Saturday, December 04, 2004


So with December creeping up and the number of days left in Madrid countable on the hands and feet, it is time for me to start romanticizing coming home (of course I romanticize things, I'm a 20 year old girl, jeez). However, I'm trying to keep it in check, because of course I will blow everything out of proportion in my happy little Allison-land and then come home and HATE YOU ALL. Here, without further ado, are The Way I Want Things to Happen and then The Way Things Actually Will Happen; get ready for a fun ride and a lot of HTML!

The Way It Should Happen

The plane to Buffalo is half an hour early, rolling in at 9 instead of 9:30 like it should. It's snowing gently, but the flakes are big and fat. Grandpa is there to pick me up, and we drive home in companionable silence. We pull into the driveway, and bump into Mom on the way out the door.

"Hey, kid. Glad you're home."


"I knew that you'd been living in a house with other people for the past three months now, and I knew it was driving you insane, so we decided to kill the kids and harvest their organs for beer money ed. note: oops. take the kids to an undisclosed location for the night so you could have the house to yourself for a while. We'll be back tomorrow afternoon - but say goodnight to them before we leave."

I poke my head in the car door. "Hi, kids. Bye, kids."

"Hi, Allie. Bye, Allie. Mom said you'd play with us tomorrow."

"Sounds like a plan, if I get up before 6pm. See you tomorrow. Night night."

"Night night."

Mom calls out from the driveway as I'm lugging my suitcase through the door. "There's food in the kitchen and instant oatmeal in with the cereal. See you tomorrow."

I walk into the house and throw my crap into a corner somewhere. It's late and I'm hungry, so I go into the kitchen to check on this purported food source thing. I step in, flip on the light and -

- friends! Friends are there waiting for me! Cam and Billy, Shorty and Faye and Marcy, Jon and Deirdre and Jeannie ed. note: it's a FANTASY sequence. I can bring in whoever I want, no matter how improbable. I could have Kermit the Frog, if I wanted to. In fact-, Kermit the Frog and The Man I Will Eventually Marry and With Whom I Will Live Happily Ever After ed. note: does not exist. Following the example of a good number of my elders, I will be married two or three times, being left by my last husband at the age of 47 once he realizes that oops, he really did want to have kids after all, but he and his new 25-year-old wife will assure me that I am always welcome in their house and that she sees me as a mother figure, and when I'm 55 and the alimony runs out the two of them will find me in the backyard after I've staked myself to death with a garden trowel - they're all there! Someone has dusted the Playstation and given it a shiny bow to wear in its hair. I give it a hug to show it how much I missed it and it starts to purr. Then I back away, because it's not plugged in and I am a poltergeist. This would be approximately the time when I start to simultaneously sob and squeal "I missed you all soooooo much!" while trying to hug everyone at once without getting snot on anyone. It's hard. I think I fail.

Shorty waves me over. "Get ahold of yourself so we can eat."

I look past them all to the kitchen table and see several gigantic boxes of pizza from Picasso's, a seemingly bottomless box of barbeque wings, and 12 cans of Diet Coke with my name on them. Bill breaks in. "There's Ben & Jerry's in the fridge, too."

I pound three Cokes in succession, after which all the trip-fatigue fades away and we start in on the food. I eat and eat and eat chicken wings until I can't eat chicken wings no mo'. Just when I think I'm done and start to relax, Cam pulls me up. "Now we play DDR. In the living room. Come come! DDR!"

"NO!" I scream. "DON'T LET BILL KNOW THERE'S DDR!" I have to tackle him before he surgically attaches himself to the pad and hogs it for the rest of the night.

"I love DDR," says Man I Will Marry. "In fact, I love all video games. However, I am not an elitist about it and never, ever make Allison feel stupid for not knowing some of the essential classics. I am just happy that she is willing to listen. Also, I am incredibly intelligent, but never talk down to anyone. I am sexy, too. However, I am not pompous, and the only reason I am getting away with a monologue like this is because I am fictional."

After a good hour or so of DDR, we settle in to watch a movie. The lights are off and the snow is falling outside, and the mingled smells of popcorn and hot chocolate waft through the room. ed. note: they made popcorn and hot chocolate. Duh. Maybe we play some in the snow after the movie. Maybe we don't. Maybe, after they leave, I hook up Pretty Miss Playstation and we play some FFVII before I drift off to sleep. But it doesn't really matter, because I've got the greatest friends in the world. ed. note: this is where you say 'AWWWW', just like a Three's Company laugh track.

How It Will Actually Happen

The plane is late because it's sleeting in Buffalo. I sat in 19B all the way from Madrid to New York, which means the seat didn't recline and I was utterly unable to sleep. When the plane taxis up, it's the typical mix of gray-brown-green that characterizes the pre-snow season in the Northeast. Mom picks me up and we drive home, during which trip I am forced to make inane chatter despite the fact that IT'S 4AM IN MADRID TIME, FOR GOD'S SAKE. We pull up to the house and the kids swarm to the door.

"Allie! Hi Allie! Hi Allie! Play with us! Hi! Play with us!"

"No, I'm tired." They follow me up to my room.

"But Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy won't you play with us?????!?!?!"

"I told you, I'm tired. Get out, go 'way, go." Lissa turns around on the step on the way out, gives me that humph-impertinent look that makes me want to smack her, and says "Fine. Mommy made ravioli. You HAVE to EAT SOME." I hear them clomp down the stairs, wailing "Moooooooooooooooooooo-om! Allie hates us! She won't play with us!"

"Be nice to your brother and sister!"

"Tell them to leave me alone when it's 4 in the morning. Why did you make ravioli? You know I hate ravioli!"

"Too bad!"

I clump downstairs and pick up a ravioli. It's cold. I eat it anyway. I wander back upstairs and start calling people in an attempt to make plans. Cam first.


"Hey, it's Allie."

"Hey hun! How are you?"

"Exhausted. What are you doing tomorrow? Want to do something?"

"Oh, you know I would, but my mom has declared this next week Family-Only. Dith's not even allowed to come over."


"I'm sorry, hun."

"No, it's ok. I'll talk to you after Christmas, then. Love you."

"Love you too."

Ok. Let's try Bill next.


"Hey, Bee-leh."

"Yo, what's up?"

"You wanna hang out tomorrow?"

"Can't. Work."

"It's Sunday."

"...Can't. Work." ed. note: it's Bill. He's like that.

"Fine. I'll talk to you later."



"I can't get a ride out, we'll have to wait for a day when my mom goes to work. Can you borrow the car?"

I yell downstairs. "Mom? Can I borrow the car?"


"I can't borrow the car." ed. note: sucks being a teenager.

"Ah. Well, we'll have to do something Monday or Tuesday or something."

"Ok." By this point my lower lip is trembling cutely, and when I get off the phone I burst into tears. "NOBODY LOVES MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" ed. note: true. I try to turn on the Playstation. It fizzles and cracks, and - where are my memory cards?


"Oh, those...yeah, the kids were playing with them, and they were bright, so we floated them and made them into bath toys. Hope you don't mind. I bought you a new one, but then the kids put a peanut butter sandwich into the Playstation, so I figured you wouldn't need them and returned them."

Panic mode sets in. Jon is going to put out a hit on me. He was up to level 99 on FF:Tactics and now his save games are gone and I am DEAD BECAUSE HE IS GOING TO PUT OUT A HIT ON ME. I keep crying, because it seems to be the only reasonable solution. The future looks bleak.


ed. note: have disabled comments on this post. THESE ARE FANTASY SCENARIOS. I don't want to hear any sort of feedback on which is more likely - let my keep my dream.