I’m supposed to be going to dinner with my family tonight.  I’m not even the least bit excited.  I’m filled with anxiety and searching for a way to get out of it.  I often wonder what “normal” people feel when it comes time to visit with family.  I could take it or leave it.  I think of it as an obligation for being born.  It’s just something that I have to do.  I would rather not have to go, but it makes them happy.  I feel like the guilt trips that I would get would be worse than sitting through an our of awkward social interaction.  I dread the thought of all the time they will spend planning other functions or asking questions about my life.  It’s feel so fake being there.  Put on a smile and eat your food….

I know that they can sense my unease.  I have a tendency to come across as angry, and maybe I am a bit, about having to be there.  I think that my brother and his wife take advantage of the fact that Dad is paying for this meal.  They will order the most expensive thing on the menu and even order a bottle of wine with their meal.  Maybe this is what “normal” people do? But it always makes me uncomfortable.  Not the drinking part of it, but just that they don’t seem to have a problem with spending someone else’s money.  When it’s someone else’s dime I try to be modest about what I’m going to order.  I suppose I should not let it bother me, if it bothered my Dad I think he would say something.  Then again, he is not one to say anything to your face about what’s bothering him.  When he is pissed about something he goes to Mom and tells her about it.  Which is totally healthy, given they’ve been divorced for 18 years…..



So dinner has come and passed.  It wasn’t the worst I guess.  I can’t help but feel like Mom was upset because I didn’t sit near her and Dad and because I didn’t spend enough time with them.  But it’s kind of hard when it’s a table of 8 and you have all these personalities to contend with.  Every family event turns into this drama.  She gets a glass of wine into her and suddenly she is hyper emotional and I’m mad at her, or Mare doesn’t like her, or we think she is ditsy (or some such word she often uses)   I can’t recall the last time that I had a nice uneventful visit with her.  I can, however, remember the last time that I had to pre-game (drink a bunch of vodka) prior to having dinner with her.  She was often more tolerable when I was drinking, I just don’t have the patience for it now.  Usually Pat and I would be downing the beers or Jagr during the visit.  I don’t think he realized that I had already had a mickey or so of vodka.  Sometimes having other family members around can ease the tension.  Our niece Kayla is such a character and she usually makes things tolerable because she is hilarious.  They also brought Thelma, Kelly’s grandmother, she is a fantastic lady.  She is 91 and is really very funny.  Thank God for those two.  I was happy to spend time with them and it would have been nice to get to talk to Pat a little more. But I made it through another family event.

When I got home Mare suddenly became very moody again.  I asked her what’s wrong, and she says “nothing”.  (of course because we all storm around like someone shit in our mouth when everything is good)  So I asked her again, “what’s really going on?”  She told me that her Dad still hasn’t called.  I asked if she tried calling again, and of course not nor did she leave a message and ask him to call her.  I suppose it’s reasonable to assume he is supposed to know to call given his daughters mood.  Totally…….nothing weird at all about that.

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