On Valentine’s Day, no less. Ok, it was a while ago, but this is still eminently caps worthy, in my world. And it was lovely and all that, getting fancy and trying out my new $12 necklace, and generally feeling like a grown-up. I’m not going to mention about being home by 10:30 from a 9:00 reservation. Nope.

I met Rob and the restaurant, as he was coming from a gig. Rob’s mom arrived at our house as I was putting dinner on the table, and sat down to eat with the boys, while I hung out for a while before getting dressed.

Now, dinner times in our house have a two patterns. One is slightly less common than the other, and involves a lot of yelling and sending-upstairs, but is fortunately not the path followed that night. Instead, it quickly went the über-nerd route, which generally involves covering at least three of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Runescape and Dungeons and Dragons, often simultaneously. Then two-thirds of the way through the meal (if we’re lucky – there are nights we don’t make it to “pass the salt” without Rob and I being hopelessly lost) everything degenerates to a point at which Rob and I can’t understand a bloody thing.

The guys were naturally excited to see their Nan, and Finn immediately dives into D and D talk. That Finn and Liam are avid D and D players should come as no surprise, thought I honestly still have no idea what D and D actually is. Or how it goes. Or what they do. Or how they can go all those places but still be sitting in our friends’ living room. But whatever. I am awesome at being supportive, and nearly as good at faking comprehension.

(They started playing with their grown-up friend Drew, who lives across the street from us. Drew and Rob and I actually went to high school together, and then he and his wife Sandy moved in a few years ago, and now we can’t live without them so they can’t ever leave. They are the cool couple, especially to the boys: they have a beautiful house, which also happens to be dotted with Muppet paraphernalia, Wii games and swords, Sandy has the worlds’ biggest Pez collection, and they have ALL the Rock Band games. So basically my kids think they’re super-stars. And marvelously, brilliantly, they seem to dig my boys right back.)

For months, Liam and Finn’s weekends were tailored to when Drew and Sandy could rock out in the basement, but then about six months ago, Drew brought out his D and D stuff, and their enthusiasm for it makes me think maybe crack is involved.

Sandy and I go for coffee or ice cream while they play. Because we understand ice cream.

The crew has expanded to include Half-Elf Emma, our friends’ Nancy and Dave’s 10 year-old; Dave himself (a veteran D and D player), whose character Grepthor is a dwarf; Liam as Barourn the dwarf (impossibly hairy and with a two-foot spike directly on the top of his helmet, all the better for ramming); and Finn as Aodhan Blackling, for whom he’s written an entire life history and character profile. Dungeon Master Drew hosts and provides root beer and chips. Dave wears a helmet I can’t even lift, Liam and Finn wear the Jedi cloaks I made them in the summer, Emma wears a black velvet dress, and Drew wears this, which he made to fit to his exact head:

Helmet of Mighty Dungeon Master Drew

They all take it very, VERY seriously. They play for hours on Sunday afternoons, and then they come home, and Liam and Finn proceed to tell us every. Single. Little. Thing.

ANYHOO. There we are, sitting around the dining room table, the boys, Rob’s mom, and I, and the boys are nattering on at their grandmother about how many daggers Finn has and how many GPs Liam needs for his whatever-thingy, and on and on. I know I have to go get dressed, but Rob’s mom has developed this glazed, deer-in-the-headlights look, and I know she’s got NO IDEA what they’re talking about. In fact, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know what D and D is, let alone why their using the word ‘campaign’ so often. But she’s too nice to say anything, so she just keeps eating her chicken and her eyebrows just get higher and higher. She’s just at the point of running out of different ways to say “Ah-ha?” so I jump in.

“Ok, guys, I think that’s enough D and D talk, yes? Let’s talk about something else.”

“Ok,” says Finn, “But I just want to tell her about the dagger I bought today! One last thing…”

“And I just need to tell her about my jewels!” says Liam.

Sigh. “Fine. Ok – one thing each, then give Nan a break.”

I get up, collect some dishes and head into the kitchen to tidy up. I still have to get dressed, but upstairs is just so…far. And her eyebrows are just so… high.

So Finn goes on about his forty-three daggers and Liam tells her all about how THRILLED he is with the jewels he spent all his money on.

“They’re for my beard!”

Um, what? (Dish cloth suspended in midair for a few seconds.)


“Yeah! They’re so cool and I used them to decorate my beard! I’m a dwarf. I have an AWESOME beard.”

I’m pretty sure Rob’s mom is on that cliff where confusion tips over into serious concern.

“That’s…. so….. fun!” she says. The word “fun” comes out sounding like she might have choked a little. I hope she’s ok.

And then the next part just happens so fast. There I am in the kitchen, up to my elbows in dishwater, and from the dining room, I hear my lovely 11-year-old son say to his conservative, gently puritanical Dutch grandmother:

“Yeah. They look so great. And next session, it’s going to be epic, because I’m going to ask Grepthor to marry me. That’s Dave’s character. He’s a dwarf too. And he’s a guy, and I’m a guy, but I just wanted to spice things up in the game, you know?”

I can hear Liam beaming from all the way in the kitchen, and I’m thinking, “No, sugar, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m pretty sure Nan doesn’t know, but I do know she adores you, and your Nan is a gracious woman.”  So while I stood there, ten or twelve long, long steps from the dining room, my eyes as wide as dinner plates and my mouth both grinning and agape at the same time, I hear Rob’s mom put her fork down, and say, in a very high, only slightly wobbly voice,

“Ah-ha? Well. That sounds like fun. Who wants cookies?”

Family is an awesome thing.

5 comments to Oversharing

  • Finn

    Hey! You forgot to add that Aodhan Blackling is a male Human magic-user, level 1 but like 2 thirds of the way to level 2, was born in the City of Greyhawk, both of his parents were killed by orcs and I only have TEN knives! >:(

  • Finn

    And it wasn’t six months ago. And only I wear my Jedi cloak. And…aaugh. I guess that’s enough D&D for the [i]online[/i] world, too.

  • Padre

    What the hell is all that…

  • PA

    Well its time for Annette to be given a sainthood!! I may have lasted half way through that!!

  • Heather

    Not a sould around, but I laughed out loud! You have that talent, Regan. Annette’s a trooper! And tell Liam that “spicing things up” is not a good enough reason!

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