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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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I Didn’t Sign Up for Twelve Days of Christmas, Dammit!

Is it Thursday yet? Can I go home now? Pleeeease?

Don’t get me wrong, folks. It’s not that I don’t like seeing my family, or even my in-laws. They’re nice people. ‘Special‘, in a disturbing number of cases, perhaps, but still — nice people. Really.

But I’m not really equipped to deal with Christmas vacation with the relatives. All the travel, and eating, and being nice to people that I don’t really know… it’s just damned exhausting.

(On the other hand, all the sleeping is rather nice. And I’m getting a lot of crosswords done, and football watched. Still, it’s not the same somehow. None of these people have TiVo, and their couches don’t have my assprint squooshed into them. Pity.)

It especially doesn’t help that there’s not much to talk about with the relatives. Both of our families grew up here, have stayed here, and will most certainly die here some day. Meanwhile, we’ve moved on for graduate school, hopped off to Pittsburgh, moved to Boston, and the only — and I mean only — reason we’d ever dream of travelling back here is to see the family.

(Well, I suppose I shouldn’t speak for my wife, necessarily. She’s a bit more… sentimental than I am — and who isn’t, come to think of it?

But she might have the urge to come back to see her old stomping grounds, or visit the nearby campus where we met in school, or to see the old classmates of ours who have stuck around locally.

Me? Nah. I married the only good thing to come out of that school, I didn’t do nearly enough ‘stomping’ in the old days to warrant nostalgia, and those old fellow alumni can toddle off to Boston if they want to catch up. I mean, come on — you can’t even get a decent pint of Guinness, or sushi platter, around here. Be real, people.)

With the family, though, it’s always a little strange. It’s tough to find topics of conversation that we can all get behind and go with. We’re just leading very different lives, you see — neither is ‘better’, you understand. Just ‘different’. And, again, often ‘special’, in a short-bus kind of way. But I digress.

Anyway, the point is, the wife and I have generally different interests than the rest of the family. A typical conversation with one of my cousins usually goes something like this:

Cousin: Hey, how’s it going? You have a good trip?

Me: Sure, pretty good. No delays or anything.

Cousin: Cool. So… wanna see the deer I bagged last week?

Me: Erm… no. Not really.

Cousin: You sure? We can even clean it, if you want.

Me: I think I’ll pass. I’m trying to cut down on the amount of mammal guts I handle. Doctor’s orders, and all that.

Cousin: Are you kidding?

Me: Maybe. Would it really matter?

Cousin: No, I guess not. So what do you wanna do?

Me: Well… wanna help me with my crossword puzzle?

Cousin: Puzzles? Man, that’s school stuff. This is Christmas!

Me: Oh… right. Well, we could have a beer, I guess.

Cousin: We don’t drink. It’s not Christian.

Me: Sorry, I forgot. I suppose tequila shots are definitely out, then?

Cousin: ‘Fraid so. Guess we could talk about basketball. How ’bout those local boys, eh?

Me: No idea. I’ve always been a Syracuse fan. Those Patriots might do it again in football, though, eh?

Cousin: Don’t care. That’s a thousand miles away from here.

Me: Right.

Cousin: Hrm.

Me: Well… nice seeing you again.

Cousin: Yep. Same time next year?

Me: Sounds like a plan. Merry Christmas.

Cousin: Same to ya. Have a nice trip back.

Me: Yep. Later.

Now imagine having that same conversation thirty-seven times over the span of a week. That’s pretty much Christmas in a nutshell. At least, it feels like it, when I’m all tired and snarky near the end of the ‘vacation’ week. Like now.

In any case, it’ll be good to get back to our house, and our puppy, and those familiar comfy assprints on our couch. Just a couple of days, and a few hours of flying left to go. And a half-dozen more conversations like the one above. Somebody get me a cup of eggnog, dammit — it’s still fricking Christmas.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “I Didn’t Sign Up for Twelve Days of Christmas, Dammit!”

  1. Lois Lane says:

    Visiting family and calling it a vacation is kind of like visiting a gravesite and calling it a nice chat with an old friend. I sure hope you have a couple of R&R days when you get back. Sounds like you’ll need a vacation.

    Lois Lane

    P.S. I am amazed your cousin and all others didn’t ask for a ride in the Ram. I’m just sayin’.

  2. #Debi says:

    I suspect you’re in the same area where you were in the frat. If so, come on up the road a half hour or so, and hang out at McCarthy’s Pub, where you can get the best Guinness built this side of Dublin. Hell, if you tell me you’re coming, I might even buy… Ooh, and there’s a comedy club here, too…

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