pirate-small.JPGIt’s hard to believe that another “Talk Like a Pirate Day” has already come and gone. You plan, you wait, you anticipate, and then it’s here and gone just like that.  <http://talklikeapirate.com/piratehome.html

It was actually weeks ago (already!) but it’s only now that I’m summoning the courage to ‘fess up a family secret that’s (at least tangentially) related to this international holiday.

Every family has at least one secret—everyone knows the secret but nobody talks about it. My family is no different—we have secrets that only we know but don’t discuss, even amongst ourselves.

The secret I’m opening up today relates to my sister’s wedding a few years ago.

At that time, a child in the family informed us that—and this didn’t really make sense then, so don’t worry if you don’t get it now—the bride and groom were going to have a gravy boat atop their wedding cake. We were like “a gravy boat?! Are you sure about this?” Why would you put a gravy boat on top of a wedding take for heaven’s sake?! It just made no sense…

Well, she was sure: It was silver, had something to do with my future brother-in-law’s family heritage, and was a tradition in their family to put it on top of wedding cakes. 

We went with it, of course, and took it to the extreme. Somehow—and the aforementioned child was involved in this too—we decided that we needed to augment the cake topper with pirates. I mean what else but pirates would be in a boat, right?! Made total sense…

In our true family “all or nothing” style we all went to stores looking for pirate “dolls” that would fit in a gravy boat.

Pirate dolls are probably all the rage now that “Talk Like a Pirate Day” is internationally known, but I’m here to tell you that they weren’t the rage a couple of years ago.

I finally ended up getting some Star Wars “character dolls” from Target, printing clip art heads, and sticking them over the faces of the Star Wars pirates.

The lead wedding photographer happened to be my aunt (a FABulous photographer), so we enlisted her help to quickly take photos of the pirates in the boat at an opportune time when the bride, groom and groom’s family weren’t around.

We might be tacky but we aren’t totally insensitive to the feelings of others, which is why it’s taken me 3 years to mention this.  We didn’t want to hurt my bro-in-law’s or his family’s feelings. After all, every family has its weird traditions.

At the reception, with the assistance of a runner (to tell us when the coast was clear), we ran up when notified only to discover that this was no gravy boat, it was a model (?) boat.

She was correct that it was silver, but there’d never been any gravy in that boat, just like there was no way the pirates were going into that boat. The boat might slip, then the whole cake might slip, and then we’d really be in deep doo-doo.

Nevertheless, my family does well in crisis. With the aid of one of my aunt’s photographers (my uncle) and the assistance of several tall uncles (to literally stand cover over the scene) we (and I DO mean “we” as it wasn’t just me) were still able to pull off the following:

pirates-small.JPG<Click on image and tell me what the hell this is—a model? a replica? a souvenir?>

Again, you’ll notice that it’s not really a GRAVY boat. I don’t know what kind of boat it IS, mind you, but it’s not a gravy boat.

<Let this be yet another reminder that what a child is told, what a child thinks she hears, and what she goes and tells people may be different things. Clearly something got lost between her hearing “…boat” and remembering hearing “gravy boat.” It’s the typical “Telephone Game” paradigm. AHEM. >

Anyway, I thought the conspiracy was safe all these years, but rumor has it that my sister has actually known about this for awhile but hasn’t said anything.

As is true with most families’ secrets we don’t discuss it.

<E&C, thanks for being such good sports, and thanks for letting us all think we got away with something.>