Monday, February 26, 2007


Last Thanksgiving Greg and I had plans to go to his family's house for dinner. Then he found out he had to go out of town (to Mexico! where they don't even have Thanksgiving) that whole week, and would be gone Thanksgiving day. I decided, since I already had a couple of days off work, to drive up to N. Georgia on Wednesday to see my parents. Since it was such a last-minute thing, I decided not to tell them -- it'd be a surprise! I was planning to just show up, call Mom from the hallway, then while I was on the phone with her I'd knock on her apartment door... She'd tell me to hold on a minute, someone's at the door... And it'd be ME!

Unfortunately, I mentioned it to my brother and sister (who also live in GA) and they were appalled. Mom HATES surprises, they kept saying. My sister even threatened to tell Mom if I wouldn't. I really felt very strongly that they were wrong, but they were so insistent... I couldn't decide what to do, so around Valdosta I decided to compromise by calling Mom and Dad and telling them I was on the way.

They were thrilled! They actually didn't have anything to do on Thanksgiving day, since a relative who lived several hours away was hosting the family, and they didn't think they'd be able to handle such a long day.

(Actually, this is how the whole thing with my brother/sister got started: My brother and sister-in-law had planned to swing by on the way home, which was out of their way, to bring Mom and Dad plates of food; I wanted to let them know in advance that they didn't need to.)

So I eventually told Mom about my original plan, and she was SO DISAPPOINTED! Oh, man. Apparently they used to live in Virginia Beach (this is way before I was born) and practically every weekend a big pile of out of town relatives would show up on their doorstep saying Surprise! And bringing a bunch of kids to use up all the towels and track in sand, and stay for days... I can just imagine my Mom going around the whole weekend, running to the grocery store again and again, doing tons of loads of laundry, muttering "I hate surprises... I hate surprises!"

But of course, it's not the same at all, now. Mom and Dad live in a retirement home, so the only thing they'd have to do is let me take them out to restaurants, and have the traditional fight-over-the-bill. They don't have to do my laundry or cook for me, or anything.

So! I am already reserved in the Guest Suite at the place where they live, I've arranged for vacation days for March 19/20/21, and -- most importantly -- I have not and will not mention anything to my brother or sister!

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