Survival of the Fittest

They say nothing in life is free. That includes the lazy dog days of summer. Sure, we have months of glorious sunshine and warm heat to curl our toes in the grass or sand, but like everything else, there is a price to be paid for this sweet luxury.

For some, it's the cost of an air conditioner. For others, it's endless summer camps for kids and the hunt for cheap childcare. And for a few, it is the simple price of getting tortured at the local spa to have their hair ripped violently out by it's roots all in the name of vanity.

For me, summer and it's splendor had a higher price tag. A family reunion. With the inlaws. While my husband was off chasing hot asian chicks and bringing home the bacon.

That's right. I just spent three days with Boo's entire family. From sun up to way past sundown. Side by side with the people my husband holds dearest. People I haven't seen since the last family reunion, two months before Bug died. Sure, most of them were there at Bug's funeral, but the only thing I really remember from that day is how I spent the day blowing my nose and wishing to be left the hell alone.

Good times.

So it was with great hestitancy and reluctance that I set off with my children in tow and steeled myself for the very worst. Turns out the worst was my inability to hold my liquor and my crappy-ass skill at playing games. It was actually a lot of fun.

(Shh, don't tell Boo, I plan on milking this for all it's worth....You have to do the laundry, I had to go to YOUR reunion by myself. It's your turn to go buy milk, I had to go to the reunion without you...Pretty good plan, don't you think?)

I was a little worried what Boo's ultra conservative family would think about my new body modifications. There aren't many tattooed and pierced people wandering around in this clan and I was a little scared I was going to be barred at the front door and prevented from entering in case I corrupt some of the young minds present.

Turns out, most just ignored the art. I did acquire a new nickname from my favorite uncle of Boo's. He's called me "Legs" since the day he met me when I was 18. Turns out, he now prefers the name "Rings."

Could have been worse, right?

There was a few bumps in the family road. I spent some time self-medicating myself and hyperventilating in the corner when someone mentioned to me how every family reunion we are down a few members.

Why thank you. I hadn't realized that my son was the only family member who has died since the last reunion. How thoughtful of you to point that out. Let me go jump in front of that million dollar motor home over there while you put your foot on the gas pedal and press down.

Then there was the moment when I realized I was truly a horrible, wretched woman. I caught myself oogling, no DROOLING over one of Boo's 16 year old distant cousins. I followed him around like a lost puppy dog, all in the name of keeping an eye on the children. Just when I was starting to feel really dirty I realized there was a long line of Boo's female cousins behind me, all with their eyes firmly planted on the young hottie's ass.

I may be a dirty gal, but at least I found myself in fine company.

But the highlight of the entire event was when one of Boo's aunt and uncle came up to me and said they had been looking for me but couldn't find me.

"Well, looks like you found me now," I smiled, as I took another swig from the cool beer bottle that had somehow found it's way into my hand.

"Yes, saw you, but we didn't recognize you. We couldn't believe it's you," the aging and graceful aunt offered as she eyed my tattoos and nose ring.

Thinking she meant my new body ornamentation, I replied "Yes, I've changed a bit since Bug's passing."

"Oh yes dear. We hardly recognized you with all the weight you put on."

Phew. I was worried the family would freak out about my new punky look. I'm so relieved they didn't notice them due to my big fat ass.

"Don't worry darling. It's nice to see you look so, er, healthy." Then they patted me on the head and wandered off to go aim their well-intentioned guns at some other innocent bystander.

Healthy. Great. Healthy with a fat ass. That's pretty much all I remember from the reunion because after that whammy, I drown my sorrow in whatever liquor therapy I could get my bloating hands on.

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I spent the day yesterday examining my body in the mirror from every angle.

She may be right. I do look a little healthy. After thinking long and hard about my options, I came up with a plan. I'm going to go buy myself a funhouse mirror. One to stretch out my body and make me look thin.

That way, as I grow more healthy, I can live in my world of delusion.