My husband was out in the woods with my parents. Usually my mom calls to give me updates on what kind of animals they see but on this call she told me about my husband’s very special new shower tent.
He was so excited about his new find BUT he should have ordered the stakes to anchor it. Based on what my mom shared, I pictured the tent blowing across the meadow as my surprised and soapy husband chased after it. I’m sure when he tells me about it, it may even top the hunting story where he ended up prancing through the woods waving his pants over his head as my dad rolled with laughter and the bees only stung Darold.
Few people know that I tricked my him into marrying me. Right before Christmas I was waiting in a long line at a department store in the mall. I was mentally going through the list of gifts I had and what was still needed. I’d recently rekindled a high school flame and he would be coming to my parents’ house for Christmas. I was a college student on a budget and had made gifts for most relatives. While standing in the long, slow moving line, I realized I hadn’t gotten a gift for him.
LUCKILY, the department store had all sorts of gifts within arms reach. From the “Gifts for Him” pile, I grabbed a festive tube of stripped fabric. I may or may not have thought in that very moment about what I was getting him. It’s most likely I was appreciating that it was pre-wrapped and gender specific. I don’t recall his reaction when he opened the gift but I did take advantage of him later when his friend noticed.
As Darold sat folding laundry, his friend noticed that his bright yellow, stripped bikini (think Speedo swimsuit style–see picture example below) briefs seemed out of character. When the friend inquired, Darold said he’d gotten them from me for Christmas. His friend asked, “When’s the wedding?” (The free picture from the internet below shows the style and perhaps attitude of this type of undergarment. This is not my husband or his underwear or an Oregon beach).
When Darold called me and asked me when we were getting married, I let him know that I’d be done with summer term at the end of July so the first week of August would work. I may have flipped open the calendar and let him know that August 5 was open because that is the day we got married.
Several years later, my dad was camping in remote Eastern Oregon with my dad. Every year they go archery hunting together and spend long hours hiking and talking. On this particular trip, they were walking through the woods when they stepped on a yellow jackets next. My dad was quick to respond but Darold wasn’t as fast. Before he knew it, his pants were full of angry bees.
He ran but took the stinging insects with him so he stopped, pulled off his pants and used them to swat away the ones dive-bombing his head. My dad later described it as lasso style green sweat pants wildly waving about Darold’s head.
The bees kept attacking his legs at the same time so though he ran, it was more of a prancing-dancing gait like Dick Van Dyke at the fair in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang during the Old Bamboo Song. (see the link if you are unfamiliar with this flamboyant dance).
As my husband battled bees, my dad observed from a safe distance. While being stung repeatedly is never funny, watching your son-in-law prance in bright yellow stripped bikini briefs while waving pants above his head, caused my dad to chuckle.
My parents have always loved my husband and are likely closer to him than they are me. Because prancing in underwear is not the only mishap they’ve experienced, I’m sure my mom would be nonchalant in describing Darold run naked through a meadow after his shower tent as well. While tents make it easier to have privacy in remote wilderness (or anywhere for that matter according to their video) our family suggests making sure they are properly secured if there is any chance of wind.
I love that my husband and my father are wild at heart. I’m glad that they build memories in the great outdoors. That my mom keeps me in the loop about their antics when I’m unable to join them show that our family is special indeed. In the wilds of Oregon, anything is possible.