I just got back from spending a week and a half with my family, following a week's visit from my Australian sister. I always come away from these visits (in B.C. — my family rarely makes it to Montréal to visit me) very happy with how all of us get along. I have one brother and three sisters and we all manage to find endless ways to amuse each other, to act silly and to play endless games of cards, scrabble, etc., all the while roaring with laughter. I don't think I'll ever understand people who avoid contact with their siblings, or just don't get along.
I had to avoid mentioning the imminent visit of my Australian sister for the last few months, as she was coming here on her (and my) way to surprise my sister in Kamloops, B.C. on the occasion of her 50th birthday. We surprised her on her 40th birthday and we thought that we were pulling it off very well this time, too, with all kinds of twists — having it almost a month after the actual date (after tax month was over) and all kinds of other care we took to keep things secret. My brother-in-law even went to her employer to arrange time off of work for her while we were visiting. And in the aftermath of all this sneakiness, she had some 20-20 hindsight which identified the clues that would have revealed all if she had put them all together at once. Still, it was a great occasion to bring us all together, and to celebrate the sister who brings us all together in so many ways.
Something we all discovered about ourselves is that we DO have a tendency to be right about everything all the time (at least if you listen to us). I'm sure that this is an endless source of frustration to those who have to deal with us … but they will eventually come around, recognizing the error of their ways and doing things our way. The various in-laws have learned to avoid situations where they are highly outnumbered. ;-)
I'm sure I'll have more things to share about the last few weeks, but I'll limit myself here to one story that illustrates the above paragraph, leaving off with a phrase that we all kept repeating, erupting into laughter each time.
A couple of years ago, my Australian sister was in Kamloops in a small store buying postcards. The postcards were 30 cents each or 4 for $1. (I may have this lightly wrong, but it isn't the main focus of the story.) She selected 12 and went to the cash to pay for them. The cashier said that would be $3.60 (I guess the tax was included), and my sister tried to explain that, since they were 4 for $1, they should total $3. "But you have 12, so they are 30 cents each," said the cashier. My sister, getting more frustrated, pointed out that she could buy 4 for $1, go outside, come back and buy 4 more for $1, then do it again and end up paying $3 for the 12.
This led the cashier to the phrase we kept using on each other all through the visit: "Well, you can do it that way if you want."
It's almost painful to be right all the time. ;-)