If you can't say something nice, at least make it funny!

Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Friday, December 3

Holiday Diaries Part 1

So here I am, a week later, blogging about my Thanksgiving. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is bracing themselves for the madness that is the Christmas season. I finished NanoWrimo, cause I'm a winner like that. (kidding) I have actually rarely in my life set that huge a goal and carried through with it. I have 52000 nonsensical words that now have to be edited and stitched together to tell the story I wanted to tell, but it's there somewhere. I can't wait to get started on it. But that is for January.

I have neglected my blog readers, you poor babies, save for the weekly 100 Word  posts, so even if I have to write from memory, I pledge to post at least 5 days a week something original to keep you tuning in. (Not everyday is a laugh a minute, you know). I love all my blog readers, all dozens of you! If you don't already subscribe, feel free to do so through the link on the right side of the page. Updates will come right to you!

So, I am always amazed at the dichotomy between holiday celebrations with hubby's family and mine. We have been married 16 years and I never fail to be in awe at the energy, noise, laughter and activity carried on with at his family gatherings. The family is bigger now, and louder, but I love them all so much. He has 2 sisters and their husbands, we have a 4 and 5 year old nephew, and our niece (flower girl in our wedding 16 years ago) has two step-sons and a 6 month old daughter. There's always chaos, some craziness, yelling, running, laughing like crazy. Someone always falls down and there's drama. Sweet, wonderful drama. It can still be overwhelming for me at times, but it's nice to be part of a close family like that.

My family? Is mom, dad, brother, me and hubby. No kids. My brother isn't married. It is just the 5 of us, just like growing up it was just the 4 of us. My mom, 76 this year, doesn't even cook holiday meals anymore. We all travel to Nashville to partake in gross overeating at the holiday buffet at a local upscale hotel where my brother and I used to work. We've done this for at least the last 8 years. It is peaceful, relaxing and gets us out of town. However, no leftovers and you feel stuffed the entire day.

Then we come back to mom and dad's and hubby and I play cards with them, brother walks back to his house next door to watch tv. This is how all my holidays were growing up. No other siblings, no extended family, just us. Even now, it is so quiet the tv doesn't even go on, you hear the clocks ticking. We usually sit and play cards just the four of us. This year, however, things almost got out of hand.

We came home in our usual food coma, hubby and I remarking how nice it was to just live across town now rather than hours away. My mom and dad immediately got out the cards for a card game. While I fixed us something to drink, mom is talking about how their cards were worn out and she had bought new cards. Now, we play a card game in which you need 2 decks of cards. I've heard it called Shanghai Rummy or Progressive Rummy. It is a sometimes crazy and extremely long card game with at least 10 different hands that you have to get through. It can literally take 2 or 3 hours to play one complete game, depending on how many players.

So we start dealing out the cards and everyone is talking about how great the new cards feel and how nice it is to have new ones. We are playing the game, drinking our soda and having a good time. We're something like 4 hands in and my husband notices something isn't right.

"I just want to ask a question. We play with 2 decks, right?"
"Yes" we all agree.
 "Hang on a minute, something isn't right here." He says.
Oh, lord, I think. What in the world?
Mom and dad look concerned.
"Well, if there are 2 decks, wouldn't there be two of each card? Like the 8 of clubs, there would be 2 of them right? There are 3 of them showing on the board right now." he says, confidently.
I just sit there holding my breath. If there's one thing my parents don't like it's confidence. I just look at the both of them waiting for them to agree.
"No" my dad says, "there would be 4." he's pretty sure about this. Crap, I'm gonna have to weigh in against him.
"No, dad, I think there would only be 2." I say quietly. By "I think" I meant, "c'mon seriously? four? who taught you math?"

Now, I just want to interject that my dad is like the rain man of card games. He is seriously sharp when it comes to not only knowing what he has but where the other cards lie, who has them and how to keep them from getting what they want. That sort of acumen when it comes to cards is astonishing to me. Get him and my uncle together and you got some heavy duty games of Rook. Me, I can barely keep up with what I need, let alone what everyone else is playing.

So, I am shocked at him saying this, needless to say. I look at my mom, then at hubby. I start doubting myself, really are there 4. No, there can't be.
"No, there are 2" hubby says.
"No, there aren't there would be 4 of each." dad says.
This continues back and forth for way longer than was comfortable for me. Mom and I are sitting there looking back and forth like we were at a tennis match.
I try to intervene. "Dad, there is one complete set in every suit. Right? Ace to King, right. So there is only one 8 of clubs in each deck, which means there would only be 2 in this deck. There may be 4 BLACK 8  but there are only 2 8 of clubs, and 2 8 of spades. Right?"
Dad, with his best, "You're Wrong" face, I remember it well from childhood. "NO, there are four. There are four of each. Four."
This goes on for several more minutes "two" "four" "two" "four"
I felt like I was in some new whacked out Quentin Tarantino version of a Bud Light commercial.

Then, hubby does it. He escalates it to epic proportions from which there is no return.
"Jack, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but that is just wrong."
Dead silence at the table. It was like the standoff at OK Corral.

Dad=STAREY FACE @hubby.
Hubby=STAREY FACE @dad
Me=STAREY FACE @the table

Mom, ever the peacemaker, or at least problem solver and practical thinker, breaks the silence and scoops up the cards on the table. "Well, we just need to count these out and see. Here, lets sort them."

Dad was having none of it, he would NOT let go of the cards in his hand. Fifteen minutes later, they were pried away from him and it was indeed revealed that most cards in the first 2 decks were right, but there were 3 or 4 numbers that had 3 of the cards, and another 4 or 5 that only had 1 of each card. Those decks were WHACKED!! Finally he said, like, 5 times, "I don't understand, it was a new deck, I broke the seal on it right over there!" pointing to the living room.

"Mom? Where did you get these cards, they are messed up!" I asked.
She walks over to get the boxes to show the broken seal. "Where did you get these?" I ask again. It is mass chaos at this point, cards all over the table. "Here I have 2 more brand new decks" she says tossing them on the table. "Mom, where did they come from?" I ask again.

"Yard sale, they came from LAS VEGAS though." she said in a reverential tone, finally spilling the beans. As if everything in Las Vegas is exactly as it appears. Picking up the box I see that they are souvenir cards from a casino that had been used, marked, and repackaged.

"Maaauuuuhhhhmmmm, MOM, seriously? These are cards that were used in the casino and they repackage them as a novelty souvenir, you can't play with them." Hubby and I start laughing hysterically. At this point I figure the game is over. But she insists on opening one of the other packs too. I insist on matching them up to be sure all the cards are there. Sure enough, one deck is missing 5 cards and the other is missing 3. "GOOD GOD WOMAN!! What are you trying to do to us?" I bellow, in between laughter.

"Wait, I have more" she says, running back to her hidey hole and coming out, raccoon like, with 2 more decks in hand. "They have different pictures on the back, but I think they'll work." Sure enough, each deck had a different Las Vegas scene, but consensus was that it wouldn't interfere. After matching up cards, the room quieted down and I began to shuffle the 2 decks together. It was my turn to deal, but something wasn't working right.

"Oh, good lord, these aren't even the same size!!!!!" I explained. Sure enough, one deck was at least 1/8" shorter than the other, making it impossible to shuffle. "Mom. Seriously. What kind of low-rent card game is this?" At this point hubby and I are hysterical. "Did you get these at the same yard sale?" I am howling with laughter.

"Yes, I did." she replied, not seeing what was so funny. "I bought a bunch of them, Do you know your father wanted to pay $4 a pack for cards at WalMart."

I exclaimed.

My family. Honestly...

just a note: Y'all my parents are not desperate for money. they can afford $8 for 2 decks of cards, my mom is just a miser. I called her on Tuesday and told her they were $1 a pack at the Dollar store for new Bicycle cards. No word yet on whether she bought them.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, really thought I would be escorted from the property there... It was ALMOST as bad as the time I tried to pick up the check after Sunday dinner. BIG NO-NO..