The Great Alaskan Debate

My sister is all about the forced family fun – a term I used to use with affection, but in reading old posts, I see how sadly my feelings toward my family have really shifted in the last year. She’s a planner and a bit of a demander and likes to tell people what to do and currently, she is telling the family that we all need to go on an Alaskan cruise next summer.

Not in a “hey, let’s come up with a cool vacay and convince the parents to pay” kind of way; we’re all adults, so it’s more about everyone making the decision to go and paying their own way. Sis and my new BIL decided they want to go and they want it to be a big family event with both sides attending. 

Coming off of hijacking Christmas last year and their wedding “year,” it’s no doubt they expect everyone to go along with whatever they say.  They will continue their reign until someone stands up to them.

So, the thing is…well, there are many things.

I held her off long enough by saying I might have to pay for some major home repairs I was recently dealing with, but fortunately the HOA covered it. So, I just got an email asking since they took care of it, am I going to go?

My next response is that I kind of want my 2012 vacation to be a friend vacation and she made it pretty clear that I was just her sister, not her friend. I don’t think it’s the right time to snarkily bring up the fact that I’m upset about her choice of MOH, and although it’s on my mind and I want to say it to her, it’d be nice to NOT alienate the WHOLE family before the holidays.  But, with everything that’s going on with my family (still annoyingly and hurtfully unresolved), why would I want to be trapped on a boat with them? 

I’ve never been on a cruise before and, honestly, another reason is that I want my first cruise to be what you think of when you think of a cruise…bikinis and fruity drinks and lots of sex with the hot boyfriend you’re with and what not.

Let’s see, what else…the money really is an issue and even though I don’t have to shell out thousands on my house, I’m not feeling financially cushy right now. She (plus the other bride) dictated my savings funds last year and I haven’t established any savings funds/goals for next year. A travel fund would probably be at the top of the list, but I’m thinking international (sorry, Canada, not like that) or a big city or my most recent brilliant idea is surf + yoga in South Carolina.

I also have on good authority that a friend is getting engaged this New Year’s…a friend who lives in another state again and who I most likely wouldn’t have in my party, but who talks constantly about me being in hers.  Joy.  I know in theory that it’s maybe okay to say no to being in someone’s wedding party, but I don’t know that I’d ever actually do that.

Also, I’m 27 and I don’t necesarily want to go on vacation with my family when I feel fifth-wheely.  It makes me feel lonely and currently, it reminds me that my sister’s wedding and my father’s behavior were catalysts for why I’m lonely right now. 

The original idea was for me to room with my 88-year-old grandmother, but she doesn’t want to go, so now I would get to room with the best man from their wedding, who probably won’t go if he has to pay double occupancy for just himself.  So, now I just feel like a means to get him to go. 

Anyway, I guess the only reason stopping me from being like, “hell no” is that I don’t want to miss out.  What if when they come back and talk all about their experiences, I feel sad that I wasn’t a part of them?

It would be a neat trip, but is it at the top of my list of things to do and see and experience?  No.  I’d never considered it until she brought it up.  Coincidentally, my parents had been thinking of going on an Alaskan cruise in Septemberish next year…of course Sis and BIL won that war of going in the early summer instead.

Does that outweigh all the other emotions I have about not wanting to go?  Do you still enjoy talking family vacations as an adult?  Have you been on an Alaskan cruise and think I should absolutely do it?  Or do you want to hang out with me in South Carolina and learn to surf next summer?!

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My family should think before they speak.

Quotes of the weekend:

My dad to me:
“Well, I don’t know how she can stand to be around YOU.”
In context, truthful.  Out of context, ROO!

My sister to her bridesmaids (well, the two who are NOT already knocked up):
“Keep your legs together until the wedding, ladies.”
If she were kidding, funny.  She’s not = bridezilla.

And in other wedding news, we ordered dresses yesterday and I’m an eight.  I know they’re sized “big,” but I definitely cringed at that one.  AND, I saw this ad yesterday…

I don’t even know what it is, but Kristen Wiig + Maya Rudolph + Melissa McCarthy + John Hamm = I’m in!

If You Really Love Christmas…

…you should probably stop reading right now. 

Disclaimer! I’m not a grinch, swearsies.  I like Christmas!  I like Christmas smells, Christmas socks, Fa-La-La-La-Lifetime movies, Christmas goodies.  But, for some reason this post came out with a bit of a negative spin.  Why pretend I’m dancing around with the ladies and leaping with the lords if I’m not? 

Shortly after Thanksgiving,  I was trying to get my sister to nail down her Christmas plans because she and her fiance try to coordinate multiple families and celebrations, so we plan around her.  She skated the question and then two days later I got a handmade invite to her house for Christmas. 

There are three reasons I went all bratty little sister on her for this:  1. She obviously knew what she was plotting, but didn’t want to acknowledge it because she would rather 2. passive aggressively 3. hijack Christmas. 

I get WHY she’s hijacking Christmas.  She’s trying to create her own Christmas traditions and she’s taking a stand.  The invite was basically like, this is what we’re doing and if our families would like to see us on this family holiday, you will get your asses in the folding chairs gathered around our poker table that is awkwardly placed kind of in the dining room, kind of in the living room and covered in a red plastic cloth. 

Oh, and you will bring whatever lame dishes I assign to you.  I got hot appetizer and rolls.  A.  She spit out the hot app I brought to Thanksgiving because it had cayenne in it and it literally was hot.  I like spice and my Artichoke Bites recipe I found for this weekend has it too.  Just remember, dear sister, you signed me up for it.  B.  She makes awesome rolls.  She has a honey crescent recipe that she lovingly makes from scratch using her fancy breadmaker.  I bought frozen rolls, two bags for $5, at Fry’s.  And they’re wheat because I’m healthy like that, even though no one else in attendance is.  Again, you signed me up for it.

I claimed to be “over” this issue with my sister before, but apparently, there may be some lingering resentment. 

I’m excited for Christmas, but not EXCITED like I was for Thanksgiving.  There will be food, family and of course, forced family fun, but I think Christmas in the traditional sense is for the kiddos and we have none in the family, so our celebrations have tempered and that’s okay.

I’m sure I’ll be snorting candy canes of Christmas glee as the day gets closer, presents arrive and get wrapped and treats are made while watching A Boyfriend for Christmas  (a Fa-La-La-La-Lifetime movie) and probably Love Actually (collective sigh for the part where the adorable Brit holds up the signs at Kiera Knightley’s door). 

But for now, I’m stuck working for the week despite having the attention span of a chipmunk.  And my tummy hurts, making my inner hypochondriac assume I’ll be laid up with the stomach flu until the new year and I’m mostly upset about how that would effect my training schedule.  I should not be allowed in public when I’m cranky.

Thankful

Sometimes on Thanksgiving we awkwardly force my dad to say grace even though he’s conveniently sick every Christmas Eve, which would be the only time he would potentially face going to church, but generally our pre-meal tradition is to avoid religion and just say the things for which we’re thankful.

As the quirky one (which is just four years, three cats and/or 20 pounds away from being the wacky one), being the seventh – yay being the seventh wheel! – person to say that I’m thankful for family and friends and my sister’s big rock and upcoming wedding will simply not work for me.

So I’m preparing my list ahead of time – don’t worry, this is a scheduled post, I’m not sitting in the corner neglecting my duty to forced family fun. 

This year I’m thankful for…

coffee, nail polish, chocolate, sex, birth control, being 26 and being able to say anything I want in front of my parents, the word fuck because it can be used as so many different parts of speech, not yet giving in to being a cat lady, Oprah, Michael Buble’s sense of humor, awkwardly good looks and panty-dropping voice, flip-flops, dresses, dry humor, the color blue because it makes my eyes pop, my eyes because they make men fall in love with me, my ass because it makes them fall in lust, the stairmaster and spin bikes and asshole trainers, being photogenic, humility, that I’ve never had to live during a time when Journey wasn’t famous, tofu hotdogs, drinking straws, Shonda Rhimes, brie, no longer being the “new Leslie” at work but instead being the “new Ashley,” not working at the hotel right now, my comforter, Kelly Clarkson, romcoms and Hope Floats depending on my mood, finally maybe potentially getting a couch this weekend, the hide option on the Facebook news feed, the fact that I don’t have to status update about how awesome my life is to convince myself and Mike Tomlin.

Oh and my parents and the 36 Thanksgivings they’ve had together, my sister and the 26 we’ve had and the fact that she was lying all those times she told me I was adopted, friends that are like family, my health, my freedom and our military, my new job, my home and other modern comforts that I sometimes feel entitled to even though I’m not.  And I’m thankful for the opportunity to take a day to celebrate those good things with people I love.