My husband's family gets really, really into Halloween. I don't. Neither does my father-in-law, Rodger, so instead of helping create a haunted house in the garage, I stayed inside. With Rodger. Here are my observations, as recorded by a series of real-time text messages I sent to my sister.
5:14. I've decided not to spend Halloween outdoors in the 40° weather, which means I'm spending it indoors with Rodger instead. New low: he just tried to talk to me from the bathroom. Important message that couldn't wait fifty seconds: There's some pumpkin pie by the stove there. It's pretty good.
5:25. He just literally tossed my birthday card at me.
5:30. He is eating chili in his recliner in the living room, and has newspaper spread across his lap. For the spills. It's like watching grandpa eat towards the end.
5:33. It is barely five thirty and he has already suggested twice that I can help myself to chili. He was very surprised when I suggested that people might not be hungry yet.
6:07. Reassuring fact: Rodger firmly believes that second-hand smoke is "a real thing".
6:35. Laughing out loud at [a text from my sister]. Which is convenient, as it downs out Rodger's "List of foods and drinks you can help yourself to". This is recitation number six.
6:43. And for the third time, he is listing all the recent vehicular deaths in the area, with speculation as to cause and/or the involvement of alcohol.
7:34. Rodger is now explaining to me how Rochester used to be a mini-Manhattan. I am fairly sure he's never seen Manhattan.
7:47. He just told me the dog, who is sleeping, knows we're talking about him (we weren't), then asked him if he did. The dog, obviously, said nothing.
8:26. Just treated to a second description of some big house he delivered to, including wild guesses as to cost and full description of the multiple garages. Theorized cost of a big house in [small upstate town]: "At least four million."
8:37. Now he's explaining how it's not worth "all the mess" to have Thanksgiving when the kids aren't home, but that Kathy wants to so he lets her have her way.
8:50. Kathy told him to "shove it" when he wouldn't stop talking about how much of a hassle Thanksgiving is. Very awkward for the six other people in the room.
9:29. Rodger: You should take that costume of the dog. You're taking away his manhood. Katie [Andy's little sister, who flew home for Halloween], loudly: You were in here watching figure skating! You can't talk about manhood. [Note: did not tell either of them that "manhood" often refers to anatomy.]
10:04. Home. THANK GOD.