The message below is a bit long...well not Marz long, but long enough...*LOL*.
My holiday in Detroit was one to remember, despite being stuck at my parent's house 80% of the time. I had no access to a car, though if push came to shove, I could borrow my Dad's.
My Amtrak experience was overall uneventful (save a meeting that happened on my trip back. I'll get into that later.). One annoying point, though. Why can't the trains ever leave on schedule? My train leaving for Detroit was originally supposed to leave at 7:50 AM but it wound up leaving after 8:10. The one going back to Chicago left 40 minutes late. Other than that and a few annoying passengers, the trip by train was really cool.
So Hemingway my attempts at Secret Santa turned out to be a bust. The minute I arrived home my Mom was already spilling the beans about who she had. Despite my best efforts to keep her quiet, she told me that she picked my Dad's name. Then she told me that my Dad picked her name. She also informed me that since they chose each other, they'd get their gifts later.
I rolled my eyes (not in front of her, of course). So in those moments, I knew by process of elimination that since I was Tasha's Secret Santa, that meant that Tasha was Trina's Secret Santa and Trina was my Secret Santa.
But an amusing thing happened on Christmas evening (that was when Trina & her boyfriend swung by). It seemed that Trina received a letter stating she was Tasha's Secret Santa. I, if you recall, also received a letter stating that I was Tasha's Secret Santa. Tasha herself had Trina as I expected. Two plus two did not add up to four.
It wound up that Tasha wrote her name twice. I think it was accidental. Nonetheless it provided the family with a much needed chuckle. Trina, it just so happened, bought gift cards so she wound up giving them to me instead.
Leave it to the E family to find a new twist to Secret Santa. I'm debating whether I want to do it again next year. If I do, I'll have to remember to do the name picking when I'm in town for Thanksgiving. But I don't know if I can silence my Mom's need to share. Though I think she only shared it with my Dad and me. Sigh.
Speaking of my Mom, she's always had this bit of naiveness about her. (That's where I got mine from growing up...*LOL*) When I say that, I'm not questioning my Mom's intelligence at all. She can definitely hold her own. But she's sometimes clueless about different things. For example, she told me over the holiday that recently somebody cranked the house and asked her if she did "blowjobs". She didn't know what a "blowjob" was and my father had to explain it to her. She then asked me if I knew what a "blowjob" was. (Yeah I think I have an idea...*LOL*.) Luckily I was able to spare her explaining it to me. She then asked if I thought Tasha knew what it was. I chuckled as I told her that I think she does. I'm assuming my Mom knows it as some other term. It's disgusting even thinking of my parents and blowjobs. Moving on...*LOL*.
Another example that happened over the holidays. My Mom, Tasha, and I somehow delved into talking about Star Jones. Of course when you talk about Star Jones, the chat turned to Star's sham of a marriage to Big Gay Al. My Mom of course had no idea folks were thinking Big Gay Al is gay.
Hemingway I love my Mom dearly. She's really the sweetest Mom in the world.
The holiday of course had its sad moments. One of those moments was when my folks were wondering whether Trina was going to make an appearance on Christmas. They haven't seen her much since she's moved out and she didn't come over for Thanksgiving. I believe they did talk to her once in December.
So my Dad asks me if I know whether Trina's coming over or not. I myself hadn't spoken to Trina since I told her about the Secret Santa idea. I made some noise that I'm sure she would. But I didn't really know.
So then the conversation of course turned to regret about the path Trina took in life. Long story short, she didn't graduate college, which especially saddens my Mom. Then there's that whole fling with a married man (her current boyfriend) she had and still has. (He was assumedly going through a divorce.) My Mom reminisced about the time she bought him home to hang out years ago. She swears that Trina was on drugs at the time. She thinks that they even shot up some in the back room. Of course, none of us wanted to believe that. I even asked Trina point blank about at the time when my Mom was so adamant about it and she sweared that she wasn't taking drugs. Trina was a bit on the heavy side during that time period and usually I pictured drug abusers as skinny things. Of course that's probably my naiveness coming out.
So of course rehashing all that put a damper on things. (There's more that I'm leaving out.)
Then when I was helping my parents clear out some junk, my Dad started ranting about his life. Actually I may blog about that separately. He's had a pretty hard life and I wanted to remember everything he told me so that in the off chance I have my own shorty someday, which I'd love to have, I can tell my shorty about his/her grandfather. After his 40 minute rant (literally, I kid you not), I ran into my room and tried to write down as much as I could remember.
I was pretty much holed up in the house almost the entire visit. My Mom did want us to walk to CVS to get some "after Christmas" stuff on Tuesday but she was feeling weak from the Parkinson's Disease she was diagnosed with a few years back. She has her good and bad days. I really hope they find a cure for the disease. It's terrible. She gets so depressed about it. I try to reassure her but nothing I say helps ease her depression.
After my Dad got home from his semi part-time job, I borrowed the car so I could take some gifts over to my godmother, who lives ten minutes from the family. I hung out there and of course heard all their family and Church gossip, including a scandalous birthday party held in the name of our Pastor, who didn't attend. Apparently some genius decided to hire a stripper. (Black people...*LOL*.)
I spent most of my days catching up on the "block of judge shows" on UPN and/or FOX. These include Judge Maybelline, Judge Alex, Judge Marianne, Judge Hatchett, and Judge Judy. A lot of the cases were pretty interesting.
I also slept a lot more than I normally do. I guess when you're holed up, there's not much to do...*LOL*.
Just before I was set to leave for the train station going back to Chicago, Tasha's car decides to die near the garage just as she's coming home from work. She wants me to try and help her push it into the garage. I'm not really successful in the venture and wind up attracting some neighbors from the block. (I didn't call for them. They saw me trying to push the car alone and came to assist. Wasn't that nice?) They eventually push her car in front of our house. I was going to offer them some money for their troubles but when I ran inside to get that ready, the helpers had already disappeared. It makes me smile a bit that we actually have neighbors willing to help out at a moment's notice. It restores my faith in the human race somewhat.
So the other highlight was that I finally got to meet Eugene. We decided to take the same train heading back to Chicago. His plans called for meeting an old friend of his in Wisconsin who would pick him up from Kenosha.
So after my adventure with Tasha's car, my Dad drives me to the Amtrak station. He goes to park the car while I walk inside the small station. I had spoken to Eugene earlier and he mentioned that he would be wearing a red jacket. So I walk in the station and scan the crowd for a dude in a red jacket. Noone fits that description, however, from a picture Eugene had sent me months earlier, I soon figured out who he was. Only thing, he was sitting with his sister and nephew. So I obviously wasn't going to walk up and say 'hey' since I didn't know how he'd react. Plus my Dad decided to come and join me. So I parked myself in a nearby seat across from where they were sitting.
I was smiling watching Eugene chat with his family. I wasn't sure if he noticed me or not. I'm sure, though, he looked while I wasn't looking at him.
My Dad soon came in and sat next to me. So my Dad and I were making small talk. For the heck of it, I decide to text a message to Eugene. He didn't respond back.
Forty minutes after our scheduled departure, we finally board the train. I say my goodbyes to my Dad and try to figure out where Eugene was sitting, since he wound up way ahead in the line.
I somehow got diverted from where he was and sat in a different section of the train. I kept looking ahead, hopeful that he would make his way back to my area. But he didn't. And while I had a feeling I knew the guy I thought was Eugene, I decided not to make a scene and try to find him.
So the train took off and I sat in my seat. Moments later, the conductor came and took my ticket. I sighed, wondering if I was going to meet Eugene (yeah, my melodramatic ass could've walked over there...*LOL*). Fortunately Eugene came over to my section and we immediately hit it off. I wound up moving to his section of the train, which was actually business class and had more leg room than the cramped coach section.
Eugene was so playful. He seemed really excited to meet me as was I. We chatted about our respective holidays and our "menses" (that's his terminology...*LOL*). And by "menses", I mean man prospects...*LOL*. Of course, we were discreet about it.
I really got the big brother vibe from him. It was especially true when I made some comment and he punched me in the shoulders. I was like 'what the heck you do that for'. I realized that brothers do that all the time and since I missed out on having a brother, the concept was foreign to me.
We had about six hours (aside from falling asleep and doing our own individual things) to chat with each other. I concluded once we finally arrived in Chicago, that my vibes about Eugene were on the mark. He really is one of the coolest people I've met this year and I'm definitely blessed to have him in my life.
Since the train was late, his friend wound up coming to meet him at the train station directly. Well not really at the train station but at a McDonald's outside of the station. So I never got to see his "straight" friend. We parted ways, vowing to call each other after the New Year to talk about how we spent our New Year's (He's staying at his friend's place until the 5th).
So this will likely be my last post of 2005. I can't believe that a New Year will be rolling in tomorrow. One more day for me to get my goals from Ms. Holiday's challenge in place.
Let me say that I'm also blessed to have gotten to know a lot of you in the blog world via your blogs. Being able to share my thoughts and have folks actually care about what I say has been truly a cool experience. It's also nice reading everyone else's thoughts. I look forward to our continued blog journey in the 06. Happy New Year everyone!