Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I’m Either The Best Sister Ever Or Really Stupid. Probably Both.

I’m going home for Thanksgiving. Home to Minnesota to my parents house. I haven’t been home for the holidays (Yes, I really just typed that. I'll just go ahead and punch myself in the face now.) in 11 years. That was my first Christmas after moving to Texas and no way was I staying down here where it was 75 degrees and sunny when I could be back home where there was snow. I mean, what’s Christmas without the snow? And as it turned out, the temperatures never got above zero degrees. Yeah, I was really happy to come back to the warm weather after that last visit.

But the last couple of years I’ve been longing to be up north for Christmas again. Last year, the Dallas area got a huge (by southern standards) winter storm on Christmas Eve. It would have been perfect, except that we went to New Orleans for Christmas and missed it. Not that I’m complaining. I was drinking hurricanes and eating gumbo, who the hell cares about snow? But still, my northern roots are calling to me.

My parents are usually in Arizona by this time of year. They are retired snowbirds and can hardly wait to get to Mesa by the end of October. But my dad has been sick this year. He has leukemia and needed to stay close to his doctor in MN for chemo, so they aren’t heading to AZ until after Thanksgiving (he's doing great, by the way. This post isn't about that, but I didn't want to leave you hanging). So I was all “This year is my chance! I should totally go home for Thanksgiving so my parents won’t be alone on the holiday! I’m booking a flight right now!” to Captain Carl. And all three of my sisters agreed with me and booked tickets too.

So I’m flying up on Thursday morning. Because we are poor white trash, we could only afford one ticket so the Captain is staying home to host his side of the family’s Thanksgiving at our house. Which is weird, but whatever because there is already snow on the ground up there! Hooray! It’ll be almost like Christmas! I’m totally building a snowman and making snow angels!

And then I checked the weather channel. The high temp on Thursday up there is going to be 15 degrees. 15 DEGREES. My sister that still lives up there emailed to tell me it’s going to be the coldest Thanksgiving in 20 years.


I mean, I want snow. Snow. Not freezing nostrils. Not temps too cold for my wimpy southern version of a winter jacket to handle. And certainly not so cold that, holy hell, my whole family has to stay inside for 4 days straight. My whole two parent, four sisters and two nieces in a 3 bedroom house family. We’ll kill each other. You may think I’m exaggerating. Rest assured, I am not. Not even a little bit. This is how it will go down:

Me: Hey, let’s go outside!
Sister #1: It’s too cold.
Me: Oh come on! It’ll be fun! We can build a snow fort!
Sister #2: No way.
Sister #3: Let’s play a game.
Sisters #1 and #2: Yeah, let’s!
Me: Oh shit.

Because that is how the murders always start in my family. With a game.

A massacre.
Trivial Pursuit?
Crime scene.
Total slaughter.

It always starts out with optimism. This time will be different. This time we’ll have fun. This time we’ll all get along. This time no one will accuse anyone else of cheating. This time no one will overturn the table in a fit of rage over coming in second place. But the conclusion is almost always the same. Everyone not talking to everyone. At least one sister crying. At least one other sister calling their husband/boyfriend to tell them she is coming home early. My mom shutting herself up in her room for the rest of the day. And my dad reading the paper, pretending he can’t hear what is happening.

But I’ve decided to be optimistic. This will be a good visit. Only 3.5 days. Just long enough for everyone to stop missing each other and just short enough to keep everyone from getting on each other’s nerves.

Unfortunately, I’ve been recruited by one of my sisters. To go Black Friday shopping. At 4am. In 15 degree weather. I mean, I just….I don’t even……

The thing is, I could have just said no, as the Captain pointed out last night. I could have said no and slept until 10am on my air mattress on the living room floor and pretended not to notice my sister's hurt feelings. But I said yes. Because I know how much it will mean to her. And I’ll play every game anyone wants to play. Because it’s family. And it’s going to be awesome and it’s going to be a blood bath and it’s going to be exhausting and I’m going to love every minute of it.

Because there’s no place like home.


The Vegetable Assassin said...

Hahaha, I know this scenario well. The weather part especially. We have a metric butt load of snow right now and yet it was 7 degrees yesterday. Celsius I mean! That's like...i don't know, 40F or close to it. The day before was -20C, which is "aw fuck no" Fahrenheit. It's changeable is what I'm saying.

15 degrees F. Hee. That's chilly. But at least it's not -32 know what I'm saying? Plus there'll be alcohol right? Tell me there'll be alcohol.

Megs said...

You are a much braver woman than I could ever hope to be.

I spend most of Black Friday hiding under the couch with the dust bunnies.

♫ Songbird ♫ said...

When I play Scattergories with my family we always end up drinking too much wine and saying things we regret. Last year on the category "Reasons for being late" using the letter S, here are a few of the gems my charming family kicked out:

"Shit my pants"
"Slapped my mother"
"Stupid kids"
and my personal favorite:
"Sex with a stranger I met on the bus"

There's no denying it. My family is awesome. lol

Vic said...

Don't forget to pack your airport underpants. Do they have fur-lined ones yet?

mella said...

a fellow minnesotan here... wind chill is actually going to make the temp a hot and balmy 0 degrees on thursday. good luck and pack a LOT of clothes!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Too bad Thanksgiving doesn't happen in the summer... our Minnesota weather is (usually) beautiful then. But of course you wouldn't get snow. You are a fabulous sister if you really go shopping that early on Black Friday. Wow.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Heading up home for the holidays, too. Except my family doesn't drink.Imagine your situation without the fun of alcohol.
Ugh. Kill me now.

Mama Wheaton said...

Your post just goes to show that we are all not that different because it sounds just like my family (minus the shopping part - I refuse). And in the end you are right it is a perfect day or few days because it is with family.

Bird Shit and Baby Caca said...

Have a great trip and try not to kill anyone!!!

Moooooog35 said...

All of that sounds terrible. Particularly the 'family' part.

You people are weird.

Didactic Pirate said...

"Because that is how the murders always start in my family."

Yes. Feel that. In our house, all it takes a simple game of Go Fish for the threats to begin. By the time we move on to Uno, our living room is like the last scene from Hamlet.

Tony Spunk said...

Thanksgiving with my relatives usually involves hiding in the basement closet with a bottle of gin and a revolver. Or at least it makes you feel like it. The best Thanksgiving ever was a few years ago when my car broke down on the way home from a show and a lady picked me up and winded up taking me home. To her home I mean. The turkey wasn't the only thing with a bone that year, if you get my drift.

I'm sorry, what were you saying?

Rebekah Mae said...

Haha this sounds like my aunts thanksgiving reunion where she invited all four of her sisters ( my mother being one of them) to her small ass house in cali. Plus the additional extended family. It was horrible. My mother knew it would be so she opted out and sent me in her place. only one sister showed up and that was enough.
Within the first day there was screaming and yelling, crying and accusations of cheating during certain games.

I, at the age of fourteen, demanded my aunt (the one hosting this disaster) to stop being greedy with the wine and to poor me a huge glass. this wish was granted and I spent the rest of the time in a buzzed haze counting the minutes to my departure.