Getting Old: Standards Edition

One of the reasons moving here has been so easy is my in-laws.  I couldn't have gotten luckier in that respect.  The last time I was out here I got pretty close with everyone.  Of course there's Bro-in-law.  He looked out for us big time when we got back here.  We lived with him while we navigated the very reasonable and sensible housing situation in Stockholm.  I can't thank him enough for that.  The last time I was here, he turned 18.  I remember the birthday celebration.  I remember Swedie buying cigarettes/snus for him.  Now he's all grown up with his own place!  He's 24.  He's also my workout partner.  I remember when he didn't know a thing about lifting weights.  Little bro all grown up now.  I'm teaching him about American football.  He's taken me to a hockey game.  GO DJURGÅRDEN!!! It's been cool kicking it with him.  He drinks and has a good time, but he's more of the house party guy.   That's right up my alley.  I'm down to drink and socialize.  I'm a social butterfly!

I'm close with Sis-in-Law as well.  She's 16 now, so it's not like we drink and party together.  We message back and forth from time to time and we have that brother-sister relationship that is good and healthy.  When we do hang out, it's a good time.

I have a bond with my mother-in-law, her husband, my father-in-law, Swedie's aunts and cousins.  I play ball and have dinner with one aunt's husband.  He's really cool.  All in all, it's great to have these relationships.  I'm grateful for my in-laws.

I have a very special relationship with Swedie's grandmother.  She's the best!  It's because of her that I am nearly fluent in Swedish.  She allowed me to come over twice a week both last time and this time for Swedish lessons.  She's nice enough to ONLY speak Swedish to me because she knows that's what is best for me.  Most importantly, she feeds me.  That makes her a winner in my book.

But then there's Young Cousin.  The last time I was here he was 16.  We bonded over basketball.  He's very good.  He went to a basketball-themed high school.  I know, Americans.  It's different, but hey it exists.  He likes to laugh and I like to make people laugh.  Match made in freaking heaven, right?  Now he's 23.  He's right at that clubbing and party age.  I go out.  I party.  This should be nothing major.  I've been 23.  I was a part of a drinking crew.  We partied like frat boys.  I could do this again.

Once when I first got here Young Cousin invites me to hang out with him and his early twenty-something friends.  Sure.  I have nothing to do.  Why would I turn down a party?  I can step back into frat boy mode.  I had just begun working at a barber shop and it was about four blocks from his house.  Perfect!  I would be able to leave my bag there and everything.  Yeah.  That's where I'm at in life.  I was carrying a messenger bag to my job at a barber shop.  A man purse.  That should have been my first warning that times have changed.  But once that bag comes off, I can step into frat boy mode.

I got to his place and set my bag down.  I dapped up all of the friends.  They all know me by now.  I've hung out with all of them at least once.  Party time!  We started with drinks.  I'm good at this part.  I crashed a couple of beers easily.  We talked some trash and joked around a bit.  Recounted funny anecdotes.  This was still up my alley.  Man, 31 isn't that different from 23.  I can hang with these young boys for at least a few more years.  Then the club planning started.  They found out what party to go to.  I was in cool mode.  "I'm down for whatever, guys."  I'm so cool.  Expat Jon is so cool!  I was one of the young guys.

Then mother nature called.  I'm not one to ignore her.  It causes bad breath or something.  I don't know.  I'm not a doctor.  So I asked young cousin if I could use the bathroom.  I even announced it to the entire party like a true frat boy.  "Hey, I'm gonna destroy this bathroom guys!  If you've gotta pee, I suggest you go before me!" [insert douche bag laugh here].  One guy took me up on the offer and went to pee.  He came out shortly and then I went in.  My plan was to make this a quick one.  In and out.  If it was a long one, no big deal.  I had told them that I was going to destroy this bathroom anyway.

So I handle my business and go to wipe.  Um... No toilet paper.  I shake my head.  This is embarrassing.  First time apartment residents, I tell ya.  Keep the extra TP in the bathroom.  Duh.  So I call Young Cousin.  He answers and I tell him my dilemma.  He says, "Ok" and hangs up.  I hear him talking with his roommate about the tissue.  Then I hear cabinets opening and closing and some discussions.  Swedes have long discussions about everything!  Never a good sign.  What's so hard about it?  It's freaking toilet paper.  Grab a roll and bring it to me!  Get this embarrassing moment over with.  Then my phone rings.  Another bad sign.  I answer,

     - You're out of toilet paper.
     - Sorry man.  I'm looking for paper towels now.


     - Do you have napkins or anything?
     - I'll figure something out.

So I wait on this toilet for what seems like half an hour.  Then I hear a knock at the door.  Of course I've locked the door.  Now I have to stand my old naked shitty ass up and waddle to the door for some tissue.  But there was no tissue on the other side of the door.  Young Cousin handed me the Sports pages.

     - Sorry, man.

That's right.  A freaking newspaper!  I waddled my shitty ass back to the toilet and wiped with what was probably a story about Zlatan Ibrahimovic.  That was when I realized that I was too old for this.  At 23 or even 25 I may have laughed about it as I wiped.  But 30 year old me found nothing funny about this.  I shook my head as I assaulted my rear end with that rough and unforgiving newspaper.  As soon as we got to the club, I ran to the bathroom for a proper wipe.  My standards are too high now.  Until next time...


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