Friday, February 12, 2010

lili marlene.

In honor of the holiday I love the least, this week I’m sharing some of my own relationship mishaps (relationship is a term to be used, in this case, very loosely). If nothing else, these stories remind me: Thank goodness I married Jordan.


I’m not sure I was completely honest with you a few days ago.

I mentioned my first—and only—break-up. But I didn’t give you all the details.

The truth is, Pete* isn’t entirely to blame.

I mean, he did go off to Honduras and do what all high school guys do when they go on mission trips: He found someone else.

But he also came back and discovered that the family of the girl he was dating was absolutely insane.

Pete and I had only been dating (if that's what you want to call church softball games and the occasional movie) for about three months when he came back from Honduras. I invited him to my family’s annual 4th of July party, a get-together that’s always a hit. We do fireworks, eat hot dogs, and just enjoy being American.

My family had known Pete forever. But, as I have previously mentioned, I was a late bloomer. And I didn’t bring dates to anything. Ever.

Until that dreaded July 4th.

Perhaps the most outlandish July 4th celebration in my family’s nutty history.

It should be noted that you don’t fully understand how crazy your family is until you bring someone home for the first time.

So when my uncles set off the fireworks (none of which went in the air, because in Florida, that’s illegal. And my family might be crazy, but they are all law-abiding citizens), it seemed perfectly natural to me that my family would launch into a chorus of “oooohhhhh”s and “ahhhhhh”s. It’s just what we do. Every year, for each and every firework. It’s not crazy. Not to me. But the look on Pete’s face was one of sheer terror.

Then came the march. No, my family doesn’t do a parade (although, Jordan’s does. A 4th of July parade on Labor Day weekend, to be exact. Which may prove that I have married into a family crazier than my own). But we listen to John Philip Sousa every year. And my mom hums along. Loudly.

More ashen terror.

Then, the straw that broke the camel’s back.

My uncle Steve is a member of a barbershop quartet. Bow ties and all. As such, he spends a lot of time with a pitch pipe and a song-- and sometimes a straw hat.

In a moment of genius, he managed to convince two of my relatives to join him in a rendition of that barbershop classic, “Lili Marlene.” But wait! What’s a quartet without four parts? A trio, but that’s not what he was looking for.

So he recruited Pete.

Poor Pete.

Dragged into “Lile Marlene” before he knew what hit him.

I tried to stop it, but to be honest: I already knew about the Honduran Hottie. And what’s a little humiliation to someone who was about to humiliate me?

That’s what I thought.

So I protested a little, but let Uncle Steve handle the rest.

Pete and I broke up on July 5.

I blame mission trips and barbershop quartets.

And Providence.

*Names changed to protect the semi-innocent.

{This post inspired by this hilarious lady.}

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