Andrew and I talked to my parents tonight, and we finalized our Christmas plans and booked our flights.
Early on the afternoon of Saturday, December 22, Andrew and I will fly to Oklahoma City, where my parents will meet us mid-afternoon and drive us back to my hometown. We will remain in Oklahoma through Thursday, December 27. Late that afternoon, my parents will drive us back to Oklahoma City and deposit us at the airport for our flight home. Andrew and I should be back in Minneapolis that night no later than 9:00 p.m.
Andrew and I are dividing our Christmas and New Year holidays between our families. We decided that five days with my family would be enough, especially since my parents will also be hosting my mother’s sister and husband, too, over the holidays. My aunt and uncle will be driving up from Dallas on Sunday, the 23rd, and remaining in Oklahoma until Saturday, the 29th.
My parents’ house will accommodate—just—this number of people.
My parents own a four-level split-level house. The top level has three bedrooms and a bath. The next level has a living room, dining room and kitchen. The next level has another bedroom, a family room and a bath. The bottom level is a finished basement, used for storage, garden tools, computer and office equipment, and laundry equipment.
During the holidays, my aunt and uncle will stay in the guest room off the family room, and Andrew and I will stay in the basement. The basement is perfectly comfortable, and Andrew and I will be perfectly content there.
My aunt and uncle have never met Andrew, so this will be their first opportunity to get to know him. I know they will like him.
My mother adores Andrew—she is captivated by him; she was totally disarmed, if not swept off her feet, the first time she met him—and my sister likes Andrew very much, mostly because Andrew is so good-looking that my sister, a 17-year-old girl, can’t take her eyes off him.
My brother, on the other hand, is uncomfortable around Andrew. My brother is a 16-year-old high-school jock, and he finds it difficult to understand that a masculine and athletic and exceedingly handsome man like Andrew, seemingly heterosexual, is not interested in girls. My brother is polite to Andrew, but they have been unable to develop any kind of close bond. Perhaps that will come with the passage of time.
My father and Andrew do not really get along, and they never have. After a few early friction-filled encounters, they have learned to observe, scrupulously, a respectful, arm’s-length cordiality.
My father is an instinctive trial lawyer, and he made the mistake of taking on Andrew very early in our friendship—and my father quickly found out that he had bit off more than he could chew.
Figuratively speaking, my father scratched Andrew--and Andrew scratched back, much to my father’s surprise. Andrew got the best of my father in that encounter, and in the half-dozen ones that quickly followed. After that, Andrew and my father somehow arrived at a truce, which they have managed to maintain for well over a year.
My father DID realize, from his first encounter with Andrew, that Andrew was going to make a superb lawyer—and my father DOES like the idea of having more lawyers in the family. However, my father can be quite difficult when he wants to be, and sometimes he tends to get carried away, as my mother often reminds him.
I am not sure what Andrew and I will do while we are in Oklahoma. There is nothing much to do in my hometown, and we may find ourselves more or less housebound for five days. We may find ourselves playing lots of canasta, and watching lots of ESPN.
It should be interesting.