This past weekend was Scott’s favorite Holiday: NCAA Wrestling Championships. When the tournament has been as close as Iowa or Missouri, Scott will take our boys out of school and they go in person. I just know those trips are going to be at the top of our boys’ lists of best childhood memories. I still don’t know exactly why.
Scott is in charge of those trips. I’m not involved. It’s a good way for me to see how things would be run in our family in my absence. Not the way I’d like them to. Let’s get that straight.
Nary a hotel reservation is made, nor a single preemptive thought is given to what will be eaten or worn on these trips. I used to let this lack of preparation worry me, but now I have been forced to admit that sometimes you don’t have to be one bit prepared to have the time of your life.
Scott started going to the NCAA Wrestling Championships with his brothers many years ago, before we had kids. He and his two brothers(and sister) have always been in agreement on a lot of things. One of the things they agree on is that there is rarely a good reason to part with money. Wasting money on a bed, blankets and pillows seemed especially frivolous to those brothers.
The brothers would attend the tournament in Iowa City and just knock on the door of some people they vaguely knew when it was time to catch a few hours sleep. Those stories horrified me.
Scott was telling our kids the other night about the time his brothers and three other guys went to the tournament together. When they decided it was time to get some sleep one of the guys they were with said his friend “Sheila” said they could crash at her place.
They went to the apartment building and knocked on her door. They knocked and knocked. Then they started getting a little annoyed. I mean, she DID offer. Finally, a strange guy, who had obviously been sleeping, came to the door. Oops. Wrong apartment.
They eventually found the right apartment. They knocked again. Another strange guy came to the door. “Sheila’s” friend in the group said to the guy, “Sheila said we could stay here tonight.”
The guy’s like, “Whatever,” and let them in.
The six guys walked in and laid down on the carpeting (which you know for a FACT “Sheila”, the girl who lets large groups of strangers sleep at her house, keeps meticulously clean). They slept until it was time to go watch wrestling again.
I told Scott it’s funny how one person’s nightmare can be what another person considers a good time.
I’d like to post some pictures of these epic trips. Because Scott definitely always remembered a camera. He took a lot of pictures, and developed the pictures right away. The pictures he took look magical they way he displayed them in his scrapbooks. That’s not true. But, you knew that.
Scott’s to do list before these trips did not include remembering the camera. His to do list included one item: watch wrestling. The rest of the details he figured out as he went along.
Now my boys have similar fun NCAA Wrestling Tournament stories to tell. They talk about how hard they laughed, how awesome the wrestling was, and how great it was of their dad to splurge and buy them a piece of gum. To share.
They’re old enough now to be able to tease their dad for his funny ways; I sense that they are also being groomed. I would guess they’re quite likely some day to submit their own children to the same atrocities of cheapness come NCAA tournament time.
This year, the tournament was too far away for Scott and the boys to attend. Instead they hosted an NCAA Wrestling party at our house. Scott said he wanted it to be like the Super Bowl party he had this year. He called me one day in January and said, “I want to have a Super Bowl Party.”
That probably sounds like a normal comment to you. It made me stop what I was doing. I’ve known Scott a really long time. I’ve never heard him suggest having a party. Ever.
I asked, “What did you say? Did you just say you want to have a party? That is awesome. Who are we inviting?”
“Zeke,” he answered.
That’s for real. That conversation happened.
“Zeke? Zeke is the only person on your guest list?” I asked. “What about Eddie? Doesn’t he get to come?”
“He can come. He just doesn’t sit still, and always gets bored after a while.”
So, Eddie’s out. Zeke’s in. And that is what Scott calls a party.
They had their party, and it got a little crazy. I won’t give away all their secrets, but let me just say some some gum was split and some soda was had.
*Eddie, some wrestlers and a giant chocolate bunny crashed Scott’s party. More proof that the best fun isn’t always planned.