After dinner tonight, Nolan ran off to IM one of his friends, and left Anne, Ryan, and me in the dining room.
"Dude, you totally need to get me a shirt like that," Ryan said. He pointed to my "Choose your weapon" shirt from Jinx, that features six polyhedral dice.
"Like this?" I said. "What qualifies you for a shirt like this?"
"Dude!" He said, "I totally have a bag filled with those dice in my bedroom!"
"And you use them to actually play . . . when?"
"Well, I’d use them all the time, but someone never made a campaign for me!"
A little bit of me died inside.
"So, you see, I’m still qualified." He leaned back in his chair, and took a long, satisfied drink from his water glass.
"Dude, I’ve been playing D&D longer than you’ve been . . . well . . . anything." I said. "I think I’m a better judge of who is qualified and who is not."
We were playing nerd chicken and I could sense Ryan searching for his next play.
"Besides," I said, "It’s nerdtopia in there — " I pointed toward my office, "so if you really wanted to ‘choose your weapon,’ you could easily take care of business."
Now, here’s the thing: I can’t remember what Ryan said next, but it was a great burn. It was an awesome, classic, soundtrack-stopping burn.
I came back the only way I could: empty parental threats.
"I am such a huge geek," I said. "I will embarrass you so hardcore, you won’t know what hit you." I snorted, for effect.
"Oh yeah? What are you going to do to embarrass me?" He said.
"Anne," I said, "You should sleep in tomorrow. I’ll take the kids to school, and I’ll pick them up, too."
"Mom!" Nolan called from the living room, "I think I’m going to ride my bike to school tomorrow, okay?"
Ryan gulped. I went to the kitchen. As soon as I was around the corner, and he couldn’t see me, I smiled to myself. From the dining room, I head Ryan chuckle.
This is how we live. This is why I do, well, everything.