Saturday, September 20, 2003

Today’s been a frustrating and wonderful day.

I woke up a little late, but not overly late. I left the house a little late, thanks to a particularly persistent telemarketer, but not overly late. I started the drive to Columbus, but quickly found myself stopped at a Random Roadside Checkpoint (the very presence of which not only slowed me down further, but annoyed me on account of its draconian anti-constitutional existence). I had to speed to get to Britt’s school on time; and when I did, she was late and I had to wait. As we left, road construction had backed up traffic all the way down Morse Road. It took me half an hour to get onto 71 again. And as I drove out of town, I noticed that I was low on gas. I stopped at the Pilot station in Sunbury which, as everyone in the world apparently knows, always has the cheapest gas. It took me another half hour to get gas and get back onto 71, and I don’t know how many accidents I narrowly averted in the process.

But I finally got Brittany home okay. I called my mom to see if she still wanted to go to El Campesino’s tonight. She’d forgotten that we’d made plans and already made dinner for herself and my father; notice, not for me. I was annoyed by this, but pleasantly surprised to find that my grandmother’s friends from Belgium had arrived on time. Apparently, my family is having a huge, and ultra-rare party tomorrow for them. I’m annoyed by the fact that I’d already promised weeks ago that I’d go to Cedar Point tomorrow; it isn’t fair to cancel the trip, everyone’s gotten off work and is all excited about going. But this is the first real family get-together my family has had in fourteen years, so it’s rather a slap in the face to miss. It’s also almost certainly the last family get together my family will ever have. If they’d announced the damn date at a reasonable time, I could’ve rearranged my plans. But being my family, they waited until yesterday to settle the date definitively, and so I’m screwed.

Anyway, I went to see Marie and Elsie at my grandmother’s house. Marie is my grandma’s best friend, and my mother’s namesake; grandma says they’ve been friends since before they started school together, which means they’ve been friends for over sixty years. I’ve never met Marie before because the last time she was in America, my mother was still pregnant with me. But apparently she’s been following my life all this time from afar. She talked about pictures of the little blonde-haired girl, and the little white-haired boy (my brother Brett). She was proud of the fact that I’m a university student, which is apparently a bigger deal in Europe than it is over here. She made me speak wobbling French and German to her. She teased me for being so educated and having such poor foreign language skills; she said she spoke five languages fluently and hardly graduated high school. I liked her a lot; I tend to like people who are intelligent and hostile to education. I liked her daughter Elsie too. They told me that I looked Belgian, like my mother. Almost no one says that I look like my mother; everyone claims me for my dad’s side of the family. They both gave me hell for not visiting them in Tongeren.

Tonight, Rory, Danny and I went to a movie. It was called Underground, I think, and it was kind of stupid. But I liked it okay. I was going to go to April’s afterward, but I called home first and found out my mom was sick. I want to be here when she’s sick, so I came home. She seems a little better now, though it worries me that she can’t sleep. Speaking of which, I probably ought to go and try to get some sleep tonight myself so I’m not dead tired all day tomorrow at Cedar Point. I hope it’s cold enough for a long-sleeved shirt!