Some say the Christmas holidays are stressful because of busyness and having a tight budget. I have always been one to disagree with this notion. I think holidays—whether it is Christmas or Fourth of July—become what you make them. If one expects an over-commercialized, fretful holiday, that is what will be had. However, some events pop up at holidays that are completely unexpected and impossible to prepare for.
My sophomore year of college I started dating the man who would become my husband. During winter break, Titus flew me out to Florida to visit. Overall, the trip was a very enjoyable experience. As soon as he picked me up from the airport Titus took me swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, and we watched fireworks every night, courtesy of Disney World. We also went to Busch Gardens for free, thanks to their program that gives servicemen and their dependents free tickets every year. These events made for a wonderful post-Christmas and New Year’s extravaganza. The trip had been very low-key and laid back, so I was completely unprepared for what awaited me at dinner a few days before we left to come back to school. My blissfully happy holiday was about to get turned on its head.
A hint of background information is necessary at this point, or the whole ordeal will seem more unbelievable and insane than a mind could possibly wrap itself around. Titus grew up in a household of many strange customs. Most notably and relevant to this story: the eating habits. Titus’ mother—bless her heart—is no Paula Dean. She has food allergies (both real and imagined) and she has a very, shall we say, unique logic. Therefore, mealtime in the Lepic household is always an adventure. Now, I had heard stories from Titus about his dear mother’s cooking. I had been duly warned. But I had been having such a lovely time that I let my guard down, and my internal pessimistic cynic had been lulled into a deep and witless sleep.