Growing up, the holidays truly never disappointed in the Terzis household. Before visions of Norman Rockwell dance in your head, let me clarify: We’re really talking more Griswalds. Someone kept screaming “Save yourself!” It was me, and too bad I never listened.
This year we’re heading to Connecticut the day after Christmas. The trip happens sans Real Estate Dad because he’s got other things to tend to. This is unfortunate because it means I’ll have to be extra vigilant, watching the girls like a hawk. Not because of their behavior, but because of everyone else’s.
I’m still scarred from our visit to the Pez Factory two years ago. My family felt compelled to teach the girls how to “sample” the different pez flavors from the dispensers specifically meant for purchase by the pound. By “sample” I mean “steal” because the pez were above a giant sign that said, “Not for sampling.”
When I vehemently stated, a la a verbal “strongly worded letter” that teaching our 2 and 4 year old how to steal is not right and not something we want them to learn, it was justified:
“Oh don’t be silly. Everyone does it.”
You know how people say, “Oh I grew up like this and I’ll never do it to my kids?” and then most of us turn into our parents? Nope. That right there will not be passed down to this generation.
Tonight I tried to FaceTime everyone’s ipads to ask a question (unrelated to the Pez debacle) about the impending visit. No response. So I had to, gasp, dial the house phone.
My Dad: Hello?
Me: Wow, it’s so weird to dial the landline since now we only talk on FaceTime.
Dad: Who is this?
Me: Really? You have no idea who this is?
Dad: No. No idea.
Huh. It’s gonna be a good visit. I’m already thinking that 4 days might be too long.
No real surprise though. There was that one year I landed at Westchester County Airport for Christmas. I had been summoned by my mother to come, when in reality we weren’t on the best terms that year. Or the several years before.
This was in the days when you landed on the runway, walked down the stairs, across the tarmac and into a building that looked like a storage shed. You’d say out loud: “THIS is an airport?” Yes. It was.
Thankfully it’s been expanded and it no longer looks like that. Or so I hear.
My Dad, who was supposed to pick me up? Nowhere to be found. I thought this was where they were just going to stick it to me and probably did this on purpose. But, I finally decided to call. What follows ranks as one of the stupidest conversations I’ve had in my life.
Me: Hi, is someone coming to pick me up?
Mom: No, your flight was canceled.
Me: No it wasn’t because I was on it.
Mom: Melissa, your flight was canceled. The airline confirmed it never took off the ground.
Me: And I’m telling you, I know I moved out of New York 3 years ago, but I still know what it looks like. I guarantee you, I am standing in Westchester County.
Mom: Let me see what they told me. Yes, here it is – they said your flight was canceled and not rescheduled.
Me: We could go around like this all day. If you’re not coming to get me, I’ll call one of my friends and go hang with them for the weekend.
Mom: Okay okay, your father is on his way.
When my dad peeled around the corner and I got in the car, the first thing he said to me was
“Who the hell are you?” “Your flight was canceled. Mom called.”
I just grunted.
When we walked into my parents house, my mom yelled, “MELISSA!” with an enthusiasm I haven’t heard since probably the day I was born. I smirked, turned to my brother and said, “Okay, what did you do now?”