Oh, Turkey Day

So I’ve said on several occasions I adore my friends.

Thanksgiving is a legit day off for me – like, I’m not dipping into my vacation bank, I’m not working from home, I’m not banging in sick, legit. So I was hoping to sleep in.

Starting at 7am my phones rocking with Happy Thanksgiving texts.

Shouldn’t complain, right? It’s endearing that my friends text me in general, more so on the holidays. Especially when I’d rather stay home and eat paste then drive from house to house today.

But c’mon kids. At least give me till 8! Sigh.

What Fresh Hell is This?

Oh. Thanksgiving Week.

First of all, let me just start off by saying that I don’t need a holiday to remind me how lucky I am.  Good family, good job, my sheer brilliance and extraordinary good looks, my humility, great tolerance for the ole sauce, ya know (blah blah blah). 

I DO, however, need a federal holiday to get the day off, so I’ll take it.

As usual, though, the week before Thanksgiving, the shakes start to set in. 

Not the “yay-I-can’t-wait-to-see-my-family-eat-a-lot-of-turkey-and-have-a-great-time” shakes or the “man-i-was-out-late-last-night-and-need-a-bloody-mary” shakes, but the “Jesus-H-Christ-Thanksgiving-is-already-here-I-haven’t-had-a-chance-to-get-a-therapist-up-to-date-of-the-bag-of-crazy-my-family-is” shakes.

Aside from the Gates of Hell opening and Lucifer‘s dog snapping at my heels, another tell tale sign the holidays are approaching is the litttttttle extra touch of neurosis in the conversations I have with my dear Mother, and the littttttttttttle extra grin on my friends face’s when they ask me what I’m doing for the holiday.

Please, don’t get me wrong – I love my family.  And I love spending time with them, but there’s a limit.  There’s only so long I can smile at my extended family before it starts to crack.  In the recent years, there has been some tension between a few family members.  You’d almost think my family was Protestant the way they avoid conflict, so its simply been festering.

This year, is different though.  I’m mandated to go to Second Thanksgiving (yes, I’m being forced, against my will, to eat a second meal, and nope, we’re not Greek, just annoying), but I got the green light from Poppa Bear to behave as I see fit.  I quote:

As far as expressing ourselves and saying what we feel, I see no reason not to espouse your feelings when given the opportunity.

and

So if you feel the need to tell them, please do, whether you filter it or not is up to you.  I personally believe it would not be a bad thing to do, especially  if you feel it would “clear some things up”

And if I don’t follow this advice, he told me to:

lighten up a little – Or Not, Soak a Tampon in Vodka, Insert and Enjoy

(honest to God, this is an excerpt from an actual email my pops sent me this morning. including that last bit)

The way I’m interpreting that is “say whatever you want, you’ll put on a show for us”

Let the games begin!  Perhaps this holiday season will be fun after all.  I mean, I wasn’t planning on boozing this week, but I kind of feel like it is in order.  If anyone would like to volunteer to DD for me, so I can REALLY put it out there, HMU.

By the way, this was my response to my dad:

If the opportunity arises, you can rest assure I’ll be able to convey my feelings towards them and the situation they’ve created as coherently and intelligently as possible, and I’ll try not to use the 25 cent words so they can all follow along as best they can.

Told you I was brilliant.

you can pick your nose

But you can’t pick your family!

Ain’t that the truth.

I got pretty lucky, in the family lottery though. My parents are the elite, my sister and I are close, and I’ve got some cute friggin nephews.

And I’m not just saying that because we’re blood – they’re friggin cute. I’d put pictures up but you creeps might try to steal them, then I’d have to put a boot in everyone’s a$$ – it just wouldn’t end well.

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to diplomatically write about the rift in my extended family without offending anyone or disregarding other people’s point of view, but I think that might be almost impossible. Especially because when you see things one way, it’s nearly impossible to see another person’s point of view. It makes it increasingly difficult to know what’s on someone’s mind when they ignore the proverbial “Elephant in the Room”, and doesn’t talk about their “issues”.

In a nutshell, I don’t like a member of my extended family. Rather than just leaving it alone, other members of my family pressed the issue so much the dislike turned into venom. After that, existing grievances came to light, etc, etc, etc.

In my experience, you have to love your family – but you don’t have to like them. And when you take a “Type A” personality like mine, and try to force me to do something….you’re basically shutting the valve to any reasoning.

If the situation simply stayed between me and the actual parties, there wouldn’t be so much of a problem. God Forbid adults act like adults – that’s just crazy talk (again, I’m not saying I’m the most mature person in the world, but sometimes enough is enough).

Instead, it has festered and gotten bigger, to a point where the only thing I can equate it to is a big, disgusting boil that grows and grows. And you touch it. You know you’re not supposed to, but you do.

One day that boil is going to blow the f-ck up. And who’s going to get covered in the vile pus when it does?

Everyone.

The thing about words is, you can’t take them back. Once I say something mean, even if I apologize – I still said it. And you’re going to remember the day I called you a mean name, or said your dog was ugly or something. Things said out of anger are said with the intention of hurting someone, even if we don’t want to admit that, and the nicest people are cruel when pushed enough.

With family, you know the insecurities that your relatives have. And you know how to hurt them. My father and I have the uncanny ability to see someone’s vulnerability shortly after meeting them, so imagine what years of research can do.

Hopefully no one says or does anything they regret, there’s nothing more tragic than not telling someone you love them, even if they’re being a d!ck, and then not having the opportunity to do so.

My mom said to me the other day that there’s no way I can judge or draw a conclusion on someone else’s relationship because I’m not in the mix (ok, she didn’t say “in the mix”, she’s a little more eloquent than that), I can just draw an opinion. And opinions are like a$$holes, right? We’ve all got one, most stink, yaddi yaddi yada.

Eff that. I’m right. Everyone else is wrong. And if they disagree, they can pound sand (I LOVE that expression. Pound sand. Hilarious)

Life can kick you in the nuts

When you don’t expect it – sort of like a toddler. In the two months since my father passed, I’ve been sad a lot – and I’ve felt terrible for my mother, a lot, but this last week in particular has been harder than usual. I’m not sure why, but i can only assume it’s because Valentine’s Day just passed and it was a hard reminder that my Dad isn’t here.

Even if we hadn’t spoken for a few days, every holiday (hallmark or not) I’d get a message from my Dad. They used to be something like “Hey Shithead (endearing in a way you could only understand if you really knew my father) Happy Valentines Day” to “Happy Valentines Day my love” the last few years. I remember a couple years ago I was surprised by a delivery of chocolate covered strawberries on Valentine’s Day Dan nearly got credit for until i saw the card.

But that was my Dad – showing us he always loved us in a variety of ways.

On Tuesday, I started having a dream right before i woke up – it mirrored the last time I saw my Dad, and he grabbed my head with his bear claw arm, pulled me and and gave me a kiss on the top of my head saying “I love you little one”. Every day, this is what I’ve been falling asleep and waking up to. I can’t tell if it’s comforting or why it’s been hard to sleep all week (or if the 3 year old sleeping on my arm has anything to do with it 🥺).

It was nice yesterday, we took the day off for the most part and just did stuff together. Kind of helped reset the clock. Maybe this will be a better week, who knows. We’re far from #instaperfect but we’re definitely perfect together.