Last week MJE and the OB&C made a foray requiring two full days’ drive up to the NC mountains for the sole purpose of hosting the OB&C’s family reunion. Apparently the people in the OB&C’s tribe feel compelled to gather together every other year and bore each other with the same stories they told the last go round. Once they arrive at the destination they tend to settle in clumps at the nearest watering hole and aggressively avoid experiencing any of the points of interest that the locale might offer. They are also Dutch which means they will make a waitress write 14 different checks for their party just so cousin Albert doesn’t pay for one dime of cousin Ruth’s chicken fried steak.
The OB&C spent weeks looking up yelp reviews on the various bargain basement eateries in town as well as cheap saloons and anything that might be offered free to tourists. He also made copious notes about what to do in and around the area: gardens, nature centers, short hikes, waterfalls, etc.. Of course, not a single member of the clan actually did any of the suggested outings and none even went to the trouble to say thanks. Now, MJE saw that heartbreak coming a mile away, and I did try to warn him that he was totally wasting his time, but he just said I didn’t know anything because all of my family members hate each other. Well, that’s partially true but it’s beside the point.
MJE, as you might have surmised, was not keen on the whole idea, but as a dutiful wife and helpmate to the OB&C, I took up the challenge with gusto. First order of business was to make damn sure that my party was a whole lot better in every way than brother Jock’s. Opening the competition with an eco-friendly salvo, we wouldn’t have crappy flowered paper and plastic ware, mine were going to be biodegradable and look it. The cups were going to be made from some supremely sustainable organic crapola, with a green stripe to prove it and the forks were going to be made from an invasive south american plant everyone wants to get rid of. The food was sort of a wash since neither of us was going to cook, but I made sure I ordered better stuff. I was scotched on the venue because their party was on a prefab lake in a prefab gazebo near their subdivision so no one would see their house which is modeled upon the lobby and breakfast area of a Holiday Inn Express. Therefore my charming all wood, hand-crafted mountain house full of shabby chic furniture and faded oriental rugs wasn’t going to get the benefit of a comparison
But as fate would have it, the hand of the god of crappy breaks reached down and struck me with two different infections and I ended up in the ER in Asheville and our party got moved to Jock’s house where he got the kudos for all the eco-friendly utensils and the great food.