So, I hung out with the Amish. It wasn’t as much as I would have liked; they clearly like to keep their distance from people like you and I. But Seth, our host for dinner, was so cheery and happy. He had a bowl haircut, blue highwater pants and an adorable nervous giggle. At the end of the night, he shyly but firmly told us it was time to go because, “Well, I have a steady girlfriend and you know how that is.”
The night was mostly spent with Justin’s family (his mom’s side). I met a few members I didn’t meet last year, including AWESOME cousin Mark and Brazilian foreign exchange student Milene (who was BEYOND pumped for some Black Friday shopping at the mall, haha). We ended up getting pretty tipsy before the Amish dinner (well, all of us except Milene and her friend), and partied at the family’s favorite bar, Coody Brown’s (!!) afterward. But they managed to behave themselves in between.
Here’s what I can tell you about the Amish:
- They make the best food in the world. I’ve never had bread so moist, meat so tender, or vegetables so fresh. Their peanut butter is fluffy and light beyond belief, but I found out later that they just mix it with marshmallow fluff. I bought a recipe book from them for $1.50, and I promised my 85 lb. Grandma that I would make her a loaf of Amish bread every week if she promises to eat it all. Regarding other dishes: the Amish use hella mayonnaise.
- When I walked into the home, my initial thought was, “OMG GAS LEAK,” but it was just the lamps.
- “Just leave the money on the table!” they cheerfully said after our $300 dinner. Amazing.
- The way to Justin’s heart is with Amish noodles. The way to mine? Amish stuffing. We are fat.
- They have a bathroom with plumbing, though it was never clear if that’s just for guests. It was lit by tiny LED lights, which illuminated the room like a tiny tealight candle and angered the old people.
- ‘They smell awful,” Justin’s sister Jessica told me beforehand. “They’re pretty into coke, too.”
- Amish carts do not show up on fancy SUV sensors that turn brights on/off. Justin’s mom has unintentionally blinded many Amish people.
- They make the best bikes in the world. When I move back to the county in 10 years, his mom’s going to buy me one.
- Earrings are a sin! Basically, when you spend money on accessories or frivolous things, you’re spending money that could be spent on “food for the hungry, clothes for the needy, and Bibles for the heathens.” Buying earrings = robbing God. And yes, I wore earrings to meet the Amish.
- Seth makes horseshoes! I have one on my desk.
- They don’t use electricity or drive cars because those things separate families, by scattering people around the house or around town. Families need to be together.
- The reason they all dress alike is because the Bible says to “be not of this world,” which is a verse that people used to drill into my head during Sunday school. In fact, the Amish and Born Again Christians use a lot of the same verses to justify how they live. Eesh.
So that was the gist of my Amish dinner. The rest of the weekend was spent at his dad’s house, eating at his uncle’s mansion, watching their legendary annual family football game (thankfully I avoided dodgeball this year), walking through his mom’s gorgeous lakeside neighborhood, hugging his mom’s dog Tillie (but not her dick sister Molly), teaching Milene about America, eating Rickle’s Pickles and driving through one hundred million corn fields.
I love Justin’s family so much, and they seem to love me, too. His siblings are awesome, his cousins are hilarious (I’ve met 9 out of 10), his aunts and uncles are sweet and his Grandma is cool as hell (last year, she sang “Thank You For Being A Friend” with Justin at Coody Brown’s karaoke). Best of all, his parents instantly took me in and treat me like one of their own. They both even encouraged me to bring my mom with me next year. Every time I go home with Justin, I find even more reasons to feel lucky that he’s in my life, and even more reasons to be thankful.