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It all started many, many moons ago. I was 18 and on a date.The date took me to Medieval Times, so really it was his fault. It was completely his idea to bring me to a place where handsome young guys dressed as knights ride white stallions (in slow motion) out of my dreams and into an arena right in front of me. So, I am not to blame for what happened that night. I was just sitting there, eating my wench-served food with my hands, pretending that was the reason I was drooling. It had nothing to do with the long-haired guy riding up to me in armor and handing me a rose he had won in the last joust. I will admit to a small head tilt and a few seconds of eye-batting…but that’s it! It was a show and I was just playing my role, I argued. My date was not happy. He was completely out shined by a Medieval, role-playing geek. Someone who, I’m guessing, spends his days off “in character” wondering why his only friend is a horse. But fantasies are powerful, my friend and very hard to resist.

I’ve revisited that fantasy many times over the years. Like an old friend, it’s served me well.

Until last night.

Nate’s new mania is Falconry. Who knows how it happens. They see something and latch on to it. As a doting Mom, I try to support and encourage my sons’ hobbies by any means in my power. Having said that, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a Peregrine Falcon? During a late-night google search, I found that there’s a Falconry demonstration in the local Medieval Times show. Score! I’m the best mom ever! Focusing on what a perfect Father’s Day / stay-cation / supporting-son’s-hobby I has just found, I completely forgot about my last visit to “Medieval Fantasy Island”.

The night was going perfectly. We entered the castle and turned the corner to see the actual Falconry guy standing there with the Peregrine Falcon on his arm! I heard my son gasp. The kind of gasp that says, “I will remember this the rest of my life…” I teared up.

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Nate exclaimed, “I’m so excited I’m actually shaking!” It was a glorious “I-did-good ” moment I will never forget.

The page called us into the arena. As we walked to our seats, I still hadn’t made the connection that I had been here before. I was in Mom-mode. But when the lights went down, the fog rose with the music. A spotlight shone on the fog and right out of my dreams galloped the beautiful white horse again.

I gasped.

Mark said, “Are you alright?”  I grunted back, “Uh, huh”, not taking my eyes off the horse. Then he emerged from the fog. My fantasy knight was out of my head and riding right in front of me again. How do they ride in slow motion like that? I hadn’t exhaled since my gasp. His horse stopped in front of me like it was remembering too. My knight tossed his long hair off his face and pulled out the rose. “He’s come back for me!” I fantasized. As he looked right into my eyes, I couldn’t stop myself…my head tilted down and I smiled a shy smile while batting my eyes.

(Cue the needle scratching off the record)

This young, handsome guy scrunched up his face and gave me a disgusted,  “EW…YOU’RE AS OLD AS MY MOM!” look that burned a hole into my retina.

I gasped in horror this time, sucking saliva down my windpipe. Lots of gross coughing / choking ensued. I scared the horse.

And just that fast…I’m the creepy cougar lady making goo-goo eyes at young guys.

Oh, it gets worse…Mark unknowingly added insult to injury:

“Hey Nate…that Falconry guy and all the knights are only about 9 or 10 years older than you! Wouldn’t it be fun to work here in a few years when you’re in High School?”

Someone just kill me now, please.

(sigh…)

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