Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The Impending Visit

So we're visiting my parents in Texas for a week.

We leave Tuesday.

At first it was just me and Tommy going. Then I started to panic, wondering how I'd manage the luggage, a hyper four-year-old and my pregnant self all on my own.

Tom said he'd come with me. I don't think he fully realized what he was agreeing to.

Until now.

Now he's starting to complain.

"Are we going to be stuck eating healthy food? If your Mom says anything negative towards me, you should know now, I'm not taking it."

My parents, for those who don't know, are health nuts. They're not the scary health nuts that only eat organic food and refuse to eat hydrogenated oils--they just believe in having a salad with almost every meal, believe in exercise and watching the calories and fat content--believe soda is the Devil's drink, that sort of thing. They mainly drink water during the day and a glass of wine at night.

They remind me of Lorelei Gilmore's parents, only they're not rich. But my Mom is quick to speak her mind and my Dad is very bookish and doesn't understand why I don't read the newspaper or watch much news. He believes the books I read are fluff (for the most part, they are) and constantly tries to get me to read his Lord of the Rings trilogy.

"You'll love it, I know you will!" he'll say each time I come to visit, trying to press the leather bound copy with the gold pages into my hands. (It was a Christmas present from Mom.)

I tried to read it, several times, to quiet him, to show him that I would try to read one of his favorite books.

But I couldn't get into it.

"Are you not giving it a chance?" Dad asked, a look of surprise on his face.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that the book had nearly put me to sleep twice and I couldn't stop giggling over the name Bilbo Baggins. It reminded me of a stripper name.

When Tom and I were first married, my parents were not kind towards him. Or me, for that matter. They believed we had gotten pregnant on purpose. I know they always thought that I'd marry an Officer. After all, I was their only child, they expected so much more out of me.

They've warmed up to Tom over the years--now they'll speak on the phone occasionally.

But putting them in the same house for a week?

Da da DUM.


I called my Mom last night. I reminded her to be nice, to keep her sharp comments to herself.

"I'm always nice," she replied, stunned.

"Yes but some of your comments aren't nice," I admitted.

"I'm just being honest," came the reply.

Her being honest has a way of being annoying. For example, one time she was visiting us and Tom was eating several Reeses Peanut Butter cups. He ate one after the other and Mom suddenly cleared her throat and said loudly, "Do you want some carrots, Tom? You really shouldn't be eating all of that. Your body represents the Air Force too, you know."

You could cut the tension with a knife.

Tom took a final Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and shoved it in his mouth slowly, shooting daggars at my Mom.

My Dad is the quiet one.

It's my Mom that I'm worried about.

And my Grandma. My Grandma also has a sharp tongue and she's planning on visiting a few times.

She's the one who suggested I give Tommy up for adoption and reminded me I was "just a child."

She's ninety now, with a hump in her back, but her tongue is as strong as ever, especially if you bring up politics.

She's a Democrat.

Enough said.

Mom told me what we were having for dinner the first night we're there.

"Bean soup!" she said cheerfully.

When I repeated this to Tom his eyes got all big and his mouth drooped.

"BEAN soup? Who eats that? Who?" he demanded.

"Um. My parents," I responded meekly.

(In the defense of the bean soup, it's really quite tasty. Problem is my parents make enough for days of leftovers. And Tom doesn't do leftovers.)

"I'm drinking my Sunkist over there," Tom grumbled. "I'm not drinking water all day. I don't care what they say." He crossed his arms over his chest.

"That's fine.."

"And if I want to eat junk food, I will. I'm a adult," he added.

"FINE Tom, geez.."

"I won't put up with them if they're saying mean things to me. I won't. I did before but I won't now."

"You shouldn't, Tom. They shouldn't say anything mean about you, you're my husband for goodness sakes!"

"That hasn't stopped them before.."

"We were only nineteen then. We're twenty-four now. I told you, my Mom has mellowed since she's retired," I explained.

(Mom was a Colonel in the Air Force.)

I have a feeling Tom might not visit them for a long long time after this.

And I hope the visit goes well.

I'm worried.

Tom has a temper.

My Mom has an even worse temper.

My Dad has a temper.

I have a pregnancy temper.

Heaven help us.


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