First, on a funny note: I have finally gotten brave enough to leave the house to go to the gym without a bit of makeup on and all my crazy hairs thrown into a ponytail. If you ask me, I am quite the sight. To make it oh so much more fun, I also go out to lunch after leaving the gym with my parents a few times a week. Always, always I hope not to run into anyone that I know and that’s usually not a problem. Today I was not so lucky. We were in Charlie’s Barbeque at Pelham and 14 and this guy at the table next to me asks if I can pass him the hot sauce and then the ketchup to use. While I am passing, I notice the guy across from him kind of staring at me. He says, “Hey, Mandi! Do you remember me?” I look and think for a moment, but I don’t know the guy. “I’m Rocky Howard, from high school.” I think OH CRAP, consider crawling under the table and mumble something about it being my luck to run into someone after I’ve just come from the gym. Rocky Howard was that guy in elementary school that EVERY girl (yes, including me) had a crush on. I would write his name down the margins of my paper and cry over his lack of affection for me all through 3rd – 5th grade. I had it bad for the guy. In middle school, I realize that I’m a good foot taller than him (as was I to most boys) and that it would never work. But still, why did I have to run into him looking like God-knows-what and smelling like WHOA. I’m vain to even care, I know.
On the way home from lunch I get a message from my MIL and call her back. This Sunday is Easter and the plan was to go to church with her and then have an Easter lunch at her newly remodeled house with the Presley’s, my family and some of her friends from church. But, there was a delay with the cabinets/countertops and the kitchen will not be ready. So, she said we’d all go out to lunch for Easter instead, then go to the house and hang out in the back yard. Now, I realize that not everyone has grown up with the same traditions as I have, so some of you 10 people who read this will say, “I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?” To me, you just don’t go out to lunch on Easter. You eat lunch at some family member’s house, you have an egg hunt in the back yard and you take pictures by the blooming dogwood tree and azalea bushes. You just don’t go to a restaurant. Here’s the other thing: my family was all going to drive to Anderson so we could all eat together at the new house. I’m not sure my family is going to want to drive an hour to go eat out, thus separating us all on Easter, which has never happened.
While talking to her about these new arrangements, I kind of “uh huh”ed and “yeah”ed through the conversation. Then, being the chicken that I am, I hang up with her and call Jeff. I spill the new plan to him and just wait to see what he’s going to say. Thankfully, Jeff gets me. He says, like the angel he is, “You know your parents aren’t going to drive to Anderson to go out to eat. And, you just don’t eat out on Easter. I’ll tell her that’s not going to happen. Start making plans to eat at our house or your parent’s house.” I’m not sure that’s going to fly with her. I mean, she was really looking forward to having Carter at HER church on Easter. And, I know that his parents think I’m the one that puts Jeff up to the decisions that WE make for our family. But, they’re wrong. I ask him if, when he talks to her, he can just make it sound like it was all his idea. He won’t agree to that. He says that we’re married and we make decisions together for our family and that’s it’s her problem if she wants to throw blame on one or the other. Yeah, not that simple from my point of view. She’ll still think I put him up to it and be all weird the whole day. And, I’ll have to act like nothing is wrong while she and Mike sulk about being at our house.
What would you do?