My only non-Czarina day off for the month of June was Father's Day. Which meant that I had to go with CN to spend it with his family. Which was fine. I guess. I usually spend Father's Day trying to forget that it's Father's Day. Every year, I feel pangs of grief, because I miss my dad so much. And Father's Day is always near what would have been his birthday, too. So June is kind of hard for me. But I wanted to hang out with CN, since it was my day off.
I like his family, and his dad is sick, so you know, it wasn't the end of the world. Even though I didn't have to go, it's almost a familial obligation at this point. His parents love me and he and I have been dating too long for me to skip out on family gatherings. But it was my ONLY day off. *sigh* So I sucked it up and went to church with them and then back to their house for some of his mother's yummy food. (Best macaroni & cheese EVER)
I was afraid I would get antsy to get home, but I ended up having a really good time. CN and his sisters told me stories about their childhood, and they were all hilarious. CN's whole family is extremely funny. My favorite story was about a cat that CN had when he was very young. One day, the cat disappeared. When CN asked his dad where his cat went, his father told him that the cat had to go. You see, it worked for a logging company, and it had to go drive the logging truck.
Maybe you had to be there, but this mental image left me crying laughing. I was picturing this little cat, driving a big rig, paws outstretched to steer the huge wheel. It reached up to grab its CB radio, only to meow into the speaker. After I stopped laughing, CN pointed out that this mental image is eerily similar to an old SNL skit, which I had forgotten all about -- Toonces, the Driving Cat.
Right before we left to go back to Columbia, I was in the living room, alone with CN's dad. He was showing me old photographs of his ancestors and telling me stories about them. The photographs were in double frames -- the ones where you have one person on the left and one person on the right. Each double frame showed a husband/wife duo, and these frames were lined up along a desk, in chronological order. Based on the clothing worn in the photographs, I would say that some of these photos went all the way back to pre-Civil War times. (Which I think is SO COOL, because I'm such a history buff.)
He tells me a story about each person -- the Civil War veteran, the adopted daughter, the preacher, etc. One great-great grandfather drowned in a logging accident (I guess logging was the theme of the day), and since the Edisto River was full of logs when he fell in, and it was in the middle of the winter, they couldn't retrieve his body for THREE weeks. Ugh. Gross.
So we are working our way through the generations, and I'm asking him questions, and it's all very interesting. We started to get to more modern times, and we got to CN's parents. We talked about those photos, and finally, we are on the last double frame. It's a photo of CN, from the day he graduated high school. He told me to pick it up.
"You know who that is, of course," CN's dad said.
"Yeah. It's CN," I replied.
"And you see what's next to his photo?" he continued.
"There's nothing there. There is no photo," I said.
"I know. You'd better talk to that boy about that!" he exclaimed.
WOW. I didn't know what to say, other than, "Um, I think that needs to be his idea. I can't talk to him about that."
CN's dad kept repeating that I need to talk to CN about it. I was starting to get a little self-conscious, when CN came back in the room.
"What are you two talking about? Talk to me about what?" CN asked.
"NOTHING!" I said loudly, putting the picture frame back on the desk.
Smooth, VB. Real smooth.
"You ready to go, honey?" I asked.
It may have been my imagination, but I think CN's dad winked at me.