  You'd never have known it to look at him though.  In 25 years I never saw him in anything but green Dickies work clothes, and those were typically dirty.  He never drove a new truck.  But every time he pulled in our driveway I would run through the yard squealing his name - "UNCLE BIIIIILL!!"  He always had a huge smile and candy for me.  When I was five he showed up with a puppy.  Half poodle, half terrier, he claimed to have found it wandering in a ditch around one of his properties and said it was for me.  The happy expression on my face was balanced out by the cringe on Dad's.  We were not really a "dog" family.  Cats were fine, so long as they stayed outside to do their mousing around the barns.  Dogs?  I never really asked because I think I knew better.  Taffy didn't make it through the first winter and was the first and last dog I ever had.

Bill and his wife vacationed in Hawaii one year and returned with a real grass skirt and an ivory necklace for me.  Ivory - before it was banned.  The grass skirt won me the "most Hawaiian" contest at the Omark Summer Picnic - two passes to the Hydrotube and a bottle of suntan lotion (not sunscreen, dark tanning lotion).  I was stoked.

Through the years and even after Bill passed away, I knew that there was a reason Dad had introduced him to me as Uncle Bill.  Dad and Bill were such good friends that Dad considered him as he would a brother and wanted to pass that respect for their relationship on to me.

Since the boys were babies, I have done the same with some of our friends.  Esten and Clayton have a few Aunties and Uncles that share no blood whatsoever with me or Jason.  It's only been recently that it's become a source of confusion for them, as Esten is now making more sense out of familial connections.  First was the heartache over why he couldn't marry Kenadie.  Can't marry your cousin (in Idaho - lol).  That got all turned around for him when he decided then he also could not marry Lauren.  I explained that he could if she would ever say yes, because they are not really cousins.  I thought the explanation about how Uncle Scot is not really Daddy's brother would upset him, like we've been lying to him this whole time or something, but he surprised me.

"Oh, so Daddy just picked Uncle Scot to be his brother because he loved him even though they didn't have bunk beds together when they were little boys?" he asked.

"Yeah, I guess you could say that", I said.  Apparently he fully understood that concept quite easily.  I can't wait to see who all ends up in my kids' "family" someday.