Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Managing Expectations

Mr. M taught me this very valuable tool and I put it to use this past weekend.

I was guilted into traveling across North Dakota for a family reunion this weekend. Imagine 27 year old Bro, 22 year old seester, me, Mom, and Step-dad in a toyota camry packed to the brim. We were car bound for a total of 14 hours.

Before I left Mr. M talked to me about not setting myself up to be pissed off. If I just expect everyone to be at their worst then anything more would be great. So I tried it.

Grandpa - was grumpy and mean
Grandma - was steadfast by his side and allowed him to be grumpy and mean
Auntie Liza - was suck up central with gma and gpa. (although she did not give any zingers, which was a bonus!)
Auntie Neversee - was wonderful as usual. Non-confrontational mostly absorbed in her three kids (bonus! we got to play tag with 2 year olds!)
Uncle Airforce - was not as harsh as usual and spent most of his time wranglin his kids. (bonus! He has is OWN kids to be harsh with and not us anymore!)
Uncle Whinypants - was whiny but is now engaged and his fiancee does an excellent job of buffering him (BONUS! we have a buffer!)
Auntie soon to be - was meek and quiet (did I mention excellent buffer!)
Uncle Laidback - was laid back as usual... also brought some woman.
Some woman - eh, not too thrilled with her entrance into the family, hopefully something will throw a wrench into that plan. She's awfully condescending to me... and let's face it can't be more than 6 years my senior.
Bro - agreed to a verbal contract before the trip to not tease or pinch me (BONUS! bro acted like an adult!)
Seester - acted like she usually does (managed expectations came in handy here)
Mom - stressball, frantic, anxiety ridden, angry at gma and gpa etc etc. (I was prepared for this)
Step-Dad - EXCELLENT buffer for mom when she gets nuts.
Uncle Posh - drank at the bar and kept repeating "I just do what I'm told". Which was pretty funny.

So all in all... not so bad. I wish Mr. M could have enjoyed the excursion with me but I couldn't possible subject him to that much torture. He'll be joining me this weekend for the ferry ride down the Mississippi with the family. Part II to the reunion. I'm sure it'll be a dooozy.


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