Last Saturday I celebrated an early Father's Day with my family -- what I called the "'Smith' Family Pre-Father's Day Extravaganza." It consisted of bowling with my parents and brother and a lovely dinner, followed by a showing of "The Blind Side." I should point out that I call all events "The 'Smith' Family [Name of Holiday] Extravaganza." Of course, I'm the only one in my family who does this. I think it makes everything more special. Try it sometime.
(In the future, I'm considering switching it up and using "Celebration" instead of "Extravaganza." Opinions?)
This is me -- in New Jersey, if you couldn't tell -- right after enjoying our delicious meal of Cuban food:
(It looks like I'm posing, but really I'm demonstrating my sense of direction, which I do not have. At all. When I started driving, I repeatedly asked my parents to draw maps to places I had known all my life. My mother, who was born with a compass in her brain, was flummoxed by this. She gave in and started drawing maps for me when my father explained that they had agreed to love me no matter what. Later, when my brother inherited my car, he opened the glove compartment and was buried under dozens of scraps of paper bearing all the places I had driven during the previous four years.)
In any case, my pre-Father's Day "Extravaganza" made me realize something important -- I am very lucky to like my family.
I always find it strange when people tell me they aren't close to their siblings. And they seem to find it equally strange when I say that my brother and I are good friends. My family is no Norman Rockwell painting, but he was painting an ideal that never existed. In real life, all of those scenes would have been captured about five minutes before everybody started arguing.
I know this, because my picture was taken about five minutes (give or take 15 hours) before we all started arguing. However, when we calmed down and apologies were exchanged, we sat down at the dinner table and carved our Thanksgiving turkey.
Wait...I think I'm flashing back to Rockwell's "Freedom From Want":
What I meant to say was, we sat down at the kitchen table and planned a family vacation.
Or as I called it, "The Smith Family Vacation-Planning Extravaganza."