Weekend Wanderer: When Mom and Dad Have Competing Calendars

weekend wanderer

So I don’t like the outdoors.


But I married an outdoorsy guy.

I’ve written many words about our opposing views in this space.

Guys, I’ve written a whole blog about our opposing views. I’ve even written about it for outdoor journals.

Over the years, we’ve created a system for making this whole thing work.

For his part, my husband pays for me and my best friend to attend all the Star Trek–themed events that – let’s be honest – are not nearly as fun as hikes.

She said sarcastically.

Then my husband goes outside.

Even Steven, baby.

But rarely – oh so very rarely – our respective interests collide, and then it’s just war.

That’s what happened last week.

It started because it’s been forty years since the release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

I know, I know. How does Star Trek start a feud between the Brawny Paper Towel Man and Jimmy Jet and her TV set?


Some of us bought tickets to see the re-release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan months ago. Some of us told their outdoorsy husband she was going to see the re-release of Khan this week. Some of us put it on the kitchen calendar.

I mean, of course I’ve seen Khan about 11,000 times. But only two of those times were in a theater.

And one of those times didn’t go so well.

See, a friend and I had VIP seating to a showing of Khan hosted by the one and only William Shatner.

We brought my mom, aka Willie.

After the film, we VIPs lined up to meet William Shatner. A photographer stood poised to take a picture as, one at a time, we got to meet the man himself.

I’m no amateur. This was our second meeting, me and Shatner.

And so I knew the rules. No looking at William Shatner. No touching William Shatner. And whatever you do, you do not talk to William Shatner.

If you want warm and fuzzy, go meet Patrick Stewart.

It was Willie’s turn to get a picture with William Shatner. She looked him right in the eye. Stood in front of him and looked him in the eye like that’s what you’re supposed to do with William Shatner.

“That’s my daughter,” Willie said, pointing to me.

Oh no. No no no no no. Willie was talking to William Shatner. Talking to him. About me. There is no crying in baseball, and there is no talking to William Shatner. Stop talking to William Shatner, Willie! Just stop! Please don’t ask William Shatner if I’m beautiful. Please don’t.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” Willie continued.

Oh, here we go. Off to the races.

William Shatner smiled and nodded.

“I want you to know,” Willie said to William Shatner, “I raised her right. She’s a Trekkie.”

Aw jeez, Willie, do you want William Shatner thinking I’m a 40-year-old virgin living in your basement?

William Shatner continued to smile and nod. But he also threw glances at his bodyguards.

Willie, either oblivious or undeterred, continued. “I’m a Trekkie. It’s so unusual for a woman to be a Trekkie. Don’t you think, William Shatner? You know, I watched Star Trek …

On and on Willie prattled, even as William Shatner’s bodyguards gently took her by the elbows and guided her to the door.

“Goodbye, William Shatner!” Willie called over her shoulder.

Does one need to be William Shatner to have bodyguards steer Willie out of your presence? If not, can you guys call me?

So now you understand why I wanted to see Khan on the big screen again. I just wanted one viewing where Willie didn’t get arrested.

But something else appeared on the calendar. An online meeting with my husband’s outdoors association.

The very same day as Khan.

And both events were happening when our kids needed rides home from work. One of us would have to cancel our plans.

How is a victor determined in a war between the outdoors and Star Trek? Do we duel? Have a cage match? Joust?

I mean, my event was planned first. And the theater serves alcoholic drinks themed to that day’s films. I assumed they would have Romulan ale.

And even though I can watch Khan on Amazon or on DVD because I stole Willie’s copy, that’s not the same as hearing William Shatner shout “KHAN!” from a movie screen.

So what if the U.S. Forest Service says getting outside is better for you than sitting inside? Blah, blah, blah. Maybe you focus better after you’ve been outside because your primitive brain is on the lookout for bears and Komodo dragons. Maybe you’re healthier because you’re swatting flies and running from bees. Maybe you’re happier because you don’t know that Khan is looking to blow you up with the Genesis Device.

And this little meeting was just to talk about the outside. That doesn’t even count.

In the end, we didn’t have to choose between the outdoors and Star Trek. The kids secured their own rides.

Thank goodness our kids are so, um, enterprising.

And if you got that joke, the Romulan ale is on me.

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