My daddy got a .30-06 rifle for Christmas, so this afternoon we went out to the range to zero the scope. It was a beautiful day for shooting: sunny and crisp. Daddy jokingly calls me “Annie” because (let’s be honest) I’m a crack shot. Here’s my first-ever cluster with the new rifle:
Dad and I had driven separately, so as the afternoon drew to a close, we hugged goodbye, and I walked across the gravel parking lot to my car. On the way, I spotted a 17- or 18-year old boy with a sweatshirt that said in big, blue letters, “TEAM BRYAN”.
No way! I have to get a photo with that kid to show to my girlfriends!
For the past couple of months, as I’ve been courted by Bryan and semi-wooed by Flynn, most of my girlfriends have chosen to either be Team Bryan or Team Flynn. With most of them now decidedly Team Bryan, I thought they would get a kick out of seeing a photo of me standing with a kid in a “Team Bryan” sweatshirt.
So – putting on my outgoing, extroverted self – I walked straight up to the kid and asked how he’d shot that day. His dad turned around at that moment, put his arm around the kid and said, “He did great!” They smiled at each other. “Well, this is a bit random,” I started to say as the mom walked up, “But I was wondering if I could take a picture with you. I love your shirt.”
The kid said, “Sure!” enthusiastically as his mom asked, “What is this for exactly?”
Uhh… awkward. “Well,” I tried to explain, “You know how for ‘Twilight’ all the teen girls are Team Edward or Team Jacob? There are two guys kind of pursuing me, and one of them is named Bryan. I thought my girlfriends would like to see your son’s sweatshirt because some of my friends are ‘Team Bryan’, as it were.”
The kid looked hopefully at his mom. This pretty girl wanted to take a picture with him. But his mom contorted her face and spat at me, “He has that shirt because he’s a cancer survivor.”
………………………………….…….”Oh, so your name’s Bryan, then?” I asked awkwardly. What the heck am I supposed to say in response to that?!
“Yeah,” answered the kid, the sparkle gone from his eyes. Why’d his mom have to go and bring his cancer into a perfectly fun and light-hearted conversation?
“Well, I’m glad everything’s okay.” I handed my camera phone to the dad, who was standing silently. “Will you take our picture?”
The dad quickly snapped a few shots while the mom fumed at the audacity of this young punk girl who dared to ask her son to take a picture in his cancer shirt, of all things! Oh, the atrocity!
I hugged the kid and grinned at him as I skedaddled and called bye to his folks, “Have a great day!” Eeek.
That. Was. So. Awkward. And it didn’t even have to be!
It took enough courage to ask a random stranger for a fun photo without a defensive, overprotective mom insisting on having a chip on her shoulder in regards to her son’s cancer. I’m sure he didn’t appreciate her ruining the moment and making a huge scene.
It could have been a playful and fun-loving interaction for this kid who most assuredly hasn’t had enough light-hearted moments in his young life. Instead, this worry-wart mom stole her son’s joy and made this girl right here feel very, very awkward.
So… yay, Team Bryan…?