I've lived here two years, but only twice have I hosted pre-Jamestown visitors.
In July 2007, my mom stayed with me (for the opening of the new Harry Potter movie...) and my aunt and uncle (Hi Melen and Fred!!) stopped by in September that same year. This may come as a shock, but few people are willing to travel to the town that gets its bragging rights from a concrete buffalo.
So when I told my mom I was dating someone, the first word out of her mouth (after she stopped slamming her head on the wall singing "Go tell it on the Mountain") was WhenDoYouHaveALongWeekendWeWantToComeVisit???????
See, where I come from, personal lives are private.
So when I date people, I tend to keep it to myself. Maybe I'd tell my brother (only he truly understands) and a few friends. But people like moms, co-workers and strangers have really annoying tendencies of asking questions like "How did you meet him?" and "What does he do for a living?" I mean, Holy Peeping Tom dude! Walk in on me in the shower or something...
So when I told the mom about the Cowboy, that was the first time she'd heard me talk about dating. Ever. And I'm TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD.
I guess I can understand her relief.
Now she knows her only daughter isn't A). anti-social or B). gay (like I used to tell her to stop the incessant question asking)
I'm still a little freaked out, however, by her sudden urge to travel north.
So is my father.
"You want to come to Colorado, Kate? I'll pay for your ticket. Is that what this is about?"
No dad, no. Mom's visit has NOTHING to do with me. It doesn't have much to do with you either. She just needs someone to drive so she can read and sleep in the back seat.
Good point, he said.
I can't really feel sorry for him though. He chose her.
Me? Let's just say if the genetically identical gap in our teeth didn't give me away, I'd tell people I'd never met the woman. And then I'd go home and eat her homemade peanut butter balls.
I'm not sure how I'll survive the weekend my family comes to visit, but just in case, I bought a life jacket, baseball helmet and enough canned tuna to fill a fall-out shelter. North Dakota winters are bad, but this disaster could get nuclear.
Cowboy doesn't seem to understand why I can't sleep or why I'm worried if my tetanus shots are up to date.
That's because in North Dakota, everyone already knows each other's parents. In fact, before you dated, your parents probably dated. Or if not dated, they at least went to prom together and necked in the backseat of a Bonneville or something.
I think they'll like me, he said.
I have no doubt they'll like you, I said. My concern is whether you'll still like me.
Many a girlfriend/boyfriend/man toy has left the Ryan, Pfeiler and Pins households and NEVER RETURNED. Each disappearance can be traced back to my dad who at some point likely asked: What do you use to light your cocaine? or With which hand do you steal your whiskey?
And remember how I talk really loud and slur my words after two glasses of wine? Well, my mom gets the same way. AFTER ONE. Sometimes she gets so crazy, she whips out her camera and insists that we smile. Don't ruin the PERFECT FAMILY PHOTO, she says.
I'm still not sure how I didn't end up with two years in jail and a GPS bracelet around my ankle.
So today I had a serious chat with Ms. Ladyfish. In two weeks, we may have to hoof it alone, I said, wondering if a fishing pole can both bait and unhook itself.
She answered, but it wasn't clear. I think it was something along the lines of "Why don't you drown me in the river, I'd be happier" and "Suck one, city girl."
I may lose Cowboy in this ordeal, but Ladyfish and I, we're forever.