Chris and I had brunch this past weekend with some new friends of ours. Â We’ve known them for a while, but we only just recently started spending more time with them, and I really like it. Â I love this part of new friendships. Â Its like dating, really. Â You are still showing up to brunches and dinners with flowers or a bottle of wine. Â You are still trying as hard as possible to make a good impression. Â You are still dressing your husband so that he doesn’t show up wearing socks with Birkenstocks. Â Its the courtship phase.
This was our first rendezvous at our new friends’ house. Â Big step. Â Big. Â They were bringing us home. Â Its a huge event in any relationship, especially a new friendship. Â I had the cutest outfit to wear, too. Â I bought a new necklace last week that is brightly colored blown glass, and it was just made for jeans and a crisp white shirt. Â So, I put on my new extra-large, extra-stretchy, ultra-cool dark maternity jeans and paired it with a lovely clean, white linen blouse. Â The new necklace popped. Â It was quite a sight to behold, if I say so myself.
Ten minutes into the car ride to their house, Chris peels out at a stop light, sending bright red Gatorade flying all over my white blouse. Â And because the outfit was so simple, the hot pink stain was front and center. Â You couldn’t miss it. Â I COULDN’T DATE A NEW COUPLE IN THIS OUTFIT! Â But we were already running late, so I scratched at it with a Tide pen and cussed Chris the entire drive. Â Which made me feel a little better.
Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of our rocky first date. Â When we got there, they had a beautiful brunch prepared. Â Their apartment was so charming that I considered asking if I could take a picture to post for you all to see, but I decided that was more of a second date kind of thing.
And then I opened my mouth and started to tell stories that no person should ever tell on a first couple date. Â Ever.
Somehow, every story I told made Chris and I sound like complete rednecks. Â Complete. Â Rednecks. Â Like barefoot in the front yard with beer cans scattered about rednecks. Â I should clarify for the record that we are NOT, in fact, rednecks. Â We come from families who live on the beach and play golf as family outings. Â We drink mojitos and wear argyle. Â True, we grew up in the panhandle of Florida which has been called the Redneck Riviera, but that’s just locale. Â We are not rednecks. Â Contrary to every story that I told that morning, WE. ARE. Â NOT. REDNECKS.
Still, I somehow summoned up every near-redneck experience I could recall and spilled my guts to our new friends. Â The following stories were told in about a two-hour time period:
1. Â When Chris was little, his family used to burn trash in their backyard.
2. Â My mom’s lifelong fantasy is to own a double-wide mobile home in the mountains, and when we were little we used to drive through mobile home parks in the mountains of Tennessee hunting for Mom’s perfect abode on the road.
3. Â I once had a rabbit that I won at a fair named Ping Pong (because I won him with a ping pong ball). Â When we gave the rabbit away, the man that took him told us as he was driving away that he was going to eat the rabbit.
4. Â Chris and I once had a opossum in our backyard in New Haven that the city refused to remove because it they said it would be “traumatic” to the animal. Â So Chris beat him with a mop until he ran away.
5. Â Chris spent a summer working in Utah and in his free time he and his friends took guns out to the desert and shot rocks.
6. Â When I was little, my sister and I used to shoot frogs in the swimming pool at each other through our snorkels.
7. Â My parents bought an RV this year. Â You know, the kind that rock stars use on tour. Â On our first visit to see them after they owned the RV, they dropped Chris and I off in the woods and made us spend the night in the RV to test it out. Â Much to my Dad’s disappointment, we came home the next day and begged to please be allowed to stay in the house with central air and plumbing.
8. Â Chris and I went camping with my family one summer down in the Florida Keys and in the middle of the night, wild pigs wrestled and fought through our camp site.
So you can see that no matter how much I might insist that we are NOT in fact rednecks, every little anticdote that I told that morning seemed to contradict this. Â Not exactly the impression I wanted to make on our new friends on our first date at their house.
I’m hoping they will overlook my Gatorade stained ensemble and our penchant for firearms and cinder-block supported homes. Â But I’m not sure. Â Its kind of hard to come back from that.