Tag Archives: family
Welcome to a two-part blog about being home for the holidays. If anyone read the blog about my parents visiting me for a *WEEKEND* then lawd knows me being home for two weeks unrolls enough material
for a novel two whole blogs.
This “Part I” blog will cover the living situations I’m subjected to when I come back to live in the house I grew up in for a short period of time. “Part II” will cover things that happened outside the home, you know, like my parents’ form of currency (all but trading livestock and rubies) and handing out bottles of vodka for Christmas.
but more on that later.
We’ll start from the very beginning. I flew from Dallas Lovefield to Midland Friday, Dec. 19. I did not know until moving to Dallas how *shocking* it was that I don’t fly directly into my hometown. Mind-blowing, I know, but somehow Metro Carlsbad, U.S.A., doesn’t have its own international airport yet. It’s coming. I’m sure.
Until then, us peasants have to fly into a nearby city, and drive to where I live. It’s like living in the 1800s.
I landed, and my BEST FRIEND WHOM I HAVEN’T SEEN IN TWO YEARS picked me up, so it was really exciting (hi ryan). I told him I was tired and jet lagged and that I needed Dairy Queen. He said I landed in the same time zone but okay.
We “brunched” the next day (we ate our first meal in Carlsbad at noon and subjected ourselves to wine-based margaritas). Then he came over to my house in its pre-big-family-dinner stage.
AKA the trenches of WWII. AKA before their pack-mule-daughter-slave has had a chance to clean the house for the big family dinner. Imagine an abandoned house-size storage unit.
If you’d like to see it for yourself, JUST WALK BY OUR HOUSE THAT IS BASICALLY A FISH BOWL. IT’S A HOUSE MADE OF HUMAN-SIZED WINDOWS.
And don’t get me started on the Wi-Fi.
Maybe it’s just my house, maybe it’s the whole town, I’ve yet to bang on neighbors’ doors asking for Wi-Fi services. I swear the Wi-Fi is conducted by a hamster running on a wheel somewhere in the corner of a closet in my home. A fat, tired hamster.
It’s so bad, that even though I have Wi-Fi turned on on my phone, I’ve used up all my data for the month. ALL OF IT. 100%.
If you want to drown your overcharge-data woes in food, then good luck to you when staying at The Neals. I swear, I have no idea what my parents eat when I’m gone.
Contents of the pantry:
- Four-six opened bags of half-eaten sunflower seeds
- Condensed milk
- Bags of dry rice
- Two of the largest bins of Folgers coffee sold in the world (AKA THE COFFEE-ARMPIT OF AMERICA)
- Apple cider vinegar (my mom “craves” this which I can’t even comment on because I’ll gag)
- Seventy-three plastic bottles of varied syrups and honeys
- Angel food cake
- One lost sweet potatoe
- Literally every type of nut sold in south-eastern New Mexico (walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, almonds, NAME A NUT, THE NEALS WILL HAVE IT)
- Morton salt
- Hot chocolate packets probably from 2007
And in case you don’t believe me, or care to see the meticulous organized fashion in which the pantry is arranged, please do see the image below.
The fridge is no better. It’s avocados, ginger root, an full, uncovered head of broccoli. All kinds of milk except normal milk. So almond milk, rice milk, goat milk, soy milk. I’m not kidding. And then like four thousand liquid vitamins.
This is a come-home-for-christmas nightmare. WHERE IS HOMEMADE CHEESECAKE, DIRTCAKE, ENCHILADAS OR SOMETHING I CAN REALLY HATE MYSELF FOR EATING?????????????? I DON’T COME HOME TO GO ON A DIET, I LEAVE HOME FOR THAT. HELP ME.
No one is safe until there is a family dinner, after which there is a surplus of leftovers.
No one is safe when you’re sleeping either.
Or at least not in my room, where A WINDOW (CONCEALED BEHIND THE SHUTTERS) HAS BEEN OPEN SINCE I’VE BEEN HOME. So when a cold draft blew in last Tuesday, I GOT A COLD AND I HAD IT FROM WEDNESDAY NIGHT-SATURDAY. Why was the window open? TO ACCOMMODATE FOR A POWER CORD FOR THE FRONT PORCH CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.
My mom actually made me the best homemade chicken noodle soup and I’m fine now but it’s hard, y’all, everything is hard.
Other than said events listed above, it’s been a lot of old movies and basketball watching since coming home. I decided I’m a ~*~ D i E h A r D ~*~ Cavaliers fan now. I even liked them on Facebook. I’ll probably blog about it. So it’s official.
I’ve also been googling the price of misc. cars. So apparently I’ve had a sex change since being home. #Basketball #Cars. #ok #bye
Sometimes your weekends revolve around brunch and sometimes they revolve around your parents’ plane ticket times. My parents have visited twice in the past month (new babies in the family will do things like that), and needless to day it’s been all but dull.
BABY BOOMERS MEET ÜBER
iPhones are hard. IOS updates, hard. But downloading apps IS LITERALLY THE EASIEST THING THAT APPLE OFFERS US CIVILIANS. For whatever reason, the baby boomer generation struggles with the downloading of the apps, but no matter, for they birthed two girls very capable of this activity. Once the app was downloaded, all my sister and I had to do was explain to our parents what Über does and why it’s going to be beneficial to all of us this weekend.
Questions my mom had about “You-ber” (I gave up trying to teach them how to pronounce it):
- What if I need to go somewhere, what do I do?
- So the you-ber takes me there?
- What if I need to just go back and forth during the day?
- So you’re saying the You-Ber will just take me where I punch in on the text machine? (Baby boomers may oft use “text machine” when referring to the “iPhone”)
The first time my mom used Über by herself, it was totally fine. The second time = ALL HELL HAD BROKEN LOOSE. Our conversation was something to the following via text:
“AUGUSTA. Uber does NOT work!!!!!!!!!!! Blasted all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It keeps asking me to fill out a survey!!!!!!!! It won’t let me get a new car!!!! I don’t want to fill out a survey1!!!!!”
“Mom just choose 4 stars!”
“It won’t let me, It’s making me survey!!!!!!!!”
Über is hard. God didn’t put my parents on this earth to ride Übers around Dallas.
MY PARENTS HAVE A LOT OF FREAKING DOGS AND DON’T YOU DARE ASK ME TO NAME THEM
White people love their dogs, this is a common American theme we’re all aware of, and The Neals are no different.
OR ARE THEY????????????????????????????????
Here’s some context: My mom has a dog-addiction. We’ve acquired the reputation around our small town that if anyone doesn’t want their dog anymore, the Neals will take it. This has happened a lot. I can never keep track, but I think my parents currently care-take 7 dogs. Let the record show that I only genuinely like one of them, Doug the Pug Neal.
So that leaves about 6 other miniature creatures running around my house who I either A) can’t even identify or B) don’t like or touch. The latest addition to my parents’ zoo is kind of hard to explain. It’s a white little maltese. This dog came from a family member who was unable to keep it any longer, around last Christmas.
Did I mention my parents are God-awful at naming animals? God freaking awful.
My mom took it upon herself to name the new maltese Baby Jesus.
YEAH. SO IF YOU’RE EVER IN CARLSBAD AND HEAR SOMEONE CALLING, “HERE BABY JESUS, COME HERE, BOY,” DON’T EXPECT TO SEE A PRAYING HUMAN IN THE DISTANCE, EXPECT TO SEE MY PARENTS SEARCHING FOR THEIR LOST MALTESE.
They call the dog “B.J.” for short. EFFING B.J.
I can’t even y’all I *actually* can’t even. My mom thinks this name is totally fine for a dog given on Christmas. Okay. Okay. Okay. I’m not a cool high schooler anymore so I guess things like this don’t taint my cool-factor anymore. Sigh.
Names of dogs past and present in the Neal family, in no particular order:
- Baby Jesus
- Charles Lindbergh- This is a miniature greyhound, whom I hate. He’s an ugly, worthless dog. I call him rehab, because he looks like an anorexic alcoholic. I’ve called him this since high school and when I’m home I pretend I like him by speaking to him in a high pitched tone, but I avoid touching him if I can. My whole family calls him Rehab now. Rehab Neal.
- Rojo- This was a small, red poodle, who died some years ago. I used to dress him in doll clothes when I was little. I never really liked him, but he was whatever. RIP, lil red.
- Pixie- This was a small, black female dog my mom found half dead then rescued back to health, because she is a saint. For whatever reason, we named it that of a stripper. She is also dead. My mom really loved Pixie, and for that reason, it makes me sad she’s dead, but you know, I’m also still really messed up over Khloe and Lamar’s break up, so you have to pick your battles and hardships.
- Winston- He was a blind schnauzer. I didn’t like him either. He died.
- Daisy- She was the only other dog my parents have owned that I liked. She was a black pug, and she didn’t give a SH!T about anything. R.I.P., QUEEN DAISY.
- Patriot- WAIT JUST KIDDING, my parents owned a small red heeler mutt, whom I really really liked. Patriot was a female dog my dad found, but we all thought the dog was a male for about a month. My dad never accepted this, and referred to Patriot (named after my dad’s job, Patriot Oil Drilling) as a “he” until she died. I called her Poochy because it’s kind of similar to Patriot, and I’m weird. I would take her to sonic and feed her ice cream. We had to put her down because I guess she killed Pixie or something, which actually only makes me like her more, but whatever. I get sad talking about her so I’m stopping.
- Tiger Tom- This dog belonged to my grandparents until they died. Tiger is a small, white, male. I want to like Tiger because my Granny did, and I loved Granny, but I really struggle liking this dog. It was hit by a car and still lived. This dog just like, won’t go away.
- Trixie- Another stirpper name dog. I can’t remember if she came with that name or if my parents did that. Trixie is another small white dog who won’t die.
I consulted my sister and these are all the dogs that we can remember. My sister actually named a quite few that I don’t remember at all (RIP Wilbur and Annie I guess????).
SHOPPING WITH MY MOM AND SISTER
My mom loves to pretend we’re The Kardashians, and takes my sister and I shopping when she’s in town. Yesterday, we were at Milk & Honey, a local boutique targeted towards female millenials trying to find life in uptown, Dallas. My sister needed something to wear to her baby shower, or “Sip N See.” The sales associate brought out a hippie child dress and I had to tell her it was “too boho” for my sister, who is into classic styles, not trendy things (she later bought a fur vest but that’s besides the point). My mom then asked, “What would you name my style, Gus?!?!?????” I said mom, there is no word for your style.
She then said something really spot on, which happens sometimes. She said, “I think my style is like ‘electric New Mexican.'” I said YES. You are THE electric New Mexican.
Meanwhile, my dad is also in M&H with us, and finds a women’s hat, similar to the picture below.
TAKING MY PARENTS TO MY OFFICE FOR THE FIRST TIME
I’ve been lucky enough to have been in my current position at work for about a year and a half now. My parents visited the offices for the first time recently. I was a little worried about bringing them in because downtown Dallas can be over-stimulating if you’re born and raised from Carlsbad. I mean, there are CORNER OFFICES and IPHONE SIXES IN OUR PRESENCE.
When I went to pick up my parents in the lobby of my work building, my mom was wearing Dr. Dre Beats headphones.
I DON’T EVEN OWN BEATS. SHE WAS WEARING THEM AROUND HER NECK.
I was like, “Haha, mom, let’s maybe not wear those. Let’s put them in your purse.” She was like, “But they’re so cool???”
She put them in her purse sitll plugged into her iPhone, which was also plugged into her iPhone charger, because, “I NEED THEM PLUGGED TOGETHER, I LOSE THEM,” as I’ve been told.
As I was giving them a “tour” and walking by the editorial department of D Magazine, my dad literally called out to people while they were working, and said, “Need story ideas???? OIL AND GAS!!! DRILLING!!!”
MY PARENTS HAVE OPINIONS ON MEXICAN FOOD
“I knew we were in trouble when they brought out rolled enchiladas. Tortilla are made flat for a reason. Enchiladas should be flat.” -My dad about the top-rated cuisine at Mesero.
Dallas Mexican restaurants apparently pride themselves on gourmet portions, and quite frankly, it pisses the Neal parental unit off. In NM, you get real Mexican food in large portions, and EVERYTHING comes with a side of rice and beans. When you sit down, you’re given a few LARGE bowls of chips that are refilled constantly.
Not in Dallas. Not last night.
Mesero served chips in mason jar-sized silver canisters, and when my parents asked for more chips, they would bring out another silver canister of chips, taking away the other one away, even though it still had chips in it, to my parents’ horror.
TAKING MY PARENTS TO CHURCH
This morning, we braved the traffic on 75, and I took my parents to my favorite church ever, Watermark. I was a little worried about this, because my parents treat church services the same a going to the movies. They’re paying attention, but if they have a question/comment, they say it out loud full volume like they’re the only ones in the room.
Also, Watermark is just an overwhelming environment when you’re used to small-town church life. You’re literally surrounded by thousands of strangers, and you kind of feel like you’re at a rock concert, where you don’t know any of the words. It’s fine. Then Todd started preaching. I could see his message was really sinking in with my parents and it was super exciting for me that they got to experience something I do weekly.
Overall, it’s been really fun having my crazy parents in Dallas. Today they gave me money to go get a manicure before they left. I used the money to buy groceries. Adulthood is sad.
“Giving birth does not make one a mother…. Anymore than going to church makes one a Christian.” -My mom, who actually says pretty wise things for someone who named a dog B.J.
Images/gifs credits: blog.chegg.com, http://www.nastygal.com/, http://blog.chron.com/tubular/files/2014/10/teresa-table-flip.gif,