And I was sprawled on the couch. I was at my grandmother’s house for my dad’s side of the holiday festivities. I didn’t feel well. They dined on the usual turkey sandwiches and roasted fruit while ate sparingly and rested, the same white blanket draped over me that always is at these things. My uncle looked over and gently said “just so you know, Nicole, we’ll be over there to open presents in a few minutes so don’t get too comfortable.” Okay, even when I am well I can’t keep up with these people. I’m not like my mom who drifts off to the TV around eight, but their conversations will span into the early hours while I retire to the couch or back bedroom to sleep until it’s time to leave. So they know my routine. Plus, I love my grandma but the only thing I can eat at her house is chips and dip. They’ve given up understanding what a vegetarian is. “You still eat chicken though right?” No, I don’t. “Oh well at least you can eat fish.” No. So my options over there are always limited. Oh wait, I eat cherries too. But not the rest of the roasted fruit, because I’ve never gotten used to it. Why roast fruit?
I wanted to be lively though. One because it was Christmas and two because the last time we all gathered I wasn’t very lively, and that was all my fault. I had been looking forward to my grandparents anniversary dinner a few months ago, but I’d been looking forward to one of my best friends weddings for two years. This was the night before the anniversary. So the day the anniversary party arrived I literally found myself sneaking into the bathroom just so I could lay on the floor in peace for a few minutes. My mom got huge glee out of telling everyone I had a little too much to drink the night before and my grandma just said “my how’s shes grown up” and gave me a hug. The few minutes I spent with her and my grandfather when they weren’t socializing with everyone who came a long way were great even in my hung over state.
I just wish I could have been a little more festive this time. I was wondering if they were all secretly speculating what I’d gotten into the night before to make me appear so tired now. But, towards the end, I got to snuggle up next to my grandma and just be with her. She takes the party planning and hostessing very seriously but I got to sit with her while she was relaxing. And that was worth it.