Did I say fun? I meant, um ... yeah.
So I survived my first family reunion. There were about 35 of us spread out over several trailers in my great-aunt's spacious and species-filled front yard in northern Colorado. Here are some -lights, both high and low:
1. No cell phone service. That doesn't bother me in that I need cell phone service, but it bothers me because I can't remember the last time I've been that removed from the rest of the world.
2. This same great-aunt providing my second cousin with a brand-new roll of duct tape to tape my mouth shut. I had to watch the final of the World Cup surrounded by people who are less mentally deranged when it comes to sporting events. And my mother, who pretended to be offended when I swore. And my sweet great-uncle, who pointed out that none of this was a big deal. In four years I'm kicking everyone out, locking all the doors, closing the blinds, sound-proofing my living room and screaming, swearing and cheering to my heart's content.
3. Some sort of relative wanted to have a cow patty fight. Rachel and I kind of egged her on. Then we went to bed. :) I don't think she actually went through with it.
4. There were seven or eight kids under age 18. No one was ever sure who was responsible for those children. Apparently, after my sisters, best friend and I skedaddled, the fit really hit the shan on this issue, if you know what I mean.
5. Went to a rodeo. 'Nuff said. The only redeeming feature to it was I got to wear my pink cowboy hat.
6. Going to the top of my great-aunt's 17,000-acre ranch. It was pretty amazing, although I was very glad to not be driving. I debated for a second taking my car up, then spent most of the way up there being glad I wasn't in charge and most of the way back dozing off. My aunt's massive 4-wheel drive truck did actually get stuck in some rocks and we sat in the back wondering if were in mortal danger or if we'd be walking the 8 miles or whatever back to the ranch. Fortunately, we made it. My mom, friend and I also spent much of our time in the back seat craning our necks at the vehicles behind us wondering if they would make it and wondering what Gail's definition of "not bad" road was.
7. I went horseback riding. Well, that's not true. I climbed onto a horse. I did eventually get Watermelon Willie to move, but most of the time I was on his back he did not move. He was under no impression that the person holding the reins was in charge. He knew I was an idiot.
8. Family. My goodness. I've never been around that much family. And it should be noted here that I am not a friendly person, nor am I particularly tolerant person at times. I about chewed my lip off not saying stuff sometimes. Karma is now taking its revenge on me; I've actually chewed the inside of my cheek four times in the last three days.
9. On Sunday night, I was sitting on the floor playing Go Fish with Disney Princess cards (mm-hmm) when I saw something run across the floor. In the amount of time it took that little mouse to squeak, I'd catapulted myself onto the bed and was hysterically shrieking about the mouse in the house. I didn't even bother washing my fact that night. And I shook out my shoes the next morning, just in case.
10. I feel a lot more normal now. Sure, I have issues, and sure, I'm genetically involved in some of the crazy -- but really, I'm doing pretty good.
But I still think two years is too soon. I'm not sure I'll have recovered from this one by then.
Coming tomorrow: the aftertrip and our adventures in and around Denver.