My, my, my, what a week it has been. So much to talk about, so little time. This has been one of those weeks where I have mostly taken a break from social media, so you KNOW there's been a lot going on. I suppose I will briefly touch on the election outcome results since... well, it's probably one of the most shocking we've ever experienced as a nation. As I said in last week's post, I was mentally prepared for either outcome. Along with me being prepared however, came a most likely scenario in my head. The results turned out to be the complete opposite of that. I watched the outcome unfold at a bar of all places, so emotions were already high and very tense. As the final verdict was spread across the screen, the mood in the entire place seemed to shift. Me personally? I was a bit stunned at first, but I got over it quickly (mostly because I was drunk, and secondly because I generally get over everything quite quickly). Upon looking around at everyone else, people were very somber. Some even shed a tear. The days to come proved to be even MORE emotional as tensions seemed to rise even higher. Hate crimes, protests, social media outcry, you name it! It's a crazy feeling when a place you were born and raised turns into something you don't even recognize anymore. I agree, it's hard to have pride in a place that doesn't seem to represent who you are. For good or for bad though, there is definitely no place like home.
After the election news debacle, I also had to fly back to Detroit this weekend (the key word here is HAD TO (which is actually two words, but whatever)). After my last visit to Detroit, I swore I wouldn't come back unless I had either a rental car or another place to stay besides my sister's house. I HATE being dependent on others for rides, and being trapped in the suburbs all day with no car, where the closest store is a 15-minute walk! It's the worst, and always like that whenever I go back. Not to mention, the last few times I've been there, I've been stranded by a flood, a snowstorm, and a miscommunication about a return ticket. Just terrible. Alas, I was asked to come back into town because my oldest sister would be flying in for the first time in about 5 years (since the 1 year anniversary of our mother's death). It was pretty rare, so it was only right that I too came back. I scraped together whatever little starving artist money I had to buy a plane ticket.
My dad's current house isn't really that big, so whenever I come to Detroit, I usually stay at my sister's house with her and her kids. I didn't even really tell anyone else I'd be in town. I figured this would be a quick stay, simply for us all to be together for a little while on this truly rare occasion. Since all of us being together is so rare, we are sort of obligated to take photos together (which I honestly don't mind, everyone loves a good sister picture). After hours of being in my sister's house, hours of everyone getting ready, hours of no food, and the sun setting, they decided to take pictures. I obliged for a bit, but after a while of not getting a perfect shot, I was over it all and had to eat something before I fainted. My younger sister threatened that unless we took a good picture, she wouldn't drive us anywhere to eat. Terrible. I protested and said we should wait until a more opportune moment (preferably when we are all properly nourished). This was taken as me having an attitude...
After sitting down to eat with my dad, my younger sister asked my youngest sister for the photos she had taken. After a few minutes of not receiving them, she promptly proclaimed she was officially done taking pictures with us for the rest of the time. A very dramatic response I must say. We then visited our grandmother and heard a few stories about our childhood, which is always quite lovely. As we tried to all get on one accord and take a group photo, younger sis stuck to her word and simply refused to be in one with every body else (she took her own selfies with grandma). Eh, we all laughed it off. Who want's to argue in front of their grandmother? We were all gonna go out that night, but they (the drivers) decided to stay in, so we all stayed in and played video games. The next day, we all woke up fairly late, yet we decided to give picture day one more go around. We would all get 15 minutes to direct our own setup, and share all the photos with one another. It seemed to be agreed upon, so we all started getting dressed. We played music, raided my sister's closet, did each other's makeup. Normal!
As I was playing (some darn amazing) music from my phone, younger sister chimed in with a song request. I actually don't mind song requests, and it was one of my favorite songs actually, so yes, it was on its way. However, the suggestion quickly turned into a demand. She refused to enjoy the current music a moment longer until her demand was met. This prompted a string of tangents and connections in my head, so I stopped the music completely to talk. If you've ever been around me in a group setting, you would know that I hate to speak and yell over people, so while I had complete silence in the room, and after I had collected all of my thoughts, I decided to finally speak my mind. I made the (probably obvious) discovery that each one of me and my sisters are all VERY naturally dominate. We all want our way, and we all want it now. That seems to be the root of why we clash so much. This sparked a conversation between us all. A conversation that we never really have because we've never ALL hung out at the same time before. It began as an extremely eye opening experience. It's awesome to get to know your own flesh and blood. It tells you bit about YOU in a way.
Somewhere along the line however, my younger sister (the one who refused to take pictures at first) started to get a bit off topic. She began to direct all of her responses towards me personally. She also started to go back into our childhood to dig up the fact that (she thought) I always hated her and tried to get her in trouble. Obviously she has been holding all of this in for quite some time because everything just kept spilling out. Her voice is louder than mine, and she wouldn't lower it. I always speak in a calming/zen tone these days (which she had the nerve to call condescending btw), so I feel as though a lot of what I was saying was going completely unheard. Also, as the conversation escalated between us, I felt her starting to basically yell at me (all the while, I'm sitting down mind you, as she was standing up). As I sat there trying to take some calming breaths, she continued to yell about how she has tried all she could to be my friend over the years, but if I wasn't her sister we wouldn't even be speaking. I tried to tune a lot of it out, but I did hear her calling me ungrateful, hateful, and an ice queen. She also began to comment on how nobody asked me to come to Detroit, and that she lets me stay with her, drives me around, let's me use her electricity and sit on her bed.... It just got completely out of hand. I stopped talking altogether. Both of my other sisters were also in the room. They said nothing. Somewhere between the part with her telling me I could basically get out of her house because she doesn't "f*** with me" anymore, and her yelling at me like I was one of her kids, I simply decided to pack my little bag and get the heck outta there as fast as I could. The main reason being, I didn't want to start saying things I'd regret later by speaking out of frustration, anger, and desperation instead of rationality (as she was), and the other reason being, I REFUSE to just sit there and be talked to like a child. Honey, I stay with you because you are my darn family, don't think it's because I have nowhere else to go. You aren't doing me any favors sweetheart, my life in NYC is perfect.
My storm out was tough. Especially since the sun was going down, it was freezing, I barely had proper clothes on, and there was nothing really within walking distance. This may be a bit dramatic on my part, but I refused to answer calls from my other 2 sisters or my dad (who found out what went down apparently). I just walked. I had to breathe. It's hard to feel as though you aren't listened to, and by the ones who you SHOULD be able to talk to at that. It was all very frustrating. I wanted to get out of Detroit as soon as possible. I couldn't bear to be there another minute. I didn't want to see anyone else. After walking around for (what seemed like) hours, I came across a Starbucks to plot my next move. Detroit fortunately has Uber, so I was contemplating just heading to the airport to try and get the next flight out... never to return again. I decided against that (mostly because I don't really have any money in my account for all of that). For some reason, I felt I couldn't just leave. I eventually called my dad to come pick me up and go get a drink somewhere and de-stress. We drove around for a while talking (which I never usually do because my dad always stays far away from my sister's house whenever I come to town). He is quiet like me, so it worked out fine. We ended up driving back to my sister's house to pick up my youngEST sister. I also got a chance to say goodbye to my oldest sister, who came out to the car to say goodbye. Unfortunately, I didn't get to say goodbye to my niece and nephew (who were probably being held hostage by their mother from evil aunt Bretony). I ended up staying at my dad's house with my youngest sister (who has surprisingly been awesome the last 2 times I came to visit). She had me watching this show called Westworld (which I'm hooked on now) until my flight that morning.
All in all, home is home. I can't change it. I can't pick my family, can't pick who else is American either. We are all so vastly different, but the home factor unites us. We argue and have different viewpoints ALL the time. That won't ever change. We all have to coexist in the world somehow, so we might as well start figuring it the eff out. Taking a step back to look at everything and breathe really does help, atleast a little (for me). And sure, fleeing Michigan (or some thinking of leaving this country), may sound appealing in the moment, but our family remains. We can't just abandoned everything cold turkey because things don't go our way. It's also good to stay and work things out. Which is obviously easier said than done (seeing that I didn't really do that myself). I will say that anger and heat of the moment actions and words are never ever good. I always try to remove myself, atleast for a little while. That's why I haven't been on social media this week. It was kind of like me escaping for a while to return later with a collection of my thoughts and true feelings. Being the hopeful person that I am, I'd really like to believe it will all work out, even if it does get tough sometimes. That's life though! It will get better. Maybe one day we'll finally get our picture.
P.s. We did take SOME pictures, but I was clearly over it in a lot of them, and they were all pretty meh. My younger sister did however, bend her stance on not taking pictures with us when we went to visit the first house we all grew up in. We actually knocked on the door and asked the guy who lived there if we could. I really wanted to go inside, but he was in there smoking weed (which is semi legal now in Michigan!)
P.p.s. In my sister's argument about me, she also said I never really tell about my life. I've heard before that I can be quite vague, so that's why in this particular post I was a bit more descriptive. It turned out to be super long, but I hope it was descriptive enough for you folks! A picture is truly worth a thousand words...
P.p.p.s. Also at my dad's house, I got to watch the SNL episode with Dave Chappelle (whom I love). His opening monolog was quite amazing at summarizing his thoughts on this post-election epidemic.