“… coming home for Christma-“
I jab my finger at the power button, and then fold my arms.
“What’s wrong?” Connor asks from behind the wheel.
“Nothing,” I shrug and turn to look out of the passenger window.
Six preset radio stations and NOTHING to listen to. If it is not a song that has been playing on repeat on every station for the past few days, then it is a commercial. If not that, then it is a Christmas song.
I roll my eyes.
We are NOT on our way home for Christmas. It is not even December yet! We are driving to my family’s house for a THANKSGIVING dinner.
I let out a frustrated sigh and shake my head gently with disapproval. All I want (not for Christmas) is a decent playlist as we drive. Is that too much to ask for?
Before you try and suggest I use a CD or something like that, stop. I want to be able to turn on the radio and listen to it without having to–
“You can hook up your phone to the radio and play whatever you want.” With a smile, Connor hands me the cable connected to his stereo.
He looks so smug. Proud. As if he just rescued a puppy from a burning building.
If eyes could kill…
“It’s alright,” I say softly before turning back to stare out the window.
At the next red light, I watch Connor connect his phone to the radio, and sit up just a little bit taller. Why do men have such a savior complex?
As the YouTube ad plays, I wonder what song he put on. Is it going to be something funny, something romantic, or something that I absolutely hate, like hip-hop.
A smooth, female voice comes on, but I do not recognize it. My eyebrows scrunch.
“Give it a moment,” Connor says, as if reading my mind.
“Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song. You go ahead, let your hair down,” he sings at the top of his lungs, as if in a duet with the vocalist.
My eyes widen. I am not sure whether to laugh or cry. It’s a fun song, but I’m not in the mood for it.
Right as the chorus ends, he reaches for his phone to search for another song. His eyes are off the road.
“Let me,” I say, taking the phone out of his hand.
He smiles, probably proud of himself for changing my mind about playing songs from the phone. Men… they never dare to think that we might have our own agendas. Like, right now, I just don’t want us to get into a crash and die. There is so much good food waiting for us at home. We cannot risk wasting that.
I put on a random rock playlist that YouTube suggests and press my back against the seat, hoping to melt into it.
The truth is that I am nervous. Connor has never met my parents. Somehow, he does not seem all that worried. “Moms love me,” he said the other day when I asked him if he was at all concerned about meeting my family. I, on the other hand, am imagining my parents and their disapproving looks as he tells his jokes. It makes me cringe just thinking of how big of a bull in a china shop he can be.
Last weekend, I met his family for the first time. They decided to take us out for dinner and I thought it was smart to meet on neutral ground. They were all very nice, but right from the start, I noticed how loud and rambunctious they all were. Surely, they must have noticed the glares from people around us. All I wanted to do was to become invisible. But, alas, I smiled, and nodded politely as the conversations carried along.
While we waited for our meals, boredom started to set in and Connor’s older (!!!) brother crumpled up a napkin and threw it at Connor. For a moment, I was not sure if it was real or just a mirage. Surely, adults do not behave like this in public places. Right? In response, Connor rolled a small, tight ball from his straw wrapper, packed it into a straw and then blew it straight into his brother’s eye. I excused myself to the bathroom, hoping that once I came back, they would have come to their senses. And, thankfully, they did.
After dinner, as we waited for the check, a small, orange, rubber ball hit Connor in the arm. My gaze traveled across the table to Connor’s brother. Yep. He had a plastic gun that shot rubber balls. In a restaurant. Among people. As an adult. Connor decided to get up and fight his brother with the balls that were ejected at him. I refused to stay and watch. Instead, I pretended to answer my phone, and walked away.
This whole scenario has been playing in my head over and over again. Johnny – Connor’s brother will not be at my parents, which, I hope, means that Connor will not stoop to his level.
I bit my lip.
“So, where are you two going to get married?” Fatima – my sister – asks as I dish out some mashed potatoes onto Connor’s plate.
“Tell me, dear sister, when will you get a boyfriend? You don’t want to die a sad, old, lonely, cat lady now, do you?” I ask in response.
“Mom!” Fatima cries out.
“Sarah!” Mom scolds me.
“How old are you girls?” Dad chimes in.
“She started it!” I say, putting the serving plate down with a bit too much force.
“Fatima, you’re older. You should know better,” Mom adds, just like she did when we were kids.
I stick my tongue out and then blow a raspberry at my sister when Mom is busy cutting her turkey.
Thankfully, Connor seems to be doing well.
“Write about someone who falls back into childish behaviors whenever they’re around their family.”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!
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