I'm back. Last night. Stayed a few extra days so that we wouldn't be leaving on the same day that Reese's mom went back to work from maturnity-leave. (He's my three year old nephew who lives next door to my parents -- He thinks my "big" kids are the center of the world)

I've learned a few things, and forgotten a few things while I was gone. For example, it took me a few minutes to remember how to log-on. No kidding. The mind is a funny thing. But, OH!, the things I learned! Mostly along the lines of soap-opera-type-stuff.

First, my parents are seriously honest-to-goodness liberals. And my mother? She's even further to the left, one of those raving-koolaid-drinking-Democrats. Really. I swear. And they're that way on purpose. Which I've never admitted before, not even to myself. I've always thought I could explain to them and they'd eventually see the light, so to speak. Nope. I've quit trying. Although, I do amuse myself by occassionally using fact to derail my mother when she's about to launch into a Bush-caused-global-warming-on-purpose-tirade or a Hillary-is-our-only-hope-for-salvation-monologue. Done correctly, it leaves her speechless. Kinda looking like a fish when it makes that funny bubbleling face. Mouth opening and closing but no sound coming out. It also kinda amuses my Dad, who I suspect sometime of voting for the odd Republican on the sly. The beauty of secret-ballots!

Second, Sam has every intention of marrying a man she has no respect for at all. For interesting reasons, among which are he's-the-perfect-date and I'm-tired-of-being-alone. In other words, he's a charming cad who was in the right place at the right time. Oh, well. We all make our own choices. At least she's aware he'd a flibberty-gibbet. For those that are interested: Yes, OF COURSE I'm going to the wedding. Yes, of course I'm going to be charming to him. Yes, I'll send them a lovely gift. No, I will NOT be the one wearing the bright yellow brides-maid-dress regardless of how good the bride looks with yellow. I will NOT be appearing in public as a giant jaundiced squash any time soon. Nor will I be the Great Pumpkin wearing the neon orange dress. I am considering being the svelte rose in the hot-pink dress. Are you sensing a Caribean-theme yet? Which I am not adverse too, as long as I'm the one in the pink dress. And I am NOT above telling the bride "I am NOT wearing THAT in public." I do not generally condone cursing, but there are moments its to be considered...

Thirdly, my father hates me. Sure, he's pretended otherwise over the years, but the veil has finally been torn from my eyes. He gave Lee a cow. Specifically, a bull. A very big, very tame, very big bull. He likes haveing his nose scratched. No kidding. And his tummy rubbed. And his hair combed. Lee loves his new bull. He was so upset when we had to leave The Bull there that we went to the barn on our way and took pictures of Lee with The Bull. I suspect (fear actually) that my Dad plans on bringing The Bull when they come to visit in July. Heaven help me ...

Fourthly, developements for the Better Idea Project ... Note to Husband DO NOT READ THE BELOW SECTION!

DO NOT READ THIS, if you're married to me. Otherwise, here we go ...

For those that are late to the party, the "Better Idea Project" is that I'm in charge of planning our vacation this year, and have decided that its goingn to be a SURPRISE party for my husband. And not just any surprise party, a four-day-weekend family-reunion with relative coming from all over the country. (Eric moved from China back to South Carolina, so I can't honestly say "from all over the world" although I've heard vague rumbling of distant rumors that Peter might possibly almost be considering coming from London ... )

The upshot: Surprise family-reuinion house-party.

Wouldn't it be nice if we moved into the new house BEFORE the houseguests arrived? Hmmm? You think? And how to light a fire under my husband without telling him the reason? Apparently, something in my eyes when he told me that we could "just move in when we get back from vacation" ... gave him chills. In a bad way. In a way that made him blurt out "I'll do everything I can to get us moved ASAP!"

You, gentle readers who are so charming and polite, would never imagine the craziness that a house-party has brought out in my husband's relatives! They've attempted to form coalitions among different factions and lobby for room-assignments! I've actually gotten the phone-call "Where exactly do you plan on putting people because we've got some ideas ... " Which I've avoided because I could honestly say "I don't know exactly since everyone hasn't RSVP'd yet". Leading to the issue of ...

The lack of RSVP's. I was actually on the phone with one of the aunts when her grown daughter dropped by and said "Oh, that was such a great idea! Is she actually going to go ahead and do it?" This AFTER I set-up a website, and AFTER I sent out an invitaion and AFTER a frequently-asked-questions-packet-of-general-information! I can't imagine what else she would need to confirm that I am actually going to do it. And the response I got from one uncle was "you know I have long hair, right?" Apparently, some people in the family are a little judgemental about his hair. To the point that he's not welcome in their homes. WHAT!?! It should be a really really really interesting weekend.

On a MUCH perkier note: I've scored BIG TIME on the guest list! The two most important (to my husband) family members are coming. Which is no small thing. One's a work-a-holic with a killer-schedule that inked in this time more than a year ago and the other is a single-mother at the other end of the country that had to convince her ex-husband to completely rearrange everyone's Summer plans so she could bring the kids! YAY for me! And, yes, THOSE people are definitely getting good rooms. I'm just saying ... Everyone else is just excess frosting. Now, its seems that I'm getting more and more excess frosting. Since those two guests are rarely in the same area, others are suddenly more willing to visit at that time. Not that it makes me bitter ... But it does remind me of Thanksgiving ...

See, a few years ago, my husband's brother (the work-aholic) suddenly decided he wanted to see family for a holiday so he flew to Michigan to see my husband. (Where he was MORE than welcome! He's one of those few rare people I'd be thrilled to see if he just showed up on my doorstep completely unannounced with the intention of staying a month!) But then, I noticed what I shall here-after refer to as The Brother Butterfly Effect ...

My husband's brother rarely takes a break and rarely goes to visit family, but those things generally merge into a visit to my husband. And then ... comes the announcements from other family members "Oh. We were thinking about visiting you them too! How convienent!" Lets be honest. The others were in no way thinking of visiting us until they learned The Brother would be there. So a butterfly flaps its wing in the jungles of Africa and I have a herd of in-laws at my house!


Yeay!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so glad you're home! So, so, SO glad! And what a treat to get a nice long post upon your return.

I'm seriously thinking about crashing your party. It just sounds like so much fun. I could be really helpful. I could say all those things that SOMEONE should say, but won't because it's family. Or, I could make a scene at just the right moment to distract everyone from a blow up! I have many skills.

Leni | 04/07/2007 - 11:01 PM

Lol! Great to be back. Really really great. Because now the hives are going away and my hair has started growing back in. Just kidding. Or not.

(Leni said "... SOMEONE should say, but won't because it's family ...")

But see, its NOT my family and I will SO say those things. (Actually, I'll say those things to my family too) One of the very best things about my husband is his insistance that I not pull any punches on his account. I have anyway in the past, but I'm over that now. He gave me a book recently, THE most fabulous book, Miss Manner's Guide To Excruciatingly Correct Behavior!

In it Miss Manners points out the sad misunderstanding that good manners are to make people feel comfortable, when we should all know that "good manners" are often to be used to make others feel extremely uncomfortable.

Not that I expect any trouble out of this particular group of guests. Mostly because the younger ones are too scared of the older ones, and the older ones are too scared of me. Which really secretly galls them to admit. But none-the-less must be a factor in their behavior for two reasons: (1) I WILL say things that should be said and (2) they are afraid of provoking my husband. [and after the croquetting and rafting incidents, a few of afraid of my sons]

Not that my husband is a monster. Rather the opposite in fact. He's a great guy. Generally, everyone's favorite relative. Which is to say, people will rally behind him if he puts his foot down. (I might have something to say about them not being willing to stand-up by themselves, but they do deserve some credit for being willing to stand-up at all. I suppose.)

I guess I'm saying that there will NOT be any bullying going on at THIS gathering, or there'll be Hell to pay and they know it. Hrumph. Now I almost hope they'll say something!

Man! I'm in a mood and a half!

Lucy | 04/08/2007 - 09:26 PM

Lucy, it's good to have you back!!

Oh. My. Gosh. Funny relatives... don't get me talking on that topic. To steal a line from Elvis Costello, "I could talk all night."

Paul Burgess | 04/09/2007 - 01:38 PM

Well, I must go blog about my Easter with visiting a reletive. You'll appreciate it, I'm sure.

Leni | 04/09/2007 - 02:06 PM
Make Waves

Remember personal info?

Please enter the security code you see here

Note in a Bottle
Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):