Clark Griswold, Robert Gibbs, Bartimaeus, and Jesus

No, this is not the beginning of a joke. It is the only title i could come up with for this post that covered it all. It started out that I was posting about Todd’s high school friends’ husband’s light display, and veered off into a discussion of my Mother-in-law’s failed dreams for Todd’s future, Todd’s 20th high school reunion, and a Houston minister’s sermon, inspired by one of my blog posts, wherein the Minister compares me to Bartimaeus and Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. (No laughing.)

You try and give this post a better title . . . .

Yes, I know Clark Griswold. Or, at least, we’ve met. He’s married to the girl Todd was supposed to marry. You know, if my mother-in-law had gotten her way. Her name is . . .well, we’ll call her “G.,” and she and Todd went to school and church together growing up in Auburn. Their parents are friends and Todd’s mom worked at the church, and his mom finally told me one day, not long after Todd and I married, that she always wished that Todd had dated G. G was sweet and Christian and smart and exactly what Peggy thought she wanted in a daughter-in-law. I think maybe she thought some of this goodness would rub off on Todd. She must have told me 30 million times that Todd used to get in trouble in school. (I think she still holds a grudge about the wringer she was put through due to Todd’s behavior, and now that I am a parent, i understand.) G would tell her that Todd always had the smartest answers in class, and my MIL was just baffled by his behavior. G could see the goodness in Todd! She was perfect. I believe my mother-in-law also secretly coveted an arranged marriage for Todd’s younger brother and G’s younger sister. None of this came to pass, of course, because I am a complete and total Maneater, and we don’t often practice arranged marriages here in the South, even in Alabama.

I never met G. in the many years Todd and I have been together. G’s parents came to my wedding and we would see them around town when visiting Auburn. I even met G’s little sister at one point. But no matter how often i heard about her, I never met G until Todd’s 20th reunion. You know the one. Robert Gibbs, Press Secretary for President Barack Obama was there? It was the one where I got bored and pretended to be one of Todd’s absent high school friends after his sex change. Yes, I am now probably on some kind of CIA/FBI list for impersonating Robert Gibbs’ high school classmate.

So, I finally met my competition, G., and her husband, Clark. And it turned out we hit it off, and now we are friends on Facebook, and she reads my blog. She even used something she read on my blog as inspiration for one of her sermons. (Certainly a first.) Yes, she is a preacher. Or minister. Or whatever she calls herself. I am not sure. We grew up calling the person who did the sermon ‘the preacher.” If you are so inclined, please listen to the whole sermon, as G. is really a great writer and speaker. My mention in the sermon comes in about the last fourth of the sermon. I must add that she did me great justice in the sermon, because I am certainly not as compassionate as she makes me out to be. It did make for a great sermon, though!

So, with all of this high drama, I barely had a chance to get to know her husband at the reunion. I wish I had. I really want to know the man that has the vision to create the following light display. No, I am not an Auburn fan. But I married into an Auburn family, and I do have an appreciation for the fanatical desire to stamp a team logo on one’s house in large, bright, multicolored, musically-coordinated lights to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus.

And I just love G. all the more for being a Minister in Houston whose house looks like this during the Christmas season.

2009 Lights On Merrimac Ridge Animated Lights from Merrimac Ridge on Vimeo.

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9 comments

  • I know “G” as I am one of the folks that attends G’s church and you have it right – she is gifted with words and shares great sermons with us. I remember the sermon she gave not long ago and spoke about that you refer to. She is all of those words you mention to describe her – preacher, minister and our pastor. For those that know G, truly understands how UA and the birth of Jesus can co-exist…..
    Merry Christmas from Texas

  • Hi I’m “G’s” cousin and you certainly are a super funny writer! I’m glad ‘G” referred me to it. For what its worth I kinda pictured Todd and ‘G” together as well, simply because it would have solified the sisterhood their mothers share! Happy Holidays!

  • Nice seeing you today, Susan. . glad you could get a laugh out of it after your rough day on the roads!

    Merry Christmas to you, too, Jo, and thanks for stopping by. You are v. lucky to have G. :-)

    Leah, thank you too! You pegged it with G’s mom and my MIL – Sisterhood! I am still glad i got the boy, though. And I don’t think G. did so bad for herself – he is one heck of a talent, if the Christmas lights are any indication!

  • I know “G” and I don’t know where your MIL got the sweet Christian girl. I hear she sprayed 2 cans of silly-string on Jo at a retreat (for which Jo supposedly is still scheming). And Leah was probably Todd’s oldest brother’s intended since Leah is “G’s” cousin and spent most weekends with her. I hear Leah also woke up one time with “G” on top of her trying to strangle her. That sweet girl was an act. :)

  • Todd is very fortunate to be married to you. You are honest, creative, a great mother, a strong woman, a handy woman with power tools, you capture your family’s life through words, you love the same kind of music, you don’t put up with his junk (I’m guessing) AND you’re southern! :) You keep preaching the extraordinary of the ordinary! Yes, I said preaching! :)

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