We spent the long weekend in New Jersey. Since we've had a sort of whirlwind romance, and he doesn't go home that much, I'd not met either of his sisters.
So we headed up to visit his younger sister and her husband. And their two over-enthusiastic, filthy, never been washed and love to roll around in the dirt Labs. And their yippy Jack Russell. And two cats.
The sister and her husband were nice, but for someone with allergies and asthma, their house is one definition of Hell.
They'd put the cats out and had cleaned the room we were staying in. Had scrubbed and scrubbed and washed the sheets twice, and put two air filters in. But all that hair and dander and whatever all those animals roll in and spread all over the house? Is still all over the house.
And the dogs are the kind that are all pet me! pet me! pet me! And want to rub as close to you as possible. If this entails knocking over the coffee table, so be it. In fact, if they could squeeze inside your clothing to be closer to you, they would.
And in the background is the barking and frenzied leaping of the Jack Russell. Who is eventually grabbed and put on a lap, which is precisely what she wants.
At first I was petting the Labs, partly because they were nice and I do like dogs, even though these were really greasy and stinky. But also partly because the Jack Russell was so incredibly irritating and in your face. And so I was all, ooh, nice puppies! to the Labs, and ignoring the annoying yippy one jumping around, trying to get attention.
But at some point you wash your hands and just don't want them to get all greasy and doggy and gross. And when you tell them that you're done petting them because your hands are clean and they are not, they don't really get it.
The bigger issue in all this chaos is that I just couldn't breathe, and we had to leave. We retreated to his parents' house, which isn't far.
If you've never had an asthma attack, it's very hard to understand how terrifying it is not to be able to breathe. I once read an article that said if you want to explain asthma to people, tell them to do jumping jacks or run fast for two minutes. And then have them pinch their nose and breathe through a drinking straw. It's like that.
The fact that I was nervous about meeting them, paired with animal hysteria and all the not breathing, plus the realization that this family? With all these issues that I can currently walk away from? Is soon going to be my family. And issues I'll have to contend with.
I, of all people, don't expect families to be issue-free. But you know, we all have our own, and you get how your own family works and how to deal. Plus it's your own family, so you can voice your thoughts and opinions. Taking on a whole new family? Is terrifying.
All of this together made the bulk of the weekend a little stressful. Or maybe somewhere between fairly and completely fucking stressful. Probably falling more towards the completely fucking end of the spectrum.
We stopped and saw Jane in Philly on the way home, and that was like coming in from a hail storm. And her house? Has a two year old. One can hardly call it calm.
I'm glad we went up, I'm glad I got to meet them, and it underlined for me that I adore the everloving crap out of Nick and am never voluntarily letting him go.
That said, I can't even tell you how happy I was to be home last night.