I was interviewing a former CEO of a visual effects company, and we somehow got to the subject of love.
“I can finally say I’m in love,” he said, all grinning and happy like a child given a huge-ass lollipop. He went through a brutal divorce a few years back, but serendipitously met a woman at a party whom he recognized as the girl from college who he “always thought was pretty.”
They’re living together now, and they will get married this year.
But anyway, when I heard that, I asked him what “being in love” means.
“When real love hits you,” he told me, “nothing about that person bothers you anymore. It becomes almost a joke. She does something that will normally bother you, but instead of getting annoyed you find yourself laughing and going, ‘Aw, isn’t that cute?’”
I won’t even pretend to understand what “real love” means in the romantic context, but when it comes to my family—whom I love the most in the world— I think the opposite is true.
I have more pet peeves towards my family than I have with other friends and acquaintances, probably because I know them the most and I’ve spent the majority of my life with them. I’ve seen them in their ratty pajamas; I’ve seen them early in the morning with morning breath and their hair all mussed up; and I’ve seen them at their weakest points.
Although it’s been a while since I’ve last seen my family, reuniting with them even for a couple days means they’ve also reignited the things that bother me about them.
Here’s just a brief list of the pet peeves I remembered about my darling family:
- They’re SO slow. We will decide to have lunch at noon, but we’ll inevitably leave the house an hour and a half later.
- Whenever we go out together as a family, someone from church will call my dad. He’ll then spend an hour or so talking to that person about church matters while we wait. Sometimes, I just wish my dad could shed his pastoral duties for just one afternoon.
- Speaking of pastoral duties, I wish my dad would stop preaching sometimes.
- My parents tend to generalize groups of people (race, age, etc.). It’s really due to their upbringing; they speak in stereotypes but don’t actually think that way (Truthfully though, I’m guilty of that too, but it’s easier to spot that in other people than in myself.).
- My mom NEVER picks up her cell phone because she never carries it around. She also doesn’t know how to use it except to speed-dial our home phone.
- My brother, on the other hand, is ALWAYS on his phone texting. Texting when we’re eating, texting when we’re driving, texting when we’re walking.
- They make random remarks and comments that serve no purpose except to irritate.
The list can go on, the longer I spend time with them. Yet, there is no doubt in my heart that I love them so, so, sooooo much. And I’m sure that they, too, can recite a never-ending list of things I do that annoy them, but they love and accept me all the same.
That’s family, I guess. You don’t always get along and there’s tons of things about them (and me) that drive each other crazy, but you’re kind of born loving them. You have no choice but to love them because you are bound for as long as you live by blood.
I’m leaving tomorrow morning to New York City. My family and I are going to have a final family worship together, and then it’ll be goodbye until months later.
We had a final lunch out together at Cafe Oggi in McLean.
Cafe Oggi is an old-style Italian restaurant. Actually, we visited this place almost exactly three years ago. It was a momentous event for me because I conquered one of my biggest fear food at the time, pasta. With four kinds of cheeses.
Funny how that just sounds delicious instead of scary to me now. How things change.
We visited this place because my dad was craving pasta (the man can eat any form of noodles every.single.day) and we remembered how much we enjoyed our last meal here.
It was so nice to break bread here together again. Both figuratively and literally.
As always, the meal started out with warm Italian bread.
Dipped in herby olive oil.
This time, we decided to be a bit less “Asian” and order an appetizer as well. My brother chose the fried calamari:
YUM. It was so good. You can’t go wrong with fried calamari. Well, actually, I guess you can since it isn’t easy to fry calamari just right so that it ain’t greasy or rubbery.
With a spritz of lemon juice and dipped liberally into marinara sauce…I’d take this over popcorn. As I was eating this, I thought I could probably make a meal out of a bucket of these tender crispies.
I knew what my dad was going to order before we even took a peek into the menu. Even though he pretends he might order something else, he always ends up ordering the same thing because he already knows what he likes: Something spicy with seafood and long slurpy noodles.
He got the Spaghetti Vongole, the same thing he ordered three years ago.
Spaghetti cooked with tomato sauce, Italian clams, garlic and olive oil.
It doesn’t come spicy, but my dad requested it to be made extra spicy.
They were very generous with the clams!
My mom ordered something similar. She got the Linguine Scoglio:
Linguine cooked with mussels, clams and calamari in tomato sauce.
She also got it made spicy. We Lee Family love our spice! In fact, we loved this dish so much we ordered another!
My brother ordered the Cannelloni al Forno:
Rolled pasta filled with veal and vegetables, covered in Fontina cheese and Aurora sauce. Aurora sauce basically means tomato cream sauce, according to the waiter. I let my brother take the above picture.
I was at first disappointed by the visually small amount of crabmeat in my dish, but as I digged in, I realized there were plenty of fleshy crab chunks hidden inside.
Gorgeous dish, with nicely cooked pasta tossed with a simple olive oil dressing.
Okay, I’m off to spend the last hours with my family. I’ll probably be posting pretty irregularly on my blog from now on, but if I do, that just means I’m actually enjoying my classes and learning a whole lot of stuff.
I can’t wait.
Question of the Day: What’s the most adorable thing about your family?