Friday, November 24, 2006
"Craptastic" was Willem's word during the drive home today, as well as the anticipated results of three consecutive meals of turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing, but it applies just as clearly to most of the trip.

We did survive our family-time (whether we're family or not, and a repeated pfbllghtt to my mother-in-law... I wouldn't have put up with any non-family member this long, and now that we're done pretending like we might someday be family, well... let's just get through Christmas and then we'll see), and I kept my mouth shut, so it was not as momentous as it might otherwise have been.

My reflexive, tantrummy wish is to call her up and say, "Since we had Thanksgiving with Willem's family, we're going to have Christmas with my family. And since that's not you... see you next year." But I won't, because she's still playing up the newly-grieving-widow card and I keep insisting that I will uphold certain basic standards of civilization and humanity. I swear, I'm going to end up with altitude sickness from all this take-the-high-road nonsense.

Whatever. Wait 'til Christmas. That's happening at MY house. Which means I'm a wee tad bit more comfortable at actually throwing the tantrums that come to mind - I did last year, anyway. So there's hope.

This morning we had a brief re-visit at Aunt D's house, which has become tradition. About an hour of awkward, stilted conversation and the realization that their house can only contain and entertain children for one day, tops. Then we got in the car, drove for 45 minutes, carefully following Google Maps' line-by-line instructions, and ended up precisely where we started from instead of an hour north. So we swore and made lame jokes about these hawklike birds circling a ways off and how they were actually vultures scanning for the cars full of New Englanders lost and defeated at the side of the road because the State of New Jersey doesn't view road signs, or roads that continue straight at intersections, to be necessary. Ha ha. Or something.

But eventually we escaped the greater Princeton area and made it to Lisa's house, where we were reminded of what it's like when people are just relaxed and sociable and welcoming. Lisa's husband and mine are similar enough in demographics that we had to consider giving them nametags to make sure the right one drove me home - both into math, both into hockey, both will tune out in the middle of a conversation to start counting and mumbling to themselves before checking back in with a numerically-related comment. Very fun visit, and put us in a much better mindset for a drive home.

Though, never fear, we still managed to fill up many, many miles with chat about his family.

Willem drove a wee tad bit over the speed limit after that, and we ended up home about a half an hour before the minivan actually pulled into the driveway. The children are sleeping all snug in their beds, and visions of Titanic are dancing in our heads... or TV screen, whatever. We're home.

Seriously. Just wait 'til Christmas.