Tuesday 28 May 2013

Canadian Shotgun Wedding

It's finally time to tell the true love story of how my husband and I came to be married.  Why?  Because I made an entry about it in Urban Dictionary!  That's right.  I have just contributed to the English language for posterity.  You're welcome, future generations.

Traditionally a shotgun wedding involves an actual shotgun with an angry father of a newly pregnant bride.  Like the American Revolution it quickly changes the lives of those involved with lots of drama and excitement (as well as potential/actual casualties).

The Canadian shotgun wedding on the other hand, happens a lot like how Canada became independent of the Queen: gradually, over time, in a rather boring way with no drama, guns, or casualties.  Many people, even Americans, are Canadian shotgun married every day so I felt that it deserved a name with a definition in a bona fide dictionary.  Yes, Urban Dictionary is a totally legit dictionary and yes, I need it because I'm an old.

The Canadian shotgun wedding is practically expected in my family.  One of my uncles used to joke that our family crest should be two beer bottles crossed over each other between two separate beds because, "First comes the drink, then the sex, then the baby, then the marriage that puts an end to all that sex nonsense so you can start drinking again."

My husband and I were Canadian shotgun married in the truest sense of this newly invented yet time-honoured tradition: we conceived Frick approximately three weeks after we started dating.  Seriously.

So here's the story:

The first time I met my husband was actually a few months before we started dating.  I was out on a first date with a guy I met the week before.  We went to a club and met up with a bunch of his friends and one of them was my future husband.

I was introduced to my future husband by my date and we shook hands.

I love studying human faces.  I have a habit of paying close attention to people's faces when I talk to them.  I noticed that my then unknown future husband had remarkably beautiful eyes.  Large, bright blue, wide-set, heavy-lidded with thick black lashes.  I remember at the time having a passing thought about how, if we should for some reason procreate, I would like to have those eyes passed on to our children.

And then I thought, "Now that's a weird thought."

And then I proceeded to forget all about him.

Obviously things didn't ultimately work out with my date.  But we're still friend now so that's pretty cool.  My husband hangs out with cool people.  Most of the time.

Fast forward about four months.  It was midnight in the middle of summer and I had just finished working my shift at my shitty McTaco Chicken job.  I was 24 years old so it was way too early for me to go home but also kind of late to make plans with anyone.  I headed down to The Village, knowing I was bound to run into at least one of my many friends there.  (I wasn't always an antisocial hermit.)

When I got there I did indeed run into a friend and hey!  He's with that guy with the pretty eyes I had that weird baby-making thought about.  And I was single.  My friend reintroduced us and we went to a pub for some drinks.  Future Husband and I hit it off and started seeing each other.

Now don't misunderstand.  Just because I had a random procreative thought about this guy did not mean I wanted to get pregnant.  I was way too busy having fun and going to college and starting a career to be wanting anything like a baby, or even a husband for that matter.

But we were young healthy adults who liked each other a whole lot so we were doing what young healthy adults who like each other a whole lot often do in these modern, sinful times.  And we were totally, totally using protection.  It's just that 98% effective is not 100% effective and we were the lucky winners of the Statistical Probability Lottery.

We were both pretty freaked out.  I was mostly freaked out that I would be responsible for another human life and I was going to get fat and how was I going to afford this?  But I was 24 and a little tired of partying all the time.  I was almost finished college anyway and I was older than my Mom was when she had me so I figured I could do this.

But it must have been worse for him.  He had just turned 20.  He was still living with his parents and his job was as crappy as mine.  And holy shit!  He got a girl pregnant!  There go all those carefree, wild oat-sowing early 20's.  I told him I wouldn't pressure him and I understood if he wanted to back out.  I knew what I was doing and I knew I didn't want to deal with any baby-daddy drama so he was off the hook if he wanted.

And at first I thought he did want to back out.  A couple of weeks went by without me hearing from him.  I figured he had booked.  Then he called me up, seemingly out of the blue, and said, "I got a new job.  Give your landlord notice.  Me and my sister and my friends are renting a place together and you're coming.  Let's play house."

Turns out the new job he got was working nights loading airplanes for a courier company.  It was long hours of back-breaking work which made it hard for him to be awake enough to call me.  He had been spending most of his available waking hours working on figuring out our living situation instead.

We've been "playing house" ever since.  I went from liking him a whole lot to falling deeply in love and he fell in love back.  When Frick was about 6 years old we were playing so nicely together we decided to make it official.  Which was nice since yet another form of birth control failed us and we got pregnant with Frack a month before the wedding, allowing me to carry on another family tradition: Pregnant at the Altar.

And so we were Canadian shotgun married and everyone was cool and nobody made a big fuss aboot it, eh?

Tuesday 7 May 2013

A Tale of Comic Books, Zombies and All Around Bad Parenting

This is probably the most amount of effort I have ever put into being an irresponsible parent:

The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day and boy, do my kids love them some free comic books!  Unfortunately the first Saturday in May is also when my in-laws host their annual 4-H Barbecue and Frick, being a 4-H kid, has to attend.  Every Free Comic Book Day I go to the comic book store myself to get him some comic books so he doesn't have to miss out.

So this last Saturday I let Frack put on his Spiderman costume and together we walked on down to the comic book store.  There were lots of people there including a puppeteer with Kermit the Frog and some comic book writer/artist I didn't know signing autographs.  Frack got lots of attention for his costume, which he enjoyed.

We went to the table where they had the free comic books on display.  The deal is you figure out which ones you want and then tell the girl at the counter to get them for you.  Frack's books were easy to choose (Superman, Batman and The Smurfs) but I had a harder time choosing for Frick  A lot of the comics on the table were kind of young for him.  He's not as interested in caped heroes anymore.  He's not really into anything lighthearted like Archie or SpongeBob. And a lot of them looked to aimed at teen girls, which is awesome to me but not so much to Frick.

And then I saw this:

Oh man, if I get this for Frick I will score some seriously awesome Mom-points!  He's been bugging me for months to watch The Walking Dead but I told him I needed to preview it to make sure it's okay.  Really I can just ask my husband who'a already a fan of the show if it's okay but the truth is that I'd prefer for us to watch it together and I just don't have time to get into a whole TV show right now.  So this looked like the perfect thing for him.  I had to have it.

Except there I was in a comic book store with lots of witnesses and an adorable little boy in a Spiderman costume giving all of these witnesses the idea that I'm a pretty good Mom (in my head they think it....obviously no one gives a shit) so I have to somehow justify getting this rather questionable comic book for my 12 year old.  Because I need strangers to validate my parenting choices.  My inner dialogue went something like this:

Well it's not very well drawn, first of all.  Also, there is no colour; just black and white.  Frick loves Zombies and he managed to watch a couple of Zombie movies now with no ill effects.  Cartoons of Zombies can't be that bad.  I can always read it first just to make sure.  Also he's twelve!  That's almost a teenager.  By the time I was twelve I'd seen every Nightmare on Elm Street and most of the Friday the 13th.  And I turned out just fine.  Mostly...

Having convinced myself that this was an okay thing to do I worked up the nerve to tell the girl at the counter which comic books we wanted.  When I mentioned The Walking Dead one I even pretended to be responsible by making a joke about being unsure.  "Gosh, I hope I'm not going to regret this," I laughingly tell her.  This was a huge lie because I was totally sure I wanted that comic book for Frick.

When she heard me she went pale with shock.  She looked at me sideways and in a skeptical voice said, "I don't know....."

"Why?"  I ask innocently.  "Is it really that bad?"

The girl bites her lip unsure.  "Weeeelllll.....How old is your son?"

She's looking me right in the eye.  She suspects something.  Lie!  Tell her he's fourteen!  No, don't lie.  That's stupid.  You are a grown-ass adult capable of making decisions for your kid.

"Um, twelve?"  Stupid!  You sound like you're guessing.  Now she thinks you're lying!

"Oh, well I definitely would not recommend this.  Here, look."

She flips through the comic and stops on a page that she finds particularly graphic.

"You see?  That Zombie no longer has his head on."

(No matter what fucking angle I take the picture this is what I get.  Faaaaack!  Just turn your heads, y'all.)

Really, this doesn't look bad to me at all.  I've seen way worse in other comics.  Frick's seen way worse on TV.  But the look on her face says, "You see?  Only a degenerate would allow a sweet innocent twelve year old to look at carnage like that."

And this is what a chickenshit I am.  I pretended to express shock and agree with her and then I picked another fucking comic book.  Because I didn't want some strange girl I may never see again, and who probably doesn't have kids anyway, to think I am an irresponsible parent even though I really am.

And as she went to collect the books I asked for I was silently kicking myself.

Why didn't I just get what I wanted to get?  Why do I care so much what people think of my parenting?  I could have been so bad ass by sticking to my guns and defiantly getting that book but I caved to peer pressure!  I'm such a coward!

I left the store filled with regrets.  I realized that the regret I was feeling was actually worse than any guilt I may have felt about looking like a bad Mom.  I realized I could have relished the look of shock and the inevitable shaking of the head when I did it.  I could have been a  rebel!

So when I got home I made my husband go back to the comic book store to get the comic.  I told him he had to pretend the comic was for him so that the stupid comic book girl wouldn't talk him out of it.  I told him no, he could not bring Frack with him because everyone there already knows him and the comic book girl would be onto us and think we were scamming to get more free comic books than we deserved.   Because Unknown Comic Book Girl's opinions are so important to meeeeee!!!

And even though I am obviously insane and ought to be ignored he totally did it!  He said he was lucky to get it because it was literally the last one.  He had to convince the girl to give him the copy that was taped to the table for display purposes.

This.  This, my friends, is the foundation of a great marriage.  I know I can count on my husband to help me hide a dead body if I needed it.  I know I can count on him to shoot me in the head if I am ever bitten by a Zombie and now I know I can count on him to go out of his way to acquire questionable, Zombie-related reading material for our son when I myself am too weak-willed.  These are the things that matter.

As for Frick, his reaction was totally worth it.  The Walking Dead may be violent and graphic but it got my son excited about reading and in the end, isn't that what Free Comic Book Day is all about?