Celeste and Sarah came over today to just kind of hang out and stuff, because there was a BYU football game on, and since Steve is the only one who likes football, that makes things boring for everyone else. We were planning to watch Fright Before Christmas, but we remembered the time wrong and missed it. Ah well. It will be on again.
Anyway, we all went back to Mom's place for dinner. This was partly because Sarah had asked Mom to make chicken and rice, although Mom had forgotten about this and was planning to fix hot dogs instead. The game, of course, was still going on, and Celeste wasn't feeling well, so there wasn't a whole lot of conversation. And so I was bored. The solution to this was somehow to play Uno, and Celeste and I both said we didn't really want to play (Celeste had a much better reason, as she wasn't sure she could sit up), but we found ourselves playing anyway. Still, we were good about it, and Celeste beat me to saying Uno once, but I managed to win that round anyway.
It was the next round that things started getting crazy. Steve was the first one to reach Uno, and he said it as he was moving his card to the stack. We all thought this was unfair, but we checked the rules, and apparently it wasn't, so I started paying closer attention so I could beat Steve to saying Uno. I consider this to be something I would have done to anyone who tried to get away with calling Uno before their card was in the stack, but since it was Steve, it's easy to think that I was doing it because I don't like him.
The thing about being competitive is that people respond in a competitive way. This might have something to do with Sarah's mouthing at Celeste to look at his card, something that was easy to do without his noticing, because he kept putting it down on the table while he looked at the TV to check the progress of the game. Celeste did look at his card, and I was sitting between her and Sarah, so I ended up seeing it too, but all our cards were such that it didn't affect the gameplay anyway.
I did manage to call Uno before he did, but he said that I'm only allowed to call it after he's played the card. We argued about it for a little while, and I ended up letting it go.
The problem is I tend to get passionate when I'm arguing, and Sarah thought things were getting out of hand. So she cheerfully said she wasn't going to play anymore, put down her hand, and went to sit on the kitchen counter. Nobody really seemed to notice until her turn came up again, at which point we convinced her to rejoin us. She did, but she had about a million cards, so it took a while before anyone really noticed that she was putting them down two at a time. Athena called her on it, so she took one of the cards back, and I resumed gameplay, since it was my turn, but Mom was so appalled that Sarah had been cheating that the game came to a stop.
Sarah got upset that Mom was so upset with her for trying to make the game more fun after being forced to play again, and she left the room. We put all the cards away and Steve asked Mom if she wanted to do some more Christmas shopping. Steve went to get ready and Mom asked if anyone else needed to go shopping, at which point Athena and I both said we did, and since Sarah had mentioned a need to do some more shopping, I went to check on her.
While I was checking on Sarah, Steve came back and Mom told him that we were going to, at which point he said, "I'm not going with them." Steve suggested taking separate cars or us just going home, so Athena came to tell me what was going on, and then Steve rounded on Celeste. (At this point in the story, our home teacher (such a good audience) exclaimed, "What did you do!?")
The rest is kind of a blur. I remember coming across Celeste and Mom arguing in the hall, Celeste angry that Mom always chooses Steve over her daughters. When I made it into the living room, I asked Steve what we did to make him so upset, and he told me he wasn't going to have that argument with me, or something along those lines. I persisted and said I wanted to know what we did wrong so we could not do it anymore, and he said something about how he hears all the mutterings and comments we make. I'll grant him that we do mutter and make snide comments, but we hadn't tonight. In fact, I really think we've been getting better at either being more assertive or just getting over it. My point is, I thought we were being good tonight, and so did most everybody else, including Mom.
Anyway, while he and Mom were gone, we discussed things with Sarah. Celeste called some of her friends to talk to, so she didn't participate so much. I think talking things over with Sarah really helped, because she's kind of been stuck between everyone this whole time, and now, hopefully, she understands better where we're coming from. Mainly, that, while we are angry with Steve for the crap he put us through (directly or indirectly), he's the type of person we usually don't get along with anyway, so it's doubly hard for us to get along. That, and when we make our comments, we tend not to discriminate, only to react to a person's behavior. We've met other guys like Steve, and we make the same kinds of comments to them.
We managed to all calm down and decided that it might be a good idea to get out of there before Mom and Steve got back. We didn't want to take the car, because Mom can be kind of random about what she gets mad about, and we didn't want her to get upset to find her car missing, especially since we weren't planning on sending it back with anyone. So we called our home teacher, because we have told him about visits to Mom's place that have gone poorly, and he said that if it ever happened again to call him any time and he would take us home.
And so, to be fair and provide Steve's side of the story, they got back while we were waiting for our home teacher, and Mom told us that when Sarah's mean to him, he knows she's just playing, because she'll also be nice and loving to him. Since he doesn't get the nice and loving from the rest of us, he doesn't know that we're just playing.
And then our home teacher came and took us home, and Celeste with us, and listened to us rant, and not only agreed with us that Steve is kind of crazy (it's always nice to have your feelings validated), but suggested ways to retaliate, such as rigging his bath towels with Kool-Aid. It's something we'd never do, but the idea is highly amusing.
The worst part is that Sarah is really hoping for a Merry Christmas with everyone this year. She's going to talk to Mom and Steve tonight, so hopefully people will be calm and not feeling like everyone is out to get them. Also hopefully we'll be able to get to a grocery store, because we're almost out of food for the Twins, and if Celeste is going to be staying with us, she'll need something to eat, too.
But tonight I'm thankful for home teachers who are willing to drive us home and listen to us rant about our crazy family, free food, Wind Waker, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and corn Chex.