Saturday, January 14, 2006

catching up

Good lord, it's almost been a month since I posted something.
What have I been doing that's kept me from blogland? Well, nothing.
Christmas seems like it was aaages ago. It was pretty uneventful given that, well my family doesn't really celebrate Christmas. My friends continue to be amazed by this. In their world everyone celebrates Christmas. I'm not christian, I tell them. They look at me blankly.
My husbands family, on the other hand, come from good french Catholic stock. So we spent Christmas with them. Can anyone explain to my why someone who lives in a so-cold-my-teeth-hurt city would choose to purchase a vacation condo in a small town that is even further NORTH (ie. colder, snowier, icier, and ..did I mention colder?)? Why wouldn't they spend their hard earned $$ on a vacation home in say Florida?

So yeah, we drove to a little mountain town where my husbands brother was hosting the Christmas shindig. Here is a fuzzy photo as evidence of the snowiness.

Quick suggestion for the hostess: If someone has driven 4 hours in the ice and snow to get to your house, don't serve them wine in a plastic cup. Okay? Especially if you're serving them the wine that they've brought for you, as a gift. Especially especially if they spent too much money on that wine and took way too much time at the liquor store, choosing it carefully, and arguing with their spouse, because there are so many fucking things to do, and it's getting late and we haven't bought the presents yet, and why don't you just choose a damn bottle of wine.
Just sayin'.

The evening was as bearable as far as these go, considering that my husband has 11 neices and nephews.
Quick suggestion for parents of neices and nephews: If someone has driven 4 hours in the ice and snow and brought with them thoughtfully chosen, carefully wrapped gifts for your children, please try to get the children to feign some enthusiasm for the gifts before they return to their x-box, i-pod, or whatever electronic gadget is sooo much interesting than toys and (god-forbid) books.
Just sayin'.

There are two things that salvaged the evening. My husbands mother (who has always been absolutely lovely to me) gave me a small photo album that contained baby and childhood photos of my husband. There he is on his first day of kindergarten, his hair a mess of brown curls. There he is on his 8th birhtday, grinning in front of his cake, surrounded by his siblings. It was such a wonderfully thoughtful gift. I can't thank her enough.
The second thing- I can't really speak with my husband's family. They speak french, I don't (well, not very well). I scan their conversations looking for familiar words and phrases. I can, usually, get the gist of whatever they're talking about. I can ask simple questions, but I rarely understand the answers. This is not to say that they don't speak english. One-on-one his siblings will attempt to stumble through a conversation with me. His parents are fluent in english. But when they are all together it's a different story. It used to bother me. I felt left out, isolated in their gatherings. Now it's a blessing. No pesky questions about whether or when we'll be having babies. No probing about my 'health problems' or 'how I'm doing'. I can just sit there and smile, and pretend things are fine.
Ca va? Oui, ca va bien.

New Year's eve was uneventful.
Returning to work was hard (I'd gotten used to sleeping in until 10:00 am).
But I'm back in the swing of things. Kind of.

In case anyone was wondering about the untied ends of my previous post...
Period- arrived
Mother- found


At 6:10 PM, Blogger zhl said...

Wow, you're the first person I've met (well, I call this meeting) whose husband has more nieces and nephews than mine does. He's (we've) got ten on that side.

And nope, despite the thought that went in to our gifts, I'm not sure they noticed.

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that christmas was manageable and that you're still around. Was beginning to worry.

Bummer about the period though. I had my hopes up.

At 7:09 AM, Blogger Lut C. said...

Sitting in a group of people that chat in a foreign language is so boring though, even if it spares you from the annoying comments and questions.

It's good to hear from you again.

At 8:27 AM, Blogger avonlea said...

Nina, I think there have been plenty of times I wished I could just zone out and not have to join in family conversations - this language thing sounds like a nice safe little wall - at the right time anyway.

Sorry CD1 hit, seems like it always does, doesn't it? I hope the DE thing works out with your sister. Maybe the boyfriend will be understanding.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Millie said...

So good to hear from you!

My in-laws are franophiles and like to talk about me in French--which they think I don't understant. Now, I'm not fluent but I had 4 years of French in high school and figure I'll just wait for the perfect moment to tell them I've heard them all along.

Love the photo album present. Very thoughtful indeed.

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Sparkle said...

You deserve a gold star for getting thru that. Plastic cup? Maybe they forgot about the adults with all those kids around?!
Sorry to hear about your CD1.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Pamplemousse said...

Oh good, you are back. I love the pic of the snow. I am so jealous.


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