Family: Ya Gotta Love 'Em


There was a time, early in our marriage that Doug would stash airplane-sized mini bottles of rum and/or vodka in anything from potted plants to laundry baskets throughout the house in preparation for a visit from his family. "In the Case of Emergency" he explained.

As if. Give me a break. I had worked in Emergency Departments for years without having to resort to alcohol in order to steady my nerves. I felt confident that I could handle the "in-laws" for a few hours. On their first formal visit, I lasted about 30 minutes. The rum was in the bathroom medicine cabinet.
Today I am introducing a "guest writer"...Daniel lives in New York and is on his way to becoming a Nurse Practioner. He's a warm and wonderful man who was a tech when we met in Baylor's ER several years ago. Recently, Daniel returned to Texas for a family visit and shared his following thoughts....

Things I Have Learned While In Texas:

1) My father informed me that I must send him money while he is in prison (for committing a felony) because "the Bible" says that you should 'honor thy father and mother.' His interpretation of this was that I am supposed to support him financially while he is prison.

TRANSLATION: That's a crock of S*%$ if I ever heard it. I am supporting you... with my taxes. So, sit in there, learn your lesson, and be happy you have a meal every night unlike most of the world.

2) Never fly Southwest Airlines. Mostly because, whereas their flights are labeled as "direct," this simply means that they will take you directly to your location, AFTER stopping in EVERY MAJOR CITY along the way. Needless to say, you get what you pay for in choosing cheaper flight accommodations.

3) Never take a bunch of hillbillies (my family) to high-scale Japanese hibachi restaurant. Let me just highlight some of the comments made last night: (And remember to think of these with your best southern accent interpretation)

  • From my uncle," Do you guys have anything more than 8oz. of steak? I was thinking more like 30oz."

  • From my brother, "Why don't you have sweet tea?" Response from the sweet Japanese lady, " Because we have sugar packets."

  • From my brother, "Why would anyone drink sake when we have BudlLite?"

  • From my cousin, "I don't eat vegetables; I only eat medium RARE beef and starches."

  • From my brother after the waitress asked a question, "I didn't understand a word you just said to me...."

  • My mother told the hibachi chef that her onions never look like a volcano or say, "choo choo."

  • By far the best part of the night, was watching my grandfather's face while I sucked down an entire bottle of sake (with some help from my buddy Sonia) to help me prevent from strangling any of my hillbilly family.

  • watching my grandmother take a shot of sake! (Oh, that was the best!)

4) I also learned that my grandfather (one of the smartest members of my family) believes that our president Barack Obama is the Antichrist. That was an interesting conversation. Enough said there.... Needless to say, I admitted to him that the Bible is equivalent to me as Aesop’s Fables and I don't believe that Obama has the capacity to be the Antichrist.

5) My grandfather also firmly believes that he will die in precisely 2 years. This because he asked "the Lord" the let him live 10 more years while on his deathbed from pancreatitis. Sorry gramps.... that's doubtful.

6) My mother likes Puma socks because they feel like "hose."

7) My aunt Donna stays awake until midnight because her husband has severe sleep apnea. He believes that this is "just the way he breathes" and she needs to get over it. ha ha.... that was funny.

8) My grandparents believe that anything sugar free must be good for you! Umm, how about no...

9) You really never know who your true friends are until it comes time to just show up!....

10) My grandmother's cardiologist (whom also had a heart transplant joke) believes her heart is "just fine!" Despite her NY Class III Heart Failure diagnosis.

11) My grandfather believes that he is a liberal democrat because he liked Bill Clinton while in office. This despite his hatred for Obama, strong conservative views, anti-gay marriage, anti-everything, and no interest in government sponsored assistance programs of any kind for the underserved populations.... because he came from poor and worked hard for everything he has.... (Me too, but still some people just need a little shove!)

12) Barodontalgia ["tooth squeeze" from changes in atmospheric pressure in airplanes] really happens! Ouchie!!!

13) I am SO GRATEFUL, that I did not acquire the southern accent. It makes you sound "special."

14) Channelview, Texas.... my hometown, has turned into the Mexican slums and I will never be able to return there.... well, legally at least after Mexico claims this land to be their own.....

15) Finally, I have determined that I am leaving Rochester, NY by the end of October next year before the bitter winter begins and the after the beautiful Fall commences. I will most likely be returning to Dallas for a few years until life points me back to the NICE part of Houston.

We will see what life holds.

Those are among other things, that I learned on my short 3 day trip to Texas. -Farewell Mexican slums, its back to Rochester, NY tomorrow, the city with the worst case of "little man syndrome" I have ever seen.


Bless you Daniel. I guess my in-laws aren't so bad after all.

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