When last I left you, good reader, my men had left for camping. Yesterday afternoon, Jess and I went down the Danvers Fish & Game to join up with the troop and other families at the campsite where the boys prepared dinner for us all. The boys cheffed up some Chicken Parmesan, pasta, sauce, and leftover chili from that afternoon's lunch. We had a lot of fun hanging out and spending time with the families.
Doug seemed to be having a huge blast, which was such a blessing. He pretty much didn't want to go, flat out, end of conversation...
The backstory is that, some of you may remember this, last October, Doug took Geoff camping with the entire Cub Scout pack. I never really wrote a summary about because the outcome was that he had an incomprehensibly horrible time. Jay did mention some of what went down at that trip in his post from the same weekend... and you can go read it if you like. He is one of the Cub scout masters, and was particularly disturbed at the events that did unfold that horrible October evening.
In a nutshell, a couple of dads decided to be complete and total knuckleheads. They brought a TV to watch the Red Sox Playoff game on (bad idea guys, come on -- you are CAMPING! Listen to the radio, or how about this... just let it go for one damn night and spend the time with your kids ferchrissakes!) On top of that they brought alcohol. Which in and of itself, you know I'm all for when camping. Nothing is better than outdoors, a fire, and a brew, and sitting around talking with friends. I'm all for that 100%.
But they didn't sit around, have a beer, watch the game and chat. No. They got shitty drunk. And not silly shitty drunk. They got lousy nasty shitty drunk. The game went into extra innings, and they got shittier lousier drunkier, into the wee tiny hours of the morning.
So the entire campsite was trying to sleep as a handful of shitty drunkassed allegedly responsible for their kids adult men were swearing, throwing things, and boozing it all up, and just behaving in a very inappropriate manner for a scouting event. Hell, they were behaving in an inappropriate manner if it had been one of their own backyards and they were having a party.
Geoff's den mother was there and she was horrified. She knew she had to do something, but in her heart of hearts knew it was useless to try and talk to the guys in that condition. Still, she went out to try and convince them to bring it down to a quiet roar and they gave her a ration of shit. So she stomped back to her tent and stayed there the rest of the night, fuming.
I told her that it was really a good thing I wasn't there because my Long Island BITCH would have come right out and there would be blood. I'd'a had her back. The blood had would not mine. But theirs. Their drunk assed blood.
Oh hell no. Giving a mom, a den mother, MY den mother, a leader in the pack SHIT like that? Oh it would have so been on right there and then. Heh. Anyway...
This was a handful of dads, who were supposed to be some of the responsible agents at this event, acting like it was Wild Hogs Weekend.
If someone had been injured or needed immediate medical care, it could have been a catastrophe. If a kid had wandered out of his tent and gotten lost in the woods or God forbid it a thousand million times FELL INTO THE LAKE and they needed a cadre of healthy, clearminded men together to find this child... catastrophe would have resulted.
Overall, every parent was then called to task and every adult, including the ones who were not there (like me) had to sign a Code of Conduct agreement.
This could have ended very badly, but fortunately, it didn't.Anyway, after that weekend trip, Doug swore he was never EVER doing anything with the scouts again.
I know that Geoff's success with scouting hinges upon our involvement. I knew that he had to go on this trip. I could see it in his face and his eyes that he was so not wanting to do this. I could feel the metaphorical heels digging in as I pulled on that rope around his neck, insisting that he come on already and just do it and it would be okay. It would be different.
Friday afternoon they left and I could totally feel his frustration at having to pack up and go. He wanted me to say "Oh, you suck, ya big baby! Get back in the house! I'm going!" But I didn't.
When Jess and I got there for dinner on Saturday night, Doug was playing bocce ball with three other dads and having a blast. The boys were all busting their tails to make dinner, with the senior patrol leader calling out orders and giving assignments, and trying to herd the cats (aka Tenderfoot Scouts like Geoff) in the right direction.
An assistant scout master was there overseeing the progress and barking out orders. He was the coach, and his senior patrol leader was like the offensive coordinator.
Doug came and sat with me and we talked about how much fun they were having.
Doug was having FUN. Oh, Praise Be To Jebus! Fun.
He said that on Friday night they all got there, the boys sprang into action and cleaned the site and readied it up for the tents. All the tents were pitched and ready, and the camp trailer was opened so dinner could get started. The dads split up and went to oversee tents or dinner, and help where they were needed. Doug had to really coach Geoff on how to set up the tent because he had never done it before by himself, and another boy came over to assist him.
They got dinner started (grilled cheese) and before they knew it dinner was eaten and it was dark and time to play Manhunt... kind of like freezetag. Doug said he sat with the dads and scoutmasters and talked for hours. They had a great time.
He said it was a relief to behold. And a laugh riot to watch.
They went to the frontier area of the club and learned all about pre 1850 life with the dudes who do reenactments with black powder guns and six shooters and hatchet throwings. They spent so much time there that they pretty much missed out on the skeet shooting. Only a few boys got to go to that. Then they went and shot .22 rifles (Geoff couldn't hit the side of a barn) and about five boys (Geoff included because of his frustration with the gun situation) went to the Members Only Pond for some fly fishing. That was kind of a super special thing... normally they wouldn't be allowed over there but overall the Danvers Fish & Game crew were exceptionally welcoming and kind and amazing to the boys. By Saturday night when we got there for the dinner, everyone was all smiles, everyone had a really tremendous day. Dinner didn't go off without a hitch but people managed to really get through the hiccups and a good time was had by all.
When Jess and I left, another game of Manhunt was gearing up. We drove away to the sounds of boys yelling in the woods. And my husband was sitting on a bench watching and smiling.
And I was smiling too.
I took Jess in to get a big haircut yesterday.
She has been growing it for Locks of Love, again. She did it last April, and over time has "farmed" her hair again to about a foot in length so that she'd have at least the requisite 10 inches needed for donation. She had over 12 inches.
She's always just kept it the way it is, all one length, long long long, and now she is kind of feeling that self-expression streak rising to the top and wishes to obey it. I've long told her that hair is hair, it grows back, you can dye it back to blonde if it doesn't work out... the only thing I'm not to keen on is facial piercings, ever. Hair grows back. Gaping hole in your lip, ugly and scarred for life. No.
So I am letting her do it. Marian is willing to work with her to pick a fun color and knows I don't want her whole HEAD dyed bright read (Jesus, God, help me if that ever happens)... but that she knows what she wants, it sounds cool and different and no one else she knows has this... so it would be all hers.
I'm totally making her dye it back for Rebel Shakespeare in August if she doesn't have to wear a hat as part of her costume... so, we'll see when we get to August what is going on with that hair.
I haven't had a haircut since the week before my sister's wedding, so it was about dang time. Marian cut it very conservatively, but I thought it was still too long and I didn't really like it.
So she cut it shorter, and then just kept asking her to make it shorter in front, and why don't we layer the sides and ... Next thing I knew all my hair was like GONE.
She styled my hair and it did this cute little flippy thing all the way around my head, which I of course cannot recreate here at the house today. It's always that way, innit? I need a professional lady to just do my hair for me every morning now. Great.
Jess is getting her tips colored on Thursday night. I'm going in on Saturday to do something about this crazy silver stuff I'm growing on top of my head. I'm thinking I want to blonden up my hair to kind of blend with all that silvery stuff... we'll see what I end up doing.
When I told Doug that Jess farmed her hair again he rolled his eyes. I said to him, look -- she doesn't do a lot of community service kind of things. She really isn't involved in anything other than the Shakespeare stuff. She found something she can do, and in her heart she says "hey... this is a cool thing." All you have to do is go to their website and look at the little girls with their new hair, and it is really sweet. It could be worse. She could be a trainwreck of a kid who is making all kinds of trouble... and then you'd have a reason to be angry or roll your eyes. It's hair. It grows back. So yeah, I think he gets it. He likes her hair all long and pretty, she doesn't do much with it. She rarely ever wears it down or styles it or does anything. So why not share it once a year. It'll grow back and she can do it again. I love her for it. I wish all the kids she knew with massive hair would get together and do that same thing... have a hair party. It'd be fun.
As for my hair, it is too short and I don't quite like it but I'm sure it will take me a week to figure it all out and then I'll be all set. Right?
May 25th, every year, is Towel Day, A day to remember author Douglas Adams. Now, it is on a Sunday this year, so that makes it kind of boring. I can't bring my towel to the office and sit at my desk with it over my shoulder, confounding my co-workers like I would confuse a Bugblatter Beast of Traal.
Sitting here at my desk with a towel over my shoulder is indeed not a whole ton of fun... but it is all I've got going on today.
After I write my entry here, I will be heading out to the yard to hang out and watch for the meadow flowers we planted last week to grow. And, if my ice coffee spills on me after a particularly enthusiastic dog runs past, I have my handy bright orange towel to help me. When Doug is mowing the lawn and he walks past me exhausted and drippy, I can loan him my towel because I love him. I do.
A towel is a massively useful thing, even if you aren't an interstellar hitch hiker. Here is an excerpt from "The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" to explain:
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very, very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
So do enjoy your Towel Day observances. If you haven't read them yet, pick up Douglas Adams' very silly but also rather insightful books, and enjoy. A nice, relaxing read for a beautiful long weekend.
And after that exceptionally long update, I leave you to go make dinner. Huzzah! Have a good rest of your weekend in case I don't have an update.