Millhouse has been released from two days in the laundry room.
My freezer now has multiple bagels / English muffins / bread / bran muffins in it. (I may have slightly overestimated my guests' breakfast needs.)
And I have learned something important about myself.
I am not good at Settlers of Catan. Not good at all.
At one point during the game, my Famous-Author-Cousin's son expressed sincere sympathy for me, just sitting there doing nothing, while they all busily built trade routes and cities. I kept staring at the cards in my hand, trying to make sense of the pictures on them. My friends, I am not a pictures kind of person. Words. I need words.
There are no words in Settlers of Catan, so I lost by staring at cards with pictures of sheep on them, and saying, "No, I'm sorry, I don't have any sheep. Oh wait ... um ... just a sec ... yes. Yes, I DO have a sheep ... What was the question?" Her husband politely refrained from rolling his eyes at my ineptitude, but once again, I know I helped him feel good about his choice of cousins many moons ago.
But it was all perfectly acceptable, because (1) it wasn't a game of Monopoly. I don't lose graciously at Monopoly. And (2) three kids decided to call me "Aunt Patti" because it's too complicated to say, "Excuse me, first-cousin-once-removed Patti, your cat is chewing my leg off." And that was rather nice. The Aunt Patti part. Not the maiming.
Plus her daughter helped me squirt ketchup on things in church on Sunday, so that was fun.
But for all of you encouragers who are determined that my Famous-Author-Cousin is not a superior being to me, I offer you this poignant moment that God set up, just to help me explain to you the truth of me in comparison to her.
After they left, I discovered the loveliest of thank you cards, with a perfectly scribed note of gratitude within, sitting gently on top of 4 very classy-looking black slate coasters. They're gorgeous. I suspect she mined the slate herself (or got her brother to - he knows about mines). And then gently etched the coasters with an artistic swirl during the previously-mentioned G20 policy-crafting sessions.
I, on the other hand, finished admiring them and immediately turned around and dumped my entire cup of coffee across the table, over most of my school work, onto two leather chairs, and into the carpet.
I rest my case.