Thursday, January 17, 2008

Come Together

There has been a whole lot of craziness going on in my life recently. I have started at least twenty posts in my head, but none of them have made it out of my head yet, obviously. I don't even know where to begin. I suppose I could start with a How My Holidays Were post. That seems so mundane, given the momentous changes since Thanksgiving, but I do need to start somewhere. As much as I want to dive in the middle, I know that I will backtrack continuously if I do that. So, now that I've sufficiently justified being a little boring, let's get started. This may take a few posts, but they will be coming regularly, I promise.

For this Thanksgiving, Mama and Dennis invited everyone to their house in Arizona. They specifically asked me to bring Ricardo so that they could meet him. I did think that it was a bit early in the relationship for the meeting of parents, but he and I were already pretty serious, so I asked him if he wanted to come to Arizona with me. He was immediately excited about it. It was adorable, really. He kept telling me things that he wanted to say to them. Now, it is not obvious when you first meet Ricardo, because he isn't fully fluent in English, but he seriously does not stop talking. I talk a lot, and I can't get a word in edgewise with him sometimes.
So he and I drove for twelve hours, from Santa Barbara to Strawberry, Arizona. Which is like smack in the middle of the state. It was a very arduous drive. We got to Mama's at about six or seven in the morning, depending on which time zone you choose, fell into bed and slept until about noon. After the cats greeted us that is. Smokey and Streak both were ecstatic that we had arrived to entertain them. At one point, Smokey jumped up on the foot of the bed. All I could see over Ricardo were her ears. She started slowly walking toward his head, and I could think of nothing else but the theme from Jaws. Right as the song in my head got to the climax, she jumped up on top of Ricardo's hip and yowled. I couldn't have contained myself even if I had wanted to; I busted up laughing. I couldn't stop for about half and hour. After a twelve hour, over-night drive through the desert, that shit was hilarious.
Once we were up and moving again, one thing was immediately apparent: it was cold. Like, colder than I have ever been. I grew up in California and am completely weather-spoiled, but I think it would have been considered cold even by normal-people standards. It hovered around forty during the day, dipping down to around ten at night. Like I said, freakin' cold.
One funny moment was when Mama finally noticed that I'd gotten my nose pierced. It took her a full hour to notice it, and when she finally did, it was great. She stopped mid-sentence and pointed at my nose with her mouth open, followed by an "Oh, my God!" Then she went on about how much it must have hurt an how she thinks I am crazy. Keep in mind, this is coming from the woman who got a tattoo at fifty three, a full year before I got my first one, which she paid for as a graduation present. I love my mom, but she often makes no sense. The best part was when Dennis came out a few minutes later, gave me a hug and then said, "So you got your nose pierced, huh?" I teased Mama about that for a long time.
The next day was Thanksgiving Day and people started showing up around 11:00 AM. We ended up with seventeen people in a double wide trailer. I was just glad that there was a huge deck out back, so there was some crowd control. It was a really good time, lots of food and love and laughing, particularly when Aunt Ann ran smack into the screen door and bounced off of it. Ah, good times.
As per usual, there was alcohol aplenty, and Mama took full advantage of that on Thanksgiving night. Mama is adorable when she's drunk, she gets very affectionate and laughs even more than normal. The next night was all about Dennis though. Normally Dennis is a very calm, easy going guy, but apparently after he's had a few, there is another, hilarious side of Dennis. I was sitting at the smaller table entertaining my cousin Julie's kids (incidentally, what do you call your cousin's kids?), when my other cousin, Alicia, came up and told me that I needed to go outside and check out what Dennis was up to. And man, am I glad she did. The man was on a roll, going on about how he was trying to keep the damn fire going, but this sunuvabitch over here (my Uncle Mark) kept messing up the wood, and when Uncle Mark protested that he was, in fact, nowhere near the fire, Dennis dubbed him The Goddamn Fire Master and informed Uncle Mark that he was being fucking derelict in his duties. Amid this interaction, Dennis would continually inquire if anyone had any Cheetos (there was a mix of snacks set out, but he only liked the Cheetos), and if they did, he would confiscate them as his Porch Usage Fee. If they were out of Cheetos, they could pay in Sun Chips, which Dennis gave to the dogs because "they like the fucking crunchiness in their mouths". But that was just the beginning. After Alicia mention that it was a good thing that her mom (Aunt Ann) had only bounced off the screen door, Dennis got to speechifying, saying "You're goddamn right it's a good thing, I've walked right through those damn doors before. If she'd a broke my fuckin' screen door, The Goddamn Fire Master over here would be getting a fucking invoice" and then he proceeded to dictate said invoice as:

You Goddamn Sunuvabitch,
For one fucking broken screen door, payments are due.
Ten Cheetos, times 5% for harassment.
In addition, provide one bag of fucking Sun Chips for the dogs, since the poor bastards can't come on the deck anymore.

He was pantomiming writing this out while he was doing it too. It was a masterful performance.
The rest of Thanksgiving was equally great, but in different ways. I got to see members of my family that I hadn't seen in years, some that I hadn't seen since they were toddlers. I also go to visit the Grand Canyon for the first time since I was like seven. It was sad to have to come back to Santa Barbara, which is nowhere near any of my family.

Next up, Christmas and New Year's!

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