Friday, August 27, 2010

My Favorite Benjamin Story

Two weeks ago, my grandfather Benjamin Rhodes passed away.  It was very unexpected on my end, but it sounds like he was ready and it was something he wanted. 

I'd like to share one of the funniest, and possibly favorite, stories of our time together.

After Beth and I became engaged in August of 2006, we had a Christmas-themed engagement party in December.  We invited family and friends to the event that was held at Beth's parents' house.  Many relatives came, including Benjamin.

All throughout the night, Benjamin kept asking when we would play Spin-The-Bottle.  We knew it was a joke, and laughed about it, but we had no idea what kind of foreshadowing this would be.

We played a few games during the night, all of which Benjamin refrained from playing along-- he said he wanted to wait until we played Spin-The-Bottle.  I continued to laugh at this, completely thinking he was joking.  But it was getting a little strange.

Towards the end of the night, we were all sitting in the dining room as a group.  We were talking and swapping stories, just having a good time.  I went into the kitchen where Benjamin was getting something to drink.  He stopped me to talk.

"Tim.  That Aunt Lucy..... sure is something."

Lucy, Beth's Aunt, was at the party.  And apparently Benjamin, through the course of the three hour or so night, had become fond of her.

"Do you think she would play Spin-The-Bottle with me?"

I know what I should have said.  I should have said.  "Don't even think about it.  That's crazy."

But I really wanted to see this-- whatever it was-- play out.

So I told him.  "She might.  But don't phrase it 'Will you play Spin-The-Bottle with ME.' Make it sound like more people are involved.  She might agree if she knows others are playing as well."

I went back in to the dining room and sat down, (unintentionally) beside Lucy, and resumed conversations.  A few minutes later Benjamin walked in.  Noticing Lucy beside me, and really wanting to see Benjamin talk to her, I jump up.  "How rude of me Benjamin!  Here, have my seat."

He sits down beside her, and kind of gives me a little wink.  It's like I'm his wingman.

And Benjamin does not waste any time.  And, he didn't take any of my advice:  "Lucy, would you play Spin-The-Bottle with me?"

Everything got silent.  People stopped talking out of shock.  But I have a theory that they were also interested in seeing this conversation play out too.  Like a car-wreck, or an episode of Jersey Shore, you can't help but watch the disaster through winced eyes.

Lucy, clearly in shock, stammered, not knowing what to say.  "Uh......, I don't think I want to play that game."

This didn't faze Benjamin.  "Well, we don't have to play; we can just kiss."

Lucy was still shocked, if not moreso, but tried to play it off with a joke.  "Well..... it's been so long since anyone's asked me to do that.  I wouldn't know what to do."

"I'll show you."

That's when everyone lost it.  And Benjamin, unfortunately, got no further than that.  But I did find out that he called Beth's mom many times over the course of the next month, asking for Lucy's phone number.