Paul’s friend Ryun is still trying to get all of his friends to hang out before he heads off to the Air Force, which is an understandable goal, so we set out on Saturday and met him and Katie to see The Martian. I initially didn’t think I had enough to say about to write a proper review, but on second thought, I think I’d like to do it.

We grabbed quick food at Wendy’s beforehand, then headed to my parents’ house after. The Martian’s a solid 2 1/2 hours long, so I was sufficiently hungry by the time it ended and ordered some pizza.

Now, I’ve been living on my own for long enough now that changes to my parents house are nothing new, whether that be decorations or a full bathroom remodel. It’s a little strange at first to not be in the loop and be told almost as an afterthought, but now I’m used to it. It reminds me of how when I was little and disappointed when my grandparents bought new kitchen furniture–it wasn’t that I disliked the new furniture, it was just that Grandma and Pap Pap’s house was supposed to stay the same forever.

Granted, as an adult who doesn’t have such romanticized thoughts of her parents’ house, it’s a little different now. But with a bathroom remodel done, my mom bought new living-room furniture and had the room repainted, including with a neat red accent wall. The furniture and new carpet aren’t in yet so I haven’t seen the finished product, but it’s looking really nice so far. Between that and their new bathroom, I really like what they’ve done. The house was nice enough anyway–I remember how I loved it when we moved in–but it’s making it even nicer.

Paul and I hung out for a bit and did some laundry for free, then headed off to his parents’ and got into a small fight on the way.

What set me off in the car was his tendency to exaggerate things I say or the way I reacted to things. I think he tends to make me sound harsher and meaner than I really am, and that combined with another pattern I noticed just really put me off. I didn’t say anything about it until we were in the car, but I’ve noticed that whenever we visit my parents, he acts like I’m annoying. Like, I asked to borrow his fork and he took this tone when he said okay that he saves for when he’s annoyed, speaking like I was being rude and caused him so great inconvenience. He’s done this before–he just kind of acts like I’m getting on his nerves, but over things I do all the time and are never an issue either in private or in different company. For some reason, it’s only ever my parents. And it’s not like I really care what they think of our relationship, but I don’t really want to hear about it some day if they notice and are like, “Huh, Paul seems really annoyed when you do/say this, this, and this.” And I’ll say, “Yeah, only in front of you.”

I even asked if he was in a mood and doesn’t like visiting my parents–and it’s not like he does it often, regardless–and he did admit he doesn’t like my dad. I can’t blame him. I don’t like my dad. But I don’t like Paul’s mom, either, and I’ve put up with five years of her bullshit without taking it out on Paul one single time.

When I brought it up, Paul said he doesn’t know why he does it. Later, on our way home, he said he realized it’s something his dad’s always done to his mom. Terra, ever the psychologist, thinks he’s just lashing out and told me to go easy on him, and I had anyway. And in return, I got an evening of him sucking up to me with a bonus of being paranoid that my lingering sniffles from a cold were me actually crying.

When we first started dating, he used to constantly ask me if I was okay or if something was wrong, which I’ve since learned is a byproduct of his mom and her tendency to freak out about everything. At some point, he got over it and only did it when it was a little more obvious something was wrong–I either address problems outright or he can read my mood, so there’s no real mystery and generally no need to check on me, really. But he’s relapsed lately, for some reason. Maybe it has to do with his mom’s current issues, I don’t know, but I get unnecessarily asked if I’m okay a lot more these days than I used to.

As for that visit to his parents’ house, it went surprisingly well. We only stayed for a couple hours–we got there somewhere between 7 and 7:30 and stuck to our previously agreed upon departure time of about 9. We got a light dinner there, passed on some books to Emily, and his mom was way, way different than she was the last time. I mean, there was an immense noticeable difference in her. She was diagnosed with depression last week–her psychiatrist felt she was too high-functioning to be schizophrenic–and has been put on medication, and while she’d only been on it a few days at that point, assuming she was taking it like she was supposed to, I doubt it would make such a drastic difference so fast. Maybe we just caught her on a good day, but she was alert and engaged and more focused and energetic. Just about her usual self, really. She even not-so-subtle asked to see my hand, just in case I was sporting an engagement ring she hadn’t noticed. Spoiler alert: I wasn’t.

We’d been thinking about heading into Monroeville for a theatrical rerelease of The Iron Giant on Sunday, but Paul decided against it. Instead, all we did was grocery shop and go for a walk, since the weather was a good bit warmer than it had been Saturday, and spent the rest of the day lounging. For the first time in weeks, I had some time for both Netflix and reading, and I finally introduced Paul to the wonder of The X-Files.


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