Atlanta was interesting. The drive up with my dad wasn’t too bad, but I did notice something. He doesn’t listen to me. Like, ever. I’ll be telling a story and he’ll be like, “Mm-hmm…now, the thing about this painting is….” Or laugh politely or something if I make a comment. I asked Sister if she gets that with him and she said, “No,” and I was like, “Oh. That figures.”
I walked out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day to see a crowd of people standing by the front doorway. I didn’t recognize about half of them. There were two adults with three kids. Looking at the older guy, I thought he had a bit of a Jack Nicholson thing going on, but I didn’t recognize him. It didn’t even sink in when my aunt introduced him as “Larry”. It wasn’t until a few minutes later when I realized—wait a second—my cousin Larry! I’d met him before, but it was when I was about two. It’s not like I’ve never seen pictures before, but he looks a lot different now. They introduced me to the kids and the wife, and I excused myself and moved into my room to put on my sweatshirt. The girl followed me in there after a moment and said, “I just thought I should let you know…I think my brother sort of likes you.”
I just looked at her and said, “Aren’t we related?”
She didn’t answer that, but went on to say, “The taller one, not the shorter one.” (An important distinction when deciding whether or not to have an affair with your cousin–if you’re going to shag one, better be sure it’s the taller one!)
She then proceeded to start talking a mile a minute about all of these high school issues…I wasn’t really listening to her. In a moment, the two boys joined us, as well. They were very surprised to find out that I’m in college.
Later that day, the second cousins (I guess that’s what they are—but it turns out, only by marriage—they’re not Larry’s offspring) were teaching me how to skateboard. The older boy was using Sister’s, and I was riding his, until she came outside and bitched about it (they had gotten the smallest bit of mud on the bottom, and a bit on the grip tape) and took it back inside to bitch to my parents. They were all like, “Geez, is she always like that?” and I said, “Yeah, she’s naturally pretty anal-retentive.” I tried to explain that she doesn’t ride her skateboard, that she only uses it for display purposes, but they still felt really bad—even though I told them not to worry about it—and went inside and tried to wash the grip tape with soap. So now her grip tape is ruined. Later, my dad was wondering why they had bothered to buy her such an expensive board (remember when she ordered my mom to get her the $200 one?) if she never rides it. (She didn’t use it once on the entire trip.) And I said, “Well, I told you she only wanted to display it.” He actually agreed. Incredible.
At one point while I was learning, I fell off—well, not fell—I flew. I was actually airborne there for a couple of seconds. It was as if the board and I simultaneously sprung in opposite directions. It was awesome. And then I hit pavement. It hurt pretty bad for a few minutes there…maybe like 10…but I felt better after a while.
Oh–remember back when I had my first-ever panic attack because of the wet floor by the shower? This is a constant thing. Sister is always bitching about me leaving water on the bathroom floor when I take a shower. (Because there’s usually not a towel on the floor for whatever reason, and my hair drips all over.) Well, my aunt’s house, there is carpet over most of the bathroom floor, and then right in front of the shower is a big towel. So I dripped on the towel, and then Sister took a shower after me and complained to Dad that I got the towel wet. She’s just never satisfied.
Dad made a point of approaching me about it later, but of course, there were other people around, so he couldn’t scream at me. He just said, “The towel is not there to catch the drips.”
I stared blankly at him for a second like he was insane, then said simply, “Okay,” and walked away. (Refer back to the image of the Doctor above.)
Overall, I actually had a pretty good time this year. I always do. And I finally got my kudzu speech written today, so I can stop stressing until Thursday when I have to present it. I didn’t write it in essay form first, so it may be even more difficult to understand my notes when I actually get up there. We’ll see how it goes.