Traded in the stress of the big city for the stress of being with my family... a.k.a. : Labor Day Weekend / by Rollie Agado

I can’t believe that summer is coming to a close this weekend…  I vaguely remember Memorial Day weekend this morning but I recall thinking to myself that the summer of 2013 had a hint of “promise”.

A promise of what exactly?  I don’t know…  I kinda thought I would have had more personal time tho’.  

Received a last minute phone call from my sister on Friday asking if I would be willing to drive to the Valley with her and my niece so that she could spend time with my parents.

I knew that by saying “no”, that I would be guilt ridden by the rents until we saw each other again, so I agreed to hop in a car and visit home for the first time since February.

The visit has been relaxing for the most part… my parents are preoccupied with their grand daughter, the pets are constantly running in and out of the house.  My sister has found footing between being hyper-vigilant of her daughters care while we’re asked to look over her and occupying her other moments to do things she normally can’t do.

Being a parent sucks.

As for myself… I slowly slink to three locations… my bedroom, the living room couch and the refrigerator.

Especially the refrigerator: I open it periodically hoping that its contents have improved since my last visit.  


They never do.

Then I judge my parents on the items they’ve elected to stock it with…

Napping :

It’s alarming how much napping goes on in this household.  Both my father (age 79) and niece (9 months) find pockets of time to sleep throughout the day.  More so, my old man…  I lucked out yesterday when he didn’t fall asleep with the remote control clutched in his hand.


The pets (Elliot, Coco, Amos) catch small naps throughout the day also… but they’re sorta programed to do so.

My sister and mom sneak in naps and justifiably as they are at the mercy of my nine month old niece.

Everything in the house is predisposed to call out my name when they wake up so I never get to fucking nap…

Dinner: Meals are always a treat in this house hold… not only are we expected to have them together.  You’re expected to have comedic material as we roast every member around the table.

Combatant #1 : Alfredo, favorite target to tag: Son

I love that may father goes out of his way to stare blankly at menus… My mother or sister order for him at any restaurant he dines at.  His pallet consists of 6 things… 3 of which are steak.  He never weighs in on where we elect to have dinner… he knows that we’re going to select a place that can accommodate one of the 6 plates he’ll eat at a restaurant.

He mercilessly picked on me for ordering a soup for dinner and made a few cracks about my weight.  Keep it classy dad.

Combatant 2: Joker, favorite target to tag: Brother & Mother

Motherhood does a number of people…  my sister spent a good part of her dinner looking after her little one.  When she wasn’t doing that, she criticized everyone for allowing her daughter to reach for things she shouldn’t put in her mouth.

Everyone at the table, with the exception of Chivo - suggested she had a bi-polar disorder.  We kid cause we love. (seriously tho, get meds)

Combatant 3: Mom, favorite target: Daughter and Son… I’m a distant 2nd tho’.

Mother is an equal opportunity roaster.  She makes it a point to tag everyone at the table with the exception of my niece.  Only a matter of months before she too gets it.

My mom is blind as a bat and she forgot to bring glasses to read the menu.  She does this ALL THE TIME.  We all teased her by pointing out fictional things on the menu, as she sat in frustration - not being able to confirm what we’re talking about.

Combatant 4: Hobbes

She can’t really speak, but I’m pretty sure she’s alerting me that her mother is nuts.

We all agreed.

Combatant 5: Chivo

Chivo’s has been family fixture for 20 years…  my family see’s him as a sibling of sorts.  My parents often remind me that he’s completed his Ph.D.

We all shared in reminding him that he’s unemployed still.  He has something good lined up tho’.  Poor guy, I he’s stressed as all get out.

Dinner came and went without anyone really having their feelings hurt…  I actually ran into my God Parents at the restaurant also.

Shortly after dinner, Chivo and I stopped into a bar just outside of Brownsville called the Flying Pig.  While there, a drunk guy claimed to have won 39 thousand dollars at the dog track.   He tried to buy me shots and asked me to go dove hunting today…  

I rejected both offers.  I apparently attract the weird ones.