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[personal profile] nohanii
Thanksgiving was both fun and a disaster and a half. My Aunt Jan lives up in Washington state, and she came up with the wonderful idea to have Thanksgiving at my parent's new house up there (oh yeah, they bought a house within 20 minutes of Aunt Jan a few months ago; they're trying to rent it out until they can move up). If we went, we would be spending Thanksgiving with Aunt Jan and cousin Kirian for the first time in nearly a decade. I love them both dearly, so it sounds fun, right?

 
Wrong.
 
We had originally planned on bringing two cars: Dan and I would take turns driving the Pilot with Nick and Matt in the back, and Mom and Dad would take either an Acura or the Corvette for the 10-12 hour drive. However, Aunt Jan notified us that we were required to bring chains with us since in might snow in the mountains that we had to drive through. We had to modify our plan and take only the Pilot (smallish Honda SUV), which is supposed to seat 8 but really only seats 6 comfortably if the car's empty because really, who likes to rub elbows with other passengers, especially for that long? I should have known immediately that this would not turn out well.

We got up before 4 am on Wednesday morning to shove everything in the Pilot before leaving. My parents apparently decided it was necessary to take everything except the kitchen sink. They'd packed cutting boards, knives, pots and pans, plastic plates and bowls, toilet paper, paper towels, cooking utensils, the whole silverware tray and all the silverware along with it. You name it, it was packed. To add to the load, there was a huge cooler with the turkey and some veggies, a smaller cooler with lunch and snack items, the rest of Mom's ridiculously huge birthday cake, dufflebags galore, and blankets and pillows so we could sleep during the trip. We also had sleeping bags and air mattresses stuffed into the "pod" up top. My jaw dropped and I just about refused to go. Of the six seats in the back, only four were available for sitting. We stuffed Matthew in the back and Dan and I shared the middle seat (Nick was flying up the next morning since he had school at UCSB that day). For a TWELVE HOUR car ride.

Mom and Dad completely disregarded any and all comments about how stuffed and uncomfortable we were in the back because hey, they had plenty of room to stretch out up front. At 5 foot 2, I am the smallest person in my family. If I'm feeling cramped, that should mean something. Like, I don't know, YOU PACKED WAY TOO MUCH SHIT. As long as you're not a parent, it doesn't matter how you feel, apparently.

I managed to survive the trip by sleeping through half of it. Matthew slept the entire time, so he wasn't an issue. Dan, however, was awake for most of it. We left at 4:30 am and got there at 5 pm, only allowing stops to refuel and pee. Sounds fun, amiright?

Thanksgiving Day went really smoothly and was rather enjoyable. Dad is a fantastic chef, and everything he made turned out delectable. The boys annoyed me all day by playing on their laptops with little interaction with anyone else. After the turkey was in the oven, we managed to pry the boys away from the screens and we all went for a walk down the property. I had no idea how much land my parents had bought until I was actually able to walk the whole thing end-to-end. The house sits on 1 acre, and there are another 3 acres down below. We were out for a bare minimum of 30 minutes just to see our property, probably more like an hour. It was amazing.

Mom, Dad, and Aunt Jan took Dan and I to Portland for Black Friday shopping. We let the boys sleep in because they would have just been irritable anyway. Dan and I had an interesting experience shopping for each other together at Macy's -- we know exactly what we got for each other, which is a bit odd to me, but it was fun nevertheless. I've been searching for waterproof boots for myself to protect my feet and pants in this wetter weather, but even on Black Friday I wasn't able to find anything. Well, I did, but it was a girl's size 2, so it wasn't about to fit. I mean, my feet are pretty tiny (5 1/2 to 6 1/2, depending on the shoe), but they're not that tiny! (Funny thing is, those actually fit fairly well; it was just that my big toe was rammed up against the end of the boot!) We went to Aunt Jan's that night to watch a football/basketball game -- they kept swapping channels at commercial break, so it was harder to follow the games. I was annoyed because 4 of the 8 people there had laptops out: Matt and Nick/Kirian (sharing a laptop) playing games or messing around online; Dad doing something possibly work-related; Dan shopping(?), but then he and I started making actual PLANS for our anniversary, so I was significantly less annoyed with him than with the boys. It's just... really? I thought we were supposed to be socializing and watching the game together since we never really get to see each other.

Nick spent the night at Jan and Kirian's, and the rest of us went "home" to the mostly empty house. The next morning, I started consolidating and packing things after taking a quick shower at 9am. Mom and Dad got up soon after and started getting things done. Dan did whatever was asked of him. Matthew dinked around and eventually got some things done. There was no sign of Nick for hours. He and Kirian finally showed up around 1:30 pm, well after most of the work had been done. All that was left was to finish loading the Pilot for the trip back home.

That's when the trouble began. I stated that Dan and I would be sitting together, and that we would be getting the middle row since he and I had done more work than Nick and Matt. (The middle row is more accessible and slightly more comfortable than the back row.) Apparently, assuming that the person who contributes more gets perks is not a logical conclusion in my family. Nick and Matt immediately started arguing with me about the seating arrangements. Apparently, I wasn't being "fair." Also, since Dan and I are a couple, we would automatically be more comfortable than Nick and Matt when crammed together. Matt complained that he didn't want to sit with Nick the whole time since Nick is rather tall so he takes up more room (he and Dan are nearly the same height). I pointed out that no one wanted to sit with Matthew because he literally smells like shit all the time. I'm pretty sure I head them calling me a bitch because of my  "unreasonable attitude." Mom and Dad were less than helpful. They didn't say anything one way or the other until they tried to compromise and told me that we would be switching seats every few hours. My reply? "HELL. NO." They should have been supporting me. They always tell me to stand up for myself and to not let myself be pushed around, but apparently every time I do just that with my family, I'm a bitch or a trouble maker. Apparently, I'm supposed to work my ass off like a good little girl and then not expect anything in return, even when it's as simple as a certain seat in a fucking car.

As I'm typing this, it sounds really fucking petty, but you didn't see how stuffed the Pilot was, again. Any extra space that you can score for a 12 hour car ride is a big fucking deal.

To top it all off, they're talking about having Christmas in Washington this year. They don't seem to realize or care that it will be the same damn thing but worse. I don't care that I missed Christmas with them last year, there is no way in hell that I will put myself or Dan through that mess again. I will go to Southern California with Dan to share Christmas with his family. At least they don't expect us to put up with a ridiculous situation and keep our mouths shut, because they would never even consider putting us in a situation like that in the first place.
 


I hope all of you had a far better Thanksgiving break than I did!
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Catherine

August 2011

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