The day of giving thanks is over and all I can think is, thank God.
Now please, don’t get me wrong, my husband’s family is great, in fact, they are beyond great, they are all fantastic people – and I like all of them (and no, I’m not just saying that). And when we get together, we have lots of laughs and enjoy catching up on each others lives, but honesty? They intimidate the h-e-double-l out of me.
And I think it’s partly because they are successful, attractive, God-fearing (which by the way, the word “fear” is a mistranslation in the Bible; it’s actually “respect” in Hebrew [in some cases] so anywhere you see folks “feared” God in the Bible, they actually “respected” Him – so I’m saying they are all God-respecting Christians) people.
In essence, they seem perfect.
I know, I know, no one is perfect, I get that. The intellectual part of me gets that, but the emotional side of me doesn’t feel like I live up to their standards. Which is stupid, I know, because they would all tell you I was crazy for even thinking that …
but I do.
When I’m around them, I feel fat and ugly. I feel stupid and flawed. And I feel ridiculous for typing that out because I know what their reaction would be if they read that – incredulous. They are down-to-earth people who love God and are strong family units. They are simply people trying to make the best lives they know how for their families, and yet, I don’t feel totally relaxed around them.
Which is really stupid considering I’ve known these people for 21 years now. I’m not sure why I feel this way. I have nothing to be ashamed of – I love my husband and my in-laws have seen how happy I’ve made their son. Our boys are amazing, well-rounded people and again, my in-law family sees, and appreciates, this. And when compared to other families? We’re the freaking Waltons, people.
And maybe that’s why I’m intimidated. It’s hard to live up to that standard, I think. On the surface, everyone is happy go-lucky people and heck, maybe they really ARE that way. But I can’t help but wish someone would get angry, or just be a complete arsehole once in a while just to keep things grounded, you know?
Everyone is just a bit too happy.
And what sort of warped individual am I to wish they weren’t??
Geez, I wonder about myself sometimes.
As a result of my irrational feelings, I don’t eat as much as I would like to every Thanksgiving, in fact, I am usually pretty hungry when we get home. And I can’t tell you the number of years I’ve turned down the HUGE assortment of delicious pies my MIL makes every year simply because I feel self-conscious stuffing my face.
And I leave the gathering with a raging headache each and every year because I’m assuming the pressure of being the “life of the party” (which I’ve been called) is simply too much for me.
I don’t know, this is a bizarre area for me because I’m not usually intimidated by people. And my mother would say I care too much about how I look or how I’m perceived by people and I would have to agree with her. And yet, here we are.
Let’s move out of the self-analysis range and chronicle the day because this is a journal after all and given my POOR memory, I need to write this stuff down or I’ll forget about it next week.
My husband drove my car in order to pick Nanny and L. up. He was quite happy with this arrangement because he thinks my Pontiac Vibe handles like a go-cart and he’s always fancied himself a race-car driver.
Here’s a great picture of Nanny that my husband took:
(Isn’t she sweet? This woman helped me out in so many ways … I’ll have to write a vignette about her soon).
So, I ended up driving my husband’s F150 truck over there. *gulp* Yikes, his truck is HUGE compared to my Vibe and his leather seats are so slippery I was quite literally sliding from end of the truck to the other whenever I took a corner – it sort of freaked me out actually and I had to hide my fear of losing control from the boys.
We arrived right on time (noon) and took our salad and rolls in to contribute to the table already overflowing with food. The next fifteen minutes was spent saying hi, giving hugs (I’m not a huggie sort of person) and exchanging pleasantries. My brother-in-law said Grace and the husband and I promptly disappeared outside to allow the other 20 + people to get their food first.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. In fact, it was unusually mild for this time of year. It was sunny and about 60 degrees with virtually no wind – ideal weather to eat outside. Plus, the inside of the house was a sauna and there were so many people that we felt claustrophobic.
My brother/sister-in-law have a little dog, I don’t know the breed, but her name is Lady. And she was the sweetest dog! She barked maybe twice (at me, no less because I talked baby talk to her) and she highly entertained the boys.
(Don’t tell the boys this, but I could see myself with this sort of dog – I truly loved her).
The line finally ran it’s course and the husband and I filled our plates. Well, he filled his plate, I stuck to small portions of several food items (again, no pie *sad face*). We ate outside, just me, the husband, our boys and their uncle whom they are fairly close to. I don’t know if the rest of the family thought we were being snooty by not eating with them, but it was so hot in the house and it was such a beautiful day – it just worked out that way.
After dinner, the family fired up Skype in order to talk to my niece is who currently doing missionary work in Hawaii.
(It was good to see her – I haven’t seen her since last Thanksgiving).
After that, my other sister-in-law brought out the games and we started playing a new game called “Pick” using Scrabble tiles. In essence, here’s how it works – everyone gets seven tiles, everyone turns the tiles over and frantically tries to use all of the tiles making their own individual word puzzle. Whoever uses all of their tiles first says, “pick” and everyone takes one tile from the pile. Then you try and insert that tile into your word puzzle. The first person who is successful in incorporating their tile says “pick” and everyone draws another tile. This goes on until there are no more tiles left and everyone counts up their points, deducting for any tiles not used.
I loved this game!! It was fast paced and super fun.
(I later found out that it’s based on the Bananagram game. Though I prefer the regular Scrabble tiles because of the harder letters being worth more points).
We then went on to play “Whoonu” (which my youngest nephew got a kick out of) and then “Last Word” which a guest of one of my nephews won.
In the meantime, we were highly entertained by my nephew tickling the ivories …
And all the while …
my husband ran around and filmed everyone and my father-in-law …
got some much needed rest.
I wish I had taken more pictures. Unfortunately, I always SAY I’m going to take a lot of pictures and then when the actual event is happening I chicken out and don’t.
I don’t know why I turn into this shy, awkward person whenever I’m around my family by marriage but I don’t like it – at all.
So, we can paste another Thanksgiving dinner in the memory book. And though I had a great time, I’m sort of relieved that it’s back to business as usual.