Reasonable Man and the kids left to go visit my in-laws yesterday, and I've been mightily enjoying having them gone. Folks will probably think it sounds terrible for me to say that, but I don't care. I don't really feel the need to defend the amount of devotion I feel for these people who live in the house with me. Also, I expect all three of them occasionally relish times when I'm not around as well. Besides -- show me a married mother of living-at-home-age kids who doesn't enjoy a little solitude once in a while, and I'll show you a woman who needs to get herself a LIFE already. In case I haven't already demonstrated my feelings on this subject clearly enough as of yet, being a wife and mother does not equal putting the needs of everyone else ahead of your own 24/7. Everyone needs a little alone time once in a while.
I should clarify to say that I spent the first ten hours my family was gone anything but alone -- I spent it in the company of my good friend Sue, her eight siblings, and a few of their assorted spouses and children. Sue's sister Loretta, her only sibling living in California, who was until two days ago the only sibling of Sue's I had met, is getting married today, so the whole clan is here for the big day. I met two of Sue's sisters (and one brother-in-law) Friday night, and the rest of the out-of-town sisters were there at Sue's by the time I joined them yesterday, and we all packed up headed down to the Bay Area for the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival.
I'll just say this. My dad is one of seven kids, so I'm no stranger to enormous gatherings of related people, but it's different when it's not your own family, and it can be highly entertaining to be there observing the dynamics in kind of the same way it was two years ago when I went to Reasonable Man's 15-year high school reunion. Don't get me wrong -- I had a blast hanging out with Sue and her family yesterday, and they couldn't have made me feel more welcome and a part of things if they'd tried. But I was still able to step back from it all for a few moments here and there and just see the different relationships between various siblings. Sue, who is always trying to take care of everyone, including me, is exactly the same way with all her siblings, which I find curious because she is one of the younger ones, the seventh of nine. Funny how that stuff comes out.
I enjoyed the Art & Wine Festival. I bought a wine glass and tickets for 4 glasses of wine (one of which I ended up giving to Sue's brother John, since it felt like a good idea to stop at 3), and I then I went on a quest for cute dangly earrings, which are a rediscovered treat since I got my contact lenses and a new short haircut. I also got a fitted gold toe ring, which was exciting since a) seems like everything you find is silver, and b) instead of being adjustable, it actually fits my toe and doesn't bend open, if you know what I mean. I hate the ones that open and then they get mishapen from being taken on and off and they get caught on your socks and all that. This is just a gold band with flower and leaf pattern on it and I can leave it on my toe forever and ever if I want. I probably went a little crazy with the earrings since none of them were exactly cheap, and two pairs have green, but that's okay. I also got some comfy lounging pants and a little bit of Christmas shopping done. So it was good.
I was home by 10:30, in bed reading by 11, and down for the count by 12, so that was nice. Slept in till about 8:30 this morning, then got up and had coffee and messed around on the computer for a while. Since I didn't go to the gym yesterday or Friday, I felt like I really should go today, but appeased my inner critic by riding my bike downtown instead. I got a couple of household necessities at the hardware store (why oh why are they finding lead in vinyl lunch boxes? more on this in another post), picked up a frappucino at Starbucks, and then spent a while messing around at Borders. I can kill a lot of time there, accompanied or not. Today I lingered in the "stationery, wrapping paper and other over-priced crap you don't really need" section, picking up some cute notebooks and a photo box that were 50% off and some scrapbooking stickers that were not. Then I dawdled for a while over baby name books. No, I am not planning to have anymore babies that need names, but I love baby name books anyway, and I do use them in my writing. Finally, I headed over to the True Crime section, where I was prepared to loiter for quite a while, but unfortunately, there was this dude there standing front-and-center by the shelf I wanted to look at, and he and his PowerAde or whatever his red beverage was were not moving. Fortunately I found a book I wanted on the shelf next to that one anyway. After that I went home, showered, and spent the rest of the afternoon screwing around on the computer some more and doing a few things around the house.
So anyway, that's how I wasted away my free time yesterday and today. All in all, a nice bit a peace, and now I feel refreshed and ready to go again...