My husband (we were only dating at the time), my husband's sister, and her boyfriend (now her husband) had taken a trip to Williamsburg. We visited the historic sites and visited Busch Gardens but my sister-in-aw and I wanted to do some shopping. We thought Williamsburg Pottery would be fun. The boys thought it was going to be torture. We promised to meet them in two hours. How much trouble could the boys get into?
They set out to find the tackiest, ugliest gift for us to take home. Needless to say the employees looked at them crazy when they said they wanted to buy this frog. He was bright green with a yellow face and stomach. He had a red leaf and flower on his belly, a goofy stoned-out grin, and bright red eyes. Not to mention the black 9.99 across what passed for his nose (you can't really see it in the picture).
My daughter when she was only a year old with the frog.
When we met at our designated spot, there were the guys with this ugly frog. He was made of whatever garden statues are made of and is not exactly a lightweight. The guys admitted that this frog was now ours. The questions we begged of them was how were we going to get this thing home and who got to keep this hideous thing when we got there. The trunk of our car was filled with our luggage so my sister-in-law and I rode in the backseat with the frog between us the entire trip home. Unfortunately, I fell asleep during the drive and when my head dropped forward and to the side, I almost gave myself a concussion when my head collided with the frog.
On the drive home, when I was awake, and during a rest stop at Arby's, we plotted the Ugly Frog's Grand Tour. We thought about how cool it would be if we took him with us on trips and took pictures of him at various locales (kind of like the ads for the Travelocity gnome that came about a few years later). We joked about how maybe he could become so popular with all the places he visited that he might make it onto the night shows like Jay Leno. How could he not? He was certainly eye-catching and ugly enough to garner lots of attention wherever he went, right? How could we have ever thought we could get this guy on a plane?
Needless to say, my future sister-in-law and her boyfriend adopted the frog and gave him a home in their garage. He didn't see the light of day until my husband moved into his first house. They sneaked him onto the porch of his new home. My husband didn't find it so amusing. He was more appalled about what the neighbors would think. At that point, the frog found a new home in my future husband's garage. The frog's grand adventures never occurred but he became part of a fun new game-called Let's Embarrass the Family. He made appearances at important family events. My sister-in-law knew that one day they would be paid back. They were. At their wedding.
My sister-in-law and her husband had their reception in a beautiful social club nearby. The frog was decked out in a veil sitting atop a table and he greeted guests as they walked into the beautiful and slightly formal social club. Frog had crashed the party. Needless to say, I don't think my sister-in-law saw that one coming. I will say, they were good sports about it.
Frog's next appearance wouldn't be for a few more years-not until my husband and I were married. We knew he would make an appearance but were expecting him to make a grander entrance. He appeared in our limo where we found him before our formal wedding pictures were to be taken. He joined in the fun.
It looks like the frog turned into my prince.
My husband and I were married four years ago and last year on a surprise trip to see my sister-in-law and her family we left the frog on the front lawn of their home. They had moved farther north last year. She had called my mother-in-law to see if she was the one who put it there. My mother-in-law knew about our trip but she played it well. My sister-in-law was stumped. Then she called my husband. He admitted that we were up visiting for the weekend. We had planned to visit Mystic, CT before our second daughter was due. I had been about eight months pregnant at the time. My husband who had driven the entire way up had wanted me to get out and put the frog on their lawn. Unfortunately, I wasn't moving very fast at the time so I made him do it.
The next morning the frog lost his feet after sitting out overnight in a rainstorm. When they went to pick him up, his feet stayed on the ground. Frog had a good run. We had a lot of fun memories even if he didn't make it onto Jay Leno.