Almost every day, I see or get tagged in a Karen meme on social media. Yes, some of them are funny and some are just mean. I really don't take it personally, I mean it's not like it's my fault that my parents chose my name. I do chuckle when I see people arguing about politics, and when the verbal barbs start flying, there's always that one person that has to throw out "Hey, calm down Karen" or, "Don't be such a Karen."

A few weekends ago my family and I went to our family cabin in the Big Horn Mountains (well it's my husband's side of the family that has the cabin, but it sounds cooler when I call it ours). The cabin is up past Deer Haven Lodge in Wyoming, nestled in the trees with a little creek running past it. Yes, it's quite picturesque. We spent about four days up there with our daughter Bailey, my brother Michael and his two boys Liam and Langston, his mother-in-law Claudia, my sister Julie, and Brett's brother Patrick and their sister Andrea. It was a really nice family get together. We hung out, shared laughs, smoked a huge brisket, and sat around the campfire telling stories and enjoyed the moose that always hang out around the cabin.

Credit: Karen Gallagher Townsquare Media
Credit: Karen Gallagher Townsquare Media

On Sunday, as I was cleaning up and getting ready to pack up and close up the cabin, I had taken the hot coals that were still smoldering out of the smoker and put them in the fire pit. As I was doing my thing, a pickup drove up to the cabin (which, in itself is weird, as nobody ever just comes by the cabin), and it was the Forest Service.

They were there to tell me that there was a fire ban in effect and that I could get fined for the smoldering coals. I was a little taken back. I wasn't aware of the ban, as there wasn't one when we headed up the mountain on Thursday (my bad, we should check daily I know). Anyway, I explained the part about putting the coals form the smoker in the pit and then was told that having the smoker (it's not propane) could be a fine of $280 on top of the fine for having a fire. I almost choked, but the Forest Service officer was super cool. He had me pour water over the coals while he watched to make sure they were out and then wrote me a warning instead of a ticket.

Here's the meme part of this whole story. He asked me my last name, so I told him, and then he asked for my first name, (here it comes) I said Karen. He laughed a little and said I have to tell you, you are way nicer than the Karen's I see on social media.

As we laughed about it, I thought, Really? Thousands of feet up in the mountains and I still get a Karen meme reference. He said I understand your pain. He told me that his first name is Forest. Yes, as  in, trees. He said he's heard them all, like "Forest Gump" or "Are you friends with Smokey Bear" and his favorite, "Forest that works for the forest service." Even though I got a warning, it was worth him and his partner stopping by to check on things. It was a good laugh.

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