- The Tuesday before we arrived home for the holiday, a noise scarily like the shot of a .22 rifle echoed through the Middle Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic where the mother in law works. She screamed like a banshee. Half her office thought she had been shot. Panic ensued. What was it? A wheelchair blowout. That same night, a waitress dropped an entire stack of dishes right beside our table at The Cheesecake Factory. The mother in law jumped two feet in the air. So she is officially cancer-free (thus the fancy celebratory dinner), but now probably has post-traumatic stress disorder.*
- While the mister and I were headed farther east on Friday, my aunt, cousin, brother and his girlfriend were driving through a safari adventure center and being half-eaten alive by cows and zebra (literally – the aunt’s happy to still have all her fingers!). Apparently you CAN fit an entire cow into an SUV!
- Later that night, the aunt, cousin and I were prowling through her attic for extra decorations while the rest of the family assembled a nine-foot tree below us in the living room. Little did we know the two spaces would soon become one. “Oh, look at the mess,” were the aunt’s first words as she sat on the attic rafters and stared through her new living room skylight – a hole directly above the ceiling fan and the mister’s head. Yes folks, you see it on TV, you hear about it happening to other people, but you never truly expect to see a human leg appear through a 12-foot ceiling. The attic side of this event was rather anti-climactic, I must admit, since all I saw was my aunt suddenly get a foot or two shorter. However the living room angle was surely much better, as the mister noticed the falling insulation and wondered why it was snowing.**
- At some point between our arrival at the grandparents’ house Friday and now, I have unfortunately realized my baby brother (he turned 19 this past summer) is interested in girls. I don’t know how far the interest goes and I never want to find out, but he, at any rate, has an official girlfriend. She’s a wonderfully sweet girl and spent several days here with the family over the holiday and I really do like her. But at the same time, it twists my brain into knots to think that the brother could have a real, growing-up relationship. It’s just not possible. In my mind my brother doesn’t know anything about girls and is not at all interested in ever finding out. It just isn’t going to happen. Period. The End. Yet, somehow, she was here, and they spent lots of time talking in a separate room from the family. I remember “talking” to the mister apart from the family, and I REFUSE to consider the brother being interested in anything remotely similar. (I can practically hear all four of our parents shuddering.) I suppose I’ll get used to this idea eventually (in, like, 30 years), but it’s made me realize that our house must be laid out so that all children must walk past our bedroom door to enter or leave their rooms. And that once they do start entering and leaving on their own, I’ll probably never sleep soundly again.
- Also, the mister’s truck is so loud that two of my grandparents’ nosy neighbors called up the hill to the house to ask who had come to visit and why the vehicle made so much noise.
And now for a selection of memorable quotations:
- “My GRE scores are going to take longer because of Thanksgiving. Thank you pilgrims and white people.” – the mister
- “You’re going to be the big king daddy rabbit of vets and he still won’t listen to you.” – the mother in law
- “He’s going to crap a whole busload of children.” – the mister
- “There are holes out here we could throw you into and they’d never find you again.” – the mother in law
- *strange noise comes from the kitchen at Chik-fil-a* “Are we ready to lea — I’m not entirely certain, but I’m pretty sure I just heard a goat.” – the mister
- *Sunday night* “What do you want for dinner?” – me
- “Nothing that clucks or gobbles. If it had wings at any point in time, I don’t want it.” – the mister
*I’m kidding. The mother in law is fine, I promise.
**The aunt is also fine. The ceiling is being repaired by a friend at no cost and the uncle finally remembered to ask if she was ok.