Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend: There's no better way...

I dreaded Mondays when I was in high school. Not for the typical reasons that most kids (and, well, adults) dread Mondays (the whole having to start a whole week over again), but because of the question.

The "what did you do this weekend?" inquisition that was par the course for Monday mornings in homeroom.

I hated admitting that I hadn't actually done anything social that weekend -- that the only thing I'd done other than studying and running a track meet was renting a movie with my parents.

"Yeah.... we made it a Blockbuster night," I'd say, my cheeks burning with shame as I pretended (unsuccessfully) to act like it was no big deal that I was whittling away my teenage years parked on the couch at home.

I was always impossibly jealous of my classmates who were doing the kind of things that normal high schoolers did -- going to the mall in mass groups, watching American Pie at an actual theatre and chugging beers at the house parties I was never invited to. I couldn't wait to graduate, go to college and finally be part of a social scene that did not revolve around my parents.

This might explain why I elected to go to school 2,000 miles away from them.

Some where along the line of playing "flip cup" at house parties and going to the Century 12 Evanston Theatre for study breaks, however, I started to miss those "lame" nights spent at home with my family. I distinctly remember one evening in particular when I called my mom while my brothers and future sister-in-law were over for dinner. She was making salmon -- my favorite -- and I could hear all of them chatting and laughing in the background. My heart stung with longing. Suddenly I was desperately jealous of my brothers that got to be home with parents while I was stuck in Chicago going to yet another football party.

Suddenly spending time with my family didn't seem so lame. When I graduated college a couple years later, it was one of the reasons that I immediately moved back to Southern California. I wanted to be able to see my parents and brothers on the weekends. I wanted to be able to tell people I'd had a "Blockbuster night" with my mom and dad when they'd asked me what I'd done on my Saturday night.

Tomorrow when I go to work, I won't feel any shame when I reveal what I did on my Memorial Day weekend. I'll be excited to tell my co-workers that I drove down to my brother and sister-in-law's house down in Rancho Santa Margarita. I'll gush about the artichoke heart and caramelized onion bruschetta my brother made. I'll rave about the grilled steak he served over corn puree, and the braised chard that some how rivaled creamed spinach in decadence. And my cheeks won't burn with embarrassment when I tell them how much fun my family and I had drinking wine, inhaling the platter of brownies I'd baked, and chasing my two-year-old niece around the house while she shrieked with joy.

In my mind, there's no better way to spend a Sunday night. Good food and good wine with the best company -- the people who loved me even when I was a painfully awkward track dork that nobody wanted to invite to their parties.


Anna A. said...

Lots of fun! I love reading your post ... ah what great reminiscing of high school. Blockbuster nights are what high school jocks did!

Esi said...

Your niece is adorable

Ashley said...

You can't tell me that you don't miss chasing down the drunk bus in the snow as it heads in to downtown Evanston from SPAC.

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

aww i used to spend my weekends the same way! but you're right those are the people who love you most and the best way to spend your time :) glad you had such a lovely Memorial day.

Kung Food Panda said...

family gatherings are pricesless. Those parties I'd say are forgettable :)

Nick said...

I didn't know you had family in RSM. I need to make that drive soon to visit my mother in Ladera Ranch. Sometimes those weekends are the best!

Diana said...

Anna - Haha, maybe you're right! Lame jocks rock! ;)

Esi - Coming from you, that is a huge compliment.

Ashley - Not as much as I miss dominating at beer pong. ;)

Nastassia - Aww it's nice to know I wasn't the only one who was a little lame in high school! I think the HS dorks always turn out to be the coolest people anyway!

Danny - Agreed. My family means the world to me - even when they are making fun of me and mocking my nonexistent dating life! ;)

Nick - You have family down there too? Nice! Are you from OC?

Robin said...

Hi there "Not My Cousin" :)

Such a nice post. You can't beat good food and family. Oh and the wine..can't forget the wine!

I am glad things are going well for you. I miss your rest reviews, but I gotta tell ya I LOL at the burning of the linoleum. I did it myself once.

Keep up the good work and Thanks for continuing the blog.

Take care, Robin

mybolgsallgood said...

Looks like a happy family. ommm love these foods. I am watching a movie in my LG LX9500

I need to do some food experiment now. lol