I’d expected to eat too many sweets, sing an off-key “Happy Birthday,” and stand around awkwardly at the party. I hadn’t anticipated to be furtively asked to “meet us outside,” and then to be coaxed, amongst many giggles, to strike a wacky pose with a wooden samurai sword.
I still don’t know the story behind how the party hosts stole the sword from the birthday boy. It didn’t matter. I swung the sword over my head and then proceeded to jab my boyfriend in the ribs with it. (Poor guy: I’d accidentally punched him in the mouth earlier this week. He’s going to report me for abuse if I’m not careful.) What did he expect would happen when he introduced me to his friends, anyway?
The awesome thing is how easily his friends are becoming my friends. They certainly didn’t have to include me in silliness that I don’t have the history to understand. But they insisted (multiple times, as the first time I was beckoned outside, I refused to go. It’s cold here now!!). And they laughed, and they asked if I were coming to church on Sunday and wouldn’t I please sit with them? Oh, and we got Drew to give us your email, we hope that’s not too stalkery, and is this you on Facebook?
Midwesterners have definitely earned their nice-people stereotype. Who knows? Maybe if I’m here long enough, it will rub off on me.