Monday, September 04, 2006

Random Stuff

It's close to noon on Labor Day, and waiting at my folks' house for Tom to come down from Atlanta. We'll muck around Asheville a bit then head back to ATL.

From here on out anyone I date needs to meet my family before things get serious. Or at least my brothers. I can point them out and say look, this is the way we are. We can be moody and you better not take it personally 'cause it's not about you. Maybe it's genetics. Or maybe it's a cultural thing, some residual trait carried over from Ireland or Norway or France or one of the other half-dozen countries our ancestors wandered over from. Whatever. Back off and it will pass quickly.

I used to think Dark Irish was a mood, not a skin tone - and I still like my definition better.

The weekend is already forming into a series of images rather than a coherent narrative. That tends to happen when all you do for three days is eat drink and smoke.

Anne and Jeff stayed at the Lesbian Lodge the first night. It wasn't really called that - the actual name was the Magical Mystery Mountain Lodge of Mystical Hearing Arts. I think. The new-agers say that Sandy Mush is a power vortex, so there's a dash of Marin County in this corner of Appalachia. Magic Mountain became the Lesbian Lodge when Anne read in the guestbook that Cathy and Trina danced naked under the moonlight last night and they have never felt so accepted.

My family really isn't the type to dance naked under the moonlight, so most of us ended up at the Wildberry Lodge, a huge country home on the side of a mountain. The lanai looked down into a picture-postcard cove full of grazing cows and goats, and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. We spent some long pleasant nights drinking on the porch and looking out over the hills.

I wasn't sure what to make of the crowd. There was a pretty even division between the Cain/Laughna side of the family, the Ann Arbor crew, and the Ohio crew. Ron's family was small in comparison. My first reaction was that I didn't even want to meet any of the Ohio gang. There were too many blonds, and too many guys who looked like extras from the Sopranos. Which was wrong on my part, because not everyone who works for Italian-owned construction companies is mob connected. Not at all, and I'm sorry I even brought it up.

The beauty of alcohol is that it helps you to drop your defenses, and in the end I got along pretty well with everyone. Almost. A few must have thought they were at a club, because I got that cold-shoulder I'm not talking to the likes of you attitude that only suburban Midwestern girls can give. I didn't really understand it, given that I'm gay, I'm family, it wasn't a nightclub, and I wouldn't have been interested even if I were straight and we were at a meat market rather than my sister's wedding reception. Since I am unlikely to ever see most of them again I wasn't too worried.

So: Friday was rafting, then we had a reception at a restaurant in downtown Asheville. The food was amazing, and it's always fun to have our whole family together. This was the first time in years that everyone could make it. Most people went home after, but Tim, Michelle, myself, Ron's brother, & Emily and Jason from A2 ended up escorting Beth on her last bar crawl of her single life.

I got my first taste of Asheville nightlife. People told me that they love Asheville for it's diversity, but to my eyes everyone looked the same - thin, a little grungy, unwashed hair, very white, and completely lacking in rhythm. I only think that I live in America, but then I come here and I'm not so sure. There were drummers in the town park going thump thump thump on the drums & tho there was no syncopation and most drummers weren't even able to keep a beat there was a crowd of hundreds dancing with wild abandon. Later we heard some really awful music at a couple bars. I had the same mixed feelings I always have when I'm around a scene like this. One one hand I admire the freedom the little hippy boys and girls have. I like the way they let it all hang out. One the other hand I can't stop thinking: stop smoking so much pot, comb your hair, and please at least try and move to the beat.

Saturday morning we had a lazy breakfast, went to my folks to pick up supplies, and then back to the Lodge for the wedding. The rain held off long enough for Beth and Ron to get married outside. A swarm of yellow jackets added some excitiment, and overal it was a very pretty ceremony.

The reception went on until ... some late hour. I was in bed by 3am, I do know that. It was nice being in the lodge, as there were endless rooms to explore and you never felt like you were stuck in one large banquet hall.

Sunday morning was lazy again for awhile, then went to my folks for a barbecue. I started to fade hard by mid afternoon, and didn't think I had it in me to be social. A five minute nap, two cups of coffee, and a stiff Mai Tai brought me back to life.

The dogs are barking, so I guess Tom is here. Time for the next adventure!

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