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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter in Nodak

And I can see you
you brown skin shining in the sun
you got your hair combed back
sunglasses on baby

This last weekend I spent Easter weekend in Bismark with my girlfriend's family.  Easter weekend is their "Christmas in July" in which everyone in the extended family get together, play cards, and talk about good times.  Me, being the one who finds my own family gatherings very awkward was in for an interesting time.  I mean hey, I'm unemployed and have nothing to do, might as well celebrate the rising of Jesus. 

I'm a bit awkward when it comes to mingling.  I remember for my Eagle Scout court of honor where me and four others invited a ton of our friends and family members.  I spent half of the mingling watching NFL live in another room (because we scheduled it on a Vikings playoff game--stupid us!). 

I am a terrible mingler.  I can't do anything but put my hands in my pockets and pretend that I'm busy doing other things and pretending not to look at anyone.  I have maybe five good minutes in me but then after that my mind wanders and I stop listening.

Relative:  So I hear you're going to school in Marshall?
Boof:  Nah I thought Final Fight was a damn good game.  The big fat guy was my favorite.

Both me and the relative slowly take steps away from each other with frowns on our faces.

Last year at our own Christmas in July I walked back and forth at our huge Picture board about 7 times just to act like I'm being occupied.  I simply am no good at walking and talking for the sake of walking and talking.  I need an activity and I can only take a couple hours of mingling before I need to get out of the room.  I don't know why it is but it's just my mild social anxiety glitch that I have.

This last weekend I walked into the hotel business room to find about fifty-some of my girlfriends relatives.  I put on my best smile and did my best to interact and it wasn't too bad.  It was actually quite nice because no one knew me and they all had legit questions.  A lot of them knew me and my girlfriend helped sandbag in Fargo a couple weeks back and they were very genuine people. 

I did find myself "pacing the picture board" a time or two when a voice behind me blurted out,
"So, I hear you're a cribbage player?" 

I turned around and there was the grandma holding a deck of cards eagerly to talk and play a round with me. 
"yes, absolutely"  I said and we sat down and shuffled the deck.

Me and the Grandma played about 8 games of cribbage before a cousin whispered in my ear,
"you know, you don't have to play with her if you don't want."  I laughed it off because this was indeed a blessing. 

I love cribbage.  Me and my old roommate played about 700 games of cribbage (in which case I think I won most :0), some of my best father/son memories are playing cribbage with my dad, and I have indeed double skunked someone in my past.  I find cribbage to be the absolute best conversation game ever and me and the Grandma were engaged in a pretty interesting conversation.  I asked her about the family, her travels, and the history.  I loved it. 

A couple games later I got text,
"Just talk about pickles and someone will come over and save you" it was my girlfriend and I just had to laugh.  If I could sit down and play cribbage with everyone then everything would be so much easier for me. 

A couple games later some others come around to me and say,
"Hey Tom, Don't you like pickles?" 
"I enjoy pickles but not right now."  haha

The next day we went to a house and I found myself in another weird mingling time.  I walked around trying to look busy when the Grandma asked if I wanted to play cribbage again. 


All in all, it wasn't a bad weekend.  We forged our way across I-94 alright.  I didn't screw anything up and I ate some awesome grilled venison sausage.  I didn't get a chance to play pinuchle but next time, next time...


Joe said...

Nice cribbage story! I share your inability to mingle... I dread it always and end up outside chopping wood to ANYTHING else to avoid it.


Anonymous said...

Good writing!