Home Invasion

Today eight immediate family members of mine and my partner’s descend on our little town. It’s a two-year-post-non-wedding gathering, designed to have our siblings/parent meet one another. We got married in my best friend from college’s kitchen, with him (renegade pastor) being the official signer and two other close college friends of mine co-signing, followed by

dinner with them and two other dear friends from that life moment — all of whom sort of raised their kids together. It was lovely and perfect, among a precious group of people (and no “words,” no having to smile for days straight, very cheap!, no planning!). But it meant our families didn’t meet, and we wanted to have that happen. Hence the horror of this coming weekend.

Oh, that? My introvert typing. She’s horrified about having people here in her face for almost four days, with two of them STAYING WITH US. I sympathize. She’s right.

It will also be awesome and fun and fabulous, fortunately. They’re great people who I love. They include my dad and brother, who are two of my top most important people in the world, who I only see once or a few times a year.

And there will also be alcohol in the house for four days. We could obviously not put alcohol in the house (my partner doesn’t drink), but I want to offer it to them. I thought a bit about it and decided it will be fine if I buy beer I dislike and have no associations with and wine that I have no associations with and has meaningful labels. (I was a pretty narrow beer drinker, so that makes this project pretty easy.) For beer all I have to do is buy the “summer” crap. With pineapple! And another one I know nothing about but it has an intimidating label that says “Axe Man.”

The wines I got were one with a boring label with somebody’s boring name, and one with “Devil” in the title (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Truth.

I’m pretty good at noticing the 1-out-of-10-must-drink (Wolfie/Bernadette suggested the other day that we might decide not to even care about those “1’s,” being such a tiny number and all. Which itself was a 2. I vetoed.)

Plus I have my workshop 500 feet behind the pond to which I can escape.

But then this morning I had the most interesting reframing happen. I must have been picturing in my mind the people sitting around in the living room drinking, and my brain said, because they haven’t quit yet. Meaning, the gravity toward health and wholeness pulls toward leaving this shit behind. The gravity is where I am, and they haven’t yielded to the wholeness yet. A complete flip of the idea that it’s the drinking — their drinking — that’s pulling ME. Who exactly is missing out?

Obviously, not everyone has to quit (maybe) and obviously it’s not my place to decide what anyone else should drink, but this reframing unfolded in the privacy of my own mind and I LOVE IT. Not, I wish I had what they’re having, but they aren’t there yet and that’s all right.

Wish me luck. See you back here in two, three, four days for a report.


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