Next on the agenda was dinner. Grandma had decided early to get take-out from a Mexican place because it was easier than taking everyone out. HA! First, there was the issue of the menu. Grandpa wanted to just get a platter for everyone to share, but Grandma was arguing that maybe not everyone would like something off the platter and would like to get what he or she wanted. She wrote down everyone’s order and then couldn’t read her own writing, so she had to go around and ask what everyone wanted again. Which no one could remember, so the menu had to be passed around again. Lisa and I asked her to get extra salsa and guacamole, which started an argument about how we are too picky because we don’t want the salsa she bought at the store. Which then transformed into an argument about how judgmental Lisa is towards Grandma and how Lisa just needs to relax and stop worrying. I added my two cents by reminding Grandma that she once attempted to serve me moldy bread so maybe all of Lisa’s worrying about Grandma’s lack of attention towards expiration dates wasn’t actually judgment, which only fed the fire. Finally, Grandma kicks me out by telling me to go with Grandpa to pick up the food.
Which didn’t happen. Grandpa had insisted on going because Grandma won’t be able to find the place. His words, not mine. So he insists on going and just as we are about to walk out the door, he says he needs to change his hat. This sets of an impatient Grandma who grabs her coat and me and says, “That’ll take forever, let’s just go.” Grandpa comes out all angry and I try to diffuse the situation by telling him to go make the margaritas because we all know Derek’s just won’t be as good, further substantiating my argument that alcohol is the remedy to any situation.
We get back with the food and everyone is starving, but Grandma is having issues with everything. “Do we want them on plates?” “Is yours cold, because I think this one is cold?” “Maybe we should put them all in the microwave.” “Who’s is this?” “Where does this go?” I finally get so irritated that I just take mine, in its Styrofoam container, and say, “I don’t care. I’m hungry, so I’m eating” and sit down and begin eating.
All through dinner, poor Lisa was just getting hit from every direction. Lisa does love to be the center of attention and she is much too nice to turn the conversation onto someone else, but it was really funny to watch. Everyone was asking her questions about everything. Her work, how she’s feeling, when she’s due, when she’s going to come down next, when she’s going to go to Sacramento to see Shelby, why she’s going to Sacramento to see Shelby, how long her sister was sick when she was pregnant, where they were going with Derek’s friend the next night, how she’s feeling…It was like an interrogation and there was nothing she could do to get out of it. I was greatly entertained by her discomfort.
After dinner, the game-whore Lisa insists on playing Apples to Apples. Once again, my family is big on games, especially Lisa. I usually participate because it can be pretty funny and it’s a good way to get to know my family a little better. Sometimes, it’s a great way to offend my family too, which is probably my favorite thing to do. (Let’s not forget the “fuck” UpWords incident of 2002. The board said “dock” and I had nothing to put down but an “f” and a “u.” It’s in the Scrabble dictionary!!!) So we played. I sucked. I think I’m hilarious, so I put down things that I think will definitely get a laugh, but no one gets them! Come on, people. The adjective was “corrupt” so I put down “fuzz”! That’s funny (and in some parts of the country, very true). Plus, I have the worst luck in the world, so I get things that don’t make any sense with anything. Nonetheless, it was fun. I didn’t offend anyone, except maybe Grandpa with the implication that the police are corrupt, but he got over it really fast. Lisa ended up winning, and then we all went to bed.
The next day was not nearly as eventful, except for my mom asking me every five seconds about what time we were leaving.
I went to a maternity shop with Lisa so she could buy something other than sweats to wear, and I kind of offended the saleslady. She asked if I had any children while Lisa was in the changing room, and I just made a face like she had just accused me of murder and I thought she was an idiot for implying that I could do something that horrible. She wouldn’t talk to me after that. While we were inside, Derek drove around listening to the CD I made him for Christmas. Which, honestly, is not really his taste, but when we got back in and he said that he liked M.I.A’s “Paper Planes,” I knew he was coming around.
Then, we went to Starbucks and I became that annoying person I hate with 7 drinks, all of them complicated. No, I can’t just get 7 coffees. I have to get a half black, half passion iced tea with one pump of Classic, a syrup crème frap with mocha and a shot of decaf espresso, a nonfat latte with 3 splenda, a double eggnog latte….you get the picture. That’s a great example of why I hate when partners (i.e., other Starbucks employees) come in. We know all the ways to make our drinks custom and then annoy the hell out of everyone else by having them make it for us.
We were pulling up to the house and I had just finished saying how surprised I was to say that my mom hadn’t called to find out what time we were leaving, when my phone rang. I spoke too soon. As soon as we walked in the door, it became all about leaving and getting out of there so we don’t have to sit in traffic. It’s Saturday afternoon, there’s gonna be fucking traffic. Stop bitching. So we said our goodbyes, Lisa and I took a picture by the fire, and then we left. There was actually no traffic and mom slept the entire way, which was very nice. We got home fairly quickly and I promptly went to my room to upload all of my photos from the weekend.
I might complain a lot about seeing my family, but I really do love it. I love getting to see my grandparents because they are such good people and they are always willing to do anything for their family. My Aunt Kathy has been through so much and, even though she is a little, um, strange, she is nice to me and can be entertaining. My cousin Rodney is such a sweet kid and is hilarious when he sings along to his music, even if he does sing a little too loudly. Plus, he thinks I’m a riot, which I love. Derek, aka my favorite cousin, is such a great guy, I’m so glad Lisa found him. He’s really smart and I love talking to him because he reminds me a lot of my dad. He isn’t quite as antisocial as my dad, but he doesn’t talk just to talk or to have his opinion heard. When he does talk, it's worth listening to what he has to say.
Then there’s Lisa. Now, it’s kind of cheating for me to write about Lisa because I know she reads this. If I write about how amazing I think she is, she’s going to read it and then get all mushy and I don’t really do mushy. But I really do think she’s amazing. She has been through so much in her life, I am constantly in awe of the strength she possesses. I mean, just living with Grandma and Grandpa requires more strength than I have. She is also so passionate and opinionated and, just like me, she likes to be the center of attention! She is going to be such an amazing mother and I know that baby is going to have a great life because of her. This is not to say that I am not amazed by all of my family members, but going to Grandma’s and hanging out with Lisa just reminded me why I’ve always looked up to her. (Figuratively of course. I think I’ve been taller than Lisa since I was 6.)