One of the joys of being an adult is getting to an age at which you can just act like a big old goober and just enjoy yourself. Trent and I don't have any children, so we don't have to worry about some kid whining, "Daaaad, you're embarrassing me!" or "Mooooom, stop it!" Marie and Thayne's kids are all adults now, so they can do things and go places and just act silly if they wish. I will admit, though, that there are moments when I'd like the kids to be about fifteen again so that we could try to make them completely disgusted with our juvenile behavior.
Several years ago, Marie's ex in-laws were in town, and Trent and I went out to dinner with the whole family. Marie was next to me, with Betty, the grandma of her children, on her other side. I overheard Betty as she leaned over and said something to Marie with a very serious look on her face. You see, one of Marie's nicknames for her son Nathaniel was Bud-o. Betty said to Marie, "I hear you calling Nathaniel 'butthole' sometimes, and it bothered me, but I see that you call him that with love, so I guess it's all right." Please be aware that Betty, Marie, and I were all burning with fevers that night because we all had pneumonia or bronchitis. I can't remember which, because I refused to go to the doctor. Sometimes putting a label on things just makes them feel worse. Factor in the noise of a restaurant and a table full of a dozen or more people, and you might understand why Betty's comment just flew right past Marie.
Several weeks later, Marie and I were together and I asked her about Betty's comment. And yes, it had flown right past her. When I told her that Betty thought she was calling Nate 'butthole,' she and I got a terrible case of the hysterical giggles. During our travels we picked Nate up from school and had to regale him with the story, and get hysterical yet again. Every few minutes one of use would say Bud-o, and we'd start with the giggles again. Needless to say, it didn't take long for Nate to get thoroughly disgusted by our lack of self-control. But that didn't stop us from having fun. Ah, the good old days!
When Marie, Thayne, Julie (Thayne's sister), Trent and I went to Orlando and the Mouse House, we had tons of fun and let it all hang out. Marie kept hoping to spot armadillos alongside the road, so we sang several different songs, very loudly, telling the armadillos we would like to have them make an appearance. We did finally see one, so the hard work paid off. There were many opportunities to act like kids (Hello! Disney World!) and we all jumped in with both feet. You may not be aware that a lot of Disney World and the surrounding areas are reclaimed swamp land. Florida has a lot of water, and I am not talking about the ocean. You might drive around and see numerous ponds or swampy areas, some complete with their own gators. (I like to call them croc-a-gators, it just sounds fun to me.) With all of the water and the mild climate, all sorts of things inhabit these areas. We saw opossums galore, gators, and more varieties of birds than I could possibly count. And lush plants, gorgeous flowers, and Spanish moss.
One night as we were driving back to where we were staying, I got a whiff of a swampy area that couldn't be seen, but definitely could be sniffed out. Even though it wasn't all that bad, I said, "Yuck! What's that smell?" Julie immediately replied, "It wasn't me!" This of course degenerated into comments about who had the swampy bottom. Yes, we were acting like dorky kids, but it was fun. Another evening, Marie was driving, Julie was in the front passenger seat, and I found myself in back with the guys. "Uh-oh! I said, "I guess I better act like one of the guys!" I leaned back, moved my legs apart, and began tugging at my pants. The ladies got a good laugh out of it when they figured out I was scratching my testicles.
I don't want you to thing that we are totally boorish and that we are constantly acting like idiots. All of us have very good manners, and use them almost all of the time. We generally act like intelligent, mature, and genteel adults. But it's hard to be serious when Mother Nature plays the straight man and gives you a dose of swampy bottom!