Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dudes with ideas about things I should do

A year ago, I got to go on vacation with Shiksa Girlfriend and her family, doing typical goyish vacation things like hiking and sightseeing, as opposed to my family's time-honored vacation pastimes, sitting around doing nothing at all (at one point I was physically ejected from my easy chair by Shiksa Mom, who apparently flies into a tizzy when people are seen enjoying their free time doing lame non-sweaty things like reading a newspaper).

Besides fun cross-cultural mishaps like the above, SG had arranged our time with her folks to coincide with another important announcement: we planned to move in together. However, in her family, conflict is generally avoided like the plague, whereas my family views them the way knights do opportunities to break out the spiky sticks. So, it was not until 10:30 on our last night at the cabin that I was called down from packing my suitcase for "a talk."

Said talk consisted of Shiksa Mom twitching back and forth, SG nervously massaging my hand until her fingers were poking out the other side, and Habakkuk asking leading questions while refusing to get out of his horizontal Lotus Position with his legs up against the wall due to his injured back.

Sidenote: Habakkuk is also not very good at this conflict resolution thing. Shiksa Mom's sports-loving sister and brother-in-law had also come on this trip, as had their mutual friend. All were avid tennis players, a sport which apparently requires a fourth in order to be at all entertaining. Poor Habakkuk was forced to oblige them nearly every day. By the end of the trip, he had clearly had enough. Rather than man up about it, he instead tried to coerce me into doing him a solid, which he also refused to do in any sort of direct way. The conversation more or less proceeded like this:

Habakkuk: Man, it seems like I've played tennis a lot this trip.

Me: Mmmm.

Habakkuk: I think my ankle is shot.

Me: That's too bad.

Habakkuk: And my back is giving me trouble.

Me: Darn.

Habakkuk: But they really need a fourth for tennis... and I don't want them to not be able to play... What do you think? Do you like tennis?

Me: Not at all. Also, I can't wear any shoes other than my orthotic ones.

Habakkuk: ... Darn. My back is really killing me. And I just know they're going to ask...

Me: Hey, I know. Why don't you just tell them you don't want to play any more?

Habakkuk: I guess I could do that...

[Ten minutes later, we see Habakkuk limping off to the tennis courts.]

The most memorable exchange between Habakkuk and I centered around his totally-just-saying-question, "Is there any reason you're just moving in together, instead of doing something more serious? Like, say, getting married?"

To which my response was, essentially, "Yeah. We don't feel like it."

Luckily, centuries of Southern gentility prevented Habakkuk from having any programmed response available. That, and the fact that all the blood was rushing to his head.

I only mention the above because Shiksa Girlfriend told me an amusing anecdote yesterday. Apparently one of the black guys that makes deliveries for her store was chatting her up, and kept tilting his head at her. When she asked him what he was doing, he said he was looking for the ring on her finger. Confused, she said she didn't have one, at which point he clucked his tongue and said that since she and I have been dating for four years (next month), it's time I stepped up and "be a man" about this whole thing. Apparently she made a face or something, because his next tack was to quote Beyonce: "If you like it then you shouda put a ring on it." Touche.

Still unconvinced, and at this point more than a tad weirded out, SG tried to change the subject. Delivery guy was undeterred, and predicted that "by Christmas, you'll have yourself some sparkle on that hand." Charming.

SG came home and told me the whole thing, rather peeved. "He and my Dad would get along great!" she said, exasperated.

"Hey, they should hang out," I said. But remember: If he likes it, he needs to put a ring on it.

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