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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Twice the Parents, Twice the Fun (and Other Sitcoms For the Modern Tween)

Step parents are a divorced kid's consolation prize. Like on The Price is Right, sometimes the prize is awesome and sometimes it's utterly ridiculous, like a year's supply of dental wax. I got both ends of the spectrum and there's no time I really feel that more than at the holidays and during summer vacation.

Every year for vacation on my mother's side, we head down to my step-father's beach house on Gwynn's Island, located just off the Chesapeake Bay. That link pretty much sums up everything you need to know about Gwynn's Island since there's nothing there that really qualifies as an 'attraction.' Gwynn's Island is one of the few blessed places on earth that doesn't have cell phone reception or internet connections or television. Instead it has homey beaches


friendly dogs

tiny fishing boats

and a ridiculous amount of high-end bourbon thanks to my step-father. I highly recommend consuming said bourbon on the rocks while sitting in a hammock after a long day of fishing and catching crabs. Even when it rains, everyone packs into the cottage and spends the day reading books, playing cards, and talking trash. Gwynn's Island is the most fantastically relaxed place I've ever been. This is easily my favorite place on earth.

By contrast, next weekend Chris and I are going to visit my father whose personality can only be described by showing you this:


For both better and worse, my father is the biggest badass I've ever met. He's a true Man Engine if ever there was one. Hanging out with him is an adventure because chances are, you'll learn something you didn't really need to know like "you have a sister, she's 28 years old" or you'll get a bit of sage wisdom you can carry home like "if it flys, floats, or fucks, rent it."

Despite his rough edges, my father is also fantastic person to spend time with and I honestly think that if the situation were different, my father and step-father would be the best of friends. I have no idea what going on vacation with my father will be like. The last time we did it, my 63 year-old dad played 16 hours of blackjack straight and had to be carried back to his hotel room. The one thing I do know is that it will be an adventure, an excellent complement to the lazy days of relaxation Chris and I just had. Stories to come next week.

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