Oh my god, this weekend… I don’t even know where to start, really. So. The plans were simple enough:
Saturday: Dress shopping, Ramon’s family coming to town, dinner with his family and my mom/brother
Sunday: Engagement party, Ramon’s family leaves.
To start, I got really sick this week. Like, hacking cough and sore throat and fever sick. And due to my desire to stay employed another month and my employer’s problematic attendance policy and penchant to disagree with a certain diagnosis despite two doctors signing off on it… I had to keep going to work while feeling like complete and utter shit. So I suffered through the week, barely slept at all due to the coughing and end up having to be sent home from work on Friday (Which may cost me my job, we’ll find out Tuesday when I go back). Moral of this paragraph is that I started off this weekend exhausted, stressed, sick and then I got my period.
Friday night I could not sleep at all. I cumulatively got about 3 hours… on top of all the coughing I also had insane lower back pain where I was basically doubled over. My friend Natasha was picking us up at 11 to go to the bridal store in Mississauga (Due to needing to order the dress in the states we had to go to David’s Bridal since they work between both countries.). The always lovely Phaedra went and got me some pain compresses for my back that were helping marginally and we left town in a thunderstorm, crammed into Natasha’s little car. (Me, Phae, Joy, our friend Jen & my friend Natasha).
We made it to Mississauga and my back was just in excruciating pain again and we get to the store and it’s a madhouse. We have an appointment but people are running around stressed out and we learn the construction next door has fucked something up and flooded half the store. They’re down to only a couple dressing rooms, all the appointments are behind, they might be closing the store, etc. I’m already in a great mood because I’m 1) sick 2) overtired 3) in pain 4) a generally stressed out person. We tell them we’re from out of town but there’s people there from farther than us and it’s just a madhouse.
So, I sit down… Natasha and Phaedra go and look around and come back to say that the area with the plus size dresses is not part of what’s closed off and we might as well just look. I’m… pretty upset at this point and in a lot of pain and I just want to go home but they (thankfully) convince me to look at dresses. I’ll admit my heart wasn’t really in it and I’m mostly just going “blah” and trying not to fall down from pain. So we wander by all the racks and Phae and Jen try to get my interest with “Oh this is pretty” etc and I’m having none of it. Finally, we decide to pull out my phone and at the very least look at the one dress I’d seen online that I was really interested in trying on. So we dig up the model number, find it, and Jen and Phae are forcing me into it in the half-flooded store and I have a baseball hat on for goodness sake!
And it’s perfect. The sample dress was my size and I sorted just shimmied my shirt off under it and there were tears maybe from being so relieved that it looked so good and was everything I wanted or maybe just because I didn’t think I’d even get a dress on. They get Joy and Natasha and we all sorta stand there and there’s some crying and emotions and making sure I’m okay with not trying on any other dresses and that sort of thing… But at the risk of sounding hokey and ridiculous it was the exact dress I wanted. I’d tried to avoid getting too attached before we went to the store in case it didn’t look great or I didn’t give other dresses a chance but… the store was flooded and hectic and it looked perfect on me.
So we left. (Ramon’s mom is ordering the dress for me from the American store) and since we were way ahead of schedule and it was a torrential downpour, we went and got lunch and it was pretty nice. But my back was just killing me…
When we came home, Ramon had taken my desk apart and moved my poor computer onto my old little one (The monitor doesn’t FIT. It’s TERRIBLE) because I’ve sold my big (beautiful, amazing, OMGIMISSITALREADY) desk since I can’t take it with me to Michigan. I laid down for an hour (but didn’t sleep) and then we went and got my mother. I had to spend a few hours with her which weren’t the worst ever but I still felt like crap and she’s… difficult to deal with. Then we picked up my brother (who refused to come in on the earlier train like Mom did) and went to meet Ramon’s family for dinner.
Now his family drove six hours to come to this party, and since our families had never met we decided to do dinner with just my mom and brother the night before. So we go to the restaurant and this is the group:
-Me (Sick and in pain and barely able to stand up)
-Ramon (A little on edge from dealing with my incessant whining for the last few days and stressed)
-My Mom (Really really bad at social situations)
-My Brother (Completely unpredictable)
-Ramon’s Mom (Who’s really nice)
-Ramon’s Sister (Also really nice)
-Ramon’s Grandmother (His mom’s mother, not entirely mobile, uses a walker, quiet)
-Ramon’s Aunt (Mom’s sister, who went straight from a 6 hour flight into a 6 hour car ride to get there)
-Ramon’s Father (His parents have been divorced for 20 years and I’ve only met his dad twice)
-Ramon’s Father’s Girlfriend (Who I’ve met once and… tries too hard and Ramon is having issues with)
Just… yeah. It went fine but I have never been so stressed out about a meal in my life. My brother just didn’t say anything, his dad’s girlfriend was really awkward, Ramon’s dad was really awkward with his mom, his aunt was tired, my mom was awkward… nothing awful happened but I was so tense and in pain the entire time. Ramon was supposed to pick up the cheque but he was at the other end of the table and they asked his dad what was being done with the bill and we got deperate bills delivered, so that got nixed. (Which I’m fine with, but it was still kinda awkward).
His family went back to their hotel, my mom and brother went to my aunt’s where they were staying, we went home and watched Doctor Who.
Then I had a few hours of horror where I was so stressed out about the next day that I couldn’t sleep at all and was like crying and coughing and my back hurt and just… ugh. Joy drugged me with cold meds and I passed out but I was up and down all night.
The next day… fuck I was so nervous. To recap: My mom’s two sisters are really rich and wanted to throw an engagement party. Which turned into almost everyone from my mom’s side of the family, some of my dad’s side (for the unaware my parents had an incredibly ugly divorce and then he died immediately afterwards and cut me out of his will) and the above mentioned group of Ramon’s family who came over from Michigan. Phae and Joy and our friend Jen came along too, which was really nice.
I was really stressed and there were some awkward moments (The two biggest being with each of my dad’s brothers who were sort of side-eyeing the entire event) and my cousin gave a nice speech and there was food and cake and I said the same things over and over again to relatives I haven’t seen in years. I had my picture taken so often I could barely see, but this is the only one I have right now:
Me, Phae, Jen, Joy
Not a great picture since it was one of a thousand being taken and when I get a nice copy of one of the ones of Ramon and I, I’ll post that too… but while I’m eternally glad that everything went off mostly really well, I just… the stress of it all and I was still getting over being sick and my back hurts and just… god.
We get back to the apartment around 3:30 and I learn I’m supposed to entertain my mom and brother until 9:00 that night… which… no. So we get in the car and Ramon just drives them home (an hour away) instead of waiting for their train. Best decision we’ve ever made. So they’re home, my family has dispersed, Ramon’s family is all safely back in Michigan and nothing too horrible happened… but I still feel like shit and my back hurts and my head hurts and I feel tense from being so stressed out and I don’t actually know yet if I’ve gotten fired or not.
And I am so crappy at family gatherings… I’m so glad almost nobody related to me will be at the wedding. Friends are so much more fun.