Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Ties That Bind...and Strangle

Last night TOIAW's older brother called to tell us he would be visiting this weekend. Super. I didn't think I would have a lot of drop-in guests when I moved to Themiddleofnowhere, Germany, but that's what I get for thinking. I suppose I should be thankful that he hasn't visited more often because he and his wife live in London (we did go see them once last year but going to London is hardly a hardship). This week he is in Munich which is about an hour and a half away. The plan was to meet him and his wife there on Friday but now she isn't coming in until Saturday morning so BIL called yesterday and said he would just stay with us Friday night. Great.

Let me just tell you what happened when he came a few weeks ago. He came in on Friday and immediately wanted to go to the American-style grocery store so TOIAW took him. They came home with many bags of JUNK that cost us more than what I usually spend on groceries for a week (and I had just been shopping the day before). We then took him out to dinner. I made my famous French Toast Souffle for breakfast on Saturday. I am NOT exaggerating one bit when I tell you that BIL sat down, looked at the spread (I also prepared fruit salad and a meat and cheese plate), turned toward TOIAW and said, "Do you have anything else?" I was completely dumbfounded and silent which is probably a good thing. BIL decided he would like to have a HOT DOG. I got him a pan for that and then he decided that he wanted to make corn for lunch and he needed to start it right then because it would take 2-3 hours to cook. Okay, I might have said something about this but of course he argued back so I just got him a big stock pot but he thought he needed to use my Dutch oven. At that point, I walked out of the kitchen and went upstairs. I didn't go back downstairs until after they left the house. When I did I found the kitchen a mess with a distinct eau de hot dog. So. Gross.

Before leaving he left me a detailed list of what I need to do in order to get his wife a visa to come to Germany. She is a Russian citizen who refuses to apply for US citizenship. I think this is silly but I really don't care much. Well, I didn't care until I spent 8+ hours of my life getting an official invitation letter for her to take to the consulate in London so she could get a visa. I like her, I really do and even though this was a huge imposition, I'm pretty much over it. The thing that bothers me is when she catalogs the list of why she does not want US citizenship. Hello? I am a US citizen as is your husband who, along with his family, was taken in from the former Soviet Union, given religious asylum, and educated in elite institutions which allowed him to get a job that finances your haute couture shopping sprees (her wedding dress cost more than my entire wardrobe and all she could talk about was how she got a great "deal"). So don't disrespect my country, Commie! But, as I said, I really do like her.

I'm not sure what our Saturday plan is because I vetoed the plan to stay in a $300 a night hotel in Munich. I'm not opposed to spending money on a nice hotel room but this is not a special occasion and it's only an hour and a half from our house. Of course BIL offered to pay for it. That's his modus operandi anytime we bow out of something for financial reasons. I need to come up with something better because what we are really saying, and he knows it, is, "We have the money but we don't want to spend it on X." What I think he thinks we're saying is, "We won't do it unless you pay for it."

Undoubtedly this weekend will include a discussion about our annual family New Year's vacation which is not to be confused with the annual family summer vacation. That, however, is an entirely different post and I need to clean because I'm expecting guests this weekend :)

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Aren't family visits fun? :) Your french toast souffle sounds delicious. Recipe???