I called my father up two weeks before American Thanksgiving, and in a feeble voice and roundabout manner, asked him quietly if he would bring me home for American Thanksgiving. He gave me a gruff response and told me not to get my hopes up. But my hopes were already up. The idea had entered my brain and had already consumed me. The urgency with which I wanted to return home shocked me. So my father's less than favourable response was disappointing. But, like me, he needs to adjust to an idea before he can fully accept it. So when he called me back a few hours later, his tone conveyed that he would be happy to allow me this ridiculously short notice request. My dad is the best, because he really and truly does try to accommodate to the best of his abilities. He doesn't let me be ridiculous, but he often goes above and beyond for me. And I know I don't often express my appreciation for that.
But I had some favourite parts of the weekend.
Young Josh picked me up from the airport. I had left really early and when I walked out of customs I expected to see his smiling face.
But he was no where to be found.
And I pouted... I still remember the couple of times when the people who were picking me up were over an hour late coming. And its a little disheartening to step off the plane and have no one there waiting for you.
So I called him.
And he cursed his luck.
Poor boy had arrived over an hour early to get me, but had to move his car three times, to stay in the free parking. And on the third time, he just knew that I would get out and he'd still be moving the car.
He was right. That did happen.
I was glad to have some time with Josh though.
And was pleasantly surprised to find Josh to be EXACTLY as he had been before he left.
And I don't mean that in a bad way. Because Josh has always been kind, funny, thoughtful, smart and wise.
And he is still all those things. Just now he has some mission stories to emphasize the points he already was making. It was surreal, the feeling that nothing had changed, while really, everything has changed. But Josh is just Josh. Constant and steady.
But two very funny moments happened while I was at home, the first involving Josh.
NUMBER ONE. I arrived home on Thursday and didn't tell anyone I had been mugged. I was embarrassed and really, how do you bring something like that up? So I just didn't say a word.
But Friday, Josh comes into my room in the morning and begins his usual banter to me. Well he grabs onto my hand (which had a large fingernail scrape down the back of it from the Wednesday night events), and I pull away.
"Ow, Josh! Dont do that. My hand hurts!"
"Why? What did you do to your hand?"
"Shut uuup! No you didn't. What really happened to your hand?"
"I got mugged. I don't know how to say this another way."
"Shuuut uuup. Seriously, you don't need to lie. For real, just tell me what really happened."
After going back and worth like that, I finally pulled out my phone and let him listen to the voicemail the District Attorney in Boston left me, saying they were charging the girl I had identified (the bigger girl) with armed robbery.
And only then did he believe that I was telling the truth.
It was hilarious that he wouldn't believe me.
Why would I make up such a story?
His first response after he began to believe me?
"You always have the coolest stories Melissa. Seriously, all the crazy stuff always happens to you."
He's not wrong. My life, for the most part, is never that dull.
NUMBER TWO. But Matt and Tiff came over in the afternoon and were on hold with an insurance company. My dad, Matt, Tiff and I were all sitting close and bantering back and forth, when Matt saw the huge scratch on my hand.
Matt: "What happened to your hand?"
Me: "I got mugged."
To which Tiffany responded "Moving on" and turned the conversation back to insurance.
I mean, I wasn't making a big deal of it, so I suppose its fair that other people didn't feel the need to either. I had been a little surprised by the response, but shrugged it off.
After they were off the phone, Matt, Tiff, my dad and I got in the truck to go eat lunch, and as we drove Matt brought up my hand again.
Matt: "Oh, so what happened to your hand?"
Me: "I told you, I got mugged."
Tiffany: "WHAT?! That was real? I thought you were just joking!"
Matt: "Are you serious?"
Dad: "Ya, she actually got mugged."
Tiffany was thoroughly horrified that she hadn't believed me at first. But I suppose the casual manner with which I mentioned it made it sound fictional. There were no tears. Just a matter of fact re-telling of the events.
I actually find it endearing that they couldn't believe that something like that would happen to me. Because seriously, who gets mugged? Its so unlikely and so random. And their responses are hilarious to me.
I love that Matt and Tiff tried really hard to make sure both sides got to see them and spend time with them. They came to the West Side for like fifteen minutes, just so they could see Dave.
I think that the division of family time is one of the hardest things when you get married. Because you go from spending all your time with YOUR family, and suddenly you have to sometimes miss things because you have another family that also wants your time and attention. I know that it was hectic to divide their time and resulted in several drives across the city, but I, for one, really appreciate the fact that Matt and Tiff make such a huge effort to let each of their families know they still love them and want to spend time together. And even let straggling siblings crash other family time.
Matt and Tiff are just my favourites. And I love getting to be around them and couldn't help but feel so excited that we had both made it home for American Thanksgiving. The combo of them together makes me laugh so much. And I often think I need to laugh more.
To be continued...