after a rare full night's sleep, i awoke to a leisurely morning before having to plunge head first into a paternal family gathering at my grandparents' home. what made it bearable was knowing i would have the satisfaction of stuffing my face with a bevvy of grandmother-cooking. both of my cousins were there with families in tow (that makes 10 if you include their mother and one mother-in-law). my sister was there with her family (that makes 4). throw in my family unit, the grandparents, and my father's cousins and you have a grand total of 21 relatives cramped into the space of a 1960's-era three bedroom house. ugh. i braced myself and tried to stake out the quietest corners. i also managed to have a much needed heart to heart with my sister on the porch swing, but remained feeling bereft of a course of action regarding familial issues.
as lunch was winding down and after my father had blown out the match i lit for him which should have been a candle on his birthday cheesecakes, i made the mistake of asking my sister if she was going to vote and for whom. not only did she expose herself as an adamant (not just wishy-washy) bush supporter, she even went so far as to loudly proclaim "besides, bush is really cute!" aaaagghh! all i could respond with was: "sure... if you like monkeys." i didn't include the information that i actually do find monkeys cute (just not bush). after this, my entire (apparently republican) family launched into an anthem of staunch republicanism.
only one thing saved my sanity and tickled me pink in the process. as a result of traveling a road paved with old-school politics, my little southern-fried baptist grandparents are democrats*! imagine my surprise. as my grandmother pointed out: "9/11 was bush's fault" and "democrats like a balanced budget".
that evening was spent taking a tour of my sister's new home located even farther into BFE territory than her last and playing with the two kittens which will soon be the family's shortest-lived pets (meaning they will be given away, not exterminated).
then it was time for dad to dig into his 59th birthday stash and reenforce his cd collection of 1980's soundtracks. (fyi: i did not encourage this. the cd he is seen holding here is the reverend.)
then we were lulled to sleep watching vhs's from the late 90's where i remarked on the overwhelming amount of grandchildren footage just before the late 90's me commented on the overwhelming amount of grandchildren footage.
sunday found me at the new home of my best friend from high school (christie). her husband's job security had started to show itself as dubious so they picked up from phoenix and landed in tyler on a cushion of halliburton. i know i know... let's just not go there. it was my second opportunity to see her new boy gabe and i strained my arms playing bouncing baby boy before returning to spend my last couple of hours in the tense company of family.
clarification: in this particular instance, democrat<>liberal.