We were supposed to get some pretty epic snow leading up to Thanksgiving, but it turned into an epic fail–we never got more than a dusting here. I was just about the only person happy about having to go to work still on Wednesday because I stayed late enough Tuesday to see I was assigned a really good, high-profile show, and I did not want to get stuck in my parking lot and let that gem slip away to someone else. This is the same reason I’ve put off calling in sick thanks to a rough cold this week, but we don’t even have the next episode in so my ass is staying home tomorrow.
Anyway, since the snow failed to come, I went home Wednesday night and met Paul for dinner at Fiesta Azteca, which is basically his favorite place, and they were celebrating their first anniversary and he couldn’t pass that up. I forgot my leftovers and when he went back for them, they appeared to have been retrieved from the trash, which is just about the most devastating of first-world problems.
Thanks to Foursquare creeping, Meri knew I was home and said a small group was headed to Lynn’s, and even though Paul and I were done with dinner a tad earlier than everyone planned to get there, I said fuck it, might as well just go out and get started on the drinks.
Lynn’s was the most crowded I’ve ever seen it because apparently the day before Thanksgiving is the biggest drinking day of the year and everyone goes out. I think by the time Paul and I left around midnight, we’d counted somewhere around a total of 20 Geibel grads. Most importantly, Leah and Noah came out to celebrate their birthday, which fell on Thanksgiving this year.
Paul came over to eat Thanksgiving dinner, which my family has always done small, before we headed to his grandparents’ house with his mom’s whole family, which I was not looking forward to for obvious reasons. But I suspect he wasn’t, either, judging by his choice to come to my parents’ first and his complaints about his mom’s family leading up to getting there. I even asked if he’s been hiding their disfunction from me the past three years or if they’ve just gotten worse, to which replied they’ve gotten worse.
We had to stop at Walmart on our way for some Aleve for his grandma, who hurt her neck allegedly cleaning a fan that was obviously not actually cleaned. The theory is she actually tripped and fell over their new Dachsund puppy and feared telling the truth would just prompt her kids to tell her to get rid of him.
Now, this puppy. Paul’s grandparents already have two Cocker Spaniels, which he’s complained about plenty, and the family question was apparently, “Why the hell did they get another dog?” It is cute as hell–Paul even loved him, and Paul’s not a dog person–but after just a few minutes in the house, the reason for the family confusion was evident. The puppy was confined to just the living room (I’m told they also gate him off and leave him alone if they want to get away from him, which why even get the puppy, then?) and had to be kept held on the couch, I guess because they didn’t want him getting tripped over (why even get the puppy, then?) and because if he jumped off, he could hurt his back, which I didn’t think was a real thing but actually is.
We mostly watched Castle with Paul’s cousins, including one whom doesn’t believe in watching something so much as she does yelling, “OH, THIS PART IS SO FUNNY! IT’S COMING UP NEXT! IT’S SOON! ALMOST! WATCH, WATCH!”
Ultimately, Paul’s grandma’s neck started hurting her so bad so that his parents decided to take her to the hospital, which they probably should’ve done sooner, but I’ve experienced Grandma Hospital Resistance firsthand–when mine broke her hip, she actually didn’t even tell anyone she’d fallen until the next damn morning when we went to pick her up for church and she was still in her pajamas and said she’d fallen and her hip hurt really bad. Anyway, obviously his grandfather went, too, and some aunts and uncles and Paul and some siblings and me helped clean up.
And then everybody else left, leaving me with Paul and his siblings alone in his grandparents’ house. Sure, we had Paul’s care as a means of escape, but we had no key to the house, so we couldn’t lock it if we wanted to leave.
Now, I’ll grant some oversight in the chaos of going to the hospital on Thanksgiving, but as the house emptied, it should’ve occurred to someone–especially relatives who live nearby–that leaving five kids and one girlfriend stuck was kind of a dick move and maybe we shouldn’t have to sit around for God knows how long waiting for them to get back. We didn’t even know what the deal was with his grandma until they were on their way back, probably due to a lack of minutes on prepaid cellphones, which I take as a damn good reason why prepaid phones aren’t actually practical for parents with six kids.
I wanted to go home, but I wasn’t gonna be a bitch and say, “Hey, take me home before you know what’s going on just because that’s what I want.” Jonathan, the youngest, did get quite bored, though, and that’s when I suggested maybe Paul take at least him and maybe Josh and Emily home, maybe even me, and he and Julie could stay so the house wasn’t empty and Jonathan wasn’t cranky. I figured his options were take Jonathan home or listen to Jonathan complain about how bored he was, but by then we did get word that everyone was on their way back, so the escape plan was scrapped because it was basically pointless.
Most siblings also started to devolve into that fun sibling state of being cooped up and getting bitchy. Jonathan was bored, Julie wanted to watch shitty Hallmark movies, and everyone else except maybe Emily probably would’ve killed to watch something not fucking stupid. But when they yelling over the TV started, it basically ended with Julie declaring we were gonna watch what she wanted to watch, a move she clearly learned from her mother and that’s really ironic considering how much they both love to remind you you’re not always right and can’t have your way, which I’m guessing is because it prevents them from having their way.
Meanwhile, we also had to wrangle a Dachsund puppy. Who we realized had not be fed the entire time we’d been in the house, which by the end of all this was a solid 12 hours for all but Paul and I.
First, we had to find food. Then we had to find a bowl. Julie started with just a little handful of food and he went nuts, so we put another larger handful in the bowl, which he inhaled. Meanwhile, Jonathan’s saying, “Grandpap only gives him like five pieces of food,” and I’m saying, “That’s definitely not enough food for him.” Then we gave him water, and he sucked all that down pretty damn fast, too. I figured he was probably still hungry and/or thirsty, but he’s little and we didn’t want to overdo it, so we decided to wait a bit and then take him potty.
We underestimated the size of his bladder, and I quickly caught him mid-pee, at which point Jonathan started saying, “I told you we should’ve taken him out sooner!” He was afraid we’d get in trouble, but the rest of us all knew it wasn’t the first or last time he or another dog would pee on the carpet. Being no stranger to cleaning up dog piss and knowing it’s an inconvenience but not a catastrophe, I delegated–someone take him out while me and others search for paper towels and carpet cleaner.
All we could scrounge was tissues and a tiny bit of fabric cleaner, but I made it happen, threw the tissues in the bathroom trash, and we resolved to never tell anyone he peed on the carpet–as if anyone would notice anyway and as if it we hadn’t thought to feed the poor puppy anyway, which is more than can be said for his actual owners.
Then we decided to let puppy loose in the kitchen, and he pretty much ran everywhere and sniffed everything, probably because he was being held on the fucking couch for like 12 hours.
It was at that point, when Paul and I were alone, that I quietly said, “I don’t want to sound like a douche, but do they know how to take care of a puppy?”
When they came back, Paul booked it to his coat and shoes and left to take me home, barely saying a thing to either parent or grandparent. By then, we were both hungry again, so I pulled out some leftovers and he decided he was too tired to drive and asked to stay the night.
I suspect he also didn’t want to go home.