dinner with semen.

21 May

My father-in-law is a semen. I mean, sailor.

Well to be technically correct about it, he’s a Chief Engineer on a really really really big boat, but not a cruise ship so don’t get all excited and think that I can hook you up because even though I wish I could, I can’t. Every ten weeks or so, Big Harry skips town and runs a cargo ship that goes back and forth from Anchorage to Seattle with a bunch of other sailors (if you consider a bunch of sailors a fun vacation I can most likely swing a room for you, but I’m warning you now the thead count on the sheets are like a 3 and there’s no midnight buffet or casino). They spend their days swearing up a storm, pulling homoerotic pranks on each other, playing Wii and facing whatever Mother Nature dishes out for them.

So you’d think that maybe he can handle dinner with my family.

Tonight me, Harry, the kids and my parents had a bon voyage dinner for him at a local Italian place (which he paid for because that’s what happens when you leave the rotation for ten weeks at a time – you cover all meals for the ten weeks you’re home. Duh.). As usual, we sat around shitting on the place in which we sat, complaining about everything from the poor layout of the dining room to the unnecessary abundance of butter that they give you for your bread. Then we moved on to what type of wood floor they used and how impractical it is for a restaurant. By the time the salad course arrived we had also discussed their marketing plan, the acoustics in the bar area, how skimpy the lemon slice is they give you with the iced tea and how their other location is so much busier than this one so the food is probably going to suck.

“I really didn’t know what the fuck you guys were talking about,” Big Harry told me later in the evening when I was interviewing him for this post. “But I think it’s really nice that you all have so much to talk about.”

I decided to interview him because when I asked him at dinner if we were annoying, he gave me that weird look like “OH HELL YES” but said “Nah… I think it’s interesting that you guys notice all the stupid stuff the waiter is doing! I wouldn’t see any of it if it weren’t for you.” I’m no fool. I know how irritating it is to eat a meal with restaurant people. Family dinner as a child was sort of like eating alone. All my parents would do at dinner was turn over every plate to see the manufacturer and bitch when there was a charge for a soda refill and bicker about some sort of restaurant related drama. In the past 25 years, nothing has changed. Oh, one thing. Instead of complaining about my parents being impossible to sit through a meal with, now I’m fully engaged in the conversation, as is my husband.

During our interview, Big Harry revealed to me* that he feels my mom is the most critical, my dad is the most ridiculous, and Harry is the most likely to find a reason to leave the table (ie. Riley needs to check out the Quickdraw machine). I, of course, am perfect and stunningly gorgeous. Also, I contribute the least because I’m way too busy eating.

“Who’s the most annoying?” I asked him.


Austin is going through a phase right now where he feels the need to also discuss business at dinner. Tonight he asked the waiter how many busboys and servers were on the clock for that current shift. He also asked how bar business is doing. Even without his interrogations, Austin is an extraordinarily demanding customer. He insists on BBQ sauce even if it isn’t available, wants his Sprite with 1,021 bubbles and likes a warm towel after his meal. Austin is nine. And a seasoned diner. And concerned with payroll. Sometimes I get scared that he’s going to turn out way too much like me, but then I realize that I’m super fly, and turning out like me would be the equivalent of turning out like Jimmy Fallon or Dame Judi Dench.

My father-in-law leaves tomorrow morning for another bout at sea, and the whole fam is pretty sad about it. “We can Skype on Wednesdays, but I only if I close my door. The guys are always in and out all day.”

Spoken like a true semen.

(xoxoxo miss ya love ya!!!)


*By saying that Big Harry “revealed” these facts to me, what I really mean is that I made them up and he didn’t say these things at all. He did, however, give me his blessing to put any words I’d like in his mouth. Hence these revelations.


One Response to “dinner with semen.”


  1. tory burch for foodies. « shelbytown - August 9, 2012

    […] basically the only audience my blog attracts other than my parents and my father-in-law the seaman, but let’s just assume that you or your mom and/or sister and/or wife and/or mistress owns a […]

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