The family of Lynn Ross is one invested in good-natured ribbing, she and her new husband Pierre said.
It’s just the adjectives each used to describe that dynamic were wildly different.
“My family loves to rip each other a lot,” said Lynn with a hearty laugh from the couples’ home in Wisconsin.
Pierre’s version: “Ribbing is not the word. They will tear you down to nothing.”
And so as Pierre grew to know and love Lynn and her family, he was initiated into their world where not all is taking too seriously or at least not without a wisecrack.
In particular, Lynn had warned Pierre about one of her sisters, a true “practical joker.”
And that sister she quickly dug into what she believed were Pierre’s unusually large front teeth.
Here again, we have degrees of rib.
“He does have large teeth,” Lynn said.
Pierre countered, “They are perfectly proportioned to my body.”
But Lynn’s sister pounced, linking Pierre to all things horse, Mr. Ed and the like.
And Pierre, whose friendship with Lynn was blossoming into love, soon tossed down the gauntlet.
After debating his own version of can-you-top-this one Christmas, he decided to craft a homemade potpourri jar. The main ingredient was the, well, droppings from his Dalmatian left during their daily walks.
He figured either it would be the perfect gift for this family he was growing to love; or he’d be “banished for life.”
Lynn’s sister opened the gift Christmas day and wasn’t immediately sure what to make of it. Didn’t quite smell like potpourri, she said, as she passed the jar to another sister to assess.
“It’s (poo),” the sister quickly said using the slightly more profane term.
And so it was on between Pierre and Lynn’s sister – a horse bridle gifted to Pierre one holiday, as example.
“I told her, though, that she could never outdo me,” Pierre said.
This brings us to Lynn and Pierre’s recent excursion to Cape San Blas for their marriage.
But first we back up a few weeks.
Lynn and Pierre were on a pre-wedding getaway they were in a shop when they simultaneously spied an object on a shelf.
A horse head. The costume kind.
“We didn’t even have to say a word,” Pierre said. “I looked at Lynn and she looked at me and we just kind nodded ‘yeah.’”
They somehow managed to find costume horse hooves prior to the wedding a few weeks ago and their plan was set.
“We thought this is going to be so awesome,” Lynn said.
The couple somehow managed to transport the contraband from Wisconsin to Florida without anyone being the wiser.
“I checked it all in my carry-on,” Pierre said with an echo of pride.
As the wedding party lined the beach in a recent afternoon glow, they awaited the groom’s arrival after Lynn had been walked to the beach by her sons.
And down the path came Pierre, or we’ll call him “Mr. Pierre”, horse head and hooves on, galloping like a horse while the DJ played the theme song to the “Mr. Ed” television show.
“All I could hear was my family roaring with laughter,” Lynn said.
Pierre, inside the horse’s head, could only hear his breathing and given the building heat inside the thing wondered whether he’d make the beach.
“It was so much fun,” Lynn said. “It was his way to get back at each and everybody.”
Pierre removed the head and hooves and the couple became man and wife and then afterward, Pierre said, “We all had a good giggle.”
“Some people think weddings are supposed to be reverent and a formal affair,” Pierre continued. “It’s not. It’s life and it’s fun. Have fun.”
The horse-capade was not the only secret unveiled on what turned into a very special family affair.
Lynn and Pierre wed as Lynn’s parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and one of her sisters was celebrating her 25th.
Lynn, in secret, carried to Florida the knives used to cut wedding cakes 50 and 25 years ago and the three couples cut the cake of celebration for Lynn and Pierre.