Yes. It is me, your humble narrator ($5 to the person who can tell me what movie I got that off of). I am back from vacation. I did very well, thank you very much. Embedded in my genetic code (thank you dad) is a very keen ability to tune things out and ignore various happenings around me. This comes in very handy when trying to nap, dealing with the percussion section during band rehearsals, and most importantly when a 10 year old girl and my mother in law are having a fight about the 10 year old's sunburn and her refusal to put anything on to prevent said sunburn (sunblock) and her reluctance to take anything to soothe it (She cried that the Tylenol was not chewable and her momma always gave her chewable pills).
I also could ignore wife's family idiosyncrasies. A prime example is a trip to the grocery store when we first got there. First off, I must ask all of you in reading land, when you decide to go the grocery store, how long does it take you to physically leave the house? 3 minutes? 5 minutes? Immediately? Not for my wife's family. 45 minutes. That is the elapsed time between the time mother in law said "Ok, I'm leaving now for the store" to the time she actually left for the store. I can hear the murmurs now. What happened? Well, I have broken it down into a readable agenda for you.
2:00 Announce trip to store "now" for 4 items....creamer, ice cream, meat, toilet paper
2:00-2:10 Discuss who is going to store with mother in law, which really involves the three girls arguing over who is going, who isn't going, where they get to sit, pout about not going because its someones turn to sit up front with grandma, and just generally getting a few grown ups riled up.
2:10-2:12 Mother in law and Wife's sister tell girls they are spoiled and to get shoes on NOW because they are leaving NOW and they will be left behind. Also some veiled threats about being put to bed at 7, not going out for ice cream later, etc...
2:12-2:23 Discussion is held as to what else is needed at the store in a futile attempt to prevent future trips to store. Dinners are planned for 10 days, even though we are only there for 6.
2:23-2:32 Discussion on old family recipes and asking around on who knows how to make them or call the relative who does know how to make it. In addition, a discussion is had on "Second Dinner." Whats that? Its the full dinner they make in case you can't or won't eat the primary dinner. "Third Dinner" is always included in "Second Dinner"
2:32-2:35 Abbreviated "discussion" with the girls on why they are still not ready to go. More of a mini-fight.
2:35-2:37 Mother in law asks "Where's my purse?" and "Do you guys need anything?"
2:37-2:41 Search for the girls. Two are upstairs, one is downstairs still pouting about the sunburn she has (remember she refused sunblock, non-chewable Tylenol, and aloe gel cause "it burns") and the fact that nobody seems to care she is on the verge of death.
2:41-2:44 Gather lone girl from downstairs and wait for the other two, one needs to use the bathroom and one needs to switch shoes.
2:45 -5:00 Leave for 4 items, return 2 hours later with 12 full bags of groceries that won't fit anywhere because the fridge and pantry are full from yesterday's trip to the store. Then discuss what they forgot and start planning tomorrow's trip and do it all again!
Thats it! Except for the fact that this happens EVERY TIME they leave the house to go anywhere. Shopping trips are always the time intensive. One time, leaving for the swimming pool (after the girls were dressed) took 40 minutes. A trip to go get ice cream? 33 minutes. I entertained myself by thinking of what to do with all the money I am going to have after NBC picks up the screenplay I have submitted to them about a new TV show.....Gierchak Time!