Friday, June 28, 2013

He Said/She Said: Our Weekend Away

Even apart, we’re together. Last weekend, we both had spontaneous and separately planned mini vacations to the same small resort town, Paul with his family from Thursday to Sunday and Anya for camping from Friday to Monday, because that’s just how melded our lives are. Welcome to He Said/She Said!

Vacationing with family is always...something...but this weekend we got extra lucky with the straight up crazy being thrown our way. No amount of texting “save me!” in the world really made this okay, but we’re reunited and it feels so good. Also, ready to publish the notable quotables, because why else do we do these things if not for blog fodder? Also, we love our families. Usually.

Weekends with the family rarely end well.


My grandma is almost 93. She is deaf, mostly blind, barely able to walk, diabetic, and slightly demented. She is thus unable to care for herself, but thanks to a heaping dose of Catholic guilt, she goes back and forth between my parents’ house and my mother’s sister’s house, desperately avoiding being tucked away in “the home.” Last week my mother made the three-hour trek to my aunt’s in Small Resort Town to drop my grandma off at my aunt’s. Upon realizing that my aunt’s husband (AKA Universally-Hated Uncle) was out of town, she decided to stay for a few extra days and convinced me to drive up and visit. My aunt has a child who is six and a hyperactive Hell fiend. My mother does not often swear, but upon my arrival, I was greeted with:

MOM: Between the young one and the old one, it’s a fucking zoo.

Which accurately set the tone for the trip. Highlights include fixing the lawnmower from the at-home tune up the ever unhandy Universally-Hated Uncle attempted, listening to my grandmother’s half-assed threats of suicide (remember the Catholicism), and an in-depth discussion about my mother’s first period at my super foreign great-grandmother’s house when she was ten. Further points of amusement/contention/sadness include:

GRANDMA: Paul, while we’re alone, I wanna ask you something.
ME: Okay?
GRANDMA: How come you don’t have a girlfriend yet? I’m not being nosy or anything, but you’re old enough now that you should be looking for one!
ME: Haha...
Extra great because for awhile Grandma thought that Paul was sowing his wild oats with both Anya and Swiss Miss. We are discernibly different to her based solely on our hair color.

GRANDMA: Where’s my purse!?
MOM: We’re looking for it!
GRANDMA: I don’t see anybody moving!

GRANDMA: I didn’t bring my comb; I look like a wild (adjective as noun) from Borneo.
AUNT: Ma, it’s a casino, nobody cares!

I will close with the exchange that I can only imagine occurs biweekly:

COUSIN: Do you still love me?
AUNT: I don’t like you.
COUSIN: But do you love me!?
AUNT: Not right now.


I love my boyfriend and his family, but sometimes they kill me. The family is this insane combination of the nicest, most giving and generous people you’ll ever meet, and a pervasive and willful blindness of their white privilege that I have never before seen manifested in person. Not to mention what I would call problematic political and religious views. You’ll find yourself nodding away in sympathy as they’re telling a story, and then it takes a sudden political turn that veers into the “holy shit stop moving your head in agreement territory”. Worst case scenario, it’s fucking offensive, best case scenario there is some serious oddity going on. We decided to take a camping trip up to Small Resort Town to visit with the family, where a lovely time was had by all, minus, of course, these moments:

THE UNCLE: I guess she still wants to be a doctor. I think she should do radiology, being a radiologist is a good career for a girl that’s going to get married and have kids, you can just work Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

All you can hope for a daughter...

THE MOTHER: Oh yeah, their milkshakes are really good but I think they cook with some kind of weird oil, because last time I went there it was...not...good...digestively you know? So I would stick to the desserts.

THE FATHER: Well, we have running water in here, but it’s a limited amount, so just don’t use too much of it?
THE MOTHER: Otherwise we have to go get some and we really don’t want to do that, so maybe just use very little.
THE LIBERTARIAN: I mean, I could go get some more.
ANYA: I’ll just use the showers that are like twenty feet away?

THE UNCLE: For the past ten or fifteen years the crops haven’t been ready at quite the right time. It’s always something!
*ten minutes later*
THE UNCLE: Yeah, I mean look at this weather! Ha, global warming...right.
ANYA: *under her breath* it’s called goddamn climate change.

Tell it to this guy, asshole.

THE UNCLE: I can’t believe that they never really released his birth certificate, and it just took so long. I think we should impeach him with two weeks left in his term, just to send a message, you know? That we’re not taking this crap.

I close with an excerpt from a typical conversation:

THE MOTHER: This woman worked with me, and she was just not quite right. Like during her second wedding. Third wedding? Second wedding, third long term boyfriend? Anyway, she like couldn’t walk she was so drunk. She used to put alcohol in her coffee every morning, but she worked with kids! And her license was always getting taken away. But then I drove her sometimes because I wanted to be nice, but she was like addicted to working out. Once I was on the treadmill next to her, and her mother was having surgery and there she was at the gym! And tanning. All the men liked her, but I think she started doing cocaine too. Where was I going with this?


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