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Friday, June 12, 2009


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".


C. Beth said...

I find that when I get together with family, my not-so-great tendencies--the ones I've made such progress with in my everyday life--seem to be more at the forefront again. It's like I go back into old habits.

Mrs Cooper said...

And when you get home you will realize "There's no place like home" and "I Love My Bed".

Meg said...

Sounds like you'll need a vacation after you get back from your vacation.

Hit 40 said...

Wow - you make me glad that I have never tried vacation with my family!!!

Go it alone next year!!! You do not need this stress when you are supposed to be having a nice time.

I agree with Beth. My sisters tend to go back into roles from when they were kids. I just try to stay out of it and quiet which never works. No one is happy that I will not participate with their ridiculous conversations.

andy said...

my sister isn't too bad at family get togethers...although usually her and her 14 year old argue like an old married couple.

but i anticipate complaints out the ying yang from my mom, who must find the dark side of every situation.

my dad just sits and reads the paper.

wish me luck tonight...i already need some wine.

and it's only 07:30am.


p.s. safe trip home:)

The Wife O Riley said...

For years we have gone on vaction with a few other families. We finally have it down to a science. You are on your own for dinner. Pick a place where you want to go, and if people want to go, they can. It makes the most people happy.

mo.stoneskin said...

Just you wait until you get home and find what Tonya got up to. She left me an answer phone message. It was hard to make out but it was something to do BBQ and wings.

Tori_z said...

I hate when people are like that. They pick the place to eat, but - of course - it's everyone's fault but theirs that they aren't enjoying their meal. Still, at least you're managing to enjoy a lot of the trip. That's a good start, right?

PetalsYoga said...

Welcome Home!!! Glad you've survived this one with a few "breaks" and bends but mostly intact. Sounds like maybe even a little healing took place.

Glad you can put this one on the memory shelf now.

Call Me Cate said...

C. Beth - I hate feeling like I'm regressing after making so much progress this past year. Yet, I can still see where I've made big improvements.

Mrs Cooper - It WAS great to be in my own bed last night. So comfy and quiet.

Meg - I'm glad that Sunday is a day of doing nothing. We needed a break between vacation and work for sure!

Hit 40 - We take a lot of solo trips so we'll be getting out at least once more this year without company.

andy - Your dad and mine sound a lot alike. They sit back and try to ignore just to keep the peace and some sanity.

Wife O Riley - We were mostly on our own for breakfast and lunch. Dinner was scheduled as together time for most evenings but what a pain in the neck. The sad part is that I'm ready for your idea of dinner on your own as well but even with the issues I'm sure the rest of my family would want to do it the same way.

mo.stoneskin - Tonya is grounded from international calls I think. I was glad to find the house had not been destroyed.

Tori - I really thought she'd have the decency to shush since dinner was her choosing. I should've known better.

PetalsYoga - There was some healing and growth among the bumps and bruises.

AmyK. said...

I have generally found with eating out that I am easy to please. I enjoy the moment and the company and if I don't love what I ordered I can deal with it. Bitchin' just makes it all worse, right?

I also tend to listen to peole who have eaten at the place *I* would have taken your advice! ;-)