(or, “The Further Adventures of Red and the Transformed Non-Conformist”)
When we left our heroes, the Non-Conformist had finally convinced Red that he was probably not an axe-murderer. He and Red were both overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from the community – both real and virtual. Today: The secret comes out into Red’s real-world. Observe…
So, I talk to my parents every Wednesday. It’s something we started a few years ago, and unless scheduling or time zones intervene, it happens. Yesterday, while home sick with Alfred Hitchcock, I called as usual. Mom answered.
I finally shared my idea of moving out near them (as outlined here), and Mom said, “We’d love that!” We had an extensive conversation about this, but long story short (are you getting this, Brett?) In May, I’ll be moving to Indiana. Although I have wanted this and knew it was the right thing, it didn’t feel real before. Weird for an idea in my head to become very real, very quick. And then I told her about my other “something that isn’t quite real at the moment”…
Me: In other news not to worry about just yet, I might be engaged.
Mom:…engaged? In what?
~You know that scene in Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth tells Jane she’s marrying Mr. Darcy, and Jane can’t believe that could ever happen? Yeah. It was that moment. “engaged in what.” Thanks, Mom!
Me: No! Like, to a man. [what else could I say?]
Mom: …okay-y…? Might be?
Me: Well, it’s kind of weird. It’s through the internet.
Mom: Oh. Promise me you’re being safe. [TOTALLY DIFFERENT MEANING THAN IT USUALLY HAS!]
Me: Of course! It’s just his blog that I started commenting on... [My family is not invited to my blog, so I deflected.]
~Really I just wanted to give her a heads up because IF this ever turns into anything, then I’m afraid she would be really hurt to be completely blind-sided. Not that I have any kind of expectations, but you know, in the CYA department, we always want to keep our mothers happy, don’t we? This was not as easy as I thought it would be.
I very quickly summed up the facts, impressing on her that this is not for my siblings, or for a big email to all the family – something she would totally do – that it’s just an internet thing, and then hit on…
Me: Everyone seems really into this. It’s pretty weird.
Mom: Everyone? Other people are in on it? [I think she was thinking of my sisters, because Big News keeps being announced on facebook, and then we have to call Mom and Dad to inform them.]
Me: Well yeah; it’s online. People reading his blog make comments. Actually, I sort of accused him of being an axe-murderer…
Mom: A what?!? [really, my mom has fine hearing, but I was making her head spin.]
Me: Axe-murderer. You know, like it’s not safe to think you know people online?
Mom: Oh, right. [See? She gets it. I’m not so strange.]
Me: Yeah, and about a million people responded with character references.
~It was a tortuous conversation. I’m not sure I initiated the topic well, but there. It’s out. We moved on to other things, and eventually she got ready to pass me to Dad.
Mom: I’ll share the details of your other news with him [both moving and the “maybe-engaged” thing] unless you want to go into detail with him.
Me: No-o-o, that’s fine, if you think you want to tell him…
Mom: Well, just him, not everyone. Why wouldn’t I…oh wait. Hmm…
Me: (laughing) Now you see what I’m thinking!
Here’s where the plot thickens, dudes. I am the baby girl in a large family. It is a well-known yet unspoken truth that No Man will ever be good enough for me in my father’s eyes. …okay, maybe not even “unspoken” because we all openly acknowledge this. So my thinking is why give my dad time to fret over something that may never happen?
Thicker and Thicker...
Because, and this CRACKED ME UP when it occurred to me (and may actually explain a lot, from your perspective), my parents live in the country. Their primary winter heating source is a wood-burning stove. Dad chops his own firewood. With an ax. Which he owns. When they moved there, he bought a chain-saw to clear away the brush. Not rented like a normal person: bought. So my over-protective dad has an ax and a chain-saw and knows how to use them both. He also has access to
the neighbor’s hydraulic wood-splitter
|(similar to the wood-splitter in question)|
which is like an electric guillotine with a maul-ax head for a blade. (I’ve used it. It’s sweet. Gives new meaning to the phrase “like a hot knife through butter”.)
Oh! Not to mention the deep, wooded gully behind the house, where he walks the dog almost daily…which would be a great place to hide a body in…or a variety of body parts. Just sayin’.
Don’t get me wrong, I know my dad’s no axe-murderer. He’s a people-person with a warped sense of humor, a prankster, a retired pastor/missionary, very strong in his Christian values and morals. But let’s not give him time to think about it, m’kay?
So during my conversation with him, I said nothing about this “internet-engaged” thing. We talked about his health, my health (since I was home sick), and the weather. He told me he has ensured a continued warm winter by moving a lot more firewood from the shed to the front porch.
…Which means there’s a lot of room in the shed…where he keeps the ax…and the chain-saw.
Happy March 1st, everyone! Practice Safe Internetting!