So yesterday my mom, my married sister and I were throwing a Father's Day BBQ for the men. Being only 1/3 of the committee, I was outvoted and the menu was largely ribs and chicken wings, neither of which I eat. (Too much work for too little meat, lots of gristle and fat mixed in...ick.) I volunteered to bring potato wedges and pasta salad, thinking I'd at least have two things to eat, albeit a major carbo load. About two hours before dinner time, my dad calls me up and asks if I can come over early to give him a massage. (That's OK, because it pisses me off if I find out that a family member is in pain and DOESN'T ask me for a massage.) I packed up my carbs and headed over to my parents' house in the mountains.
**Now, just so you have the full picture here, a family get-together in my house consists of my parents, me and my husband and two kids, my unmarried sister Sabina and most likely her boyfriend Chad, my married sister Ashley, her husband Bruce, and their three kids, and, if we're lucky, my neo-hippie brother Jesse. The children are insanely loud and the adults are sasquatches, so it's crowded and aurally painful. There are also some hangers-on who occasionally accompany this crowd of pandemonium. Jesse has a girlfriend, Addy, who is very sweet. They break up every other week. (She has two kids who I hear are super-annoying, but I have never met them. I usually don't like other people's kids.) Chad has a daughter who is 16 and likes to text a lot. He also has a mother who is bi-polar and doesn't like to take her medicine. Oh, and she takes other people's stuff and won't admit it.
As I am working on my dad's seven-mile long back (he's 6'6"), he gets a text message. Chad's mom is coming. My brows lower. I have made a finite amount of potato wedges and pasta salad! I have to hide the fly-fishing bag I use as a purse with the garage sale money in it! How rude of people to throw last minute additions onto a dinner party!
"I'm annoyed," I grumble.
My dad sighs. "Yeah," he agrees. "We'd better let Mom know."
We yell up to her, and she pauses momentarily, then cheerfully bustles about, setting another place. Last minute guests never seem to irritate the crap out of her like it does me, unless her family is coming, and then she's like Mommy Dearest. Those Mormon relatives of hers are like Stepford Wives with their perfection and it sends my mom into a dark place.
Anyway, my mood lasts through the rest of the massage, I get madder when Ashley, who is cooking the wings, shows up late and we have to wait for her to cook her stuff before we can eat. Then my potato wedges start sticking to the pan when I try to flip them, and I growl about the fates aligning against me whenever I try to cook, even if I follow directions to the letter.
But wait! Chad and Sabina show up minus bipolar mom, who has apparently swung to the anti-social end of the spectrum, my potato wedges start cooperating, and I actually try some ribs, which aren't as fatty or gross as I had previously thought. Crisis averted.
1 month ago