First Sunday of the Month

June 6, 1999

Today is the first Sunday of the month. Arg. The first Sunday of the month is when we have a command performance for dinner at my dad's house.

On the face of it that doesn't sound like it would be too bad. Don't have to decide what to eat or cook it. OK.

It's all the trappings that go along with First Sunday of the Month Dinner at Dad's that make me end the evening with a severe case of heartburn.

Trap #1: Dad. My dad is fine. Mostly. But he uses these dinners as his big opportunity to find out all the things we haven't done. My dad is a major control freak. Also, when discussing Zoe, he sees fit to ignore the fact that there are two parents present and only addresses me. This makes Chuck understandably cranky, and me none too happy. He'll torture us, in that special way that parents have. His torture is his own special brand though.

Trap #2: My dad is not a very good cook. He's OK if he makes the same sort of things every month. Steaks. They're OK, I guess; it's like a major carnivore fest. And there's always asparagus. (Chuck is certain that this is the only vegetable my family eats.) It's when he attempts to branch out and expand his culinary repertoire that there are problems. There will be something yummy and fattening for dessert. That sounds like it would be a good thing but it's not. In addition to the grown up dessert, my dad always buys something special for Zoe. So she ends up getting all tanked up on sugar just in time to go home and go to bed.

Trap #3: And perhaps the worst of them all--my sister. I have two sisters. One (#1) moved to London (I'm certain to avoid these monthly dinners.) And, my other sister (#2). She is a certifiable lunatic. As #1 likes to say, #2 takes other people's dramas and installs herself as a central figure in them. This is an understatement, if ever there was one.

Sister #2 makes everyone in the family crazy. She's disagreeable, petulant, bossy, obnoxious, moody, irresponsible, thoughtless, and downright unpleasant to be around.

Sister #2 and dad do not get along. At all. Yet, when he doesn't hear from her for a few days he calls me and wants me to call and find out where she is and why she hasn't called him back.

I bought into that drama. For a long time. Last time I just said no. Sorry dad, I can't do that. Long pause at the other end of the phone.

Shortly after that #2 called and informed me that she's done with our father and is never coming to First Sunday of the Month Dinner ever again. Gee, there's a disappointment.

I can hardly wait until it's time to leave to go to my dad's. Someone, please pass the Tums.

Until next time. . .