There’s a guy named James living in our spare bedroom. He and his crazy dog Luna hang out at my house all day while Andy and I are at work, and he does mean things like eat all of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch AND all the peanut butter, which I don’t discover until the next morning when I’m stuck with a granola bar for breakfast (ew).
At least the dog’s cute….when she’s not eating my shoes. Are shoes the textile equivalent of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and peanut butter? Like owner like dog.
James has lived with us for about a month and a half now. One of the most interesting things about his presence in our lives is trying to explain who he is when people see the three of us out together. It’s always me and two guys, which doesn’t sound that weird until I find myself in all of these awkward situations. Don’t believe me? Check out these real life answers to the question, “Uh, who is that guy?”
QUESTION: “Uh, who is that guy?”
THE TRUTH: He’s Andy’s friend from college. He just graduated with a Masters degree in chemical engineering, and he’s living with us until he finds a job somewhere. No reason to sign a lease and then get a job on the other side of the country, you know? Okay, that’s the truth. But who cares about that? The truth is boring.
SITUATION 1: TALKING TO THE PASTOR: I met the new pastor of our church, and when the two guys walked up the pastor said, “Hi, is one of these men your husband?” I said yes and introduced him to Andy. Then James jumped in with, “And I’m James, her other husband.” Ack! He said that to the pastor! The pastor looked very confused. I said, “No no no! He’s just a guy who lives with us!” Apparently this is also confusing (even though it’s true). So then I had to explain the whole entire story, and now my pastor thinks I’m a freak.
SITUATION 2: ORDERING FOOD: I stopped by a Mexican take-out place to get some food to bring to Andy at work. As I was ordering the food, James went over to the salsa bar and mixed some salsas to make Andy’s specialty flavor. As I was paying for the food, James said, “Here, I made Andy’s salsa. Throw that in there too.” I said, “Awesome, you’re a great sister wife.” The cashier gave us the straaaaaangest look, but I didn’t explain. He’s a cashier, not my pastor. I don’t owe him explanations.
SITUATION 3: MEETING NEW PEOPLE: Once, while we were at Andy’s work, one of his coworkers came up and said, “Hi, who’s this?” James jumped in with, “Hi, I’m James. I’m their butler.” I liked it, so I left it. So did Andy. The guy looked really confused, looked at both of us, and finally said, “Wait, for real? A butler?” James said, “Well, I’m also their driver.” Keep in mind, James was wearing shorts and a t-shirt with THE MOST RIDICULOUS yellow sunglasses. He couldn’t have looked more un-butlery. We tried to play it off, but finally we had to explain the truth (which, again, is so much more boring than the stories we make up).
SITUATION 4: THE SCHOOL PICNIC: Can you imagine if your teacher showed up to the school picnic with two men? Well, that’s what I did. My students all looked very confused, but what was I supposed to do? Grab a microphone and say, “THIS IS JUST A RANDOM GUY WHO LIVES WITH US. DON’T MIND HIM”? It’s not like I could leave James at home…it would have been mean to eat all of the delicious school picnic food and then think of him at home with nothing. Then again, he probably could have scrounged around for more peanut butter (*scowl*). Instead, I just played it off like it was normal. That worked until James came up and said, “Hey, a few of your kids asked who I was, so I said I’m your concubine. They don’t know that word, right?” JAMES!!!!!! I think he was joking. Hopefully. We’ll find out at school tomorrow.
SITUATION 5: TO BE DETERMINED: We decided that we’re going to buy James some dark sunglasses, and next time he goes somewhere with us he will wear all black, stand off to the side, and look menacing. We won’t offer any explanation of who he is, but when someone asks we’ll say he’s our “security detail.” We Hillboros are kind of a big deal. We need a bodyguard. We have a family reunion coming up…I think we might debut that look then. It will look like we’ve really made it in life.
You might think, “Oh, this is Andy’s friend” would be a sufficient explanation in all of those situations, but think about it: why would I bring one of Andy’s friends to my school picnic? Why would Andy bring him to work? Why would we bring him to a family reunion? It ends up seeming weird that we have this extra dude with us all the time. Whatever. It’s an odd situation, but it’s been a fun addition to our family. Maybe we’re strange, but I’ve accepted that normal is far out of my reach. That’s okay. I’ll be happy with my husband and my butler/driver/sister wife/security detail. Who knows what he’ll be next?