Friday, December 18, 2009

Everyone loves a situation

The tinsel's out, the stockings have been hung on the windowsill with care, and our little tree has made its yearly appearance, decked out in all its glory with lights and some new ornaments I received for my 24th birthday last Saturday. It's officially the holidays, and though the massive snow that occurred across New England a couple weeks ago has since melted (much to my pleasure), the temperature has not relented in demonstrating its own holiday spirit: chilliness and utterly icy winds.

I'm not complaining, though. At least the roads are clear and inside it's warm and toasty. We took my new car last weekend to my parents' house in Herkimer to show them for the first time, as well as to celebrate the day of both my and my grandfather's birth (I was born on his 60th birthday). Now, I'm not much of a birthday person, probably because I'm so used to celebrating it both so close to Christmas and on the same day as a member of my family. And this year, things were a little more dysfunctional than usual around the family table. What I thought would be a nice, cozy weekend getaway to celebrate my birthday turned into a mess of my parents arguing over the littlest things, my mom freaking out about everything being perfect, my dad yelling at my mom for freaking out, my grandfather making ignorant and bordering-on-racist comments (which made me extremely uncomfortable), my grandmother telling me and Darren we were being forced to attend church the following day, and my aunt being oblivious to it all and going on talking about God-knows-what above the clamor. Now, I'm sure this is typical with other people's families around the holidays, especially when they're all forced to gather together around the same table, but for me, it was more than I could handle. Usually, we all get along (for the most part) and are able to enjoy a nice get-together in the comfort of a warm and loving home. The addition of several rounds of booze for my grandmother, of course, helps keep things at their calmest. But this just frustrated me to no end, on my birthday, no less!

"Can we please be civil today, on my birthday ... please?!" I begged, but of course, everyone was talking over everyone else, so no one heard me. I felt most bad for Darren, who had to sit through it all and watch the spectacle right before his eyes.

I can only imagine what Christmas will be like at my grandparents' house this year. We're heading over on the evening of Dec. 23, as I'm on break from work from the 24th till Monday the 28th. Darren, the lucky bum, is off until Jan. 4, as his company shuts down completely during the holidays. I can only wish that things won't be as dysfunctional as they were on my birthday, but with the same cast of characters in attendance (with the addition of my brother, who will most likely steal the entire show, as he lives in Nashville and rarely gets the chance to visit the Northeast), it should certainly be a crazy extra-long weekend ... I'll let you know if Darren and I survive!

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At 11:51 AM , Anonymous panda-archie said...

Oh geez louise! Family dinners can be really tough. Sometimes I wonder where I came from. We had a catered dinner for Christmas one year and I was bringing my girlfriend. She wore a white shirt and a black pair of pants. My grandmother asked her to refill her drink because she thought she was the caterer! It started this whole argument and my uncle called my grandma a racist because my girlfriend is not white.

So much drama...just hang in there. Family is something that is a blessing even if it is in disguise sometimes :)

At 9:19 AM , Anonymous Elyse said...

Sorry your birthday was so stressful. I know the feeling. I love my family, but sometimes they are too much to handle. Have a great Christmas!


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