Strange Bedfellows – Or, What to Do When Your Brother Sleeps with Your In-Laws.
The thing I loved most about JT's proposal was that both of our families were represented when it went down (JT is, obvs, my now-husband. It's my nickname for him. And now yours, too!). His parents, Dawn and Jeff, were on the beach in Ocean City with us while his grandparents watched from our condo balcony 11 stories above. My brother, Eric, and sis-in-law, Nik, were there, too, getting some kick-ass candid photos of the whole thing (which they later had blown up and framed for me. Did I mention how hard my people rock?)
The thing I could have done without, however, happened later that night, when my brother decided he could not wait until the wedding to make the union of our two families official and attempted so sleep with JT”s parents.
Let's take it from the top.
Immediately after the proposal and subsequent 15 zillion phone calls to everyone we've ever met, JT and I wanted to celebrate. We decided to grab Eric and Nik and haul our little party to the boardwalk to eat, drink and merry it up.
We hopped on the Boardwalk Bus and soon learned it is not nearly as interesting for people watching mid-day as it is, say, midnightish when the drunken hoards begin to board. I once watched a swaying, slurring man disembark, sprint to the next stop and re-board. For six consecutive blocks. Each time he got on, he thought it was a different bus. He would get on, realize it wasn't headed in his desired direction, hop off, hoof it two blocks, then jump back on. Not one of us other passengers offered him any help, as we were too busy taking bets to see if he'd make it to the next stop. We let out a collective “Awww!” when the bus driver finally informed him he was effing nuts and couldn't get back on. And then an “Ewww!” as we all watched him ralph on the sidewalk. God, I love free entertainment.
Anyway, there was none of that on this trip (somewhat sadly) and we reached our destination, a bayside bar with all that tacky tiki crap on the walls and drinks served in coconuts, even though the closest native coconut is thousands of miles away.
So we found ourselves in this pseudo oasis drinking and talking about possible wedding ideas. That lasted about ten minutes before Eric got fed up and shouted, “You've been engaged one hour! No one gives a shit if you think the ring bearer's boutonniere should include an 'element of whimsy!'” So I told JT to stop all his wedding rambling (ahem) and we all spent the day just relaxing and generally being really really happy.
Drinks turned into dinner and what we thought looked like a fun Mexican spot on the boardwalk turned out to be a black hole where space and time are distended and what should be an hour-long meal turns into a 17-year social experiment in how much torture one person can sustain from a rude, slow and all-around terrible waitress before stabbing themselves in the jugular with a tortilla chip. After this particular girl took an hour to get our drinks, another 30 minutes to take our food order, delivered the (wrong) disgustingly undercooked meals, abandoned us for another 90 minutes, then took my debit card long enough to steal my identity and bid on all of eBay, JT and Eric literally just left. As I told them I was sure she'd return any minute with my poor abused card, they said they couldn't take another minute and needed a drink. So the boys took off in search of alcohol furnished by a human rather than a succubus, and Nik and I waited another 45 minutes so I could sign my debit slip and get the holy eff out of there.
So Nik and I went to find the boys, and by the time we did in a tiny, sparsely populated dive bar a few blocks down, we had some catching up to do. We all calmed down from the disastrous dinner and tried to salvage the rest of our day. We played obnoxious hip hop and pop music on the jukebox, pumped quarters in the MegaTouch machine and laughed and carried on to the point of being OK again.
Until suddenly, we were very much not OK.
I believe it all began when JT decided to switch his drink of choice, lite beer, to Bud Light Platinum. I blame this choice for all of the following:
JT sitting down Indian-style in the middle of a two-lane highway. Twice.
JT mounting a Dumpster.
JT punching an empty pizza box that was sitting atop of garage can (Not in like a weird, rage way. In an epically uncoordinated, bizarrely comedic way).
JT demanding I take him to a restaurant we'd eaten at once before where I'd gotten an order of their specialty: french fries topped with crab dip and cheese. Damn, those suckers were good, and JT had taken a few bites and remarked as such. Suddenly, those fries became a matter of national importance to my sloshed sweetheart. I'm pretty sure the astronauts in the Space Station heard his cry of “Crab fries!!!!” I took him there simply to get him to shut the eff up. Also, I kind of wanted some crab fries.
Nik and Eric laughed and laughed at all of this, as they too were feeling no pain. But they hadn't just
promised to take this man in holy matrimony, so I imagine their perspective of the whole spectacle was not nearly as “What the eff?” as mine.
We finally made it back to the condo, where the family was getting ready for bed. They all gathered around JT and howled as we regaled them with stories about his shenanigans, and cried laughing while watching him attempt to eat his crab fries in any kind of dignified manner. Cheese and crab everywhere, I tell you. We all laughed, had a few fries ourselves, put JT to bed on the pull-out couch, and called it a night. As the condo only had two bedrooms occupied by JT's parents and grandparents, Eric and Nik slept on an air mattress in the middle of the living room, and I snuggled up on the floor. JT's parents retired to their room, as did the grandparents, us all shouting “goodnights” at each other “Leave it to Beaver” style. I closed my eyes with a smile on my face, and conked out.
The next thing I heard was the concerned voice of JT's dad, Jeff, nudging me awake. (A note: Jeff has the best southern accent I've ever heard in my life. It's not super thick, just twangy enough to make his roots known. But Jeff is hysterically funny, known for perfectly-timed one-liners and something about that accent amplifies the hilarity in everything he says. So, with that in mind, moving on.)
“Darlin'?” I heard Jeff utter quietly, but firmly.
“Rumphff,” I answered, peeling my eyelids open. The only light in the condo crept out from the Dawn and Jeff's bedroom. It was almost pitch black.
OK, now I knew something was up, and it likely wasn't good. I snapped to consciousness.
“Yeah, Jeff, what's up? You OK?”
“Oh, I am darlin'. But you're gonna have to come getcher brother out of my bed.”
As thing has gone on FAR too long at this point, I will deem this TO BE CONTINUED. More (oh so much more) to come.