Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

Memorial Weekend Cookout (and the last transfer)

Posted by Gerald on June 1, 2007

Yesterday my dog Ginger and I went to some friends’ house for a Memorial Day weekend cookout.  Ginger had a moderately terrifying day.  She is a nine (or so) year old dog who lives with a single guy with no kids.  Except for neighborhood people and animals she doesn’t see much of anyone but me.  I took her to an event with several people and, more to the point, four energetic pre-school and kindergarten age kids.  Now, Ginger is about 16 lbs. of soft blonde cuteness.  She was quite a hit with the kids.  The kids, however, were a bit overwhelming and frightening for her.  So she is spending the day sleeping.

The crowd at the cookout was made up of several of my colleagues from DCCC and their significant others.  It had the ingredients that make up an American weekend cookout – hot dogs, potato salad (thanks Donnell – yummy!), beer and sodas, running kids, and barking dogs (not Ginger – she was too afraid; our hosts Julie and Mac (thanks, guys) have large, exuberant, and friendly beasts that, happily for little Ginger, were in a big, fenced dog-run).

Since I live alone, I don’t get to experience this sort of crowd very often.  It was a very pleasant, family-type day for me.  I don’t really have any family anywhere close.  My parents moved down to NC with me from our native Michigan when I was 10.  From then on, it was just the three of us.  My folks had some friends at times, but nothing really lasting until the last few years of their lives when they joined a local Presbyterian church.  In Michigan they had socialized with our extended family.  Most of my friends were my cousins, except for a small group of guys in school.  Here in NC, we were very much alone.  I didn’t live near anyone I went to school with, so outside of school I was on my own.  Hell, even in school I didn’t really have friends.  A “Yankee” moving to Thomasville, NC in 1974 was not really going to be a beloved figure.

My point is that after age 10 I didn’t really have the sorts of “family cookout” experiences that most people have had.  Yesterday had that feeling, and it was nice, although like Ginger I found myself a bit overwhelmed at times.  Unlike her, however, I didn’t need to curl up in anyone’s lap for comfort and protection.  It was a pleasant change for me.

But I think I do need an extra nap.

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