Most of us have considered this at one point or another. I think I’ve even begged my mother to DO THIS. LAST WEEK. And if not Prozac, can we at least have wine? Copious amounts of wine? Wait, I’m pregnant and can’t have either. Oh, hell…
You see, the holidays are approaching. And while I certainly love the season, and particularly the food, let’s not kid ourselves: the holidays exacerbate the crazy. The bat-shit kind comes out in full-force, rearing its ugly head in between slices of homemade bread and turkey dressing. People get weirder than usual. Eye-rolls abound, sighs of disgust eek out like little yelps for help, the family‘s resident a-hole starts taking his or her job REALLY seriously. This is what happens. I know this. I’m expecting it. Mentally steeling myself for the snide and bitchy remarks that, as a member of ANY family, I’m going to have to ignore. Why? Well, because it’s part of the job.
Now before you go on thinking I’m trashing MY family, please take a moment to understand this: it’s not MY family. It’s EVERY family. I’ve done research, asked around, heard years worth of horror stories interspersed with hilarity. And while my family’s dynamic may be different from yours, you ALL know what I’m talking about. This isn’t exclusive to certain families, it’s just happening in varying degrees with a varied cast of characters unique to each family’s dynamic/circumstance/etc. For example, you might relate to one of the following:
- Everyone knows Aunt Susie takes a passive-aggressive tone with Grandma.
- Uncle Ricky gets drunk and makes an ass of himself every year. He likes his booze. Big deal.
- Cousin Amy’s kids are all rude little demons.
- And you get the idea.
You’ve got one (or more) in your family. Don’t kid yourself. Seriously. We all know. The jig is up. Ya’ll ain’t perfect, even if somewhere along the years you’ve deluded yourself into thinking that you are. Your Thanksgiving dinner does not look like a Thomas Kinkaide painting. Accept it.
Now, as I was saying, it’s part of the job. Being a part of a family is work. It is a blessing, but it is definitely hard work some days. As a child, it was easy. So easy. Little brother being a jerk? Punch him and run. Tell Mom you don’t know why he’s crying like a blubbering baby. Cousin getting on your nerves? Run and hide. Tell mom you don’t know why she’s crying like a blubbering baby. Easy as the pumpkin pie perched on your plate!
As an adult though, it’s not as easy. The scenario tends to run a little more like this… Pissed off at your sister/brother/father/mother-in-law? Play nice when you see him or her. Tell Mom you don’t know why (s)he’s so difficult. Blubber like a baby yourself because you’re frustrated. Aunt’s snide comment about your spouse/parenting/job/lifestyle really irk you? Play nice anyways (she’s an elder). Tell Mom you don’t know why she’s so difficult. Blubber like a baby yourself because you’re frustrated. Vow to ignore her on all forms of social media. Passive-aggressiveness is the answer to your unspoken, family induced prayers.
Laugh at yourself for behaving like a child, but then remember that the child in you would have just thrown a punch and had it over with. Instead, as an adult it’s far more likely that you’ll sit around, harboring resentment, until the next holiday soiree takes place: Christmas. Better spike the eggnog!
So as we begin to mentally prepare ourselves for the relative(s) who will certainly get on our proverbial “last nerve,” remember that despite the crazy that you’ll surely encounter, it’s part of the job. Being a part of a family takes work, and it’s your job to try to appreciate all the nuts in the mixed nuts canister, not just the cashews and almonds. This is real life, and we can’t just throw out the weird nuts we don’t particularly enjoy. Don’t be a nut snob! Embrace them all.