Friday, September 08, 2006

The Boys Are Back in Town

The annual fall BBQ will be getting underway in an hour or two chez Bub & Pie. On this occasion, hubby invites all his friends over for man-grub – bloody steaks, baked potatoes loaded with plenty of cheese and sour cream, a Caesar salad so they can feel healthy about their saturated fat, and then the man-cake for dessert: McCain Deep ‘n’ Delicious chocolate cake. (Do you have Deep ‘n’ Delicious cake down there in the U.S.? This is a cake beloved of all men. The commercial didn’t lie about the dad who crept downstairs in the middle of the night to snack on all that frozen chocolatey goodness.)

(FYI: If you do a Google search on McCain Deep 'n' Delicious cake, you may discover that although it is a much-loved Canadian confection, it falls a good distance behind Nanaimo bars as the most patriotic dessert. I was pleased to note that Coffee Crisp - previously mentioned on this blog - came in second. Please note: We actually have a box of Nanaimo bars in our freezer right now, alongside the Coffee Crisp ice cream. Am I patriotic or what?)

Hubby's sudden urge to entertain guests may be part of the midlife crisis he's been bugging me to blog about. (Despite his occasional surliness towards my blogging proclivities, especially when they interfere with a sensibly early bedtime hour, he has begun to develop an interest in this blog, and his representation on it. Apparently it's important to him that he be represented as experiencing a midlife crisis.) This midlife crisis has manifested itself thus far in the purchase of concert tickets - he has become an FM96 Freeloader and used those privileges to purchase tickets to the upcoming Foo Fighters/Bob Dylan concert. He's even heading to Toronto to see Electric Six, and all I can say about that is that under no circumstances should you click over to YouTube to watch their video of Danger! High Voltage!

Despite such overwhelming evidence that he is in midlife crisis, I tend to think that this impromptu BBQ is evidence of his secret extraversion. When it comes time to call in a pizza order or make restaurant reservations, hubby occasionally tries to shirk this duty by telling me, "You’re the extravert." I am not an extravert, to be sure, but I am occasionally the extravert in the relationship: the designated extravert, the one responsible for outside-world-relations. This mis-allotment of marital duties arises primarily from the fact that I am the more talkative of the two of us: hubby listens well, chooses his words carefully, and has little difficulty allowing silences to hang there, whereas I tend to rush in with a flood of words, especially in unfamiliar social situations. Nevertheless, when it comes to hospitality, hubby is the extravert of the family: he loves inviting people over and BBQing up a feast, and he’s developed a mean arsenal of party-friendly recipes as a result: vegetables grilled in foil packets, twice-baked potatoes, salmon marinated in a garlic-sesame sauce. I invariably end up enjoying such social gatherings, though I cope with the pre-party anxiety by putting myself in a spectator role: it’s hubby’s party, and I’m just along for the ride.

What amazes me about a boys’ night like this one is the inter-mixing of friends from separate social groups. First there’s the "crew," friends from hubby’s retail days at Games Workshop: mostly young and unmarried, with a shared interest in tabletop strategy games and various other manifestations of nerd-dom. Then there are the philosophy-buddies: an old Bible-college friend and his pack of grad-student roommates (also young and unmarried, come to think of it, and also interested in gaming and nerd-dom). In my world, mixing two groups of friends together is a recipe for disaster, not because they wouldn’t get along but because I would have a heart attack trying to manage the hostessing-duty of ensuring that everybody is introduced (which I never, ever remember to do) and selecting which persona to adopt. Which version of myself should I be? The quiet, goofy, bookish one? The joke-cracking, talkative one? Or – wait – how about the hide-in-a-corner having-a-nervous-breakdown one?

A giant bag of Smartfood and an even larger bag of Cheetos just came through the front door (I think hubby was in there somewhere, functioning as a junk-food transportation device). Let the gaming begin…

Edit: Having read this post, hubby would like to point out that his is an ironic, wannabe kind of midlife crisis, exemplified by the night he decided to stay out partying with the crew (involving late-night D&D and a possible dip in the pool at near-zero temperatures), only to discover that he's physically incapable of staying awake past 1 am. At least he has the t-shirt, though:

14 comments:

cmhl said...

sounds like fun!!

Mouse said...

My wife has that shirt!

I opted for the "Fetchez la vache!" shirt.

I also commiserate with the pizza/reservations calling. We're both introverts too and all too eager to avoid the phone.

Now I will have to try both the McCain cake and the Nanaimo bar--neither of which I ever saw south of the border!

mamatulip said...

You lost me at the Deep and Delicious part...I'm drowning in my own drool. Mmmmmmmmm......

I used to say, "Deep n' delicious, not shallow and shitty!"

Mary-LUE said...

Yeah Bob Dylan... he's got good taste in music.

Veronica Mitchell said...

Yes, my husband will occasionally sass me and I will say, "You're hoping I'll blog that, aren't you?"

He says yes without the least bit of self-consciousness.

Happy midlife crisis to your hubs. BBQ and cake sounds a much better way of handling it than motorcycles and affairs.

sunshine scribe said...

That does sound like fun.

I used to be obsessed with the deep n' delicious cake as a kid. That is what I'd get as a birthday cake every year and I'd sneak into the kitchen the next morning and finish off whatever was left for breakfast!

Christina said...

Wait...he used to work for Games Workshop? Never, ever let my husband know that, or he will be tracking down your husband's e-mail to discuss gaming. My husband is a gaming nut - Warhammer 40K, D&D, 7th Sea, you name it.

Sounds like a fun party, though!

(PS - From your previous post - you play Chez Geek? We love that game. We mix it with Chez Greek as well, and suddenly it's a game completely about us and all our friends.)

bubandpie said...

Christina - I've been waiting to see if anyone would recognize that reference! I refuse to play most games because I hate losing and don't really enjoy winning enough to counterbalance it. But Settlers and Chez Geek are two games I really enjoy (and have tentative plans to play tonight with a couple of friends).

Mouse - I recommend the M&M Meat Shop boxes of Nanaimo bars - you keep them in the freezer and then just thaw one out for 5 min. before eating. Not as good as my mother's recipe, of course, but quicker!

gingajoy said...

i have a gift for your hub's (ironic) midlife crisis:

http://www.rathergood.com/gaybar/

(for the Electric Six Fan/Dad. My own husband finds this video is something that he *and* the boy can enjoy together...)

metro mama said...

I like mixing crowds. It usually works amazingly well. Just make sure you provide lots of liquor.

Pieces said...

Your hubby and mine would get along famously.

Next week I will blog about geek-fest--our annual festival of geekery that involves D&D and a roomful of men with networked laptops playing Neverwinter Nights.

I'm intrigued by Chez Geek. Off to check it out...

Jaelithe said...

Are husbands of bloggers required to be D&D geeks? Because, you know, mine is too.

Jenny said...

I live in Vermont,USA and I remember my mom and I going to the corner grocery store to get that Mccain cake, yummo, I cannot find it anywhere now though, I was 15 then and now I am 25, wish they sold it on Ebay lol.

Erin said...

I am from NB and I know all about the love of the McCain Deep & Delicious cakes! They are amazing, and something every Canadian seems to adore. Also, I have friends from the States that make a habit out of stopping at a corner store everytime they venture back to Canada just to stock up on some Coffee Crisp bars. Too funny! :)