For exactly half of my family "eating out" is a big deal reserved only for the most special of occasions. This half of the family consists of mother, father, sister, BIL.
For the other half of my family, "eating out" is a fun treat and should happen often on vacation. Vacation is a good time to splurge and enjoy! This half, by the process of elimination, consists of me, Joe, brother, SIL.
So Wednesday night was our one dinner out. Brother & SIL opted out and instead went to dinner on their own. Lucky bastards. My sister chose our dining location - a local BBQ restaurant. Now, Joe and I have eaten there before. It was ok but not amazing. The biggest issue is that it specializes in Eastern-style bbq, aka slow-cooked and vinegar-based. Their idea of bbq is grilled with some tomato-based sweet sauce.
It doesn't matter that I warned them this would not be the case. It doesn't matter that when sister specifically mentioned looking forward to honey bbq wings I told her wings were highly unlikely.
When we placed our orders, my sister ordered chicken tenders. So much for bbq! Then she griped about the sauce (which was served on the side - no idea what it actually was but it wasn't the regional specialty). She complained about the price. She made it known that she could've bought a better chicken sandwich for her husband at McDonald's. She didn't like her soda. To make matters worse, my parents barely ate their meals. Yeah, well, I knew they probably wouldn't. There was no winning in this situation unless we ate at the house yet again.
All of this whining as if it had been forced upon her to eat there. I could've screamed. I refrained. I ate my mediocre meal mostly in silence, trying not to take it personally, while thinking of the delicious meal my brother and SIL were eating at the bakery we had lunched at the day before.
The week has mostly gone about like this. I internalize and feel guilty like I should fix it because somehow it's my responsibility. I know better and I've improved drastically in not taking it quite so much to heart. Still, it's the place I seem to go when the complaining begins.
Afterwards, I should add, my parents took nephew Collin back to bed while the rest of us played a round of mini-golf. We actually had a really good time together. I just wish it could be less of a roller coaster of emotions. And Thursday was our night to make dinner at the house - our pork ribs were a massive success, even with Collin. Big win!
Tomorrow is the last day. I'm very torn between being overjoyed and sad it's ending. But most of all, I'm a little relieved that I can relax and be less on-edge. I don't know how much more of this constant trying to please and feeling responsible I can take. It's not over yet but I've mostly done well. At the same time, I'm quite excited to return to "normal".