Friday, January 2, 2015

Shimps for Dinner

We've been spending a lot of time recently at the Shimp home in Lehi. Aside from my own home growing up, and probably tied with mine and Stephen's home now, this is currently the homiest place in the world to me. Here's what a pretty typical night there looks like.

We walk in without knocking. B is playing some game in the living room. He looks up and smiles at us - he is so congenial - and makes some nice welcoming comment.

M and L are

a. in their room, playing with the geckos.
b. eating, or
c. playing on the computer.

When we get there, Logan usually starts yelling. Something like, "HEY, what are you guys doing here??" [Angry breathing for emphasis] "You don't wanna mess with ME!" [Southernish accent he picked up from who knows where]

Michael usually tries to ignore us until Stephen starts antagonizing him. 

Natalie is 

a. out with her friends. 
b. watching makeup tutorials, or 
c. putting on makeup.

Sometimes we see her right away and she says hi. Sometimes she just stays in her room until she feels like socializing. Sometimes "socializing" starts with her saying "Okay, here's why I kissed a gay guy."

All is generally peaceful. So of course, Stephen has to 

a. pick up an airsoft gun and threaten M&L with it
b. start chasing M or L, or
c. ignore them and start eating.

Today he ate, then attacked Michael with this wooden machete thing, a souvenir from a cruise.

"Stop. It!" screams Michael, squirming in his seat at the computer, trying to keep playing his game. "I'm serious! Heather, make him stop!"

"Dude, I'm just playing, I'm just messing around," Stephen says. This is always hilarious to him.

With the first scuffle to announce our arrival, we settle into our routines. I go upstairs to say hi to Mama Shimp. Today she is feeding peanut butter crackers to Logan. We make it about five minutes into a Lifetime movie before Stephen comes up and attacks me with a metal spring clamp, trying to clamp it on my butt. (What.) I fall off the bed and somehow we wind up with Stephen thumping my collarbone with his knuckle and Logan wrapped around his neck, trying to help me, I think?

Eventually Stephen gets off. "He loves to play with people," Mama Shimp explains happily. I am annoyed. I leave to do laundry. Stephen follows me to tell me how sorry he is for crossing the line and how cute I am. Whate'er.....but I stop being annoyed.

Stephen goes to take a shower. He's obsessed with showering here. He says he can't remember the last time he showered at our house.....uh.

I start doing something on my laptop, or making food in the kitchen. Today it's blogging and Facebook stalking a boy the Jew is going on a date with tonight. Brandon comes over to help me make fun of admire the horrible hairs we find on the Facebook. (He is the perfect little brother).

Eventually it is time for dinner. So, twenty minutes after it's ready, everyone has finally made their way into the kitchen. Mama Shimp is exasperated. "You'd think, because it's food, everyone would want to come in and eat, but no!" We marvel together. Logan punches Michael in the ribs.

Brandon says the prayer and everyone runs around the island in slow-motion franticness. We are too lazy to rush, but everyone's survival instincts have kicked in, telling us that there are lots of competitors for our food. Even though there is plenty, we can't seem to walk in a patient single-file line around the island to fill our plates.

Dinner is always a little different, but it seems like these things must all happen at every dinner, at least once.

- Logan saying "Moooom, can you help me??"
- Michael bringing one or both of the geckos to the table
- Everyone yelling at him to get the animals away from the table
- Logan standing up on his chair and screaming while smacking his own butt
- Brandon telling Logan to "Dude, sit down, freakin idiot"
- Mama Shimp telling Brandon not to say freakin in her house
- Logan falling on the floor / gasping dramatically / running away because he is worried he's not going to get enough food
- Michael complimenting himself on something or sharing some deep thought

i.e., "My up is that I looked good for family pictures today."
also "Rock Obama is our president....wait. Ock Obama? I don't remember!"
and, "Mublicans believe in cutting open babies."
also "It's actually really pretty impressive that I got the part of Romeo, because there's only one person from each class who got it, so."

- Natalie taking a selfie. She is kind of immune to the chaos
- Michael burp-saying something (it's actually quite a talent)
- Stephen and Brandon reminiscing about the last time they played Airsoft
- Mama Shimp sighing that all she wants is one dinner without yelling
- Brandon snapping at Michael to "Stop being so greedy, there are other people who need to eat!" when he goes to get seconds or thirds
- Mama Shimp shushing everyone, putting Padre Shimp on speakerphone, and having him repeat whatever romantic thing he just said to her for everyone to hear
- Someone excitedly forecasting the farts that are about to commence when they notice the slightest amount of cheese in the meal
- Logan asking if there are almonds in this
- Mama Shimp assuring him that there are not
- Logan spotting something that looks slightly like an almond and indignantly accusing Mama Shimp of trying to kill him, since he is allergic.

I don't know if this kind of dinner would be alarming to someone who grew up in a smaller family, because I have only been apart of big families. But it reminds me of my family in a way that makes me love it here. 

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