Good intentions

26 Nov

We went to our friends’ house for Thanksgiving this year, because Darling is pregnant enough at this point to make traveling elsewhere untenable. She made salad, I made chocolate chip cookies. Both were delicious, but, well, you know. Our friends are (well, she is) more pregnant than Darling, she is a week or so from due date.

Anyhow, we’re there with our friends, their parents, sister and cousin. And they’re great. Lovely, lovely kids, lovely parents, everything going swimmingly. But you ever have this situation, where everyone is getting along well, but the assumptions everyone brings to the table are completely opposite? This was that.

1)
Me: (to friend’s father) Wow, great, you guys live in New Jersey, seems like you’re going to get to see your new grandchild pretty often.
Father: Yes, it is ideal. We’re not so far away as to be a plane ride, but on the other hand, we’re not so close as to be right on top of them. We can come for a few hours, then go home.
Me: Yes that does sound great. My parents live a plane ride away in Chicago, Darling’s live a 10-hour plane ride away in Hawai’i. Plus, we may purchase a place with her mother, so she can stay there for 3 months a year, right on top of us.
Father: Um, that sounds nice too.

2)
Me: (coming into the room and being passed around friend’s brother-in-law’s watch) Wow, this watch doesn’t really have much weight to it. And it’s a Star Wars watch. What, did it come out of a cereal box?
Brother-in-law: No, it was a birthday present.
Me: It’s lovely.

3)
Friend’s sister: So, wow, it seems like you guys have a perfect setup. Your job is in academia, which gives you great flexibility, and Darling’s job is in non-profit management, which gives meaning and purpose. This is a good combination for having a baby.
Me: Except that I’m most likely going to change careers, and Darling’s job is never totally stable.
Sister: Oh.
Me: But you mean for the next 2 years, while the baby is really little, right?
Sister: Well, I was thinking, like 10.
Me: Oh.

4)
Friend’s mother: (talking about traveling) we just get on I-95 and just go straight south.
Me: Wow, great, where are you going?
Mother: Down to Florida. It takes a day to get through South Carolina, we don’t ever want to stop there, just keep driving. There’s nothing there worth stopping for.
Me: My parents have a house in South Carolina, where there’re going to retire.
Mother: Oh. That sounds nice.

Honestly, though, Thanksgiving was lovely and fun, and truly not awkward despite all this, and we totally appreciated the experience. The world is large, there are a lot of people in it, and most of us mean well. I am thankful.

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