Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Xmas Eve Hilites: Grandmonster's "Sick", Dad Pisses Me Off, Doorknob Breaks (12/24/05)

I had to wake up at 7:30—way earlier than Whit would ever dare to wake me up—since we have a tradition in our family of going to the mall every Christmas Eve morning. (Did I mention that the whole lot of us are mad?) So we got there and had coffee and muffins before splitting up to do our last minute shopping. I only had my dad and my dog to shop for. (Yes, I shop for my dog. She knows how to unwrap tissue paper wrapped presents and gets very upset if she sees us unwrapping stuff and she doesn’t get anything so I must buy her chewy treats and squeaky toys every Christmas.)

My dad was still left because he’s been acting like a jerk lately and I haven’t felt much like buying a present for him. First, when asked what he wanted for Christmas he informed my mom that all he wanted was a plasma screen TV and since we couldn’t afford to get him one he was just going to ask for nothing. I mean, how old are we here? Then last week my mom was sick with a cold and laying in bed coughing. My dad comes into me as I’m making my Christmas cookies and informs me that he’s really, really worried about my mother. Can I hear her in there coughing away like that? She can’t handle doing anything with my niece. I’m like, she has a cold. I mean, I know she has cancer as well but we just came from a doctor’s visit yesterday and she is in remission and doing fine. When cancer patients have colds, guess what they do? They cough, just like me and you. But he was not done. He moved on to some statement (don’t remember his exact wording here) the general gist of which was that my niece and I are killing my mother. Did I mention he’s a therapist? He should know better than to pull this crap.

So anyway, I did of course get him a Christmas present because from Christmas Eve through Christmas night I love my whole family and see no faults. I’m just happy they’re all around. On December 26th I can go back to being angry with him if I want but not now.

When we got home from the mall we were doing some last minute wrapping before meeting my dad’s brother and his wife for pizza for lunch. We normally eat with the Grandmonster but she had called first thing this morning to inform us that she is sick so she is canceling Christmas Eve. Now, she is elderly so you might expect me to show some concern but you have to understand this woman. She got a cold once and decided to sell her condo and move into a very expensive convalescent home. Four months later she realized that these people are like five stages worse than her, as she is still walking around and driving just fine. Now she’s spent a significant chunk of her savings on this place that was way out of her budget and also sold her condo for like half the market value because she was so anxious to prove how frail she was. Another time she called the ambulance to drive her to the hospital because two days ago she had a tiny drop of blood in her stool. So sick is a relative term with her.

I think the real story is that she was upset with us for not meeting her for lunch yesterday and decided to punish us by not showing today. This is a pretty routine action with her: We do something to upset her and she cancels our next plans at the last minute. What she will just never get is that it is no punishment to us if she doesn’t show. She is just like a two-year-old cutting off her nose to spite her face. She sits home pouting while we go out anyway and have a good time.

So anyway before we left for lunch, the door handle fell off the outside of the bathroom door. My dad got really pissed about the whole thing the way dads do sometimes and I tried to come up with creative solutions: Make an instruction manual for how to open the door with no handle and tape it to the door; keep the handle (which can be pushed into the mechanism and turned to open the door before it falls out again) hidden and make people pay to use the toilet; attach it to a tire rim and hand it to people saying, “Now don’t run off with this!” None of this amused my dad, though the rest of us laughed heartily because let’s face it. I’m pretty funny.

The evening is always spent stuffing two turkeys (we also serve a ham) and doing other little things to prepare for 40-50 guests that will show up tomorrow—aka my mom’s family. This year I prepared our sun room for all the little kids by wrapping practically the entire room in plastic sheeting.

Let those little suckers try their worst! I am prepared for Christmas of ’05!

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