just ponderin'

… on it all being greek to me

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout a week ago, I got a text from number three son Jack.

I should probably point out that number three son Jack is not technically a son in the blood or legal sense because you might be doing math and if I have ever met you (in the real world or in, like, a dream) and you’ve asked me, “Hey, Lis, how many kids do you have?” and I said, “Oh, hi (insert your name here (or insert ‘Tom Cruise’ or ‘Tippy Hendren’ if you think it was a dream)). I have three kids.”… Anyway if you’ve ever heard me say that I have three kids and you know for sure that one of them is a girl (because she is, even though she is called ‘Mac’), then me saying ‘number three son Jack’ has just probably surprised you a bit.

Or a lot.

If I just surprised you a lot and you tripped or fell off your chair, and are injured, you should call 911 (message me if you need me to call 911).

Anyway, Jack has been such a close person to our family for more than three years now that my nearly perfect husband and I refer to him as ‘number three son Jack’ or the ‘half’, as in “We have two and a half kids in college”. I’m not sure why Jack is a half. At 6’1 and a behemoth of a college track and field hammer thrower, no one would ever refer to Jack as a ‘half’. But Jack is an honorary Dingle through and through and one of my favorite humans on the planet.

Jack is also Mac’s boyfriend, and has been since basically the last few weeks of high school.

The same high school.

Nope, they didn’t date before that.

They just got together after prom.

Where they went with dates.

But other dates and not each other.

I know, wHierd.

Not my decision though. I knew long before they got together it was going to happen. Years before.

But that’s not the point of the story, the point of the story is…

Seriously?

You want the Mac and Jack love story right now?

I haven’t even had my second cup of coffee.

Okay, but you know what, we are going to do this really quickly.

Oh my Gawd, it can be a story challenge!

How many breaths do I get to take after I start?

Breaths.

BREATHS!

Meaning, if I was saying this out loud, super fast, how many breaths can I take in between?

Okay, fine. Three.

I can do the Mac and Jack love story in three breaths.

Hang on. I’m doing some deep breathing like they do in the movies before they have to hold their breaths for a really long time because they are going to swim through an underwater cave or from on deep sea submarine to another (as if they wouldn’t be crushed immediately, even if they were breathing a special oxygen rich fluid… oh you saw the Abyss too? Loved the wHierd morphing sea creature, hated the ending). Anyway I’m taking deep breaths like that.

Okay. I’m ready.

Go!

Breath number one.

The first time I saw Jack it hit me like a ton of bricks that he and Mac were going to be together. I didn’t know him. He was new to the school and I was picking up Mac and I asked her who he was and I told her right then that she was going to date him and she thought I was crazy, which is not unusual and I didn’t argue. This was two and a half years before they dated. They went to prom with different people – just as friends. But after prom I did tell Mac that it was almost the end of high school and they should get together already because they were running out of track (which made sense to her because she does track and it made sense to me because so did I, like a million years ago.) And, as usual, Mac rolled her eyes at me and laughed, but I still knew.

Breath number two.

So in the days following prom, it seemed that Mac was texting more and every time I asked who she was texting she said, ‘Jack’. And then one day she was going to Johnson’s (the ice cream place) and I asked ‘with who?’ she said ‘Jack’ and I asked if it was a date and she said no and I asked if there was going to be food and she said ‘yes’ and I said it was a date and she said it wasn’t and that became their “‘it’s not a date’ date”. And there were many other silly parts of their initial dating including the time that John texted her from the back of the high school auditorium during the end-of-year music concert because Jack had put his arm on the back of her chair and the text said, “I CAN SEE YOU!”  And, oh by the way, self-appointed perfect boy Gabe was in heaven because he was in middle school at the time and Jack was the big deal football player who came to their class for the mentoring program once a week. When Mac started dating Jack, Gabe’s street cred went way up.

Breath number three.

So I didn’t realize how much commotion their getting together at the end of high school was going to cause but my adult friends and her kid friends seemed to have an awful lot of opinions on their dating, and some thought it was ridiculous that Mac and Jack were starting a relationship at the end of high school and told them that. And once Mac even called from a friend’s house to say that the friend’s parents were telling her – at their dinner table – that she ‘should’ go to school ‘unattached’ and I know that you know how I feel about ‘should people’. So between then and now they fell in love and they have many stories and Jack has become a part of our family like I knew he would, in the fall of 2007, when I didn’t even know him (and Mac, John, and the rest of my family thought I was crazy).

DONE.

Breathing normally now (and, yes, I checked that each one of those paragraphs could be said in one breath (and, yes, I said them wicked fast).

So anyway, last week I got a text from number three son Jack.

And it was a picture of Mac and she was holding something and it looked like Greek letters in a little plastic box with that freaky grey plastic-y styrofoam stuff that doesn’t give you nearly the tactile satisfaction of real styrofoam when you press your finger into it.

So I wrote, “What is that?!”

And being college kids, no one wrote back right away so I texted threatening things until they did.

And Mac wrote that Jack ‘lavaliered’ her.  And I got a little worried because they are down south, and nearer to Texas than I am, and I immediately had visions of Jack throwing a rope around Mac and dragging her to the ground.

But then I realized that, no. That’s ‘lassoed’, not ‘lavaliered’ so I felt much better.

But still I had to look it up, and it sounded sort of like when a boy gives a girl his football jersey or class ring or something and I thought that was really nice, but then…

The other day Mac told her broader world, via facebook, that Jack had lavaliered her and all of a sudden there were like 130 ‘likes’ and messages of congratulations and stuff and I had to dig deeper and this is, like, a big fat hairy deal!

So, in the Greek community (and I’m talking fraternities and sororities here, not, like, Cypress. Actually, I just looked that up. Cypress isn’t really part of Greece. Dang. ‘Athens’ seemed so pedestrian as a Greek example. Pompeii would have sounded good, but it’s was Roman. I dunno. Okay, I’ll use Alexandroupoli. Hang on…)

So I’m talking Greek as in fraternities and sororities here, not Greek as in Alexandroupoli.

Nailed it.

So in the Greek community, lavaliering is a big commitment. It’s a declaration that you intend to spend your life with someone.

So they are not engaged, but they are excited and all kinds of committed. And Mac is all happy and their fellow Greeks are all happy, I have to return a call from Jack so I can hear his side of the story of how it went down. But considering that he was so nervous doing it that Mac initially said no because she thought he could ask better, this all seems to be the makings of a historic Dingle family story (she said they both laughed out loud about how nervous he was, but he must have pulled it together splendidly, because she did say yes!)

And I would like to say that I am elated that they are now lavaliered, and I am very smiley about how excited they are.

But mostly I’m happy that I mixed up lavaliering and lassoing and that Mac isn’t sitting somewhere, hog tied, and waiting for me to come help.

Thanks for readin’.

smiley-face-button-14267615As always, you can come on over to Just Ponderin’s facebook page to comment or just hang out!

Elena Peters

midlife blogger & pinterest master

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