HOLY…days

Deck the halls with boughs of whisky, fa la la la la, la la la la 

I don’t know about you – but I sincerely hope your holidays were fun, fantastic and fabulous, filled with friends and family.  Not to say that my holidays weren’t all this: oh noes.  They were great!  Santa was very good to me (especially a Santa named Corporate – he spoiled me rotten with the raspberry pink Coach wristlet and the skinny-mini to go with it!) and to my family… and all the parties thrown by friends and co-workers were just fabulous – full of good food, better wine and great company. 

‘Tis the season to be frisky, fa la la la la, la la la la 

Of course – there is always a downside that comes with the holidays.  I know this subject has been beaten to death, but I hold this truth to be self-evident: the holidays are less and less about family/friends/relaxing than it is shopping/spending/stress.  I get that in this 24/7 competitive hemisphere a day off = money lost; and don’t get me wrong here, money is certainly needed for the upcoming January bills.  In fact, yours truly is at the office right now!  However; I can’t lie when I say that I’d much rather be at home, either my apartment or my parent’s house, just relaxing and being.  I so rarely get to see my brother Greg in town, my dad off of work, and my mom feeling well enough to participate.  Granted we are going to the game tonight and I did spend 2 days at home… Perhaps I am getting older (wiser?  No, older) in the sense that yeah the hustle and flow of Christmas all for the morning glory of surprise and wonder at the fabulous job I did picking out little trinkets that I know each person secretly wished for but (especially my dad) never bought themselves… those presents will fade away or get lost or put somewhere to gather dust; but the time spent with each other will remain in my head and heart. 

Don we now exasperation, fa la la, la la la, la la la 

Yes… even the bad times.  This little ditty I wrote explains a slight row I semi-found myself in with my uncle – my mother’s younger brother – before, during and after Christmas dinner.  It seems that dearest uncle… let’s call him Sid, was a bit overzealous with the pre-dinner drinks and was essentially drunk before we sat down (we ate at 6).  Now this is the first time yours truly has seen uncle Sid drunk/intoxicated/unholy hammered, so I didn’t quote know what to expect or how to deal with it, as I have no patience for mean drunks, even if we are ¼ related.   

As we sat down at our small wooden table to enjoy the juiciest turkey President’s Choice had to offer, uncle Sid started to insist that my brother Greg join him on a trip to my mother’s home country; 23 hours away by plane, and at it’s cheapest, 1200$ return ticket.  Greg, being the diplomat/lawyer that is, humoured uncle Sid with maybes and what ifs and we’ll see’s.  Greg then started to speak with my older cousin, let’s call him Rafael, who according to my mother has been depressed for some time.  Gee, I thought to myself, I wonder why.  Anyway after they had entered into a conversation uncle Sid turns to me and says “Boy Carrie, aren’t they so smart?  They are all so smart!  Greg and Rafael – what places they will go!  But you’re smart too – why don’t you go to med school?” 

As much as I wanted to explain myself – I didn’t.  There’s no use speaking when nobody is listening. 

Uncle Sid then turned his wrath onto me for not making a trip to my mother’s home country.  “You only live once; you only have one family.”  True that, I thought, however seeing that it is indeed a third world country, why would I spend at least 1200$ not to be let out of the house like the last few times I visited?  “Why don’t you do this? You SHOULD do this!  You have to go…”

Of course when I insisted that he stop; when I ask where this inquisition came from, when I say calm down everybody, let’s just enjoy this meal… I get accused by Greg of blowing things out of proportion.  Until this point I was quite calm – at least for my personality.  If it were a friend of mine I would have sworn and yelled before letting this disrespect continue. 

As we have an altercation, fa la la la la, la la la la 

No wonder auntie Helena divorced you.”  I thought to myself; cruel I know, but if this is how he treats me (and he’s kind of misogynistic when he’s drunk – “whatever; she’s just a woman.  Don’t listen to her”.) then I can’t imagine how he treated Helena.  My mother used to mention to me that Helena was selfish for divorcing Sid… but if I was in her place, and in a sense I was in her place with Brunswick, the only way to save any self-respect you have left is to leave.  I think she did the right thing… I know she did the right thing.

My dad spoke softly to me after they had left, saying that uncle Sid had gotten into the rum too quickly etc etc; and I understood, but didn’t appreciate being ragged on and then scolded by my older  brother for defending myself.  “If you think I’m going to take that, you’re wrong.”  I said to him: and that goes for everyone out there reading this.  Just because they’re related to you doesn’t give anyone the right to treat you like crap. 

Not to say that I’ve never seen an older family member drunk.  Oh noes; my dearest uncle, let’s call him Gabe, enjoyed his drink as much as he enjoyed our company… which was a lot.  However, every time I did see him intoxicated, he complimented me.  He never yelled at me while he was drunk.  I think he had yelled at me once in my lifetime and I got so sad he never did it again.  He paused with me, smiled, and tried his very best to behave.  He never berated me or used his drunken state as an excuse to say things he normally wouldn’t say.  That’s what family is; that’s love: when you’re at your worst and not yourself, you can still recognize the people you love and show them you love them. 

But really – it was only 2 ½ to 3 hours of the past… 96 hours spent in the holiday spirit. Does anybody else have some holiday horror stories we can commiserate to?

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~ by Carrie on December 27, 2007.

18 Responses to “HOLY…days”

  1. I have witnessed a person or two drunk during the holidays… really drunk and it really puts a damper on things. You’re so right, nothing can replace the time spent with loved ones. The gifts are nice, but time off with family/friends is the best.

  2. Ooooh, this hits close to home. I always try to defend myself, and nothing pisses me off more than when I get berated for defending myself. What about the jackass whose fault it REALLY is? Is it just easier to blame the more reasonable one because she won’t cause much trouble? Ugh.

  3. Hi Sweetie … I had to attend the Christmas dinner my daughter prepared, in order to make her happy. Al lof her in-laws were there … most boring group of people I have ever spent time with. Thank Christ my grandson and daughter were there to provide a bit of entertainment/conversation … and they are from Newfoundland so they must have been on their very best behaviour, not the typical Newfs.

  4. @ Egan ~ It really does put a damper on things if they’re a mean drunk… or I guess any unruly kind of drunk. Yeah the wine is tempting, but I mean… aren’t the adults supposed to set a good example for the children, regardless of age?

    @ Valerie ~ EXACTLY. I was wondering myself why I, the sober calm one being punished was and the drunken bastard being excused and coddled? I mean, seriously? Come ON!

    @ George ~ Wow, NFLD-ers behaving? My goodness… but they are so much fun when they’re themselves!! Isn’t that what family is for? Being yourself? Oh well…

  5. Ugh, we had a red alert on drunken a grandparent an hour before dinner but thankfully they were coherent at dinner. Personally, I don’t get it. There’s nothing to me that’s so exciting about being drunk or so nerve wracking about family that I need to toss 8 drinks down at family gatherings!

    I think you did the right thing. I’ve had to face this with my grandma before and equally as they’ve just “had too much to drink” it makes me mad that my family won’t step up and say something to her, or help her, because it’s rude. I think it’s better to know your boundaries and when someone crosses them, drunk or not, to let them know.

  6. @ Kyla ~ EXACTLY. I was thinking, what if the roles were reversed? For sure I’d be repremanded for my inexcusable behaviour, which it is. Yeah, some family events are a tad bit nerve-wracking and the red wine just SO good… but there is COMMON decency people!

  7. Yay wristlet! Love it and treat it well…better than your uncle treated you. I have no idea why rude, inappropriate behavior from elders is excusable and you’re meant to just smile and take it. *sigh*

  8. Yes, they are supposed to set an example. I could go down a long dirty path about drinking, but I will spare you the details. Love the candid nature of this post.

  9. @ Ruby ~ Oh I adORE it! I have the skinny-mini with me at all times… it’s SO beautiful! And yes… I really don’t know why bad behaviour is excused when you’re old. That’s totally UNfair.

    @ egan ~ True… alcohol is quite the dirty and all the underlying problems it manages to scrounge up. thank you 🙂

  10. As much as the holidays bring out the best in people I think they also at some times bring out the worse. I have a few in-laws, well hell I mine as well be honest – ALL OF MY IN-LAWS are extremly opinionated which on a good day I can take but during the holidays – I find myself fighting back the urge on telling them where to stick it. Don’t worry doll – we all have one in every family & if someone tells you they don’t they are lying! Hope you had a great holiday & have an even better NY!

  11. A family drunk put a damper on our christmas a few years back- she is banned from our house- thankfully!

    The mean drunks and I don’t get along to well.

  12. I have a bevvy of holiday horror stories tha I will soon be posting – for now I posted a pre holiday horror occurance aa restaurant my husband and I went to on our trek up to Northern CA to spend a week with my parents. The holidays can bring out the best and the worst in those around us. I am sorry he was on the attack with regard to your chosen profession and seeing your Mother – just know how ignorant he is.

  13. @ smichrmd ~ They absolutely DO bring out the worst in people; and yes… we all have at least ONE in the family. Sorry to hear you have MOST of them in yours!! Have a HNY as well!

  14. @ B ~ Oh how I wish uncle Sid was banned from our house… I mean, my mother didn’t like it when uncle Gabe was there and inebriated but at least he was kind to me… sigh. I guess I will take this as more training for nursing 🙂

  15. @ Princess Extraoridinaire ~ I agree; the holidays tend to bring out the worst in people. it’s a shame really, since the season is about being kind to others, no matter what religion or faith you follow. Sigh.

  16. The description of your family tiff sounds like something that would happen at my family get togethers. I totally relate.

  17. @ Miriam D ~ Thanks gfriend.

  18. […] I really shouldn’t let someone as sick and twisted as Brunswick, as SmallTown, or hell as Greg sometimes (there are no ‘anonymous’ comments on this post) convince me that I am anything less than a decent […]

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