If I had any doubts my sister-in-law Leah missed my brother Paul, who is away at bootcamp, they disappeared a couple of weeks ago when we attended a showing of the movie Hangover 3 and she became teary-eyed in the first few minutes. If any of you are unfamiliar with this movie trilogy, suffice it to say they are comedies that began with a stag party in Vegas – not the stuff of tears. “Paul wanted to see this so bad,” she offered as way of explanation.
In the weeks he has been gone, he’s written and called as much as he is able and he is doing well, excelling at his marksmanship and even serving as platoon leader. Leah has been busy with her work as a personal trainer and holding down the home front. She has also indulged in a secret pleasure. Before Paul left for bootcamp the two began watching the television series Dexter, about a serial killer working as a blood spatter pattern analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. She has now worked her way up to the current season. Doesn’t sound like the healthiest of habits? Before you judge her I can vouch that this series quickly becomes addictive. Besides, there’s a slight twist, Dexter’s father was a police officer, who realizing where his son was headed, taught him to only kill the bad guys. So Dexter gathers the evidence and once he is sure a person is bad (typically serial killers themselves) he does his work. Somehow the series has a soul, if a twisted one. So, home alone, her husband away at bootcamp, kids tucked into bed, my sister-in-law has been watching Dexter.
A few weeks ago, she took her stepson, Christian and her other two kids shopping at Newbury Comics, a music and novelty store and there she spied it – a Dexter apron complete with fake blood splatter. That may have been the end of it, but Christian encouraged her. “You know you want it,” he said. “Buy it! Just buy it!” And, so she did and that’s where I entered the picture. Well, shortly thereafter. First, there came the request from Paul to send him some photos of the family. Leah asked me to snap some and as we brainstormed possibilities it came to me. “Let’s take some of you in your Dexter apron and high heels! We’ll hang a plastic sheet and grab a drill (Dexter uses a drill). We fell short of the coveted machete. I hit the hardware store to pick up the supplies and you should have seen the cashier’s face when I reminded my father, who was behind me in line to leave his drill and knife along with the plastic sheet in the back of the car.
“Oh, don’t worry, we’re not planning a murder,” I winked at her.
The actual photoshoot was a family affair. Leah invited my mother and I to a wonderful home-cooked meal, which she prepared while I decided where to set up the sheet and tripod. My niece Catherine helped arrange the room and we even all went outside to shoot a few traditional mom-and-daughters shots of the two walking the winding dirt road by the covered bridge before turning to the main event. Realizing the good light might fade, I finally had Leah don her apron and heels and shot away.
We haven’t heard if my brother received the pictures yet or what his reaction might be. And, while I know Leah is still missing him, it may not quite so bad. My brother isn’t home until the end of July, but the new and final season of Dexter starts on June 30th. I hate to think of her when that show ends; she’ll probably collapse in sobs!