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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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11:21 a.m. - 2010-12-23
As Erma said, 'Family- the ties that bind...and gag!'

Itty bitty snowflakes are whizzing past the windows, the flakes couldn't stick even if they wanted to because the wind is too fierce. Not that it matters much, but Mick and I are going out later to do a bit more shopping. We're picking up a rather cumbersome and difficult to hide gift for Wolf (neither Mick nor I wanted to drive around with this thing in the trunk all week, hence not buying it until now), a gift card for MIL to the only store where she might actually buy something for herself, ice melt and snow sundries at Home Depot, and some wine to bring to SIL's. Lots of wine. And possibly some rum. 151, please.

I'm kind of bowled over how our happily anticipated Very Quiet Christmas has suddenly become a big honking deal of a day spent with kin over at Ms Flaky Pants' house. Our original plan was to sleep late, do presents, have a cookie/candy and coffee breakfast, loaf around for a while before finally getting dressed and going out for Chinese turkey and a late matinee of 'True Grit'. Just the three of us. No fuss. No stress.

Chinese turkey!

However, yesterday MIL walked into a low-hanging branch on one of the outrageously overgrown wayward pine trees in her yard on her way out to get the newspaper in the pre-dawn dark and scratched the hell out of her cornea. MIL being MIL she blithely ignored it until ordered to the hospital by SIL and the others at the senior center (where MIL was helping out making decorations and embroidering Christmas stockings with the old folks). The doc at the ER was appalled that MIL was out driving around with her eye all f-ed up like that. Sent her home with some eye drops and strict orders NOT TO DRIVE.

When Mick heard about it he was furious. It's Gram all over again. A stubborn old lady who insists on doing everything herself and subsequently ends up injuring herself and scaring the shit out of her children. He's been after MIL for years to trim those damn trees. And then, of course, how she's out there driving around with a bleeding eyeball. Then insisting she HAD to go to SIL's on Christmas anyhow, since SIL had finally decided what she was doing. (Right? It's Dec 22 and Flaky Pants is just then figuring out what the hell she's doing for Christmas. Like Christmas's arrival was a big surprise that snuck up on her.)

So Mick goes off his chump and *after checking with me* tells his mother we'll ALL go to SIL's. We'll haul all the way across the county to the in-laws, pick them up and drive them to SIL's (who, of course, conveniently lives in yet another far flung corner of the county) and we'll break bread in SIL's messy kitchen. (God forbid she clean off her dining room table and have us all sit down like valued company. We'll just fill plates off the stove and then park it wherever we can find a flat place to put a plate.)

Can you feel the joy? The wonderment and pleasure of being within the warm bosom of family?

Mick is upset and angry with his mother for being as stubborn and foolhardy as Gram. He's ticked off at his sister for dozens of reasons, some dating back to their childhood. Wolf's cranky because instead of a lazy morning of video games, followed by lo mein and a cowboy movie he's having to be the grandchild of record and be polite, cute, and play Crazy 8s with MIL like he's 6 years old. Despite my behind the scenes bitching I've never been anything but nice to SIL but for some unknown reason she's scared to death of me and to make light of her terror whenever we're together she spends most of her time making awkward 'jokes' about my height and how tough it must be to live a normal life with boobs as big as mine are. I get on okay with SIL's husband, but no sooner do we settle down for a chat then SIL bustles in and makes one of her disparaging cracks about my physical appearance.

So, let's see. FIL's Alzheimer's is proceeding nicely. He'll wander around aimlessly wondering where he is and who all these people are. Torqued SIL will make digs at me and shove her foot in her mouth a lot. My teenage child will be a sullen twerp over having to be a 'little kid'. My nice brother-in-law will be trying to avoid me lest he incur his insecure wife's wrath. Mick will glower and try his best not to go off on his mother and sister and probably not succeed very well. (I anticipate at least two explosions, maybe more depending on who jumps in.) Mick's nephew may or may not be there, if he is he'll be stoned and won't have invited his Auntie LA to share with him, dammit all. BIL's mostly grown children also may make an appearance, the son glaring and stuffing his face as only a hostile 18 year old can. BIL's daughter, a multi-pierced and ferociously inked lesbian (who I actually like very much) will be too wigged out by the staid conventionality of the family gathering and will throw verbal bombs into the conversation just so's she keeps her rebel chops sharp. And MIL will make many, many self-depreciating jokes about her supposed idiocy and apologize a million times for grossing everyone out with her bloody eye.

Did I say rum was a maybe? Bwahahahahahaha!

It's a Bacardi Christmas for sure.


Lamenting the loss of Chinese turkey and Jeff Bridges. ~LA


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