today i ate my lunch in the ranger station office while my boss did paperwork and 2 fire crew-type people talked about fire spotters and ate their lunches too. there is this thing about working for the government agency i work for, besides it basically making me a real live member of the executive branch, which is: i am not the first member of my family to seek employment with its port angeles outpost.
my dad a big deal here. i would call him the bruce willis of botany but i have a feeling most of these people don’t know who bruce willis is. so for them he is the HIM of botany: the smartest man to ever identify a herbaceous plant. they love him. i can’t stress this enough. so far in port angeles my last name has got me ALL of my friends.
because in the forest my dna is the most awesome thing about me, people are constantly introducing me to other people as “lizzy you probably know her dad steve,” which gets a jaw drop and a second, more serious look. actually, i think this is pretty great. i’ve always been a huge fan of my dad’s and i seem to have finally found a group of people who are worshipping the correct plant ecologist. the only problem is my obvious inferiority to my father. i’m a comparative christian brando. a disaster. so today i was eating lunch, a lunch that included curly fries–the widely-accepted “most embarrassing food item available to people over the age of 11”–when my boss introduced me in the customary way to the 2 fire people. the 2 fire people who it JUST TURNS OUT LOVE MY DAD TOO! i should have eaten my lunch with the perpetually disappointed over at the “pool-side deli” (not really pool side, not really a deli). the firefighters were not impressed. one of them said, “i imagine growing up with your dad would have been very informative.” i took this to mean, “you sick slob, if i had your father i wouldn’t be throwing it away as a fee collector high on curly fries.”
i dealt by the situation by lying like this: as soon as i finished the fries, while the fire people finished up their sushi and whole grains and whatever else, i said, “oh man i knew those curly fries were a mistake.” i held my stomach and pretended to feel sick. “i haven’t eaten curly fries in years; i don’t know what i was thinking.”
the fire crew? right back on board! the daughter is experimenting with pool-side deli food! there must be extenuating circumstances! maybe she isn’t a toothless meth freak like we originally thought! maybe instead she is a scientist!
the moral of this story is: my dad is better than me. and the image park people have of my dad is even better than that. and i’m not going to be the one to usher these people into reality if i can help it even the tiniest bit. so if that means pretending i was raised to wish they served tempeh pool side, that’s fine with me.