Greetings from sunny and warm Southern California. I have missed my blogger friends and thought since Dad decided to take me along to his monster in-laws house I would share.
We left the house at halftime of the Packers game. Dad tells me his favorite team was named after a meat packing company and as a dog who loves meat I can relate. What should have been a half an hour drive turned into an hour and Dad got frustrated. His mood changed darker by each minute stuck in traffic. Mom said something about "don't worry they will probably lose to the Lions, it might be better if you miss it". She's always been a cat lover but went a little too far this time. Finally we arrived "just in time" to help put out the snacks and set up the bar for the rest of the guests. All the while wondering if the father in-law was going to help. Nope. Wasn't in his plans. I watched as Dad got stuff set up and cracked his first cold beer of the day. I could see the sparkle in his eye as he exercised his Irish pride. We settled in to watch the last few minutes of the game when "uncle Ted" and his "wife" Arleen walk in. Dad got up and fixed the newcomers a drink. Which was a good time for me to samle the prosciutto and melon. Prosciutto good, melon not. I hope they don't find where I left it. Finally he comes back muttering about how old Ted and Arleen are and he doesn't want to hear about anymore ailments. We sit back down. In walks a sister in-law with her dorky husband and clinging child. The kid runs over and pulls my ear. i want to bite him, I really do, but with age comes wisdom and I know if I do I won't get invited again. My Dad notices and with the Packers win he's feeling generous and offers to play pool with the dork.But dork dad decides it's a teachable moment and unscrews a pool cue and gives it to his kid so he can play. What happens when you give a 5 year old a stick? He hits things, right? Including his uncle Patrick. Dad was not amused butthe kids parents were. A-holes. Dad decides at this point drinking the afternoon away is his best option. Who could blame him. Monster in-law approaches and asks "how long do you think we should cook the turkey in my new convection oven". Dad wants to say "I don't Effin know" But what comes out is "where's the book, we'll figure it out". Which of course means Dad has taken ownership of the turkey preparation. Convection oven 101 knowledge secured and a bird is in the oven. Cousin Mark and The dysfunctional Girlfriend show up. Mark begins two fisting the shrimp cocktail like a Seinfelp epeisode. Dad leaves the room in disgust and in search of Patron. I hope for fall out. It never happens. We sit and watch a little bit of the Dallas game wondering why they don't have an opponent. Halftime comes and it is time for bocce ball. Mark is full of shrimp and half full of beer and can't play a game for fun. So our family bocce game almost becomes a full contact sport. That was fun.......NOT.....I go back and forth with the guys wondering why they keep throwing the balls and chasing them. My Mom comes out and tells Dad to check the turkey. Just like her to micro manage. He tells her it's fine and just needs some more time, no need to check it. So, after checking the turkey, bocce starts up again which ahs become a marathon because no-one is very good. Someone throws (father in-law) a ball down the hill in the third game and while everyone is looking for it Dad goes in and gets the turkey out of the oven to let it cool a little before carving. Dad goes to the wine cooler and opens a bottle of Pinot Noir, secretly hoping no-one wants any. They do, darn, but there is lots more so all is good. He comes back to carve the turkey and after answering the "do you think it's done" question 45 times He finishes. Turkey carved, table st, side dishes are ready and dinner goes without embarassment or problems.
Dishes are done and plans for desert are set aside for later. Time for the annual drunken uncles poker game. My big sister asks Dad if she can play. He say "do you have any money" she says "no Daddy" .... Dad digs deep and buys her in. It works everytime for her when she says "Daddy". Poker game is progressing well especially for Big sis who is taking everyones money. Never offering to pay Dad back for the buy in. It's OK though. I hear she has a pub crawl planned for later with friends and cousins. Then another sister in-law come sin with her husband and two sons. One is 18 and knows everything. The other is 15 and knows nothing and is proud of it. It's true ignorance is bliss. We all say hello and get back to donating to the pub crawl cause. Dad and sis have a couple shots of Patron and reluctantly offer some to Ted and the father in-law. They accept. Damn. I'm beginning to understand why Dad loses at poker. It might be Patron related. A loud argument starts in teh kitchen and it's Mark and the 18 year old know it all discussing politics which is always a good idea when drinking. Th efather of the 18 year old invites him outside to discuss it. The father of the year candidate promptly places him in a headlock and that leads to his wife punching and kicking her husband yelling to let her son go. Dad and big sis raise another shot of Patron in the name of family unity and pledge their love for one another. I look for a quiet place to lay down. A few people decide to leave and Dad asks "why are you leaving the fun is just getting started" Nobody thinks he's funny. But he sure laughs alot. Sis gets picked up shortly after that commotion and begins her binge drinking. We decide we should go soon...... well Mom decided. So we watch a little TV before leaving and Cousin Mark and The Dysfunctional Girlfriend get ready to go. The monster in-law walks them out and we follow along. Then we hear a loud crash and it seems the girlfriend has pilfered two bottles of wine in her satchel sized purse. She was over served and while taking two steps forward and one backward she dropped it and shattered the wine. Everything in her bag is soaked with wine. Mark begins yelling at her and it becomes obvious she steals booze almost everywhere they go. Dad starts laughing and says he admires her priorities. Nobody thinks he's funny again and Dad goes inside to sulk. A piece of pie and coffe and we are all set to go. Traffic wasn't that bad but the ride home was very quiet. I hope Mom decides to talk to Dad soon.
So how was your Thanksgiving?
ps. I think I'll stay home for Christmas.
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