January 16; an auspicious day for sure. Not just one, but two great people in my life were born on this day. And now, regardless of whether you care to know, I am going to tell you about them. I think they are both worth knowing. I hesitate to type this next part. I have to have a “name” for this first person, right? Well, I immediately thought of one. But Dad, please look at is a term of endearment because that is my intent.
First and foremost I must acknowledge Good ol’ Boy. (GoB is kind of a funny acronym right?) What is a good ol’ boy you ask? Well, you can find the majority of them in warmer climates and most of them have a bit of a drawl. I’m fairly certain they introduced logo polos into the world of acceptable work attire. They wheel and deal on the golf course and instinctively know where to find the best shrimp, pork chops, or ribs. You can pick them out in restaurants, wearing their logo polos (preferably one from an exotic golf course), talking a bit louder than the average person. They expect people to listen when they talk. They’ve usually got box seat tickets to an upcoming sporting event. They drive company cars and have sock tan lines a good portion of the year.
GoB is my dad. I spent a few summers working at his office and I know that several people were genuinely scared of him. He’s tall and intimidating. But sshhhh, here’s a secret: GoB is a big softie. You should watch him play with my kids sometime. And he is a little bit goofy. I have suffered embarrassment in many a public place when GoB decided it was time to show off his dance moves. (I know that back in the day, GoB and Bad Elf liked the night life — they liked to boogie.) My dad is a self-made man. GoB is a provider. Sure I tease about it all, but he is a hard worker. He grew up in a small town in Muh-zurah, went to college, and worked his way up. We started in the middle of nowhere Alaska in a trailer next to the shop. He’s higher up on the food chain now and GoB is the most well-traveled person you will meet. Europe, South America, Far East Asia, the Middle East, just about everywhere but Africa. And now that I’m thinking about it, GoB is a pretty good cook. (oh man, now I can’t stop thinking about chicken curry.)
Now a story:
Shortly after getting my driver’s license, my parents let me take the new car to school. I picked up 2 friends on the way. The roads weren’t great, but that’s typical Alaska in the winter time. I wasn’t goofing off or speeding (just shining my halo friends), but lost control of the car and skidded into the snowy embankment. There was a sound of metal crushing, gasps, and a German class project flew through the air. We were fine. The car not so much. The three of us pushed it out and discovered the front bumper was not exactly normal. But it was still drivable. We got ourselves to school and I headed for the office to call home. (I have the conscience of a freight train.) GoB answered the phone. I don’t remember what I said. I remember being terribly afraid that he would reach through the phone and yank the license and keys away from me forever. I was rambling about the bumper and the tires and the damaged project. I was sure I would never be allowed to do anything until I turned 30. When I finally started listening he was calm, and that made me even more scared. “Are YOU okay? Is everyone okay? Forget about the other stuff. Are you okay? Do I need to come to school? Are you okay?”
GoB may not remember. But at 16, being more important than a new car is a big deal.
Happy Birthday Dad. We love you.
You thought you were done? Psshaw. Up next: McChristmas!
McChristmas is so named for her ability to imitate the LOUDEST Scottish accent you have ever heard. We discovered this over a Christmas visit, hence the name. I should be embarrassed by our first meeting, but I’m not. She had just started working for Child Protective Services (was it your first day McChristmas? I can’t remember) and another worker and I invited her for a ride along in our fancy state vehicle. Home visit perhaps? I took her through the drive thru to make sure we had fries and then started singing Mambo #5 at the top of my lungs (classy, eh?). I thought it was impressive to sing along so quickly and get all of those names right. Besides that we had to deal with the drudgery of investigating potential child abuse, so I was trying to make it fun. And to this day, I know McChristmas always thinks of me when she hears Angela, Pamela, Sandra, and Rita. And as I continue you know they gettin’ sweeter. What a legacy, I know. But it worked because we continue to sing and eat and laugh. I’m not going to give you an account of McChristmas’ life. I will tell you that she is amazing. I will tell you she is strong in all senses of the word (yes I know you will always be able to beat me up). I can tell her my darkest weirdest thoughts and it doesn’t phase her. We laugh at death. No really we do. After escaping another one of her life-threatening encounters I said to her,”McChristmas! Somebody really wants you alive.” She said, ” No, I think somebody really wants me dead.” We dream of starting an all-girls whistling band because what could be cooler?
McChristmas, you have taught me about faith, about life, about health, about endurance, and the importance of being self-aware. You make me laugh. Nobody knows what it is like to be you, but we sure do love you. To sample some of what is amazing, check out this guest post McChristmas wrote a few years ago for her sister-in-law’s very popular blog, CJane. Oh, and I gotta get credit for the shirt she wears so proudly:)
Happy Birthday McChristmas! It’s not a party until somebody gets the gert!