Adriana shouldn’t really complain too much… Steve had warned her, after all.
“My family can be a little… strange,” he’d told her when she’d agreed to go home with him for Thanksgiving. “They’re…”
He hadn’t been able to find the right word for it, so he’d drifted off, leaving Adriana hanging, waiting for a better description of what she should expect once they got there. After all, pretty much everybody thought their family was weird, so him telling her that wasn’t exactly surprising, and certainly not enough to change her mind.
“I’m sure it’ll be just fine,” she’d said, giving him a kiss. “You’ll be there, right?”
“Well, yeah,” he’d chuckled. “But still, I don’t know how much I can…”
“I’ll be fine,” she’d assured him. “Don’t worry about it!”
Apparently, he should have worried about it a little; as should she. It was a long drive there, so Adriana was hardly in the greatest of moods when they finally stepped into Steve’s parents’ house, letting him introduce her, then take their bags to their room. She’d intended to follow, but Steve’s mother intercepted her with a smile, pulling her over to the table.
“It’s so nice to finally meet you!” his mother told her. “And I’m so glad you guys got here today, before all the craziness tomorrow… Now, Steven has told me you used to be a cheerleader, is that right?”
Adriana blushed, curious why he would have mentioned that to his mother. “Yeah, back in high school,” she shrugged.
“How fun!” the older woman smiled. “Now, we all get very into the football game after dinner… It would be so great to have our own little cheerleader! Would you mind doing that? We have an outfit and everything, and…”
“Umm… No, thanks,” Adriana shook her head. Steve’s mother looked crestfallen, and she felt bad for a moment, but she hadn’t cheered in years… In front of her boyfriend’s family on Thanksgiving was hardly the time to start again.
“Well…” Steve’s mom backpedalled, clearly not expecting that answer. “Well, that’s all right. I’m sure you’ll be a big help in the kitchen!”
Adriana wrinkled her nose. “Yeah, I’m not really much of a cook,” she admitted, starting to feel a little uncomfortable, so she pulled out her cell to distract herself. “It would probably be better if…”
The woman’s pleasant demeanor was rapidly wearing off. “How about dishes, then? Surely you’re capable of helping with that?” she asked, lips pressing tightly together afterwards.
So, Adriana thought, the word Steve had been searching for to describe his family was, likely, ‘old-fashioned’. The women belonged in the kitchen, slaving away over the ovens for their men, then cleaning up, like obedient little robots… Steve had never struck her as thinking that way, so it was a surprise, but that was definitely the vibe she was starting to get.
“Don’t you have a dishwasher?” Adriana rolled her eyes. She wasn’t the biggest fan of washing dishes, no, though this was really more about the principle of the thing… Or maybe just her bad mood after spending all day in the car…
Either way, it was the wrong response. “So, you’re planning on coming into my house, eating my food, and contributing absolutely nothing? And you won’t even give me the courtesy of paying attention when I speak?!” the woman asked, snatching Adriana’s phone out of her hand, any pleasantness in her expression now completely gone. “There’s only one kind of person I accept that from, young lady, and I didn’t think you were one of those… If you are, then you aren’t dressed appropriately at all. Let’s go take care of that.”
Adriana had no idea what she meant, and before she could ask, or reply any other way, the woman reached out, grabbed her ear, and dragged her down the hall to show her.