Yeah, when you’re the youngest of seven kids, the holidays tend to be an extended affair.  

 

Grandchildren were amused by crinkled paper ….

 

… unholy quantities of food and drink were consumed …

 

… and whilst jiggling a four-month-old on his knee, Uncle B regaled the family with a story about airport security personnel overlooking mortar shells falling out of his backpack when he returned from Iraq. (Similar TSA officials, it should be noted, frisked my very Indian, heavily bearded and mustachioed husband at JFK International Airport, and grilled him for 15 minutes about looking “nervous” — I mean, he was preparing to visit his in-laws for the first time, how else would he look? — as I stood impatiently, waiting to make our way to the gate.)

Oregon ceases to exist. Back to Met Supermarket and Key Food and our small impersonal bathroom, which doesn’t matter to the husband since he’s again working 16-hour days.

On the upside, I got some new books from the library: Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black (Nadine Gordimer), What is the What (Dave Eggers), and The Abstinence Teacher (Tom Perrotta). Until the office reopens, I plan on painting, reading in the bathtub, and consuming mass quantities of food, like my patented sweet sweet potatoes (butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and mashed yams). Maybe I’ll come up with something else to do, or maybe I’ll just enjoy my bit of deserved sloth.

Family, food, cream puffs, tiny disco balls … what more can a girl ask for?