One of those days…
Have you ever had a day when you swear that every word out of your mouth is the start of another argument? I haven’t…until now.
Several years before she died, my paternal grandmother decreed that we would no longer exchange gifts at the family Christmas. Since she was their mother, my father and uncles obeyed. They tolerated this for a few years, but finally decided that it was no fun (I guess) and decided to change it to a family gathering and hold it the day before our family reunion. “Uncle Ben” and “Aunt Rachel”¹ don’t live in Michigan anymore, so when it comes their turn to host, they do it at my house. So we have it two years in a row.
Today’s the day. Before we even finished setting out the food, my “Aunt Sheila” got into an argument with me. I mentioned getting lost in downtown Lansing yesterday and told her that I planned to avoid that area as much as possible. Now I can speak for the rest of the world, but if another person says to me, “Oh, I avoid [city/town] because there are a lot of one way streets and everything frustrates me.” I’d probably say…I don’t know, “Oh, that’s too bad”, maybe, and leave it at that. But Sheila had to argue, saying that I needed to learn my way around downtown, even though I kept protesting that I didn’t. (I’ve had my license for seven years. I’ve survived rather well without going downtown Lansing.) Sheila, you live in Traverse Fucking City…how do you get off thinking I need to learn my way around Lansing?!²
You know what’s worse? Every. Fucking. Time. Sheila and “Peter” come down, they stay with us. Only once (or maybe twice) have they stayed in a hotel or motel, and that was when their friend “Zelda” died. Now I don’t really mind Uncle Peter on his own (and thank the Goddess there are times that he comes down without her), but Sheila…oh, when Sheila pisses me off, it’s often worse than my mother. (And not just because she makes a face when I cuss, either.) I guess it’s because Peter and Sheila never had any children (other than cats), that whatever mother instinct she has/had gets shoved onto the nieces and nephews on both sides, whether we like it or not.
But I digress…
Everything was fine for a while. Lunch was good (I sat between my dad and Ben) and we sat and chatted for a while, but then I made the mistake of bringing up the fact that I want to go into nursing if I have to give up on psychology. Apparently, “Aunt Samantha” has another niece, “Tina”who has already gone into nursing. And she (Sam) insisted up and down that you had to have chemistry to go into nursing—not as a prerequisite, but when you have the actual nursing training. Sam actually had the temerity to say that she “didn’t care” what the advising guide from LCC said, you had to have chemistry! You “don’t care” what the advising guide says? The guide is put out by the college itself, by whoever runs the nursing department (they’re probably nurses themselves) and you don’t care what the advising guide says? WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW?!?!?!
So I sit down with her and she points out pharmacology and microbiology (both prerequisites) and says, “There’ll be a little chemistry in there.” But that’s not straight up chemistry, you idiot! You made it sound like I would have to take yet a third crack at chemistry before I could become a registered nurse, not that I would have classes with a little chemistry in them! OI! The biology class I had at Olivet had a little chemistry in it and I survived just fine, so I’m sure I’ll be able to handle microbiology and pharmacology just fine, too. (I can take both of them online, so I’m sure I’ll manage a little better than I might in the classroom. *wink, nudge*)
After that, I brought something up to my father (trivial, really…I won’t go into detail) and I mentioned it to Samantha and she blows it off/mini argues/gets tetchy about it. I told her it wasn’t my idea so don’t blame me and walked away to get a diet coke. I was annoyed that yet another thing that had come out of my mouth had started yet another issue, so I went to my room and called my mom to see if I could hang out with her and my Eastern cousins, “Dana” and “Burt”. But the three of them were out at an Amish store that is…somewhere near where I live (Dad, Peter and Sheila have been there several times)…and they were going to one other place before going back to my mom’s. So, here I am, trapped in my room, writing this blog draft (the phone jack in my room doesn’t work and I still haven’t figured out how to piggyback on the neighbors’ WiFi) and trying to keep busy until every argumentative asshole gets the hell out of my house.
(So glad Sheila and Peter are only staying one night this time, and that they generally take off from the reunion.)
P.S.: I briefly considered skipping the family reunion tomorrow, but that’s my expanded paternal family, so I’ll be able to stay by my beloved (second) cousin “Caitlyn”—away from the argumentative assholes—and leave whenever the hell I want to.
The hardest part is staying away from my cousin “Jessica” and her best friend “Kendra”. Kendra isn’t family and is annoying as hell, but no one has ever told Jess to stop bringing her, so Kendra always comes. (Unless Jessica is working or they’re on their annual camping trip.) Kendra even came to my grandmother’s funeral! I know funerals are technically open to the public and Jess probably wanted moral support, but really?! You had to interrupt my family’s private time of grief because you couldn’t leave my cousin’s side for a minute? You’re not only short on intelligence; you’re short on tact, as well!
P.P.S.: Aunt Samantha is my mother’s best friend. ’nuff said.
1. I made a list of all my fake names and have it password protected on my computer. My dad has four brothers and all of them are married, so I kind of have to.
2. I told my dad what happened and he said, “Don’t make such a big deal about it.” My response? “There wouldn’t have been any ‘deal’ at all if Sheila hadn’t insisted on starting an argument!”