Whatever Happens, We’ll Still Love You

Okay, so let’s go back to Tuesday–I know, a whole week worth of updates in one day might be a bit painful, but here goes…

On Tuesday afternoon I was enjoying some time up at the club with the boys when I received an unexpected call from the Afternoon Girl. It was totally unexpected because I knew she was working and at her work cell phones are verboten. And, anyway, out of the blue she asked me if I wanted to meet up with her and her family at the fireworks that night. Oh yeah! A planned night of nothing–okay and a little bar hopping–suddenly became a great night. Oh, and something of a worrisome night. To go back in time a moment…

You see, her mom and step-dad, like a number of people, have a hard time understanding how we can be good friends and have so much in common and want to hang out together–what with the age difference and all. The thing is, I don’t have a problem with it–my friends and acquaintances from the bar already ranged in age from 21 to like 53. What’s one more friend down at the lower end of the range? And she doesn’t have a problem with it–hell, she’s got an even older close friend back home in the mid-west. Other people, not so much. But, hey, as a parent I know where they’re coming from. She is the baby of the family and all (well, sort of). I just also know that it’s all cool. And of course other people–some of my friends included–don’t seem to get it from an aesthetics standpoint: how is it that the quiet geeky guy manages to find himself hanging out with a beautiful, edgy, and outgoing younger woman? But, that’s okay, too.

But anyway, all that aside, a couple weeks ago her family pretty told her that, sight unseen, I was bad news and to stay away from me. But a couple of days later that was tempered down to “If you think you’re going to see him, he’s coming in and sitting down and having a talk with us first.” Okay, not too ominous, wha. When I was driving over there that night I had it fully planted in my head that either 1) I was going to knock on the door only to find myself getting pistol whipped and then dumped unceremoniously into the street or 2) I was going to say something not to their liking and then find myself getting pistol whipped and then dumped unceremoniously into the street. Those were pretty much the only outcomes I expected that evening. I even took some ibuprofin, just in case. So, the whole way there I practiced answers to questions I thought they might ask: “Have you had a CORI check done and, if so, what were the results?” “Have you ever been hit upside the head with the baseball bat–and do you want a three second head start so you don’t have to find out?” You know, the usual questions.

As it turned out, of course, we had a fairly pleasant conversation about golf and other things. They managed to drop in a few sinister comments about their years of law enforcement and their connections in various departments. Oh, and her step-dad–in response to a news story on TV–also said “Whenever anything happens to a woman, the boyfriend is the first suspect.” And, believe me, he’s sharp enough that I know THAT wasn’t a random statement.

So, anyway, Tuesday night we all watched the fireworks together–her stepfather being sure to highly praise the ones that sounded like gunfire–they even offered me a chair, though of course it was one already claimed by a friend who came by to ask “Hey, who’s this in my chair?” Good stuff. But, anyway, though I’m focusing on the funny and uncomfortable moments, I actually kind of like them. Hell, they golf–that’s a good character trait right there. And, even though I know they’re a long way from even tolerating me, that’s okay too. Afternoon Girl and I know who and what we are and who and what we aren’t and it’ll all be good in the end.

So, I’m realizing that my week of updates has turned into a one night update…perhaps I’ll write more later. Until then, see ya!

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