If a man is in a forest talking to himself with no women around, is he still wrong? Before you answer that question, I want you to meet my son-in-law Eric Opsvig.
This is Eric with my daughter Teresa on the day of their marriage in 1984. He had just graduated from dental school at the University of Washington.
Till he met Teresa, Eric’s hobbies included golfing, mountain climbing, hiking, playing the piano, camping out with his big Scandinavian family, playing cards, watching football, and hanging out with his buddies. Such is the dissolute life of young men still trapped in bachelor-hood.
Little did Eric realize at the time of his wedding that besides his wife, five more females would soon be moving into his household. Arriving in sequential order were my granddaughters Sonja, Erica, Natalie, Joy, and April.
My husband Gene and I also had 5 daughters but the difference in our case was that we also had 2 sons to offset the feminine mystique which would have otherwise prevailed.
A lone ranger living amongst six females is bereft of hope unless he can find the stoicism to survive Pretty Ponies, Barbie dolls, slumber parties, dieting, makeup, hair-in-all-its-possible-mutations-colors-cuts-and-styles, cat fights bordering on nuclear warfare, shopping expeditions and hemmoraging bank accounts to pay for same, emotional girlfriend/boyfriend breakups, and finally — the dreaded PMS. Six times per month.
Premenstural syndrome can be volcanic in a household containing six females. When there’s only one woman in residence, you can tell it’s “that time” when you say something at the dinner table like “ Please pass the salt” and the female says, “All I ever do is give, give, give! AM I SUPPOSED TO DO EVERYTHING?” Multiply that by six and you may need to call for police backup.
As the girls grew up, Eric’s interest in athletics wasn’t completely suppressed. There were many gymnastics, soccer, and track events for him and Teresa to chase after. But the family’s main competitive pursuit through the years has been – without a doubt – Irish dance.
I can’t explain how a Scandinavian Lutheran ever got swallowed up in the world of Celtic dance but he did. For years, Eric and Teresa have given monumental support to the girls’ dancing competitions and their countless championships. His Viking forebears would probably turn over in their graves if they knew how much he knows about jigs, reels and hornpipes — but that’s my son-in-law for you. If his daughters had taken an interest in bank robbery, Eric would probably drive the getaway car.
To get back to the question we started with, if Eric was alone in the forest talking to himself without any of the women in his life, would he still be wrong? Most likely, he’d think the situation was flat-out wrong. He seems to appreciate being in their company and they in his.
Today is Eric’s 52nd birthday. Let’s hope he has a happy day basking in the love and affection of all those wonderful women in his house.
Eric shares his birth year with my daughter Gretchen, son-in-law Brad, and my nephew Jimmy Ford. Gretchen and Brad live next door and Jimmy – the family’s only bank president – lives in Medford, Oregon, counting other people’s money — somebody’s gotta do it.
To close today’s blob, this is my fantasy wish for how the Opsvig troop will be celebrating the occasion.