Those of you who are regulars here at Second Blooming may remember my mentioning (and mentioning, and mentioning) that every time I visit my beloved nutty in-laws in New York, some sort of crisis ensues. I hereby offer the following account of the 24 hours I spent with Mommy and Pop, et al following my Carnegie Hall experience as a testament to the validity of this claim...
Late Sunday morning, Aunt Grace and I took the train from Manhattan out to Long Island. After Pop picked us up at the station, we arrived home and Mommy greeted me with a "million kisses", much squealing, bagels, eggs and coffee.
After we all took a rest (the older folks took naps and I, after locating the long cord and plugging it into what Mommy calls "the module" but is actually a modem, fiddled on my computer), more family members gathered so that we could all go out for dinner in honor of my visit, to our favorite Chinese restaurant, Hoy Ming. It was then that things turned squirrelly.
Soon after arriving, one family member, who shall remain nameless to protect the beloved but nutty, seems to have taken a new type of medication, which they followed with a large blackberry brandy. This combination made them lose all inhibitions and the ability to edit their thoughts, and they proceeded to start a huge, and somewhat nonsensical hullabaloo. Much hysteria and some crying followed. This continued all the way to the restaurant, where said nameless beloved but nutty relative had yet another cocktail, and finally made a dramatic exit right after the crab rolls and spare ribs. Interestingly, this nutty relative is usually the LEAST nutty of all the relatives, so this was all very unusual.
During dinner, we were joined by Pop's best friend John, and his wife Eileen. They are good old friends, and it was nice to see them. John, who is now retired, was a limo driver for 20 years, and during dinner, he volunteered to drive me, with Pop as his copilot, to the airport the next day. We had a fairly lengthy discussion about details - my flight was leaving JFK at 3:45, which meant I needed to be there by 2:45, and Pop, who is a worrywart, insisted that we get to John's house by 1:30 in order to get there in time. Memorial Day traffic was discussed. John also drank a couple of Rusty Nails at this time (that's a Scotch and Drambuie cocktail). This comes into play later.
Several courses of Chinese food followed, accompanied by quite a few Whiskey Sours. These were probably a bad idea, because toward the end of dinner, Aunt Grace, who constantly listens to right-wing talk radio, and I got into a brief but extremely heated political argument. Words like "offensive" and "stupid" were batted around, after which we both laughed and had another drink.
All the way home and for some time after we reached the house, the hullabaloo with the usually not nutty beloved but nutty family member was discussed. Much worry, must analyzing, much, much talk.
When we finally all decided to go to upstairs, Mommy and I did have a very funny conversation about the horrors of having a spouse who snores, and she told the funniest story. She said that one time, Pop was snoring so badly that...
I went CRAZY! I couldn't stand it! So I got outta bed and went
down to the basement and got a clothespin. Then I stuck it on his
nose! But that STILL didn't stop his terrible snoring! So I got a pillow.
And I stuck it on his head. I was crazy, I tell you! So I stuck it on his
head. And after a while, it worked. He stopped snoring! But then I thought
'OH no!! I killed him!' and I came to my senses and took the pillow off.
Luckily he wasn't dead.
Mommy and I started laughing so hard we were both crying, and I had to help her up the stairs.
At 1:35 am, the phone rang. Which naturally woke everybody up, and resulted in considerable hysteria. I mean, when the phone rings in the middle of the night, it's assumed that someone is dead. Or maybe everyone is dead. The worst possible scenario is always jumped to.
But instead, it was John, calling to find out why Pop hadn't picked him up at 1:30 am. Yes, for some reason (hmmm...Rusty Nails?) John was under the insane misconception that my flight was leaving at 3:45 in the morning! Why he never questioned or attempted to clarify this peculiar assumption, no one knows. After assuring John that no one was crazy enough to book a 3:45 AM flight, we all went back to bed.
The next morning dawned peacefully enough, and Mommy rather indulgently made me French toast for breakfast (Mommy's French toast is outrageous - she uses this wonderful Italian bread with sesame seeds...mmmm). But about noon, Mommy got a phone call, and found out that Ursula, one of her best friends (not one of the Cathys) had just lost her granddaughter! The poor girl was only 24, but had had a heart defect all of her life. Mommy was extremely upset - much crying and wailing. Followed by much discussion about whether Mommy should rush over to Ursula's house right away, or wait until I had left for the airport. While I assured her it was okay to go over right away, she insisted on waiting until I was seen off.
After much kissing and hugging and crying, Pop and I left to drive over to John's house (during PM hours) so that he could drive me to JFK. Then, once we reached the airport, after even more hugs and kisses, Pop stuffed a handful of $20s into my hand and I was off.
Just another typical day with the in-laws.
When I called Mommy the next day, she apologized for my visit being so crazy. Little did she know that it made for a much more interesting blog post.
I love my nutty family!