Thursday, November 17, 2005

Okay, so I'm definitely starting to freak about the upcoming holiday season. Oh, who am I kidding, I've been freaking! It's time to break into full list making mode so I can feel as though I have some sort of control and structure here. It's looks as though my in-laws will be driving down from their place in northern Arkansas (about a 3-4 hour drive) to spend Thanksgiving day with us. My MIL tried to pull her usual routine, first asking if we were going to come up there, even though they always come to our house for Thanksgiving. We stopped letting her make Thanksgiving dinner several years ago after the second bout of food poisoning brought on by her "excellent" cooking skills. Since she's slightly disabled, we told her that there's no sense in her going through all that trouble when I can do the whole thing myself. Thank god she bought that, or I don't think I'd be alive to talk about it today! Anyway, when I told her that we weren't coming up there, she automatically says that they probably won't even bother with a turkey this year since no one will be there. Basically she was just wanting an invitation to come here, despite the fact that we do the same damn thing every single year! Oh well, so I play along saying oh, don't you want to come to our house again this year, like you do every year? And she's like, Oh, I guess we could do that. As if the thought never even occurred to her! OMG, that woman is impossible! Then I make sure to tell her that we'll have the meal nice and early just so they'll have plenty of time to get back home after eating, visiting and playing our usual card games. I know, I'm bad! But, after they invited themselves to stay the night with us last Christmas, I always try to make sure that staying the night won't be necessary. There's only so much we can take of this woman before we're all pulling our hair out! She really is like a child, I can't even let her and Em play card or board games together, because they fight incessantly! She'll always try to change the rules or tell Em she's cheating when the game is not going her way. OMG, she's just too much! She also cheats when we (the adults) play cards (usually Conasta). She literally hides wild cards in her clothes under the table, and actually thinks that none of us know about it! But heaven forbid we actually say something about it, OMG it'd be freakin WWIII! It's just another one of the things we've learned to put up with form her in order to keep the peace, because I promise, this woman thrives on drama, and would live to make everyone's lives a living hell if we ever thought to stop indulging her in this little fantasy world she lives in. I've gotten to the point now where I've just accepted her the way she is, and I really try not to let her get under my skin. Unfortunately, Bub doesn't have nearly as much patience for her, so they tend to butt heads often. Gee, anyone wanna come to my house for Thanksgiving? Should prove to be enormously entertaining if our previous years experiences are anything to go on!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we always get together with my dad's side of the family here in Arkansas. It's usually a big todo at my SIL's house in Russellville (about 30-40 minutes northwest of here) with lots of extended family and an ungodly amount of food. Seriously, my stepmom, who used to own her own bakery, sets up those steam tray things that they use for catering and we make a ginormous buffet out of all the food, and then file through like a herd of cattle. And that's not even including the desserts, OMG, the desserts require a whole buffet table all to themselves! But I won't delve into the grotesque food porn here because, well... that's just plain wrong! I refuse to be held responsible for any pre-Thanksgiving binges! Anyway, my anti-social preferences mean that I could happily go without attending this annual get-together. I enjoy the company of my SIL and brother and their kids, but pretty much everyone else just kind of annoy me. I've mentioned my stepmom before, or the loud mouth of the south and my brother calls her. I swear that woman must love the obnoxious sound of her own voice since she seems incapable of shutting the hell up. My dad, on the other hand, has no backbone whatsoever, and rarely speaks without first going through every aspect of what he's about to say in his own mind to make sure it sounds just right, or to crack a corny joke, which is also carefully thought out before hand. I've nicknamed this obvious personality trait at "premeditated humor", and he's done it for as long as I can remember. And you know what's scary as hell? I see so many of his completely messed up thought processes in myself as well. Ahhh, I'm turning into my father! What ever happened to the idea that you're supposed to turn into your mother, whom I wouldn't mind emulating in the slightest. My brother got all of my mother's good traits, and I got stuck with my father's sucky ones. Growing up, people never believed that my brother and I were related, and believe me, he was perfectly fine letting them think we weren't! He was tall and slim, naturally good looking with good eyes. Smart, athletic, outgoing and always popular. But he did get his good teeth from dad. I, on the other hand, got the fat genes, and bad eyesight, was never particularly pretty even in the girl next door kind of way, (let's just say I never got the "you have such a pretty face, if only you could lose some weight" talk) shy and reserved, never made friends easily and was usually a social outcast being the "fat girl". I got his propensity for horrible migraine headaches and weak blood vessels in my nose which made for excruciatingly awkward moments when the blood would literally burst forth from my nose at the most inopportunely public moments. I also inherited his natural tendency toward hereditary diabetes, heart disease, and addictive/compulsive behavior. Along with his extreme lack of self-confidence and self-worth. And from my mother I was blessed with really bad teeth and bed wetting until an embarrassingly high age. But one good thing I got from my father is his naturally thick and healthy hair, for which I've always been immensely grateful. So anyway, you can see how I think I got the raw end of the deal with this family's genes. But oh well, such is life, and you gotta do the best with what you have, right? So enough bitching things I have no control over, let's move on shall we?

Anyway, this get-together at my SIL's is the same place where, right after I reached my goal of 150 lbs. two years ago, my father thought it appropriate to blurt out in front of everyone, "oh my god, you're anorexic!" You see, this is why his pre-meditated thinking can be a good thing, 'cause this is the kind of shit that just falls out of his mouth when he doesn't carefully consider what he's about to say. Needless to say, I was mortified, and more importantly, I was LIVID! As you all well know, I am not one for confrontation of any sort, but I simply could not let this one pass by. Especially since most of the family members there were and are still morbidly obese, and I certainly did not want to give the impression that my success was derived from any kind of an eating disorder. So what I did was to choose not to be around him for the rest of the day, because after all, I'm still not one for public displays of anything. And then I called him at home the next day and told him, in no uncertain terms, exactly how I felt about his hurtful and damaging comment. He apologized profusely and tried to make some lame excuses about not being used to seeing me so thin, so it was quite a shock. But I told him that being shocked or surprised does not give him permission to blurt out something so blatantly hurtful and wrong. I told him that this was not the sort of impression I wanted to make to the others. I wanted them to see that this really can be done in a healthy and productive manner, but his saying that has planted the seed in their minds now, and honestly you just can't un-ring a bell like that. No matter what his thinking or excuses, what he did was wrong and I made sure to tell him so. Whew! Not an easy conversation for me! But I'm glad I did it, and even now, it's still one of my proudest memories. On a side note, my obnoxious stepmom also saw fit to take this same opportunity to ask me if I had cancer and wasn't telling anyone, because I surely must be sick to lose so much weight! Of course, I expected this sort of thing from her, so I was able to let that one roll off my back because it was just so typical of something she would say.

Anyway, seeing as how I've wandered completely off my initial topic of upcoming holiday woes, and dove straight into my own personal pity party for one, I'll save my save my rant about the dreaded Christmas shopping madness that is yet to come for some other day. So, merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! HO! HO! HO! Awww, forget about it, BAH! Hey, at least I tried to get in the spirit, right? ;D


Anonymous Jilly said...

Oh dear, if your dad has to suffer from "blurtitis", why couldn't he blurt out "wow, you've lost so much weight! Well done, girlie! There's a lot of people here who need to follow in your footsteps!" Oh well, they talk about children blurting things out and making their parents cringe ~ you've got it the other way around!

I do feel your holiday planning pain, but I have to apologize for chuckling over your descriptions of your whacky relatives. It really does sound like something out of an American sitcom. Reminds me of that saying: You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your relatives! ;)

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Sandi said...

Oh, my poor Beverly. At moments when people say thinsg like that, I always wish I had something witty to say, but I always think of those things after the fact! People and their mouths! i am also very proud of you for standing up to him.

Family, unfortunately we all have them. Although I'd miss them terribly if I did not get to see them on the holidays, in order to do so I have to put up with the crazies too.

The holiday season is what you make of it. Don't stress, it's just going to happen anyway!! :)

8:17 AM  
Blogger B said...

"The holiday season is what you make of it. Don't stress, it's just going to happen anyway!! :)"

Ain't that the truth sista! Thanks for putting it into that perspective, 'cause boy did I ever need it right now!!


8:57 AM  

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