Thursday, January 04, 2007

Get Your Merry On 2006, Part II

Christmas Day

11:09 AM—Let the Gluttony Begin

Victoria woke me up at 7:30 this morning. Seeing as how I was the only one sleeping on the couch instead of in an actual bedroom, I was the easy target. Plus she knows that I’m good-natured and won’t grump at her. She had read her note from Santa Claus and seemed very excited that he had written back to her. All seems well on that front.

We watched Vicky open her stocking presents while poor Kristy made extra stuffing; my mother was quite upset that there was no extra stuffing made last night. Never mind that Stacy was the one who said not to make any more; Kristy was the one who was at fault and therefore deserved to be yelled at.

I had not psychically known to bring folding chairs from my apartment, so that has been my big faux pas so far today. I made our traditional breakfast: Kielbasa, eggs, and English muffins. I varied a tiny bit from our usual and dared to add dill to the scrambled eggs, but luckily this went by without a comment from my mother.

Now we are preparing for the descent of my mother’s side of the family, including my grandmother (not the Grandmonster, mind you), four aunts, three uncles (by marriage), innumerable cousins, their children, husbands and boy/girlfriends. Grand total is usually around 40 people packed into four rooms of a raised ranch.


12:23 PM—Hell in a Handbasket

Evil Mother is back. Kristy was dispatched to my apartment to collect the folding chairs and still wasn’t back after breakfast. Vicky was trying her best to be good all morning, asking what else needed to be done and doing whatever was asked of her. All she wanted was to be able to unwrap a few more presents, which we usually do before the Fam descends. Since Kristy wasn’t back, we didn’t really want to open more presents and Vicky was having a hard time understanding this. Finally, we gave in and as she searched for a present that my mother would approve of her opening, we all sat in the living room and looked on.

My mom asked my dad to start the fire because she thought that we had the fire going all day long while everyone was here. My dad insisted that it was lit after everyone left at the end of the day in previous years. They had at it, which is unusual nowadays because my dad will just give into whatever she wants. But in this case, there was no way he was pushing through a throng of forty people to constantly check on the fire that would increase the temperature in an already boiling house full of sweaty bodies crammed up against one another on a WARM winter day.

He finally gave in and banged things around as he went out to get logs, at which point my mother asked Stacy and I if she was right. Stacy said no, we don’t have a fire until later in the day. I said I don’t remember whether we have one earlier but I know we have one later. Vicky said no, we don’t have one earlier in the day. So she went outside and told my dad he didn’t have to build the fire. I don’t know what was said there, but he stormed off into the bedroom and didn’t come out for some time.

Back into the living room my mother comes and picks out a gift for Vicky to unwrap. Vicky is already upset because she has not been allowed to unwrap the ones she wanted to and no one else is unwrapping and everyone else is cranky and now my mother is snapping at her to unwrap this present. She does and then because my mother is not pleased with her reaction gets snapped at to open the box containing the origami kit and show everyone. Vicky does not want to open it now and is getting entrenched in a foul mood, so I try to cajole her into opening it by saying, “Gee, well why did you want to open the present if you don’t want to open the packaging?” to which my mother picks up the words but not the friendly tone and snaps sarcastically, “Yeah, Vicky, why do you even want to open your presents?”

This of course sends her crying into her bedroom. I waited a few minutes and went in and talked to her about how Mom is in a foul mood this holiday and she doesn’t realize it, how she’s hurt all of our feelings this Christmas and we just have to realize that she really does love us all but is sick and in a lot of pain, that this doesn’t make it right but sometimes right and wrong are very complicated and we just have to be understanding of her. I told her I would find a present for her to unwrap after she’d let herself have a good cry. I told her that bad things happen during Christmas but you can’t let them ruin the whole holiday for you. And then I let her stay in her room and sulk for a bit until she was ready to come back out.

In the meantime, most of the family has arrived. Let the fun begin…


10:47 PM Thursday, January 4

It has taken me a week and a half to get over the trauma that was my Christmas after I last left you, dear reader. Only now can I look back upon that dark, dark day without bursting into tears, or at least sneezes.

Okay, not really. I just got carried away on Christmas, then got really, really lazy for a week, then really, really drunk for a night, then extremely hung over for a day or two, and here I am now. I lived through Christmas. I lived through New Year’s. And I am still standing to face the next onslaught of deep, personal sadness: My birthday. Six days from today.

So what happened with the rest of the day on Christmas, though, you ask? Well, the cousin-in-law known behind her back as tits (for her quadruple d boobies that she likes to sling against poor, defenseless male family members as they cower in the doorway and later confess to having had nightmares over, having woken up for weeks after such boobie rapings screaming, “No! Not again! My last cracked rib hasn’t quite healed!”) didn’t show up. So no trying not to look at the car wreck that is her 200 pound frame dry humping my stick figure cousin as they straddle a chair together.

My Aunt C came by for a bit, with 5 of her 9 kids in tow, and three of them with kids of their own. It’s always like a clown car, with them. We used to bet on how many kids Carol would have each year. To say that she was fertile would be like saying my ex had a few stray back hairs (a total exaggeration; the man was an ape, I tell you! The first time I slid my hand under his shirt and up his back, I gasped in shock). Now we bet on how many kids Carol’s kids will have each year. It’s all in the jeans, I tell you.

I am allowed to kid about these other family members, see, because my own blood—my brother—clearly takes the cake. If any single one of the forty-odd people under that room on Christmas was going to be the grand marshall of the Freak Parade, it would be him. He cuts his own hair—apparently while blindfolded and using a pair of blunt scissors—has teeth that look like they have been soaking in a mixture of maple syrup and pixie sticks for the last 40 years…oof. Don’t make me go on.

But for the handful of complete weirdos, there is another few dozen almost ordinary and friendly, loving family members. And I wouldn’t exactly sign myself up to run for Queen of Normal, either.

Best part of the day—the evening. We spend an hour or two sitting around the dining room table, our family and my Aunt Mary’s, catching up and shooting the shit about what went down during the day. My dad and uncle went off about my deceased grandfather for awhile (you know, about what a bastard the man was—abusive, rotten, racist father, husband, and overall human being) and gradually transitioned to my uncle, who, as soon as he was 18, got the hell out of Dodge and moved to Daytona Beach, where he could be as queer as he wanted to be without having to worry about the bigot he had for a father.

Then the immediate family gathers around the fire and exchanges gifts, sipping wine and oohing and ahhing over each other’s presents. Except for when my mom thought the Irish Breakfast (tea) that my dad gave her was oatmeal and pulled back on her mean face for a few minutes. Oh, well. Goober liked the rawhide I gave her.


Happy (belated) Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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