It is hard to be almost 40 years old and not be in charge of my own destiny for the two weeks I am in Hawaii with my parents. I have gotten over the thing where my mom has to clear the table the moment that everyone is finished eating, sometimes earlier. And the part where she saves every piece of uneaten food (there were leftover scrambled eggs in the fridge for three days) or how she piles the leftovers onto my dad's plate so she doesn't have to save them, and then later berates him for how much he ate. I'm also getting much better at watching her watch me eat, knowing that she is wondering how I can sleep at night while being so fat. There are a lot of little things I have learned to ignore. But here's the thing: When I'm with them, I don't get to choose what I'm going to eat for any meal. I don't get to watch TV, unless my parents are in the mood which means Larry King if my mom has the remote, and Deal or No Deal if my dad is in charge. (This time, I had to watch the GD Olympics. Just how many times am I supposed to watch someone ski down the same hill? And its only interesting when they're bad at it!) I don't come and go as I please like I do at home, my dad undermines my parenting, my mom gives me pleading little looks when I discipline my kid, but all of these things I can deal with because I get to be in Hawaii, drinking mai tais at noon, but every now and again, things get a little weirder.
Rob joined us the second week of our trip...
***Hold on, I have to go on a tangent: for reasons I cannot fathom, my parents think it is hilarious to make me mad and watch my blood boil. They like to wind me up, and then they laugh so hard tears come out of their eyes while I am ready to start throwing punches. I don't understand this, but its been this way my whole life. When the laughing is mostly over, they like to invoke St. Rob, and pity him that he has to be married to me, and pity him that he has to work so hard, and they tell me, "He'll take our side, just you wait!" Apparently, they think I'm some sort of shrew, and if forced to push one of us in front of the bus, I would have tire tracks on my torso so fast it would make your head spin, and they'd just pour St. Rob another cup of coffee. So the first thing I said to Rob when I saw him at the Honolulu airport was "You're on MY SIDE! Don't forget it! MY SIDE! You have to protect me from them!!" Moving on...
The second night Rob was there, my mom goes, "I think Leila should sleep in our room tonight" She insisted on it. This meant that Rob and I would be alone in the second bedroom, without a romance-crushing 8 year-old on the sofabed next to us. Now, I don't want to seem ungrateful, but its a little creepy when your mom is trying to get you laid. Even creepier that she's trying to get her son-in-law laid. Creepier still when your dad is sitting right next to her watching Olympic curling while she is trying to get you both laid. All I wanted to do in the bed alone with my husband was watch some TV that wasn't Olympics or Larry King, but the pressure! Jeez! I had no choice! I felt like I'd be letting down my mom if I didn't have sex with my husband, and that somehow she would know that I hadn't done it just by looking at me across the breakfast table in the morning, and it would be "poor Rob" all over again! And, while we're at it, how creepy was it for me in the morning after I had done it, knowing that my parents knew that that's what I'd been doing??? We made the mistake of spending our wedding night in a bed and breakfast and in the morning all the other lodgers were looking at us, like We know what you were up to last night!, and the morning in Hawaii was just like that!
No sir, I didn't like it. I think having quiet sex in the corner of the bed with all the lights off while the kid is fast asleep is preferable. I think having sex in the rental car down in the garage is preferable. I think sneaking into the bathroom and pretzeling ourselves around the bathtub is preferable. I haven't done any of these things, but I can't imagine they'd be worse than my mother practically tucking us into the bed, and throwing on some Sinatra.
So, here now, for your enjoyment, is me, on stage with a bunch of other women and children, shaking our money makers for the Samoan Chief. Now that I think about it, it was remarkably easy for the performers to get us all to do this. I want to tell you that while I was shakin' it, I thought I was holding my arms really straight up, and was amazed that I had the physical strength to do it. Duh... So, Rob messes up the video of the kid performing at the variety show, but this he gets right. Awesome.
Don't say I never did anything for you...
You look great!
he commented positively on your shaking!
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