Dad: Kate, I've been thinking a lot about this antlers-on-the-wall thing you wrote about.
Dad: I can see where you're coming from. I wouldn't want deer heads plastered on my wall either.
Me: Right. You decorate with wallpaper of the four horsemen.
Dad: Well, it's just decorations.
Me: Come again?
Dad: I mean, you can live with a few heads on the wall can't you?
Me: Sure dad. The same way you could live with a Matt Leinert head on your wall.
Dad: It's just... it's his house too... Pick and chose your battles is all I'm saying.
Me: Ok, who's father are you??
With 200 invites in the mail and 50 still in the works, the wedding date quickly approaches. The rate I'm going, everyone with a North Dakota driver's license will dine on my dad's dollar.
If there's one thing I can't complain about, it's the financial arrangement. I had to verbally abuse my old man yesterday: NO, YOU'RE NOT PAYING FOR ANYTHING ELSE. Stick a dollar in my account and the first words of our first born will be the lyrics to the USC fight song!
A threat like that will shush a Notre Dame fan right up. And that's a good problem to have.
Between my parents, aunties and Cowboy's family, the wedding arranging is relatively stress free. Everyone's been more than generous offering time, labor and mucho dinero.
My only drama was the RSVP cards... those annoying little numbers I receive and always forget to return even though they're already stamped and post-office ready. A co-worker designed mine for me using my font choice, size and graphic-y squiggle. When she printed the final draft, I winced.
"Is it OK if I don't like it?" I said, waiting for a ruler rapt upon my head and cringing because I deserved it.
"Yes it's OK!" she said like I totally didn't waste her time designing the first rendition. "It's your wedding."
So we designed them anew. And cut them. And glued them. And I loved them, all for the low, low price of not $500 like I would have paid if I'd ordered them online.
In other news, Cowboy Sr. *will not* be wearing the black shoes Cowboy and I selected to match the tuxedos. Instead, he'll wear his brand new cowboy boots, he said. Precious.
Cowboy helped me clean out my fridge one night in another one of those evenings when he goes above and beyond his boy call of duty and his sister laughs at him and calls him words that start with "p" and ends with another word for cat.
I'm OK on both counts :)
Now, I'm not a clean freak, but I'm not disturbingly disgusting either. Like, I *may* have laundry decorating my couch and living room right now, but I totally just washed it.
The same is true for my fridge. Sometimes, leftovers don't get eaten. But I put lids and plastic wrap on them, so its OK right?
Anyways, the night Cowboy assisted my fridge evacuation was the same day he hit a pheasant with his pickup truck. He didn't do it on purpose, but ugly duckling won't be getting his makeover if you know what I mean.
Cowboy, being the true country man he is, stuck his arm in the front of his truck and removed the pinned pigeon. It was just dead, he said. What's the big deal?
JUST DEAD? Meaning bloody and eyebally and still looking like a bird? And you TOUCHED it, like with your hands?? What if you get SARS or something?
As soon as I said it, he screamed. Not at the thought of infectious diseases FedEx-ed from China, but from a teeny, tiny growth on noodles cooked circa 1982.
Sick... I'm sorry... No... I'm going to throw up, he said, holding his nose with one hand and the tupperware extended toward me with the other.
Whaaat? I said. Throw it out. It's just mold.
JUST MOLD, he roared like I'd asked him to wear a pink popped-collared polo, this is the GROSSEST thing I've ever seen he said, hobbling back and forth like a toddler holding its urine. It's staring me in the face!
Oh really?, I said, hands on hip. The chicken that crossed the road and pummeled your pickup is somehow not grosser?
That rooster barely crossed St. Peter's Gate, he said. These noodles are older than archangels.
Cowboy informed me yesterday: *not* every room in the house can be green.
I don't want EVERYTHING green. Now that's just crazy. We picked out cherry-stained cabinets and a sand/black counter top to coordinate with the gray ceramic tile. See? No green. All I ask is the walls...
I don't see the problem, I said.
It can't be green everywhere, he said. You want to walk into every room and see green??
Suddenly I'm having second thoughts about this marriage.
If it's this or the antlers, I truly don't know what I'll chose.
Can we talk about this mounting thing again? Cowboy asked as we strolled no where in paticular.
It was one of those weekday nights where we could be together and just be. Light skies mixed with light winds reminded us of last year when winter coats and snowstorms were more frequent than April showers and all the May flowers.
What about it? I asked, anticipating the only disagreement we've ever had and not solved.
Cowboy wants space in our house for the heads of animals he's shot... the birds, the rodents and especially the deer. He thinks it will give the home and outdoor ambiance. I don't disagree. I think it will look like a cemetary.
I just don't think this man-room idea is going to work, he said. Mounts need higher ceilings.
When it comes to interior decorating, Cowboy and I match like pink and navy blue: feminine, masculine and flattering on any skin tone. He likes earthtones and I prefer neutrals and greens. He prefers simple and I prefer practical. Awesome.
But our design has one flaw. Cowboy blueprinted a house with high walls specifically for the shrines to fallen fauna.
Naturally, I'd prefer a shrine to Satan.
Even when I design this man-room idea, he said, it won't have enough space for the bucks and their antlers, he said.
This is working better than I expected, I mumbled to myself. Originally, I told him to hang such artifacts in the mud room where the water heater and dirty shoes go. No one will bother them in there, I said. Exactly, he said, because there's no room for them in there.
The man room was my middle ground. Build me a house with a kitchen, two bedrooms and a writing space. When we assemble the addition, you can have a man room with camo curtains and antlers on the wall. I'll never go there and I'll never complain.
I can't build those walls as tall as the house itself, he said. But the antlers need tall walls. Astetically, it's unattrative.
Unattractive is death in the living room, I said. We may have dead creatures in our home, but they'll reside in the freezer where they belong.
We continued to sashay the sidewalks I fear my children will never recognize. Where we'll live, roads consist of gravel and stone and "side walks" are made only when a person creeps through cramped space. Stop lights don't exist and parking meters are as distant as Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren.
Deer mounts honor the animal, he said. They recognize its dignity and valor.
If you wanted to honor it, you'd bury it, I said. Do you stick the heads of dead grandparents on your wall?
Mounts seem a little barbaric, and maybe they are, he said. Maybe that's why I like it. Can't we make some sort of compromise?
Hello! I said. Living here is a compromise. Have you met MoNa? She's especially bitchy to the Northern Plains...
I know, but hunting and nature are just part of who I am, he said. I just think we should find a space for them in our home.
I shook my head. Space for them means none for me.