Even as I was on my Bed Of Misery, my children decided yesterday to come on over for the afternoon and dinner (in order to Jolly Along my recovery, I'm sure.) Thank goodness I had the ingredients for the world's simplest and most delicious Asian-style pork recipe done entirely in the crockpot. Thanks to Dear Reader Shirley, I had the crowd-pleasingest salad* in the universe, and dinner was a simple matter of tossing things into receptacles, stirring, and serving. The only thing I had to actually pay attention to was some rice. (*I add chunked-up apples; it's a wonderful addition.)
Sam and Jared brought their lovely and intelligent girlfriends, Tina and Kait respectively, and it was a great strain on me not to hug and kiss everyone. We are and always have been a demonstrative family, a trait that has been echoed throughout the generations. (As a matter of fact, when Jared first "sent me a fax", as my mother calls text messaging, that he and Kait were coming, I told him that it was fine, but that I had a terrible cold. "Don't touch me. Don't even look at me. That's how awful it is," I tapped out to him."Kait says she is going to lick your face," was the response.)
Our tiny livingroom was full to the brim with people. Tina was bundled up under a comforter (see, it's not just me), Sam and Jared and Rick folded their tall frames into furniture, and Kait leaned over the arm of the couch to tell me all about her recent birthday trip. I was in my chair, finishing up Jared's knee warmer. Having taken his measurements the last time he was here, I custom-knit him a knee warmer to keep his knee warm at work in order to lessen his arthritis pain. Soon, however, this heartwarming scene of domestic tranquility would degenerate into something far more typical for us:
Jared: Are you gonna hook up your Playstation or sit there like a bitch?
Sam: (affably) You mean like you? (to me now) Do you guys mind if we hook up the Playstation and play a little bit before dinner?
Me: No, go ahead. But play nice. Jared, you know how you get.
Jared: Remember when we had the Sega, Sam, and Mom used to yell at you all the time because I told her that you had cheat codes that you used to beat me?
Sam: Yes! You got me in trouble all the time with that. I never had any cheat codes.
Jared: Mom used to holler upstairs and say, "Sam! Stop using cheat codes! Play the right way or I'll--"
Sam: (interrupts and uses horrible nasally voice that sounds nothing like his mother)--I'll come up there and take the power cord and NO ONE will play. I mean it. That's not fair." And I didn't even have cheat codes.
Me: Oh my god. I never sounded like that in my entire life. Maybe now, with this horrid cold, but never like that.
Jared: Mom was all about the cheat codes.
Me: Sam, Cheat Code can be your rap name.
Jared: That's pretty good. Cheat Code. If I'm ever a rapper, my name is gonna be Hate Crime. That's so gangsta. Because who likes a hate crime? No one. But I'll spell it K-R-H-Y-M-E, like rhyme. Then I'll rap about everything I hate.
Tina: (looks up from her phone) I want a rap name, too.
Kait: I do, too. What's my rap name?
Me: (surveying the empty box of candy in Kait's lap) Kait, your rap name can be Gummy Worm.
Somehow, Rick got the rap name Head Wound, and I don't remember how. Tina and I still don't have a rap name, so we're open to suggestions. And, luckily for you, I left out the profanity that tends to zing around the room when Jared and Sam get together. They both work in male-dominated workplaces, and there, it's ubiquitous.
Starting April 1, Sam and Jared will be roommates again. They will be sharing a house, back together again for the first time in ages. I feel a sense of a circle connecting, a knot tying, yet a loosening of...I'm not sure what; but it's like I can breathe more deeply. They're best friends, and they look out for each other. They have good women in their lives. I feel good about Hate Krhyme and Cheat Code right now. I really, really do.