Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I drove to Pittsburgh this morning, on the understanding that my parents wanted me home a day before Thanksgiving, for what reason, I hadn't really bothered to ask. I arrived about 1:30 PM, to find the front door open and no-one but a dozing, elderly shih-tzu on the premises. So, I settled back, expecting whomever had need of me this day before the season, to show up from whatever errand they were on, list of familial assignments in hand. You know, the usual.

Three hours later, I hear a car pull up to the garage. Walking over to the garage, I managed to scare the crap out of my dad, who was getting out of his SUV, and apparently not expecting anyone to greet him. I noted sourly that if he's going to leave the front door unlocked in a major metropolitan area like Pittsburgh, he's lucky it hasn't happened to him more often than it has. I asked him why I had been summoned. He was damned if he knew. So, we waited.

A half-hour later, mom shows up as I was walking over to move my car from in front of the neighbor's garage. She saw me pulling the car around, and assumed that I had just arrived. I asked *her* why I was there, and she said something to the effect of "you're the one who drove here, wouldn't you know?"

After some back-and-forth, we established, finally, that her busybodiesque inquiry of how many days of vacation I had left (under the mistaken impression that my company operates on a yearly vacation use-em-or-lose-em plan, instead of the continual personal-days rollover we actually use), had *not* been intended as subtle instruction to extend my Thanksgiving Day visit to the better part of a week, but rather just the usual casual meddling. So, I find myself marking time in Pittsburgh, instead of, you know, getting work done in State College.

Ah, family. The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

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