Funny how Christmastime brings back memories, eh?
In my case, of course, they’re snarky, head-shaking, annoying memories, but still — ’tis the season.
So, let’s pull one of these mental gems out of the vault, and I’ll get your opinion on what I should’ve done while I’m at it.
Now, before we get to the specifics, I should mention that my mother’s side of the family has a Christmas Eve gathering every year. And the whole frigging clan comes out for it — grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, the works. In my family’s case, that’s still not an enormous boatload of people — maybe twenty or so. Still, it’s more relatives than you can shake a stick at — or, in fact, beat with a stick. Trust me. I’ve tried it.
You should also know that this charming little party is the only time each year that I see most of these people. The parents, I’ll run into another couple of times, and I’ll spend some extra QT with the grandparents, but for all the others, that’s it. That’s all we get of each other.
(And, in the overwhelming majority of cases, all we need of each other. There are very few people in my family that you’d want to have in anything other than ‘small doses’.
Present company almost certainly included, but you’re already ass-deep in me. Hell, you’re a dozen paragraphs in already. Sucker.)
Anyway, that’s the background — party every year, whole family there, never see them otherwise. Fine. Now we’re on the same page.
So, the past few years, one of my aunts has hosted the soiree, which kicks off around six in the evening. And here’s what happened two years ago, on a chilly Christmas Eve:
I arrived at the party, with my wife and parents.
I hung up our coats, and walked into the kitchen, where aforesaid aunt was tending to something on the stove.
I greeted my grandparents, gave them each a hug, and walked back to my aunt to say hello. And here’s the very first thing she said to me in a full year:
‘Well, hi there! It’s good to… wow! You’ve really put on weight, haven’t you?‘
Now first of all, she was probably right. I’ve never gone and completely let myself go, but sure, I was probably a little heavier than the year before. And certainly bigger than back in high school, which might be the last time the woman had seen me for more than thirty seconds at a time.
But still… damn! That’s just fucking rude. And she’s not exactly goddamned svelte herself, dammit. Hell, I’ve got eight inches of height on her, but she’s in my neighborhood on the scales, I’m betting. Oh, yeah. She ain’t small.
What I still can’t figure out, though, nearly two years later, is what the correct response to that statement is. For the record, my response was to frown, walk away, and eat very little at dinner that night. Have I mentioned how much I fucking love Christmas, by the way?
Anyway, I don’t know quite what I should have said to her. But I’ve narrowed it down to a few choices:
I dunno. Any of those would work, I’m thinking. At least they’d be better — read: snarkier — than what I actually did. But I suppose this way, subsequent parties are a bit easier to get through. It’s all for the good of the family, I tell myself.
Still. That was bullshit. And I wanna know what you think the best reply would be. ‘Cause if sistah’s eyes got fat again this year, and she starts in on me… well, this time, I’m gonna be ready for her. Parties-to-come be damned — bitch gonna hear it. Oh yeah.Permalink | 5 Comments