Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It never fails. When you know you have to write something, you totally blank. I can’t think of a thing to write about so here I am rambling in text hoping that something will hit me. Not like a projectile or anything, just something. Then again, if something random came sailing through the air and struck me, removing an eyebrow and my left earlobe, that would definitely be something to write about.

The fourth of July was this past weekend. Instead of having a cookout with my family or at home, we had to go to my mother-in-law’s house. She’d been sure to tell us way in advance that she was having a party and that we just HAD to come. Truth be told, she didn’t care if her son or myself were there, but her grandchildren can’t exactly drive just yet. Not counting the Fisher Price Cozy Coupe that runs on Flintstone unleaded (feet). (No pun intended) She invited people from her work and her square-dancing buddies. And, yes, I make fun of that every chance I get. There’s nothing quite like a pal who’ll hook arms with you to the tune of Turkey in the Straw.

Day of, I talked to her on the phone because my husband, her son, refused. Such a doting son. She said it was to start at four o’clock and last until the fireworks were over. Now, the way I understand it, fireworks don’t begin until it’s dark. I should add here that we have to drive an hour to get to the old lady’s house. I told her we may attend but that we couldn’t stay for the fireworks. Naturally, she inquired as to why. I replied that dark is not until like 9:30; Connor’s bedtime is 8:00. Well, then she had the best solution (in her opinion)! We could all just stay the night!

Here’s a little background on that. Ever since Dave and I were married she has asked us to come stay the night, come stay the night. She even told us we should stay the night Christmas Eve a few times. Call me crazy or selfish, what have you, but I would rather spend my first Christmas married with my husband. And I want to have my son’s first Christmas just with us. She apparently doesn’t understand that.

Now I’m not saying that being invited to stay with family is unacceptable. I’m not saying that it’s wrong. It may be totally normal for some people. Her family, for instance. Then again, a big reason her family members ended up staying the night after a visit is because they were too hammered to keep it between the lines. Drunk as a bicycle, as my father would say. My family never did that and we all live within 20 minutes of each other, save one aunt who, incidentally, I wish would move closer.

So, to sum up, not a fan of the in-law slumber party.

Anyway, I repeated that we may show up but we would not be staying until dark. I had to firmly repeat myself because if I don’t, she thinks she can nag at me until I give in just to shut her up. She is slowly realizing that I can find more fun ways to shut her up.

Fast forward. We pull up and see that there are cars parked out into the street at her house. We didn’t actually think anyone would show. As soon as we came in the door with the boys, I hear a woman shriek “Oh, good, something for me to play with!” My eyebrow went up and if I had seen who had said it, I would have laid into them. What kind of person thinks that a total stranger’s children are there for his/her personal amusement? But I was still out on the stoop and couldn’t see, luckily for her.

As we got into the house, I immediately went downstairs to feed the baby. That was just my own little way of boycotting the situation for as long as I could. It still wasn’t long enough. Dave and Connor were upstairs, jumping through hoops probably. Perhaps it’s just me, but I am somewhat more than reluctant to surrender my new infant to someone I don’t know who expects me to hand him over without incident. I don’t go to a restaurant and demand that people give me their babies. Something tells me that this woman does.

I slogged up the stairs and, upon entering the living room, realized there must have been a 2 World War minimum requirement on the invite. The median age of this crowd must have been 83. And some of them were serious talkers. One gentleman in particular, who loudly touted his love of trivia more than once and proceeded to quiz the rest of the octogenarians. He wasn’t obnoxious to a fault but I wouldn’t have a problem locking him in a closet. If only I were as lucky as half the guests and could turn my hearing aid down, beaming obliviously.

I tried to tune it out, but then someone insisted everyone play Name That Tune and began to bang the piano keys. Some of the winners of that game included “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, “Way Down Upon the Suwannee River”, and “Crazy.” And in case you’re curious, that last one was not the track by Aerosmith, but the late great Patsy Cline.

Luckily I heard someone say ‘daiquiri’ and I sincerely hoped it was the kind that had alcohol in it. It was, but only just. You would get a stronger buzz drinking NyQuil. But it was all there was, so bottom’s up.

People kept piling in, including one noticeably younger woman with a self-righteous attitude and a voice that carried. I would almost rather have listened to the old fogey asking inane trivia questions (“Who was nicknamed The Man In Black?”) to her squealing about how she had participated in the Peachtree Road Race that morning.

This dragged on for what seemed like hours with nothing to dull the pain of boredom. When they started trying to coerce Dave and me to join their square dance tribe, I knew it was time to shag ass out of there. Luckily, other people had left as well so it didn’t look so bad. One more plea for us to stay the night and we were gone.

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