As I previously stated, I am working on my New Years Resolution to Stop Being Such a Raging Bitch All of the Time, but I don’t think that I explained myself anymore than was necessary.
Because I was fat and drunk.
See, we’re moving. Without necessarily selling our old house. Money is about to be so tight as to possibly warrant shopping at Aldi and stealing food from my parents fridge without remorse. The remorse part, I mean. Not the stealing of food from my parents, because OBVIOUSLY. Wouldn’t you? Also, ketchup is SO a food group.
So when I was asked this year about what I wanted for Christmas, I was really vague about it, is always a bad idea when it comes to dealing with my spouse. Most of the men I’ve known need EXPLICIT instructions as to what items to buy from what store. It’s even better if you can cross reference it with some other files and use those colored tabs to make it look really official. My list (usually 278 million TIMES longer and better) went something like this:
1. Thin leather gloves. Black. From a department store. I think my glove size is about a 6.5. Ask at counter. Suede okay, too. I got some gloves from Dave pre-Christmas. They were red, fluffy, and waterproof. Purchased from Menards. Make hands look like stuffed sausages, but hell, they are warm. Do not fit and make hands sweat.
2. A ring for my right hand’s middle finger so you can have something to look at when I flip you the bird. Colorful and gaudy than wedding band. NO YELLOW GOLD, IT MAKES ME BARF. Ring size: 6.5, or maybe a 6.0. Big brightly colored stone but not from a gumball machine.
And then I ran out of things that I wanted, which is a scary phenomenon. I ALWAYS want something. I am a needy person who needs things.
The Friday before Christmas Eve, Dave began to hint that he’d gotten me something 1). Totally awesome, 2). that I wanted 3). that HE wanted, too, and I broke out into a cold sweat. Did I JUST get that NEW PRINTER THAT I HADN’T WANTED? Or was it a NEW video card for his computer THAT I HADN’T WANTED? OR could it be the yacht I’d be oogling?
Either way, I figured that the bathrobe that he had gotten from me wasn”t enough and that I had better re-hit the mall on Christmas Eve. I did, and happened to purchase him about 500 things that he’d mentioned that he wanted, none of them geek crap because I don’t buy that shit.
Christmas morning, in the form of a lanky 4 year old arrived, and we went downstairs to check out our stockings. Yes, we still get stockings. My mom is AWESOME. Dave was nearly swooning with excitement by the time actual presents were opened, and he eagerly thrust his gaily wrapped package (no, not THAT one, it was CHRISTMAS!) with gaudy oversized card (inscription: this was the last one at the store. I *guess* it’s sentiment is true) and I opened this magnificent gift!
A Nikon D50.
Made me feel bad because I had bought Dave half a dozen stars and stripes scarf sets with “World’s Greatest Mom” embroidered on the edge as a gag gift. He was shockingly touched and got all misty eyed and had to leave the room to compose himself.
Apparently, I was thoughtful.
What a freak.
This is the only way we were dumb enough to have done what we just did.
Aunt Becky (looking in the mirror, probably inspecting for stray eyebrow hair): Hey Dave, would say I was more hauntingly or more mysteriously beautiful?
The Daver (randomly looking through a pile of mail, deciding it was fruitless, leaving it half-opened in favor of the Xbox): I had a really, really great idea. We should move the fireplace from the living room to the dining room. Can I pencil you in to do that tomorrow?
Aunt Becky (looking in a mirror, trying to look at own ass): I guess so. On a scale of one to ten, how hot is my ass?
The Daver (playing with his balls): A nine. I think we should consider buying a BIGGER TV and another X-box. Then I can play 2 games at once! Doesn’t that sound totally worthful?
Aunt Becky (still in bathroom, admiring newly colored hair from all angles): I can’t believe that you just said worthful. Anyway, I told my stylist, Linda, that I wanted my hair to look JUST LIKE BRITNEY’S, and look, she didn’t dye it enough. Do I look fat with blond hair?
The Daver (eyes have glazed over, but is now staring intently at box of Munchems willing them to come to him so that he doesn’t have to get up): No, honey. Hey, you wanna go out for a beer?
Me (making kissy-faces at self in mirror with new shade of Pussy Pink lipstick): Sure I’d like to order food. Big Girl wants an egg roll.
The radiator clanks so loudly that both jump about 4 feet into the air, completely skewing what the other heard
And that, folks, may be the reason that Dave and I were stoopid enough to CHOOSE to move the week before Christmas. I can’t think of any other sane person deciding that this would be the best course of action:
Sane Guy #1: Hey, it’s a couple weeks before Christmas. Wanna move?
Sane Guy #2: Are you fucking outta your mind? What kind of idiot would move now? Huh?
Sane Guy #1 (chuckles loudly): Juuuuuust kidding. Wanted to see if you were listening to me.
Come to think of it, Guy #1 sounds pretty female.
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.