The parental visit: Luckily I had the distinct pleasure of PMSing through the days of the parental visit, so all of my personal responses to everyone's actions were completely skewed. Neil and I did have a public tiff in the furniture store - it was absolutely scintillating, sent my heart to pounding and my tummy 'a rumbling, and then we managed to ignore it until much later when we could actually talk later that evening, and figure out we both felt we weren't listening to each other. Should've known it was something like that. Despite the post-tiff gloom and doom cloud that settled over my head (remember, emotional hormonal states and agry telling offs mix to form an enchanting combination of self doubt and loathing for the world in general) we managed to make some furniture decisions.
We're the proud owner of two sets of dinning room chairs! Why two sets? Oh ho, we're not doing things the normal way, where all the chairs match, because that's just not what kind of people we are. We're the kind of people who like two different styles at the chair store, and since we've got a third at home, decide that we should have two of each. It's like the Noah's arc of chairs. And.... soon to be delivered we'll have a bonafied entertainment center! No more broken down coffee table with components underneath it for us! No, now our 9 different components will have one single place to live, and we'll be able to shut the doors and block out our great behemoth of a television anytime we want.
All of this bounty was bestowed, genlty and benevolently (and with much good will), by Neil's parents. And they threw in a lovely new goose-necked Moen kitchen sink, new butter dish, new table cloth and napkins (of both the 'fancy' paper variety and the matching cloth), some new matching wine glasses (apparantly they don't agree with my theory that if you have matching wine glasses everyone gets confused about whose wine is whose). I wonder if part of all of this is just that they've accepted we're not getting married for now, and so they're willing to give us a bunch of things to start ourselves in this sparkly new house because it's as close as we'll ever get to registering for presents?
Regardless, it was really sweet of them, and after my emotional turmoil shut itself off like a light switch (thanks Maija, for the phone call, and the magical assurances, and "DUCK") we had a lovely valentine's day with a BBQd (because it's Texas, of course) heart-shaped steak (yeah, i know, it sounds weird, but it was quite tasty), and some scrumptious sides, and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. The last two days they were here they spent doing the little things Neil and I just hadn't gotten around to doing (Neil did them with his parents, while i was away at school). So now we have a recycling bin, our moving cardboard is flattened, packaged, and tied, our new chairs were stained, our new sink was installed, new curtain-type-things went on Neil's windows and there's a new air mattress tucked away in our closet for when guests come over (so Miranda, if you're reading this, you and Hawk won't have to suffer on the futon anymore!)
Other spare moments were spent eating, because that's what we all do apparantly! We tried yet another BBQ place (and yes, I really will get sick of the stuff someday... and I was frightened by my ability to ask for a second helping of sausage anyway), went to our favorite cafe for late lunch (and ate breakfast) and ended up at a TOTAL dive for the worst mexican food I've had since... ever. However, the place is really a club that just happens to serve mexican food, and the margaritas were decent, the band was kinda cute, and Neil's dad asked me to dance (which was fun, and goofy)
Now, what else have I been doing? Well, I should've been preparing for the 5 tests I have coming up. And I was, to a certain extent: Studying Japanese grammar online. Doing American History reading. Making a list of my Sufism terms (79 terms! 79!!!) to remember SO FAR. It's not really entertaining, but it's a start. Next week I have 2 tests on Monday, 2 on Tuesday, and then a final one on Friday. I guess I'd better get back to it. At least my TA said I wasn't so bad when I practiced my Japanese with her this afternoon for our oral exam on Monday.woot