I will never forget the day back in 2000 when Captain Mommypants called me on the phone. "Hey." she said, forgoing all formalities. "Meet me today at this-and-such a restaurant at 12:30. Your brother has apparently met someone." Met someone. I could almost visualize the air quotes she used around those two words. Our mother is nothing if not protective, and her little boy, who was still in high school, had informed her that he was dating (dot, dot, dot) a college boy. Cue scary music. The Fairy King came out to our family when he was quite young, and while my parents loved him regardless, both were terrified that, being so young, he'd get involved with the wrong people, get stalked my psychopathic pedophiles on the internet, that sort of thing. The fact that he was now, at the tender age of 17, dating an older man was not, in Captain Mommypants's view, a good sign. She was determined to scare the rascal off and, failing that, show him exactly what he was getting himself into. We AmazingPantses can be a pretty overwhelming bunch, en masse, and en masse we were instructed to present ourselves at a mandatory lunch appearance during which we would do our best to intimidate and frighten the wonderful man we now call family. Needless to say, it didn't work. Sweet Baby Face is made of sterner stuff than my mother expected, and he was not to be deterred. For eight years and counting, Sweet Baby Face has been the Fairy King's better half, and I couldn't love him any more if he were my own brother. This is a man who is not only funny, intelligent, careful, and cuddly, but is also absolutely unafraid to make himself ridiculous.
Does he care when we mock him mercilessly for his unswerving belief that automotive excellence reached its zenith with the 2003 Honda Accord 4-cylinder, color beige? No he does not. Does he care when I substitute the last syllable of his last name with the word "fart," or when we laugh at him for the name he gave his dog? (Actually, Riley was The Fairy King's dog originally, but Sweet Baby Face stole her with his relentless charm and snuggly love, and he renamed her the following monstrosity: Her Royal Highness The Honorable Duchess Princess Riley DoodleBritches. We now pause for hysterical laughter.) No, he does not care. He just laughs along and lets us mock him. For this, we love him endlessly. Here's a picture of the whole gang (minus Bug, who was 3 at the time) at ACL Festival last year. He loves us too. You can tell, cause he actually put on one of those matching family reunion t-shirts and walked around with us.
So you see why we love him so much? Also, and this is definitely a HUGE mark in his favor, he looks really good with my brother. And that's what really matters in a relationship, you know? I mean sure, they love each other and work really hard to maintain a strong, healthy, and supportive relationship (I mean, who doesn't, right?), but more importantly, they look so damn cute together. Life with Sweet Baby Face is like going through life with an absolutely perfect set of accessories for every occasion.
So, Sweet Baby Fart, here's me, wishing you the happiest birthday a swashbuckling young man like yourself could ever have. I love you, and I wish I could be there to buy you a drink, but it'll have to wait until December. At which point, of course, it will be my birthday, and then I will let you buy me a drink. Naturally. Smoochies!!