Thursday, May 3, 2012

Family Ruins Everything

Last night I had a family dinner to attend. It was with my two aunts, my cousin, and my mom. It's a girls dinner with pretty much the few members of the family that still all get along after my grandmother's death. (Irish Catholic blood feuds, ftw!)

It's very pleasant and I get a free meal at a nice restaurant.


It was Game 3 of the Capitals/Rangers series. It wasn't going to be a deciding game, as it's a best of 7 series, with a game a piece split, but still, playoff hockey is the bestest.

I watched the first period and a half before we had to head to dinner in Mill Valley.

And dinner was fine. The conversation is polite and my family is nice and all but I was itching to watch the hockey game.

I was also remaining spoiler free, no checking scores on the phone. I'd recorded the game and would watch it, at least snips of it, when I got home. Though I'm pretty anti-tape delayed live sporting events. A minute or two when you go grab some food? Sure. You'll catch up during the commercials. Hours after the event has concluded? The point of watching sports is the immediacy of the emotions that it gives you. At least for me that matters. If the game has already been decided and the conclusion foregone, I can just catch the highlights. I'm not as upset about a missed pass, see no purpose in yelling at the TV if I can't will a player to change his behavior.

Actually, dinner wasn't all that great. We were at this celebrity chef's chop house. As I'm still trying to avoid bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, beer & soda, I knew that I would cheat when there, I'm allowed a night. But not wanting to completely blow it, I ordered the steak frites, figuring if I'm gonna eat fries, they might as well be really good fries and at least the meat didn't come ensconced in a bun. My plate came and it was about five tiny bites of steak and 3/4 of a plate of fries. I realize this is the most first world problem ever. Still! Even though I wasn't paying, charging $26 for a small portion of steak and a large portion of fries annoyed the hell out of me. I seriously pondered asking for more steak but I'm too repressed and polite to actually do that.

The highlight came when my aunt was explaining to my lovable but completely ditzy cousin how to use a Kindle. My cousin had had it for a month or so but didn't understand it. Yeah, I don't know. So my aunt turns it on for my cousin and is explaining the features. This Kindle was pre-loaded with a few of my aunt's books. As my aunt is going through titles and giving my cousin brief descriptions about what she may or may not like. My aunt says, "Oh! This one is the diary of Wallis Simpson. Ya know, the divorcee? And then the King of England gave up the crown to get married..." My cousin interrupts, "He gave up the crown to MARRY A MAN?!"

I lost it. I was doubled over in laughter. First of all, the whole description was unnecessary. You should have some idea of who Wallis Simpson is. But that my Catholic school educated cousin didn't know and then thought my aunt's description meant...sigh. "What!? Wallis is a man's name!" Wouldn't that be the greatest scandal ever that you may have heard of if the King of England had abdicated the throne to marry a man? And cousin, who is older than I am, didn't have the vaguest.

We arrive back at home and I run downstairs. I'm way too impatient to watch the whole game but decide I'll get the score and if the Caps won, I'll watch a bit of the DVR, and if they lost I can just forget about it. They lost. In triple overtime. The game had apparently wrapped up a mere ten minutes before I walked through the door. I certainly hadn't set the DVR to record that long. The game started shortly after 4:30 local. It ended sometime after 9. No, almost 5 hours of hockey was not on my DVR. Highlights it is.

I missed an epic game. Which is probably for the best. Overtime is nerve-wracking. Well into three of them and I likely would have lost my mind. Even if it's for the best, it's still disappointing to miss. And lose. I can't decide if taking the number one seed New York Rangers to trip overtime is something to be really proud of from your team or to be completely devastated by playing almost an entire second hockey game only to lose. I guess it's a good thing I don't actually play so it's really not up to me how to feel.

On Saturday the Caps play Game 4. It's a really early puck drop. 9:30 local. Which, normally I'm barely up by that time. But this particular Saturday I have to go to my little cousins' first communion. Followed by some absurd lunch because my aunt is incredibly excited by this event. Which also likely means missing one of my other favorite sporting events: the Kentucky Derby. I love the derby. I love the day long lead up and the stories about the horses and trying to channel some childhood magic and make a pick that wins. But not this year.

I'm instead going to channel my dearly departed and staidly Catholic grandmother: first communions are supposed to take place right around Easter and to be on a Sunday when the whole church can celebrate. What the hell is with this Saturday crap and why are they doing it a month after Easter? *stomps foot*

Yes, mostly I'm annoyed about how this affects my sports watching. I'm also well aware that choosing watching TV over being out interacting with people is probably not the healthiest choice. But, I remain, despite what anyone wants to think, a good and dutiful daughter who does what she is supposed to so I will attend these Saturday events (which include going to church, grumble), with very little complaint. At which I will also be scolded if I drink. Be jealous.

(I feel like I have to put a disclaimer on this one, because it's a bit subtle: I do love my family and they are great and the twins are adorable and everyone sat through/sits through my crap all the time (Hi, Wednesday law school graduation!) so I'm not that put out. I'm mostly being facetious here. Though I really will miss the Caps game and if anyone spoils me, as I avoid technology, I will hunt them down and stab them with a pencil. (This seems like appropriate and just punishment.))

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