Long, boring update – short story: I had a good weekend. We hosted a cookout for the Brits. Good times.
Had a really great 4th of July weekend. We (along with the family next door – The husband is American military, the wife British…this is relevant later) put together a cookout on Saturday for the neighborhood. We had American flags, “God Bless America” banners, hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad…all very well intended and tongue in cheek. It went very well – but it was almost derailed completely.
This is a cookout that had been planned for well over a month between my wife and the wife next door (British). Invitations sent, plans made, grills bought, grocery lists agonized over…all the things that have prevented me from ever hosting a public event before, these things were happening. I was mostly uninvolved. My job was to be optimistic and think about how many beers would take me from jovial and polite to completely goofy and annoying. Until the new neighbors got involved.
A few weeks ago, at a get together of some sorts (my wife does this once or twice a month with the local wives…some kind of get together) the new neighbors (American civilian, Russian wife) introduced themselves and announced plans for a welcoming party they were throwing on July 2nd – the same day our party was. Fine – they were on the next block…most of the people they would invite would probably not be on our guest list. A few overlaps – no big deal. The main point of conversation after the party was the new guy’s overconfident and sleazy comments towards all the women. “Leary” was the word Jenna used to describe him.
About 10 days before the party New Guy and his wife come over to talk to Jenna. They wanted to join parties. They also wanted, during this lighthearted 4th of July cookout in the middle of Briton, to have every American stand up and read a line from the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence from the British.
Basically serving a big middle finger alongside the beans and burgers.But he had access to a bouncy castle. Fine. They could join us as long as he brought enough food for any additional guests.
I mentioned this guy at work and people I had never met came out of the woodwork ready to talk shit. “You’re having a cookout with ***?”. After every tale I heard, I got more agitated. I’m usually comfortable with someone making an ass of themselves. I’ll leave them to it. But now I’m in charge of good cheer. Shit.
When I mentioned Jenna’s word for the guy (Leary), all the guys went silent, pointed their fingers at me and said, in unison, “Exactly”.
So, two days before the party, bouncy castle be damned, Jenna let them know that we wouldn’t be having the Declaration read. They were welcome to read it in their yard, but not among our guests. Thank God it was a deal breaker.
So our party went off without a hitch until New Guy stole a sparkler from my daughter (the two parties mingled for a bit at a neighborhood field were we lit off some fireworks…the sparkler theft was, according to New Guy, a misunderstanding). Other than that – no problems. I played host, had many fun conversations, received complements, and judged all to be fine. I realy enjoy my neighbors. Fun bunch of people.
Finally, near the end of the night, we had a few stragglers from New Guy’s party come over. “What the bloody hell was THAT about?”, they asked. Apparently New Guy went from recital to full blown stereophonic broadcast of a theatrical reading of the Declaration. Reports indicate it went over as we thought it would. Reports also indicate we’ll be having a few more people at our next party. I aint planning a next party, but it’s nice to know.
I was busy drinking and cooking and hosting at the cookout so no pics. But we just shaved and bleached Ben’s head in prep for coloring so I’ll get some up soon.