03 August 2006

Mormors Fodelsedag i Redding

Two weekends back, I picked up my sister at the Oakland Airport yet again - and we drove home to Redding. This time, our visit was not for the purposes of "rest and relaxation" but rather to celebrate Mormor's 85th birthday. For those of you who have not caught on yet, Mormor means mother's mother in Swedish. In preparation for the weekend I bought an overpriced pair of "formal shorts." Not only was the expected temperture 117 degrees, but Mormor has a deep-seeded dislike of all things denim (jeans and skirts) and I felt the least I could do on her birthday was buy myself an overpriced pair of shorts. What a thoughtful "lilla alskling" I am.

On Saturday, Nicki also drove into the heat to celebrate Mormor's birthday with the Thompson clan - but she served a dual purpose of rescuing me from the insanity that was my mother's inability to stop cleaning. Don't even consider putting your cup of water down for five minutes - within two it has been spirited away to the dishwasher, never to be seen again. Even an evening at the Redding hot spot, The Martini Bar, couldn't fully relax her. Finally, following the birthday party on Sunday afternoon, my mom returned to her normal self - whatever that means.

As for me - and I believe this to be the case with most young adults - my maturity level regressed like ten years while I was home with my family. I don't know what it is. In Berkeley I am one of the more chill people I know. I favor sincerity over sarcasm in how I interact with people, but there seems to be a thirty-mile radius extending from Redding that somehow activates a normally dormant sarcastic side of my personality. By Sunday morning of the party I had fully morphed into a cynical version of myself - I don't think Nicki recognized me. I think the transformation is a by-product of two things:

1. The overwhelling aura of positivity and organization that emenates from my mom and sister when they are together - I think I seek to balance the environment by providing some much needed cynicism. If I was my normally happy and productive self, I think the space that the three of us occupied would implode.
2. My dad's sarcasm rubs off on me - At home I truly become my father's daughter.

Overall, I can't complain about the weekend. It was hot - but in Redding at least everyone has air-conditioning - and lakes filled with taunting drunkards (but that's a story for another day). Mormor seemed pleased with her party - and after it ended the fam, Nicki and I listened to tapes of me and Mormor singing Swedish songs way back in 1983 - doesn't get much better than that! To top it off, two of my favorite people, Nicki and Danika, got to know each other better and commiserate about being friends with me. Plus, it is fun to be the sarcastic one every now and again.


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