Cum on feel the noize
Girls rock your boys
We’ll get wild, wild, wild
Wild, wild, wild
So you think I got an evil mind
I tell you honey
I don’t know why
I don’t know why
This past weekend was interesting. The Hunter, his son, his son’s BFF and I went to see my son at his raucous college town for a great football game. It was fascinating for so many reasons:
• First road trip with Nino, the Hunter’s son.
• First road trip for Nino and his dad in about 5 years or more
• First time the Hunter has seen a big school’s traditional football weekend replete with tailgating, fanatical fans, etc.
• First time the Hunter and I interacted with my friends from my previous life.
Oh yes, it was quite the weekend and you know what, it was fabulous. I had an absolutely fantastic time. I didn’t have a single “oh shit” moment. If I had attempted this weekend with my Ex, it would have been so stressful I would have needed a bottle of Xanax with a vodka chaser. But my Ex was not part of the equation. I was relaxed and the Hunter, although a bit nervous, embraced the weekend and came away with a newfound appreciation for the college experience. So what happened? Oh my, where to start?
We left town at 5:30 am because we were only going to be gone one night. It’s a grueling 5 hour ride to the college. It was a sold-out situation, so I ended up doing an AirBnB with a former work colleague who has retired to an idyllic riverfront life about 45 minutes from campus. She has some cottages that she rents out and I prevailed upon our relationship to get one for a single night. Football weekends are so popular in this town that all the lodging insists on a 2-night minimum. When a Motel 6 is charging $150/night for two nights, you get the picture….
Nino and his friend, Russell, supplied free tickets and parking through friends of the Hunter’s sister. Although the Hunter didn’t want to take them, I grabbed those suckers up. When he saw parking for $25-$40, he was appreciative too.
We are driving along the freeway at 6:00 am with two sleepy young men in the backseat. We are munching on pastries and coffee. I am thrilled. I am going to see my son, I love this college’s football experience, the Hunter is driving. All is great in the world. So I chirp up, “Do you know what today is?” The Hunter looks at me with a puzzled smile, “No.”
“IT’S GAME DAY!!” I scream. That was it. The boys take up the cry and for the whole trip, we would suddenly work “GAME DAY” into the conversation. The Hunter was playing the role of curmudgeon and would threaten bodily harm on all of us for our chant. It was delightful.
We get to my girlfriend’s place and it is OFF the beaten path. Down a country road, then another and then the final 1-1/2 miles are on a dirt road. If this had been my Ex, the ranting would have started when we go to the highway exit and he realized the distance from the campus. The Hunter LOVED this spot. It was calm, peaceful and full of wildlife. It soothed him to leave the campus chaos for this lovely spot. The boys had a small cabin of their own complete with pool table. Other than crappy cell phone reception, everyone was happy.
We hit the tailgate party and I am surrounded by folks from my old life. My son’s former teachers, his best friend’s parents, his friends and roommates, his new girlfriend, my former neighbors. It was a sea of people from a life that I no longer live and it made for an interesting day. We all had a great time, but the interesting part was his best friend’s parents. They were a big part of my former life. We traveled to many a lacrosse game. B, the dad, was the treasurer of my booster club. His wife, M, is the take-charge, controlling mom who would sit and drink with me. We were close until the divorce and then they melted away. They are one of those friends that asked what I was doing for Thanksgiving and when I said nothing, no invitation was extended. You get the picture. I was worried about all this, but for nothing.
The Hunter and I were welcomed, fed copious amounts of food and enjoyed seeing my son and all his friends. The new girlfriend (a first for my son) is adorable. It was lovely. Nino and his friends took off to explore, got lost, missed out on awesome food, but we teased them about it and let it go. Our seats were fabulous and it was just a great day – long and exhausting because it was a night game, but great.
When we headed back to the woods, the boys, being young city men, started talking about how the place reminded them of various horror movies. Very isolated, quiet. So what does the Hunter do – turn off the car lights and it was pitch black — no moon, no stars. When he would turn the lights back on the guys would be all jumpy expecting some ghoul to be in front of the car. I finally started to get a slight case of nerves. Then the Hunter exacted his revenge on our GAME DAY chant.
We go inside to our respective cabins. The Hunter waits about 20 minutes so they are all settled in and then grabs the flashlight after turning off all the outside lights. “Come watch this,” he tells me and grabs my hand. I linger out in front of the boys’ cabin while he moves to the side and flashes the light up along the window. Their chatter abruptly stops. Then the Hunter begins a slow scratching on the side. More light flashes.
Their door abruptly opens with both boys wielding pool cues and eyes as big as saucers. We are laughing until I cannot breathe. Nino, “Dad, you are an asshole.” But even Nino and Russell start laughing.
The next day we bought a bunch of groceries and proceeded to make breakfast for 5 hungry college students and us. But before that we sat down with our cabin hostess and I learned, with envy, how she redefined her life. I’ll tell you about her tomorrow.