Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pizza Week

I learned today that my beloved L'Ailee refers to the week before Thanksgiving as "Pizza Week." And her friends know exactly what she's talking about. Actually, its full name is "To Hell With This, We're Getting a Pizza Week," though sometimes we get Indian or Vietnamese takeout, too. We are entering do or die time for American home cooks, and I'm starting to stress over a big meal with family and friends just a tiny little bit.

Yeah, I said family! Everything seemed so iffy, but I just found out my brother and his wife are coming up here and staying for the ennnnnntire weekend! The Dorkfish and I will want to kill each other by Sunday morning, and L'Ailee and I will be thrilled to have our house back on Sunday night, but the first couple days are really worth it. Among other things, I'll be happy to see him because he'll fix the turkey and take care of the leftovers with L'Ailee. He loves turkey and is amazing at making it, which is good because I can't stand touching raw meat and I'm allergic to everything that ever wore feathers. I'll make everything else, and our wives will help us clean. It works.

Some of you know this, but some of you don't--my female cousin is married to one of her male cousins. They met at our wedding. They're coming for dinner, too, though they'll be staying at a hotel and blowing out of town on Friday afternoon. My cousin will have just enough time to shop on Black Friday with L'Ailee. They are both very tiny, fiercely competitive women, and I am going to have to make them promise not to fight over shoes or clothing. Once in Florida, my aunt made the mistake of setting up Dance Dance Revolution in her basement for the Cousins, and L'Ailee and my cousin were both fantastic at it. They didn't come up for dinner with everyone else. After fifteen minutes, they said they'd finish in "just a minute". After the turkey was almost completely demolished, some of us went downstairs and found them stripped down to their bras, sweaty hair plastered to their heads, still trying to prove their DDR supremacy. My aunt unplugged the game and pissed them both off. She was brave.

That takes care of most of the relatives I'd miss around Christmas. I finally told my mother we're not coming to Florida for Christmas. (To very briefly recap something I've already agonized over in earlier posts, some of my aunts and uncles are homophobic, and they've always been conservative, but they got downright radicalized since Obama was elected. My mom's going that way, too.) It was not a brief or easy conversation. She kept saying she'd pay for our room or our flight, and didn't quite understand when I told her that wasn't the issue at all. It was really difficult to tell her we were going to go to Detroit and Pittsburgh to watch our teams play hockey in their home arenas instead. (My work husband told me I shouldn't have said that, but Dorkfish knows, and we bought the Detroit tickets from L'Ailee's cousin. Better for her to find out from me.) L'Ailee always chokes up when she needs to say something real and doesn't think I'll like or understand it. I started tugging my earlobes and pressing my lips like she does. It looks like she's trying to find the button that'll make the words come out. I suppose I looked the same way, but TTG, Mom couldn't see it.

Mom accused us of wanting to be "in a bubble" with like-minded people, and then of being superficial. It took a great deal of effort, but I told her how L'Ailee and I both stayed surface-y to try and avoid trouble, how we'd manage to find trouble anyway, how very hard she and I had both worked at family reunions. "We don't want to work anymore, at least not this year," I said. "We think we deserve a real vacation." This set her off anew.

Eventually we somehow decided that we'd like to see each other before the year is out anyway. I'm still not quite sure how we got there. So I'm going to Washington DC the second weekend of December, and probably L'Ailee is, too. We'll have lunch and visit with the National Zoo's beautiful panda family and look at monuments. I'm kinda dreading it, but I'm also kinda glad we found a way to see each other somehow. It'll definitely be more comfortable than a full family reunion.

Of course, it's not just family that can stress me. There's work--not talking about that, it just swings from busy-busy to boring-boring and back like always when the end of the year approaches. And then there's my night/weekend job. I just finished what was going to be a transformation of a room from a home office to a nursery for an expected baby. It blew up into a redo of the whole apartment. Awesome! The clients are a married lesbian couple, and one of the ladies is pregnant. They were thrilled to have a queer female interior decorator. That's good, too.

But...oh, this sounds of the clients seemed interested in me. The other was most definitely interested in the bi female builder who was helping out. And the builder, who is at least single, was flirting with the straight male painter. Much too much potential for drama, and I didn't like it one bit. The project finally wrapped up this Sunday. I was never so grateful to collect my pay and have my traditional post-project drink with the contractors in my life. When I left the bar, the builder and the painter were ordering another drink. Good for them. And good for me, because I got to rush home to my wife.

Fun links for a not-so-fun news week:

How can atheists be thankful on Thanksgiving, or any day? Austin Cline addresses that question nicely. For L'Ailee, my brother, and my SIL, it means thanking people rather than Gods.

"If your mom can impale people, you're cute." Actually, I think baby rhinos are cute anyway.

But it may be easier for some people to see the cuteness in little Yun Zi, the San Diego Zoo's panda boy, who just got his name!

Things have changed a lot for the pandically cute Tony Stewart, but he's still skewering other NASCAR drivers with his Stewie Awards. Here are the nominations. I always love the ones for in-car radio communication.

Finally, Jones Soda recognizes vegetarians with their perfectly revolting Tofurkey-flavored soda. Since tradition must be maintained, I believe Dorkfish and I may be continuing our tradition of daring guests to drink something revolting for money with the help of this soda. The Jones Zilches in the box will be mine. :-)


liminalD said...

Yes, Baby rhinos and pandas ARE cute. They're always my favourite Zoo animals. And I know exactly how you feel about the dread of going home for the holidays... we don't do Thanksgiving here in New Zealand but I'm in pretty much the same boat as far as Christmmas is concerned. And you end up feeling guilty and frustrated when you're 'supposed' to be excited and happy. Bleurgh.

Really entertaining post by the way, the bit about your wee wifey and DDR made me laugh... I know some other people who get like that with!


Christopher said...

I want to try that Tofurkey flavored soda. Yeah, it'll probably be disgusting even though I actually like Tofurkey. But it's such a funny idea I have to try it. Besides, I've eaten haggis. Tofurkey soda should be easy after that.

On a serious note, I sympathize with you and L'Ailee not wanting to go to Florida for Christmas. It's not about wanting to be "in a bubble", it's about wanting to enjoy the holiday. If those conservative family members are like some of the ones I know, it's not their conservatism that's the problem. It's their confrontational attitude. The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, and I don't blame you for not wanting to be around people who insist on pushing their opinions on you. At those hockey games you may or may not be surrounded by "like-minded people", but whether you are or not no one's going to be looking down on you.

Happy Pizza Week, by the way.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I love it when you leave fun links at the end of your posts.

Sorry you are having to deal with family stress...ugh...I hope I am never the kind of mother that stressed out my kid. Ha - actually he deserves it!

I gave you a blog award!

BostonPobble said...

Sounds as if things are going as well as they can be going right now given all the potential for drama surrounding you. Well played all the way around. And "pandically cute" is the greatest new descriptor I've come across in a while. Happy Thanksgiving, dear Cracker Lilo! To you and yours.