My cousin has inspired me to break this into two parts. Maybe three. Goodness knows I can ramble when I start going. It's a horrible thing, but let's make sure we covered everything so far:
So we get to the train station, and I'm feeling like the worst daughter ever. There I am, heading off to Beantown to go to a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/bah humbug party (heh) while my mom's running a fever, coughing her lungs out, and fighting traffic.
"Let's stop and get juice." I say.
"Nah, I'll get it later," She says.
Why didn't I think this out? I should have bought stuff on my way home from work Friday. Stupid me. Gr.
Well, I feel horribly neglecting and sad and lonely as I'm standing, waiting to board, there with my ticket. I brought a laptop, though, so that was something to look forward to. iPod too, which was good, because the wifi was TERRIBLE.
It was a nice ride, though. Fast. Over before I even knew it. I was pretty social too. Talked to at least two people. Usually I'm very shy around strangers, but I was on an adventure. It was fun.
The first lady I spoke with was an older woman who was lingering in the terminal with me. "You heading to Beantown?" I said. She smiled and said she hoped so.
"We booked our tickets last night, but we don't know where to get them." She told me, and I promptly told her where I'd gotten mine (as I'd bought mine the night previous too). "Thanks, my fiance is in there now. He should find them."
We chatted a bit, then got on the train. She sat in front of me in the handicapped section. An older older woman sat across from me, and a man and his son sat in the other handicapped spot.
At first, I was alarmed with that. Honestly, it's something some people in my family would do. He looked perfectly normal, and I wasn't sure he realized they were handicapped seats. But as the train ride progressed, I started to see how disturbed his son was. Then I felt like a jerk for doubting him. He looked at me a few times, the dad. Stared. Smiled. I felt bad. I wanted to say "hi" and start talking to him, but I didn't know what to say.
"Oh, I see your son is ..." or "What is wrong with him?" Those didn't seem too polite. I guess I should have asked where he was heading, but I felt like he was embarrassed or something. I felt even worse for staring and suspecting. Jerk me.
I talked a lot with the grandmother beside me. She was knitting, so I told her what I tell every knitter I see, "Oh I need to take classes. I can knit a straight-line scarf, but that is about it!" She said something else to me, but I didn't hear her and didn't want her to repeat herself. Oh well.
She then started drilling her granddaughter with multiplication and spelling. You could tell the little girl was irritated. She got on the floor and started staring out the window. Playing with the seat. Total avoidance. I wanted to say, "Leave her the heck alone, you bully. Can't you see you're pushing too hard?" but that would have been rude too. It irks me when I see people who are ignorant of young people's feelings, though. Instead of being rude, I just asked her if she knew the trick for the 9's. There is this finger trick that will tell you the answers to the nines tables: On your ten fingers, starting from the left, put down the finger of the number you are multiplying by nine.
IE 1x9= 9
If those were your fingers, you'd put your left pinkie down, and have 9 fingers remaining. 1x9=9
So you put down your left ring finger. Your left pinkie automatically gains the value of a tens place, so you have 10 + your remaining 8 fingers = 18
Here you have your left pinkie and ring finger in the tens place (because they are separated by your middle finer. To the right of your middle finger, you now have 7.
10+10= 20+ 7 = 27
And it continues on. Hopefully I've enlightened you!
My cousin picked me up at the train station. I've been calling him Mr. Jerk since he refused to sleep in my tempur-pedic mattress with his horrible back, so I guess I'll just call him, affectionately, jerk from now on. I guess it's payback for calling my dog F-face during his puppyhood.
So Jerk (and now I feel like a jerk for committing that name to him) picked me up in the train station. We went to his house so I could help set up for the party. I will call his wife by her wii name, McPreggers. McPreggers was there setting up, so I helped where I could. Her sisters came shortly after I got there, and they did all the things I couldn't do. We made a great team.
Everything was set up, and it was really nice compared to the previous year. This was my second year attending, and during my first it was slightly awkward. McPregger's family had stayed in the kitchen, and my family had stayed in the waiting room. It was sort of awkward for me, because I hadn't known everybody, and am horrible with names. And faces. But after the wedding, and facebook, I now knew all sisters and most family members.
This year, everyone mingled. Everyone joked. laughed. and had fun. Well, everyone except for my niece. :( She cried and cried and hated everybody. It sort of made me feel horrible inside. I was a distant memory she wanted nothing to do with. Ouch. I mean, I know she gets that way, and it's just the way she is, but I still felt like I, the amazing aunt, should have been able to break that wicked spell of antisocial behavior. I just wasn't 'that' cool, though.
My aunt came in.. what do I call her? She's slightly loud and overbearing. . . I guess I'll call her by her trait mark cookies. Auntie Cookie. That makes sense. So Auntie cookie comes in, and my niece went to her without hesitance. She opened her present and colored with her. I felt like a deadbeat aunt... Maybe it was because her wrapping paper was the glorious red, and mine was just plain green... favorite colors are always big hits.. I don't know. I'll keep that in mind for when I wrap Elmo, I guess.
Eventually, I weaseled my way in. I got Aunt Cookie to get her to open my present--a handmade trick-or-treat bag with her name embroidered on it. I was so proud of that silly bag; found a yellow, white, and orange stripped shirt at the salvation army, cut it up, sewed it together, and braided yarn through the bottom seam. Hot-glued felt characters on and wrapped it in horribly offensive green Christmas paper.
Well, it made her day (I hope.) "Let's go trick-or-treating!" I said, "Want to go?" And she shook her head hesitantly. Then she was mine Mwahaha. We went to the living room and stocked up on red and green M&M's. Her favorite. Then we went to the hall and ate them, all the while screaming "M's!!!! Where'd you go!!!?" into the festive sack. She laughed hysterically, stopping only to glare at her brother as he crawled by.
After a while, I convinced her to go upstairs with me to get a present I'd brought for her mommy and daddy. She was excited to go upstairs, but not to deliver this gift. She'd much rather run into walls and jump up and down in closets. Seriously. She ran into a wall, SMACK, then we'd slowly slide down the wall making silly sound effects. Then we'd lay on our backs and laugh hysterically.
Occasionally, we needed to nap. So she would climb up onto the bed and lay down. "Can you sleep?" She'd ask me, so I said sure and I'd climb into bed. That was NOT OK. "No, you sleep on the floor." she instructed. I laughed. Then asked if I could take a pillow.
She said yes.
We'd run into McPreggers and Jerk's future son/daughter's room and stare into the crib. "Uncle Jerk and Auntie McPreggers are having a baby. Will you sing baby a lullaby?"
"Yes." She said sweetly. Staring. The crib was almost hypnotizing her. I wondered what she was thinking. Happy thoughts? Nervous thoughts? She'd stare for a good minute, then she'd run out of the room, across the hall, and jump in a giant closet. The only uncool part of the evening was when a little boy was dropped off to play with us. He was cute, but, for some strange reason, he didn't quite understand the concept of running into a wall and laughing hysterically. Instead he tried tickling my niece, who, again, is a pretty distant person. He reached over and tickled her, then received the stare of death. It was totally quiet... It was really awkward. You'd think he'd just beat her, or something.. It was like... dead silent. Stare.
I joined in, laughing, "Tickle tickle tickle!! ah ha ha!" like a loon. That didn't make things any better. So we ran and jumped in the closet again.
It took a while, but I eventually had a blast with her. Towards the end of the night, though, I became the BIGGEST JERK EVER. Bigger than Mr. Jerk himself. My niece wanted me to go sleep over her house.... And I had promised to help McPreggers clean up... and my own father was upset I wasn't staying at HIS house and visiting his puppies... and to make matters worse, as if I wasn't torn enough already, Aunt Cookie offered me an apartment LOL! I'm so glad everyone loves me, but it sure does make things hard sometimes.... <3
Well, I honestly wanted to go and see my babies in the morning. Little Chubby Cheeks and his big sister. But they had to leave early (curfews for 2 year olds aren't what they used to be ;) It was also snowing, so I couldn't make them come back for me, even though they would have. So then I decided to go with my dad. I was tired and torn, so I agreed, even though he wasn't sober enough to remember me telling him I changed my mind and wasn't going. Yeah...
Mr. Jerk said, "You're going home with him? Think about it. It's not a good idea." and thankfully talked me out of it. Mr. Jerk is such a good guy. A jerk at times, but a good guy, and I'm so proud he is my cousin.
"I'm going to stay here. I'll come over to see the puppies in the morning." I said at the end of the night.
"Ok." He said, "So are you ready? Where's all your stuff?" He said to me.
"I just said I'm going to stay here..." I said blatantly. He just said, "oh."
I know it bothers him that I don't see him enough, but Mr. Jerk was right.
On the way to the train station, Jerk and I had a wonderful conversation about my dad. "I love him, but I just can't take him. He frustrates me. He's so good, but he's so... Dad."
Jerk agreed with me. My Dad is the greatest guy ever, and there isn't a thing he wouldn't do for anybody... except stop drinking. That's the one thing he won't do.
Anyway, the party was great. The only thing that pissed me off was one thing he said to McPregger's grandmother. He'd been trying to get me to try some Kahlua cool whip, but I refused. He thought he was clever telling me it was just cool whip, but since I helped make it, I sort of knew better. "Come on, it's good."
And though I had actually been tempted to taste, it was the principal I refused. I refused to be tricked into getting drunk. I refused to let my guard down. I refused to take advantage of my adulthood. I said no. And I was proud of myself. The more he pushed, the harder my resistance came. What was the big freaking deal? I didn't want to try the cool whip.
"My daughter's anti-alcohol." He says to the table. "It's good, but one time she didn't want to be my designated driver and blah blah blah... "
I think my jaw hit the floor. Literally. One of my first blog posts on here was about that very same incident--the fact that I didn't approve of his abuse of alcohol and that I didn't want to cart around my drunk family. He was mad at ME for refusing to drive him around, and complaining about it.
Granted, if they really needed a ride, I would pick them up. But I wasn't going to waste my entire day, driving them from bar to bar, watching them get drunk. That just isn't my idea of a good time.
Anyway, I was so embarrassed, not that I had to be. But for him to hold on so strongly to that resentment was very upsetting. I got up and walked away, proud of myself for holding it together. I didn't want to cause a scene at the party... That would have made things worse.
I knew he was just drunk and rambling, so whatever.
So, yeah. With that said and done, I'm not sure what I did. I think the babies were gone, so I must have just gone and washed some dishes. Maybe I took some pictures.
The Yankee Swap went... Eh. It was fun, but played completely wrong. Two people went home with the gifts they brought, and it was just a game of appeasement more than anything else. I'll just stick with numbers to keep things straight. Person 1 picked a beach chair. Person 2 picked something random, and wanted to trade of the the beach chair, when someone, who I refuse to admit was my father, started to argue that "that's now how you do it."
"Yeah it is."
"No, it's not!"
"You can't trade with 1"
Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, screw it.
So they gave up, confused, and #2 got screwed out of a beach chair.
I was numbers 6, 9, and 12. Pretty sweet. My cousins had left me in charge of their Swapping, so I thought I did them proud... until I realized two of the gifts were the two gifts they had brought! Oops!
Gift 6 was the game "Clue." Gift 9 was a Kappy's gift card. Gift 12 was a mini-dirt devil..
Since the game was completely screwed up, the rule was "you can only trade with the person before you--unless you're number two because then we hate you and you don't get jack squat." So, there came an opportunity for #8 to trade with #7.
7 was a bottle of wine with 3 scratch tickets. 8 was the gift I brought--a decorative "Let it Snow" box filled with hot cocoa mix, festive teas, cookies, and truffles. #8 was McPreggers, and she kept my gift; had she stolen the scratch tickets, I (#9) would have stolen them, but she kept the cookies and tea.
The scratch tickets were worth $140... What a blow.
I was #12, and I knew that #1 was gunning for my Kappy's gift card. I was determined to get my cousins something good for their swap, so I stole #11 (Aunt Cookie's) Wine and Scene it game. She was mad, but it was the only thing I could do. I couldn't go back, and I knew I was losing a gift card. How could I go back with chair, vacuum, and board game? Naw, I had to steal.
Aunt Cookie left with the vacuum she had brought, and I brought Tumbleweed and Homemakerman the board game and chair they had entered into the game (Oops). At least they got wine, though.
All the gifts were nice. There was a giant dart board, lots of booze, and a bunch of other random things that I can't quite remember.
After everyone had left, Jerk, McPreggers, her sister, and I all sat on the couch and talked about what a great party it had been. McPreggers went to bed, and so did Jerk. The two of us watched a movie, until 2ish AM. Then I went up to bed.
I woke up and helped clean up. Jerk made us crack-breakfast, which is delicious. I think he makes the best breakfast (next to my dad, of course). I love it when he uses pepper-bacon, though. It's soo good. But anyway, we cleaned a bit, then got ready for the train. We drove down, actually joking about missing the train.
"You know you don't want to go," Jerk said. I agreed. Of course I didn't want to go. I wanted to stay down and see my dad. The puppies. My babies. I actually felt pretty guilty about not going to see his puppies. I said I would, but that night he said, "No you won't."
Actually, I would have. I wanted to go see him, but after he told me "You're going to sleep late, get up, go to the train and go home." I figured, what the heck? Now I don't have to feel bad about not seeing him--only I do feel bad, so either way I was screwed. I was too irritated to go see him, so even though I had a bit of time, I said the heck with it.
I gave him a huge Christmas present; one that actually ticked off his wife. She turned to me and said, "You didn't have to get him that, that is too much!" She said whisperingly angry. I just shrugged. What the heck was I going to say?
Maybe she bought him a digital camera too.. Ha.
More to come in part three. I'm tired of typing.