02 December 2009

Holiday Grumps

Aunt Kim, if you're reading this, I'm NOT talking about you. Well, unless I mention whistling. Then I'm probably talking about you. But I don't think it's going to come up.

(My Aunt Kim and Uncle Howard and a couple of my aunts on my dad's side are pretty normal and fun and don't talk about Jesus all the time.)

While chatting with Gofahne on Monday morning (I know, I wish she would blog more too! But we have to let her go at her own pace, folks. Be nice.) about our respective Thanksgiving weekends, I went on a little rant about holidays.

You see, my sister (we all remember my sister, right?) started a campaign a couple of months ago to get everyone together in Tennessee for Christmas this year. She asked me about it and I said that I probably couldn't go because I can't really afford a ticket and I don't want to take more time off work. The campaign continued to the rest of the family.

Most of my family still lives in Tennessee. This includes my dad's family. My mom's parents and my mom's youngest sister (Aunt Dana, who also made an appearance in both posts about my sister) live here in Dallas (well, the 'burbs), along with my mom and step-dad. My sister lives in New York with her boyfriend.

I mentioned all of that so you could see that this will involve a lot of plane tickets. I guess I probably could have just told you that and saved a paragraph.

Now, I had already told my sister that I probably couldn't make and I thought my mother had said the same thing. Then my sister's boyfriend passed the bar in New York (YAY! CONGRATULATIONS!) and started his first job as a lawyer with a really good law firm and he can't really leave to go visit Tennessee for Christmas. So now my sister, who started all this mess, can't actually go to Tennessee either.

In the meantime, my mom jumped on board with the "everyone in Tennessee for Christmas plan." She asked me about it and I said the same things about a plane ticket and not taking time off work. I said I would think about it, but that I wasn't really all that interested.

She heard, "Yes."

Now we return to Thanksgiving evening. After Princess and I finished dinner with my friends, we had to haul our cookies all the out to the 'burbs for "dessert" with my family. My mom had been quite distressed that I wasn't spending Thanksgiving with the family (despite the fact that I hadn't done so for the last two of them) and had been trying to convince me to just invite my friends (who had their own plans, yo) up to her house for Thanksgiving.

You can imagine my surprise (except I wasn't really, because this is pretty typically the case) when Princess and I showed up at 7:00 pm and they had just sat down to eat. Mom had been working all day, as usual, so no one even cooked anything. Imagine if I had invited my friends up to my parents house for a dinner of Luby's that was supposed to take place at 6:00 and didn't actually happen until 7:00 pm.

This is one of those things that I just don't understand about my mother, but that's a topic for another day.

Quickly the topic turned to Tennessee for the holidays. I said, "Yeah, I don't think I'll be there (blah blah plane ticket time off work blah)."

My mom said, "What?!? I thought you said you were going?"


Now, I'm facing off with my mom AND my Nana. No excuse is really working. What I really want to say is, "I DON'T WANT TO SPEND THE HOLIDAYS FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE AND EXHAUSTED BECAUSE I HAVE TO TRY TO SEE EVERY RELATIVE I HAVE IN TENNESSEE IN 48 HOURS. Also, I don't really like Christmas or Christmas carols or spending endless hours with my family." You see, I was trying to AVOID saying all that.

Me: I can't really afford a plane ticket right now.

Mom: That's okay. I can help you out with that.

Me: I don't really want to take more time off work and I don't have any vacations days left.

Mom: Well, you can wait to leave on Christmas Eve after work.

Me: So really, it doesn't matter what I want?

Everyone: Geez! Don't get all upset! If you don't want to go, just say so! We don't want you to spend time with us if you don't want to!


Me: Yeah, I don't really want to go. I just want to have a nice, relaxing, quiet Christmas and if I go to Tennessee, I will be exhausted.

And I thought it was over.


About an hour later, my mom brought it up again. I think I left it at, "FINE. You buy the plane ticket and tell me where to be, since I clearly have no say in the matter.

She said, "Okay."

So it looks like I'm going to Tennessee for Christmas. Or maybe I'm not. I'm at the mercy of my mother now. When we had dinner on Monday night, she said, "Sarah can't come? This was all her idea...maybe we should just scratch the whole plan and go to New York to visit her."

I'm guessing I'll know the plan on Christmas Eve.

I recounted this story to Gofahne and she said, "The holidays are meant to torment single people that would rather just chill, relax, and be alone. I swear that is their purpose."

I kind of agree.

Look, I don't hate my family. I'm just tired of everything always being on someone else's terms. What about what I want? I suppose the difference between my dad's family and my mom's family is that I actually feel like my dad's family wants to see me and isn't just pursuing some bizarre "Our family loves to be together, see everyone? We're PERFECT!" ritual. However, my dad's mom only talks about calories and Jesus any more and my dad's dad goes on about socially conservative politics all the time and I just can't take that crap. You can see the dilemma, right?


Jennifer said...

Holidays are a nightmare! We're obligated to go to my husband's parents' house because WE LIVE ON THE SAME STREET. Because we now have a kid, we're obligated to put up a damn Christmas tree. And we have to attend church service (also his parents' house of worship) because WE LIVE ON THE STREET IT'S LOCATED ON.

Did I mention we're atheists?

GingerMandy said...

yea, the holidays are not about you. don't try and make yourself happy. it's not gonna happen. and don't try and do anything to be convenient or polite for anyone else, because you bet your ass they won't do that for you. and most of all... INDULGE IN THE GUILT TRIPS! you have to wait a whole year for all this shit to come around again, so cherish it while it lasts.

LBluca77 said...

Holidays suck and are full of guilt trips. Most of my family I only see once a year at Christmas, but to me why am I supposed to bend over backwards to see these people. If family is so important to them then how come I only see them once a year.

So I say spent the holidays how you want, it's your life.

Just A Girl said...

Thank god my family is all here. Also, thank god we don't make a giant fucking deal out of it. I think you should come see me instead.

carissajade said...

Jeez, that does pretty much sound like a beating.. I'm sorry! Maybe your mom will forget to buy you a ticket???! Wishful thinking, perhaps... Maybe it won't be as bad as you think..

I am really starting to hate this time of year, but at least it seems I'm not alone!

Johnny Virgil said...

You'e a youngster. Wait until your relatives start dying off. Then you'll REALLY feel the guilt that you're required to visit the ones that are left...

Johnny Virgil said...

New wireless keyboard...sigh.

Gofahne said...

Agreed. Beating. And there is really no way around it. Some years I get lucky and the fam decides they don't care. I love them. I see them otherwise. Where the hell are the singles' holidays?

Snarke said...

If it will make you feel better, I will send you the story of last year's holiday season with my in-laws. :) You always seem to like your family better after I leave you little notes about the family I married into, so let me know if you want to go "holy fuck, at least they aren't THAT bad!" :)

Maryx said...

I hate Christmas. I hate the festive season. I hate wrapped-up-present-receiving time. I hate hate hate it.

I didn't always hate it. What happened? I DON'T KNOW.

I have an awesome family though. Considering.

Still checking out the 'in-laws' though. New boyfriend and all.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I remember your sister!

Zan said...

This is when being the black sheep of the family comes in handy.