Thursday, December 4, 2008


So, as many of you know, my family came last week to Seattle to visit me during Thanksgiving break. I haven't had Thanksgiving with my immediate family since I was a senior in high school (High School Musical 3: Senior Year!!!), so I was really looking forward to this. I love my family so much and I appreciate everything they do for me. Being of Catholic/European/Pseudo-South American descent culturally, family is always emphasized, but not over emphasized, you know? Like I was never forced to spend certain days with my family, but I always wanted to and it just seemed natural. At Mass, during the sign of peace, I feel perfectly natural kissing my family, which I always thought everyone did @_@. I really don't care being called a "momma's boy" or whatever (my 7th grade teacher called me that once. What a biscuit. Maybe she said this because she had no womb so could never have kids. I hope you're happy now, Mrs. Maahs...) and thought it weird that people in high school had rocky relationships with their parents, who pretty much did and bought everything for them. So yeah, I really love my family.

I was VERY excited also for the time period in which I haven't seen them. Before I left for Japan, I only had 6 days back home, all of which were spent in a car driving to get stuff ready for Japan, and my Dad wasn't even there (he was in New York taking care of my grandma). Then, I went to Japan for 4 months, came back August 6, and went back to Seattle a mere two and a half weeks later. So, that's seeing my family for 24 days within the past 10 or so months. For me, that's really REALLY hard, so when Tuesday, rolled around, I was definitely anticipating them.

It happened that they came in during the time I was serving Mass, so they walked in half-way through Mass. When I saw them, I couldn't contain my smile (man, the more I write the cheesier I sound. Gosh, why does anyone read this stuff???), but I was on the altar, so I couldn't do anything, which was fine. But during the sign of peace, when I'm supposed to be setting up the altar, my dad walks right up to the altar and tries to shake my hand. Now, for those of you who don't know, my dad is one of the most annoying men alive. He's a Brooklyn Ginni with no shame for anything he does. After that, I wasn't so excited anymore. Being away for so long with my family on top of mainly hanging out with my family when I am with them, I failed to remember how embarrassing they are in front of non-family members. OMFG! Where is this going to go the rest of this week???

So, the first thing I did was show them my room and Xavier in general. We go down to the basement and see a fellow RA and someone else I know, and as my brother goes through the door, he says, really loudly and vulgarly, "This place is the tits". What the hell is your problem, Will??? In case you haven't guessed, my brother has no class.... AT ALL!!! Thanksgiving day, my supervisor was in the basement, and I wanted him to meet my family. But remember the previous incident, I decided against it. My family was just that embarrassing. They have no sense of tact and what is appropriate and inappropriate first time meeting conversations. They just say whatever without giving much thought to anything. Basically, I wanted to DIE when meeting anyone in the company of my family. Luckily, at the time, my brother was gone, so I thought it wouldn't hurt so much if my parents met my supervisor. It was pretty standard. You'd think that my dad being a principal for 20 some years that he'd know how to handle meeting new people and making a good impression.... This is why I like the West Coast SOOOO much better than the East Coast. They're just too forward there....

Anyways, the biggest thing I was worried about was Thanksgiving dinner, which my mom so generously offered to let me invite 6 additional guests! How would my family handle this situation, especially based on the fact that everyone came from a background my family never really encountered/hung out with much. Would my mom ask too personal of questions? Would my dad make an off-color joke? Would my brother be an all-around ASS like usual??? Luckily, my mom was on her best behavior (and best cooking ability! It was so delicious!!!), my dad make a funny off-color joke that people laughed at, and my brother was pretty much not present. All-in-all, it was a really great, relaxing time and the best possible merger of my home life with my social life.

I thought it would be smooth sailing from there with just one more day left, but it wasn't... My dad is really controlling when it comes to food. He has to choose everything, he has really weird rules regarding when you can eat and how much, and he thinks that everyone in the family has his taste (they don't....). So when I wanted to take my family to an Ethiopian restaurant (which they have never been to, but I go to all the time, so I wanted to show them a part of my new life here) but my dad, for whatever reason, didn't want to go, it turned into this unnecessarily divisive thing. I had to drag them there. My dad was silent and huffy and shaking his head the entire time he was there. He kept saying he had stomach problems, even though it wasn't true. On and on, he'd complain about what a horrible experience it was. I kept asking my mom what the hell his problem was??! It was a new cultural experience I thought they'd all like, but just because it wasn't his choice and it was too "expensive" (even though it was the cheapest thing we ate and I "paid" for most of it [my mom paid me back :-D Thanks mom!]), he had to ruin the evening by saying how horrible it was. I was furious with him, but he seemed to not care. Later, since they had to check-out of the place they were staying, they hung out in Xavier. My dad was on his laptop in the lobby (where we get wi-fi) looking at his lots on eBay, something he had spent countless hours doing during the short time he was here in Seattle, which was I guess was nice because it gave the rest of us time to cool off. In my room, I was also pissed off at my brother for egging my dad on against me, so it was pretty much silence for an hour. But then, for whatever reason, I turned on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the three of us (my mom, brother, and I) got really into it. We watched it to its completion and felt a lot happier. It's funny how something as mindless as watching TV can bring families closer together and in essence end pettiness.

Their flight was at 12:40 that night, but for whatever reason, they left my room about 5 hours before the flight -_-;; I had accidentally scratched the rental car picking up my friends even though I told my dad I shouldn't drive, as I haven't done it in over half a year and have never EVER driven in Seattle. Because of this (he actually didn't freak out as much about this as would have been normal, probably because he knew it was his fault for letting me drive), he thought he had to get to the car rental place super early, but my mom told me it was taken care of as soon as they got there and they got through security about 3 hours before their flight. I was kind of glad they were gone. It was a peaceful time that I could spend by myself in the quiet dorm.

My family.... I love them to death, but gosh they are annoying and embarrassing.... But I guess that's to be expected and really obvious. Hopefully by understanding my family, you can understand me.

--Till then...


lehdev said...

This place is the tits? What was that supposed to mean?

Anonymous said...

yeah, what victoria said.

anddd... you're family wasn't that bad. i couldn't really judge your brother to see if he is as you describe him, because, as you said, he wasn't there most of the time. other than that, your family was really nice.

thank you for inviting us for thanksgiving! & glad that your dad didn't get too angry about the car :O

4649 said...

aww..that really sucks about the ethiopian food, i know how much you love it!

it's a generation gap thing too i think...having a hard time understanding about new cultures and ideas. my parents are definitely like that in some ways too, you're not alone!