Anyone who has had to bear the burden of being married or in a long term relationship has inexplicably been stuck in the same predicament year after year. Who gets you for the holidays or any other day of the year that your family may deem IMPERATIVE that you be home.
I have been blessed with both in-laws and a family who do not become angry if I am unable to make a particular holiday. Neither of us gets outright YELLED at or threatened to be written out of a will or two. No, they’re MUCH more subtle than that. I’ve experienced the passive aggressive, sullen and disheartened, “Well, ooooookkkkkay, I GUESS it’s OKAY if you don’t make it. Your BROTHER would have made it.”
The Daver deals with the same stuff.
And I have to be honest, I ADORE the holidays.
It’s the most wonderful motherfucking time of the year, after all. There is nothing more magical than the Christmas season, aside from maybe a freshly shorn nutbag, but I digress. The lights, the smells, the sounds, the bells, I love it all. I love shopping for gifts, I love decorating for the holidays; I love that magical first snow of the year.
And I admit that I even love seeing my family and my in-laws. I adore both sides of our family; and I love seeing them for the holidays.
As usual, there is a catch: both sets of parents EXPECT that they are the most important members of the family,and are therefore entitled to certain unalienable privileges. Most of those being our time WHENEVER THEY WANT US TO for the holidays. It isn’t as though I don’t want to see them; I do.
But I can’t say that I enjoy my holidays spent in the car going from one place to another. Although traveling isn’t a problem for us; we like to get going as much as the next person. But spending 7+ hours a day in a car with a small child for a couple of hours with each set of families is going pretty far beyond what anyone else in the famil(ies) do.
It only compounds matters exponentially that my parents, living about 1 hour from us, see us far more than Dave’s do, living 3+ hours from us (although, by some untapped miracle Dave claims that it only takes an hour and a half. Aside from teleportation, I have no idea how he gets there with such speed), which makes us feel bad. This, in turn makes us try to bend over literally downward facing dog AND the tree trying to appease whatever holiday requests they ask of us.
But no matter how much we break our backs for the families, no one else will meet us halfway. We get no”Well you came out by us last time, now it’s our turn.” If we cannot attend a gathering, there will be no offer to see us or come out to our house at a rescheduled date. Which would explain why I found a couple of little gifts I had picked up for my in-laws LAST YEAR in my vanity. Just SHAMEFUL.
Let’s compound things once again: I have a child whose father is not Dave, and said father wants to see his child on the holidays, too. So Dave, Ben and I are stuck grappling with the seemingly senseless fragments of 3 timetables from 3 families.
We have to make it to cities, W, X, Y and Z in a matter of 1.5 days. These cities are 1-4 hours apart. So we could alternate the cities based on a number of factors (If we leave for W at 6pm after work, get there at 9, stay til 6am drive 4 hours, arrive at 10:30, open gifts, smile, laugh, eat, leave at 1pm if Ben has had nap, drive another hour, drive an hour back, open more presnets, better not nap b/c you’ll look like you’re not having fun, drive 1.5 hours home, utterly exhausted), but it essentially boils down to extra travelling time for us, but not for anyone else.
Here’s my resolution, dear Internet, next year this foolishness will be done, and we won’t exhaust ourselves traveling multiple hours in the car just to appease everyone for the holidays.
Next year, we’re embracing the “N” word.
Something I here don’t do a whole lot is give credit where it is due.
Sure, I tell a lot of gross girl-joke stories, and if you want information about the the current state of my pubic hair, look no further. While that is all well and good, I feel as though I must give a shout-out to the one person who has made this entire blogging experience happen to us, AND to most of you: my husband.
And to be fair last night he actually THREW a crusty greenish yellow booger at me while he was sleeping, but who can blame him? I am still the person who was, according to both of her parents, and I quote, “Born smoking a cigar and barking out orders.”
Yesterday WHILE AWAKE, he did something for me that I couldn’t do myself: he took my bestest cat in the whole wide world in to be put to sleep. He held him while he died. And no amount of crusty boogies thrown at me day or night can minimize that to me. It meant EVERYTHING.
My heart was wearing a less-sad face knowing that Finnigan died with someone who loved him (almost) as much as I do.
This isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination the only thing that Daver has ever done for me. He allowed me to pick out AND BUY the car that I wanted over the car he wanted. He’s even learning to like it! That may have something to do with the fact that I GRILL him about it over and over, but so what? Right?
He doesn’t even talk TOO much about annulments when I use my crappy way of evoking the cheerful daemons when he’s in a nasty, foul, disgusting, flatulent mood. I mean maybe you don’t know this but I SING HIM ROD STEWART! AT TOP VOLUME! Now I of course, ADORE Rod “The Hot-Bod At 708 Years Old” Stewart, but I recognize this as another of my dirty and gross qualities.
Take whatever dislike you likely have for my choice in music and couple that with the fact that my singing physically shears wallpaper from the walls. Really, it does. This is why we have none in our house.
In this vein, I leave you with my favorite quote from my favorite Rod “I Can’ Believe I’m Still Makin’ Baby Batter’ Stewart, and I dedicate it to you, my sweet Daver:
You’re a rhapsody, a comedy,
You’re a symphony, and a play;
You’re every love song ever written,
But honey, what do you see in me?
Rest in peace, Finnigan.
I’ll be missing you.