On Friday night I went to Matt's house. I like going there because WHAT IF MR. OLLIE PANTS, but also because, as a southern gentleman, Matt always inexplicably has a fresh batch of gumbo to offer.

I'm not kidding about this. It doesn't make any sense to me. I've never actually seen him cook it, but every time I'm there, at some point he'll jump up and ask, in a Southern accent that is about 14 notches more pronounced than he usually speaks, "how 'bout sum guuuuuumbo!" And every one of those words is somehow stretched out to be 17 syllables each. And then he feeds the gumbo to me and talks about how the "south shall rise agaaaaaiiiin."

Matt is constantly engaged in exactly 200,000 home improvement projects. Every single one of them gives me an excessive amount of anxiety, mostly because I don't understand them. I've mentioned before that he has this confusing ability to do any project around the house that needs doing. Yes, he makes a ridiculously large mess in the process, but Matt is an insanely talented artist and graphic designer so with an eye for this sort of thing, whatever he touches always ends up looking like something out of a magazine by the end.

Since Matt single-handedly performs all of my home improvement projects for me, I like to go to his house to help him with his. And I mean help in the "it's shake 'n bake and I helped!" kind of way.

On Friday, we had planned to start gutting one of Matt's bathrooms so he can make it beautiful. Just as we were about to get started, I mentioned to him that he needed to get on relativefinder.org so we could see if we were related.

If only all of the grandmas of the world could have seen what transpired over the course of the next THREE HOURS.

Matt got out his computer to "quickly create an account." The site had no information on him, so Matt dug out some handwritten notes his mom gave him recently on his family tree. We then went through them, painstakingly, FOR THREE HOURS, putting in every scrap of information we had.

We inserted dates. We included places. Marriage information. Death information. Everything we could possibly find. From time to time, something we included would match up with something already in the system and suddenly a bunch of his line would populate, extending back for centuries. And we would cheer.

And THAT'S how they get you!

Finally we logged into relativefinder.org and joined the Stranger group. I was certain Matt would be related to no one because he's a southern-baptist-raised Mississippian (or, as he says it, "Miss'ippian," which is good sense because WHY ARE THERE SO MANY LETTERS). But, to our surprise, we are tenth cousins.


I AM RELATED TO MR. OLLIE PANTS! But NOT closely enough to make our impending marriage illegal in any of the 50 states.

Take THAT, the law!

Strangely enough, Matt is much more closely related to Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and several other famous Mormons than I am. I think his ancestors were probably supposed to come out west but they got distracted making gumbo and went to Miss'ippi instead.

Matt then discovered that he is a direct descendant of Queen Something or Other so he has been asking all of us for the last few days to refer to him with various dignified royal titles. He's even been posting Instagram photos of his royal ancestors.

Then tonight I went to his house and saw Ollie.

Matt: You can now refer to him as King Ollie Pants of Scotland.

Eli: Oh gosh, Matt. I think you're taking this thing too far.

Matt: Or am I not taking it far enough!?

Eli: Well, at least he's all ready for Halloween.

Matt: No, this isn't his Halloween costume.

Eli: Seriously? Then what is this for?

Matt: This is just because.

If the Mormons don't use Matt on their next video promoting genealogy, THEN I GUESS THIS ISN'T EVEN AMERICA ANYMORE.

P.S. I wrote this post on my patio and in my Snuggie. SO YOU'RE WELCOME.

Hashtag I didn't wake up like this but you better believe I'm going to bed like this.

~It Just Gets Stranger