So I arrived. In one piece even. Despite the Texas po po pulling me over for being a potential terrorist twice. And Border Patrol tearing apart my car for weed and explosives - finding neither. (Because sitting in the car with a white kippah = terrorist.)
It's been a couple days now and I'm getting settled in - Nigel is still in shock at not being the only cat in existence in my universe - but he's recovering. Things are not quite as awkward as I had feared....but apparently I come from a whole tree of crazy, it's not just me.
FOX news is on all the time. I literally had to lure Dad away from it with LoTR yesterday because I was getting pissed and didn't want to start a fight opening my big mouth. PSY (of Gangnam Style fame) is EVOL because he apologised for something they never knew he did until he apologised for it - so my KPOP is bad, m'kay? That's FOX news for you - it's not enough to apologise, you have to be hated forever. (What he did was participate in a group performance in Korea a couple years ago that was protesting a drone bombing that killed kids and stuff. He had two lines he recited (in someone else's song) that could be considered anti-American if you listen to FOX 24/7)
My brother arrived today and has helpfully given me a run down on the topics that are forbidden with Dad - The President, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, anything positive about gays, brown people, etc. I knew that. But I had no idea that my parents were freaking BIRTHERS.
Yep, birthers. Benghazi is the current cry of anger of course, they have resigned themselves to another 4 years of brutal socialist dictatorship with their guns about to be taken away, but they seriously believe he was born in Africa because "his granny said so." Nevermind the reality of the rest of the universe, my parents are in the Orly Taits camp.
On the other hand, avoiding the list of designated rant topics and he's very keen on cars and cats. He's completely redone the car I learned how to drive in (1978 Mustang II Hatchback in ugly brown) to a completely badass red and black sexy monster. It's nowhere near stock anymore, but damn, it's a shame it didn't look like that back then. The 1967 Shelby GT350 is currently in pieces being restored AGAIN. Because he's my Dad.
Dad is called "Catmandu" by the kids in the neighbourhood because of his love for cats - he has 11 of them between the inside and outside. Nigel is horrified. He's been the spoiled king of his pirate domain for over a year now - it's a big change. He had just settled into the pattern of travel and stop - and then we got here. He informed us all rather indignantly that this was NOT Tom Bodett's house and he was NOT happy about the light not being on for him.
Now we have our own room - no other cats, not even overt cat smell in here directly because this was a cat free zone for my out of town Grandmother (yes, she expects me and my brother to call her that, our cousins got to make up cutesy names for her) because of her mythical cat allergy. (She just doesn't like animals in the house on principle.) For the last two days he hissed and growled at everything and everyone - and you know my Dad has been all up in here talking to him under the bed too.
I came in here last night after dinner to poke on the internet and he was sitting inside his carrier looking at me. He closed the top access flap on himself and informed me he was ready to drive back now. Yeah...no. Poor guy. Tonight he did venture out of the room a bit, then decided he wasn't quite ready to be that social just yet. He'll get there though.
Mum has been pretty cool, other than the birther thing. And hating on the President a little, but then she feels bad about it. I swear they think Sasha and Malia are going to be the Bush twins any second now. It's ridiculous. But the never said a bad word about the Bush twins...
We went over to my Mimi's yesterday while Dad fiddled with The Car - that's a whole other diary I think LOL - and gathered and shelled pecans from her tree for a pie tomorrow. It was just really nice to sit there with my Mama and Mimi and no one else just talking and cracking nuts like when I was a kid. She's 86, I don't know how many more times I might get to do that.
My Dad is having a hard time, but bless him, he is trying. He just wants nothing to have ever changed. I get that. Everything is black and white either/or in his universe, there are no shades of grey. I thought I took things personally - oh HELL no, I am a rank beginner. I don't know how that is going to play out, but in the meantime I have just tried to show as much affection as I can stand - and maybe a little more. (I'm a no touch kind of person, hugs and kisses and shit are for other people) My brother says eventually he will decide he wants to talk about things and try to understand - but I don't think I will ever have the words to give him the answers he seeks. But I do love them all very much - and I missed them. I just didn't know it.
Thank you to everyone who helped get me home - I think it's going to be ok.
And HELL YES I am going back to Oregon in the summer. It's already warmer and stickier than it has any right to be on Christmas eve.