the whole family was at dinner. I got lucky enough to sit next to my grandma. she and I talked quietly while chaos ensued around us.
we were celebrating three birthdays. my brother's, sister-in-law's and mine. my adorable nearly-two-year-old niece was dancing and laughing and entertaining us.
the chaos reminded me of something. one of my roommates spent Thanksgiving at our house one year. her husband ends up in Denver from time to time for training. she told him he should decline any invitations to holidays at my house. I thought that a little harsh.
but apparently not all families talk non-stop. apparently not all families take turns telling hilarious stories about their siblings, somewhat shocking the aunts and parents around the table. apparently there are quiet family dinners.
we've never had a quiet family dinner. with only the four kids and my parents it was always a bit loud and chaotic. add in a little extended family, and the chaos grows. the one-upping increases.
back to the birthday dinner. there were only ten of us. but ten is more than enough to create chaos. we made waitresses frazzled, caused the manager to check on us repeatedly, all the while, most of my family is oblivious.
my brothers and sister are all very much of the opinion that being a little too assertive gets them what they want. for my oldest brother and my little sister, it pretty much always has. somewhere along the way the second oldest brother decided that was the way to get what he wanted in life. be, well, a little more selfish and a little too assertive. so at dinner, they're all telling stories, louder and more important than the last.
somehow I missed that gene. the one that causes the desire to be louder and more demanding than my siblings. I can be assertive when it's really important, but I never felt I needed to be the center of attention.
that's why I sometimes feel that I might be my grandma's favorite. I listen to her. I talk to her. I don't talk at her, like my siblings sometimes do. that's why it was so nice to sit next to her quietly talking.
it was a good dinner. great to see my family. another birthday celebration. another slightly-less-selfish wish. another little self-realization. I'm glad I missed the standout gene. I like my quiet place in my family. although I love all of them very much, sometimes I'm glad we're not too similar.