Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Grillin' & Chillin'

So I'm grilling yesterday while WifeRat, BabyRat, and SisRat are playing in the yard; the sky turns dark and rain begins to fall, suddenly and heavily. My three ladies quickly dash into the building and I'm left standing outside in the rain with food on the grill. I'm thinking I haven't started cooking the burgers or veggies yet, so I'll just finish up these shrimp real quick and do the burgers on the griddle upstairs and put the vegetables in broiler or something.

When I asked WifeRat to take the burgers upstairs, she gave me a puzzled look and said, "But we're grilling" as she ducked back inside. By the time I grabbed an umbrella out of the car and got back to work cooking I realized that the rain was letting up a bit and the situation was manageable.

As I continued to juggle an over sized golf umbrella, spatula, tongs, and a beer while trying not to overcook my shrimp and get some vegetables on the grill; I hear someone call out, "Hey, nice cooler!" I look over and see my neighbor Dan, who's cooler I was using.

We had gone swimming with Dan and his family at the Prince Georges Community Pool on Sunday and had inadvertently "absorbed" their cooler when packing up. Rather than drop it off right when we got home, WifeRat decided she would return it later in the week and that would give her an excuse to call Roberta, her current candidate for BFF.

One of the things I kind of didn't realize about starting a family, is that you enter into this totally different social network that revolves around children and family. I'm the social butterfly of the family, I've worked hard to keep my friendships up despite changing circumstances but now I'm obliged to enter into these strange whole family friendships. What's really wacky about initiating and maintaining these relationships to me is how much it ends up being like dating.

First you meet, either at a party of a mutual friend or at the park or some kind of "Third Place" like a coffee shop. Usually one parent from each family meets and then the spouses get introduced at some meeting in the future. After everyone has met and seems to like each other,
one party or the other has to take the bold step of asking for or proffering contact information. After the exchange of information is made both couples will then confer about taking the big step of actually calling or e-mailing and making plans with the other family; the big first date and things progress from there.

We've been dating Dan & Roberta and their kids for about six months now and things are going pretty well. Dan was outside playing with his two kids in the rain at the park that's right next to our backyard, so I invited him over for a quick beer. We could see the park from where the grill was and stood around BSing for about ten minutes while I cooked and we knocked down a couple of PBRs then Dan and his kids headed back home with their cooler and I finished making dinner.

It wasn't until I got upstairs with all the food that I found out the BabyRat was very upset that everyone had left her Daddy out in the rain.

1 comment:

monkeyrotica said...

A sawbuck buys you a deck umbrella, holmes. Worth its weight in gold when you grillin for the crotchfruit and God decides to pee on you.