Because I have 3,204 things to do at work today, I’m lazy and I heart plagarism, here’s my weekend, as told by Martini.
The Farm – Part I…..”Can Grandma make you some toast?”
Blogging from the Denver airport (my layover spot before heading home) where I’m operating off minimal sleep (more on that later) and with a cold fighting it’s way to invade my nose and lungs. Doesn’t help that Coughy McCoughersons over here to my right has decided it’s an inconvenience to him to cover his mouth when he spews his Starbucks-filled mucas around the waiting area. He smells like pumpkin spice latte and unwashed socks.
So, the famunion. Seriously, what is more fun than a farm, extended family members with illegitimate children and – news to me – some rap sheets for domestic battery and a grandma who keeps offering you toast?
After flying into Minneapolis on Friday, my BFF Mrs. Jenna and I drove up to the town of less than a thousand that my grandparents have been farmers in since god invented cows. Similarity between Hef and my grandparents – neither believe in redecorating their houses. Ever. And they both love wood paneling.
Having arrived last out of all the family members, our previously “reserved” room had already been snagged by a single aunt, so Mrs. J and I were ushered to our lesbian honeymoon suite in the damp basement with an average temperature of 43 degrees.
Now, I love my grandparents and I realize they’re 129 years old and still manage to keep up with a five-bedroom farmhouse, two barns, six cows, a handful of chickens and a gazillion acres of land, so interior design matters are understandably not at the top of their list.
And I will fully admit I am an accommodations snob and am only getting worse with age. (The words “motel” or “tent” don’t compute in my brain any longer.) So take it for what you will when I say I feared for my life in the basement bedroom.
Exhibit A: The bed was 400 years old and smelled like dead people. (And sort of felt like dead people too…..which I imagine would be uncomfortable to sleep on, as was this.)
Exhibit B: There were cobwebs in every corner of the room. “Where were the inhabitants?” I wondered?
Exhibit C: There was a closet that I feared held the dead people we smelled. (I did NOT open it, and in fact placed a chair in front of it…..you never know.)
Exhibit D: The bathroom next door (and I use that term “bathroom” loosely as it was really a glorified closet with a scary toilet inside) was currently being rented out by a family of grasshoppers that all threatened to climb up into my lady parts if I thought for a second of obeying my bladder.
Mrs. J and I decided to use the upstairs bathroom to get ready for bed instead but before I could even get there, I was assaulted with a barrage of gossip from my adorable but too-much-Hills-watching 19-year-old cousin, K., who may or may not slightly look up to me in the way one would when they imagine my moving to a city with a population of over a mil must mean I automatically live like Paris Hilton.
She had brought with her to the reunion her boyfriend, a cute little baggy-pants-wearing boy-bander-lookalike that had somehow snagged prime real estate in the upstairs living room pull-out couch with a TV and – get this – down comforter.
Who’d he F to get that bed? Jezzus.
Anyhow, the first thing K. wants to know all about, with wide-eyed young wonderment that really should be reserved for something less shallow, is the Mansion.
K: “So, are you going to be one of Hef’s new girlfriends? Is it true Holly moved out? Have you met Kendra? My boyfriend totally wanted to meet my ‘Playboy bunny’ cousin. You just made his day.”
Before I could explain the difference between actual Playboy Bunny and random girl who attends parties fully clothed, she unloaded the latest fam gossip on me.
K: “So did you hear about [Cousin X]? He might go to jail! His girlfriend is saying he hit her! Did you know I hate [Cousin Y]? She’s such a whore. She told Grandma that me and my boyfriend were sleeping together and then Grandma goes and tells my mom!”
Me: “Uh…..wow…um….well, I guess you’re an adult now so you can fu—I mean, sleep with boys.”
K: “I knowww-ah, right? And anyhow, [Cousin Y’s] boyfriend changes bed pans for a living and he has weird teeth. He’s so ugly and she called MY boyfriend ugly. UGH! Are you still dating [long-term-ex]?”
Me: “No, actually now I’m dating –“
K: “Yeah, your sister said [LT-ex] was WAY too nice. Did you know that [Cousin Z] is a lesbian? She brought along a GIRL to the reunion! I mean, you did too but, you know, she looks lesbian.”
(Bring on the lezi rumors about me. BRING ‘EM.)
K: “We watched the debates with Grandma tonight and she said she can’t believe a ‘colored person’ might run the country! Can you believe that?!”
At this point, my head was throbbing from TMI-overload and I could utter no more response than a double eyebrow raise. Plus, now K.’s boyfriend – who I already knew too much about – was laying in bed shirtless and I felt we were crossing a family-pervy-threshold. I made a hasty exit for the cobweb room (with a quick stop off in the kitchen to search in vain for a wine bottle opener which I could NOT find – DAMMIT WHY DIDN’T I BRING ONE?!).
Sober and freezing and laying in a room where horror movies should be made, Mrs. J and I watched Oceans 11 on my portable DVD player to try and help us forget we were possibly going to be eaten alive by a myriad of oversized insects and/or zombies in the night.
It didn’t work. Between the mattress that felt like an army cot laid over a pile of rusty pipes and a blanket the thickness of toilet paper, I got a total of 14 minutes of consecutive sleep. As early as the sun rose, I did too and knew there was no hope for getting a second more of sleep. Besides, at 10 a.m., we were due for the beginning of the Martini Family Olympics.
Mrs. J and I nixed showers (what was the point when the water came from a well next to the cow barn?) threw on eight layers of warmth and faced the day.
We went upstairs for breakfast where my Grandma offered toast to us for the first of 27 times that weekend. Grandma loves toast. The other option was some unidentifiable “meat hash.” Mrs. J chose toast while I passed on both and instead went for the stash of food we had [smartly] brought with us (green tea and bananas).
I don’t know where people get this idea that as a total priss of a girl I’m no good at competitive games. I LOVE competing. Just ask Italy. I’ll race him to see who can get pillows into the newly-washed pillow cases first or who can down their glass of chardonnay the fastest. I am a competitive whore.
Ok, so maybe those aren’t really “athletic” games. My family was so convinced I would suck a-hole at all of these stupid games they came up with that I was determined to prove them wrong.
I went with full gusto to a game where you used a fishing pole to try and throw a metal lure thingy into a bucket. I nutwrapped with the best of them (it’s this game that involves golf balls on strings and throwing them at some PVC-pipe structure and getting them to wrap around).
I played something called Carpetball that was like, pool for re-res. I even – get this – played VOLLEYBALL. If you knew me as a wee-one, you know I was the girl who stepped aside when the ball came towards me in gym class. Not this weekend. I attempted to – and even was successful at least three times – in making fist-to-volleyball-contact.
So, OK, Mrs. J and I and our self-named “Super Unicorns” team may have lost at every game we attempted, but we still did it. And when it came time for the toughest game – some convoluted treasure hunt my uncle came up with that involved a compass, the woods and following directions like, “Head 189 degrees southwest for 62 paces,” we went in balls to the wall.
The idea was to collect a clue (aka a piece of paper stapled to a tree) at each of the seven pit stops (this was totally Amazing Race, but the redneck version). My uncle said it was taking teams about 45 minutes to complete.
So what if it took Mrs. J and I an hour and a half? WE FOLLOWED A COMPASS DAMMIT. I sometimes get lost on my way to the kitchen, so this was a feat beyond my wildest dreams. By the time we’d gotten back, we were exhausted, covered in random wood foliage, sort of smelled like skunk and traumatized from a run-in with a grass snake.
My family showed their pride in two ways – 1.) By not at all noticing we were even gone for double the time most people were (yes, we’re alive!….if anyone cares) and 2.) By having lunch without us.
Yum….more meat. Thank god I picked up my “savory, teriyaki marinated tofu” on the way.
After lunch I could only think one thing and it wasn’t “When do wheelbarrow races start?”
It was, “When the hell were people going to start drinking?”
I asked my stepmom, well-known family boozer, “Is it too early to open a bottle of wine?”
She held up her coca-cola bottle and said, “You can have some of this. It isn’t exactly coke.”
Part II – Mrs. J and I find ourselves ostracized from the family Olympics and then, I, unfortunately, get to put my Red Cross first aid training to use.