Disclaimer: The name of the gentleman friend in question has been changed to protect the identity of someone who has no idea this blog exists.
I have a natural affinity for Hyperbole (as I am sure anyone who has read my blog has noticed). There is something beautiful in the art of slight (or major) exaggeration, especially when done right.
But this next story, dear reader, is not exaggerated at all. And, as a double whammy, it also serves to show that I have come by my love of hyperbole naturally.
Though I lived in Edmonton for nearly five years I never missed a Christmas in Victoria. I always took two weeks of vacation and flew home to visit friends and family for the festive season. In addition to the family traditions and get-together’s I always filled these trips with visits to see friends, making sure every second of my time was accounted for. It was a whirlwind of fun topped up with a fair amount of double booking and stress.
One such Christmas, and incidentally my first Christmas as a single lady in many years, I took an evening to visit my friend Josh. It was Sunday night and I had been cautioned before leaving for my non-date that I needed to be back at my parent’s house at a reasonable time as we were driving to Nanaimo the next morning and I would have to wake up early-ish.
My Dad justifiably loathed Josh and I honestly believe his lecture about being home early was more to do with cutting short my time with Josh than because he believed I couldn’t wake up by 10am, but that point is moot.
Still, like the good daughter I am, I kept his lecture in mind and researched the bus times thoroughly to ensure I would meet curfew. I had it all worked out, I would catch the 8:05 bus, transfer to an 8:20 bus, and be home before 9:00pm.
With my route home sorted I relaxed and spent a delightful evening with Josh. We had dinner and watched movies and just generally caught up with each other.
And then 7pm rolled around and my phone rang. It was my Dad.
“Sarah, I just want to remind you that you need be home early as we have a big day tomorrow.”
I assured my Dad that I had the bus times all worked out and reminded him that due to Sunday Schedules my bus only came every hour so yes, the 8:05 bus would be the earliest I could catch.
I settled back in to watch the movie and at 7:07pm my phone rang again.
It was my Dad. Again.
“Why haven’t you left for the bus?” I once again reminded him about Sunday Schedules and told him I would be home before 9:00pm. As I hung up the phone Josh laughed nervously, very keenly aware of how little my Dad liked him.
At 7:20pm my phone rang again. This time I was annoyed.
“Dad! I will be home by 9:00pm. If you would like I can call you when I am on the bus, but for now would you stop calling?”
My Dad launched into a lecture about family commitments and how we needed to leave exactly on time for Nanaimo the next day. He was not happy with my decision to stay out to the late, late hour of 9:00pm.
Well, we were even, because I was not happy with his decision to call my cell phone three times in less than half an hour.
I settled back onto the couch with Josh who had very conspicuously removed his arm from around me and was now sitting with a cushion buffer between us.
My phone rang two more times in the next ten minutes and I let the calls go directly to voicemail. With each ring Josh inched further and further away on the couch until he was practically sitting on the armrest.
Then at 7:45pm my sister phoned in a panic. “Sarah! Are you ok? Dad says he’s been trying to reach you for an hour and that you are out with Josh and he is worried something has happened to you because you won’t answer your phone. What’s going on?”
I literally growled before explaining to my sister that yes I had already talked to Dad, no I was not in danger, yes I was heading home shortly, and no I didn’t need a ride.
I went back to sit on the couch fuming only to see Josh hurriedly putting on his shoes, ready to walk me to the bus stop early and get me the heck out of his apartment. We walked in silence, the mood ruined.
When I finally made it home I was fuming and I didn’t hesitate to tell my Dad what a jerk he was being. Here I was 22 years old and completely humiliated while spending time with a boy that I liked.
My Dad responded in the most mature way possible, cutting off my tirade and yelling out that I was “Ruining Christmas for everyone!”
I stomped upstairs and went to bed early feeling furious.
The next morning I sat across from my Dad at the breakfast table. It was just the two of us as my sister was driving over to meet us shortly and my Mom was upstairs getting ready.
I stubbornly refused to say anything.
Finally my Dad cleared his throat sheepishly.
“I think I owe you an apology.” He began. “It seems I have forgotten how to parent in the years that you’ve been gone and I may have overreacted last night.”
I graciously accepted his apology.
Actually that’s a lie. I was a huge brat about it teasing him mercilessly and telling everyone the story of his overreaction. In fact, to this day my sister and I still yell out that I am “Ruining Christmas for everyone!” whenever something slightly out of the ordinary happens. It’s become a great tradition.
As a further disclaimer, Josh was always a bit of an ass and as I have grown wiser and older and I can see why my Dad was so concerned. Still, I don’t think my staying out until 9:00pm ruined Christmas for anyone, let alone everyone.