Sunday, August 9, 2015

I am only here out of guilt.

Aloha you majestical tyrants of the world.

I am writing this beautiful blog post in my new apartment in *drum roll* Provo Utah! *horn goes wah wah waaaaahhhhhhhh*.
After a fanciful adventure across the east coast, Peter and I have settled into our home for the next five years while I complete my PhD. in Marriage and Family Therapy and he does his masters in Public Administration. We're very excited.

It's obviously been a long time since I blogged which is due to a variety of things: discouragement that I'm a terrible blogger, sadness over leaving Hawaii, busyness in adventuring, and then guilt for not knowing how to summate my life into a readable post. So know this. I am here out of guilt. LOVE ME FOR IT.

Immediately after leaving Hawaii we headed over to Pennsylvania to reunite with the Gregory clan in all its entirety. Here's a fun fact about my life: I married into a family quite different from my own. Even though my father and father-in-law are incredibly similar to each other, and my two mothers seem like they could be distant cousins in many ways, the actual families function like two very distinct and unique cultures.

My family is a fan of things happening when they happen. Sure, we will have a brief concept of a meet up, but plans are rarely meticulously sculpted before they happen. You come here, and I'll meet you there, and life will go as it goes. This is the Meservy way. Not so the Gregorys.

Upon arrival to the reunion each family was presented with a swag bag containing chocolates, T-shirts, and a bound itinerary. As it turns out, I don't have a photograph of this itinerary, nor do I still have it, because blasphemy. Obviously. But, every day was planned out and organised in each page. Each of the 34 family members had a bio, shower schedules were outlined, daily menus planned, and activities had a timetable.

We interrupt your previously scheduled blog post for a poorly placed flashback. 

In 2011 when Peter went home to Seattle to prepare for his mission, I Skyped with him daily. Through these daily chats, I met his little sister Shanna. After he left for Japan, Shanna and I kept in touch, and through a series of strange decisions, I was invited to come to Seattle for Thanksgiving with the family.
Upon hearing that I flew out to meet my husband's family alone while he was on his mission and before we were even engaged most people say "Why?" To them I answer, "because I was insane."

The entire trip I received many texts from my sister and friends asking if I had broken the toilet yet, seeing as that was my biggest fear about the entire trip. I believe they were mocking me with their checkups, but honestly, who can blame me for being terrified?! Wouldn't that just be the worst impression to ever leave with the family of the boy you're in love with? Prior to my trip I spent hours talking with my therapist about my genuine terror of clogging the Gregory family toilet. Such a thing would have been especially terrible had Peter and I ended up breaking up and not being friends post mission.

Gregory family member: "Hey, Peter. Do you remember that one girl who was so in love with you that she came out to see us while you were on your mission?"

Peter: "Oh yeah... I remember her. She was fun."

GFM: "Yeah, she was... fun. Although she broke the toilet."

Peter: "She what?"

GFM: "We never told you that? Oh yeah. She went to the bathroom and then didn't come out for like an hour. We heard screams and water splashing, and when she finally came out she just begged us to forgive her. The toilet was totally busted."

Peter: "Busted how? Like, broken? or clogged?"

GFM: "Yes. Any way that a toilet can potentially be broken. The poop was everywhere, and the seat was just destroyed. We essentially had to completely redo the upstairs bathroom all because your girlfriend has toilet issues."

Peter: "Wow. Dodged a bullet there."


Anyway, luckily I didn't poop the entire weekend (just kidding, I'm pretty sure I had normal bowel movements (I know you were concerned)) and people loved me, and Peter and I later got all murried and stuff, so really this family reunion was amateur hour compared to my 2011 introduction.

Therefore, my nerves regarding this family get together had less about breaking toilets and more about whether I would go mad after a week and a half of close family time with the in-laws. Turns out, I will not go mad, and the Gregorys are a good clan to be a part of. I spent most of my time snuggling cute niblings and observing the adults interact, much like an anthropologist except I wasn't being mauled for touching the cubs. Here are my top five lessons learned about the Gregory folks.

1. If Fiddler on the Roof is playing, you sing along. It doesn't matter what time it is.
The earliest rendition of the musical I experienced was at 6:30am on a Thursday. I have high hopes that I will never hear Matchmaker this early again for as long as I live.

2. Dog piles are a constant presence.
I really have never witnessed as many dog piles in my life. Quick way to end one, is for me to get involved, seeing as I was new enough for people to still be furtive around me. First rule of dog piles: You must be a seasoned Gregory in order to participate.

3. Gregory women cluck like roosters/hens when they laugh together.
I can't believe I never audio recorded this phenomenon. I have only my own attempts to replicate it.

4. When playing a game, if you're not willing to lose all your friends, you're not playing hard enough.
Competition runs hard in the family. Don't start what you're not willing to give everything to finish.

5. Everyone yells. A lot.
This is something I assume most large families can relate to. With eight Gregory siblings, seven Gregory spouses, and several litters of Gregory spawn, voices get loud and stay that way. You must be heard to be part of the herd.

I am grateful to have married in to such a wonderful and loving family. Many people complain about their in-laws, but I'm blessed to have it pretty fantastic.

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