Don’t complain to me about the holidays. If you don’t like your relatives, then don’t go see them. No one is breaking your arm. However, keep in mind, the world in which we get to hang out with only people who don’t drive us crazy is only for the people who don’t know that other people are driving them crazy or those who don’t care what other people think. In other words, not for most of us. Here is a couple of holiday stories to make you feel better.
God bless, Donna
Last year at Christmas, my mother’s cousin’s girlfriend’s son, Teddio, brought his steady to meet the family for the first time. She was a very well put together girl, let’s call her LooLoo, why not, everyone else does. Except her real name is Maria Teresa, go figure. In any case, she was also not the favorite of the boyfriend’s mother, who is, as everyone says, but not to her face, a real piece of work, who only wants her boys to marry doormats, preferably real skinny Minnies, which is not LooLoo, by any stretch. LooLoo gives her a nice necklace, made of sea pearls she got at a bargain price on Canal Street, but everyone could see they were real, before we ducked. Because the mother hands it back, all in a rage, and tells her she can’t believe the insult, didn’t LooLoo think she knows that every pearl is a tear? Well LooLoo immediately disqualifies herself from the doormat category because she takes the necklace back, looks at Teddio, who was whimpering like a whipped dog, and says I never heard that, But let me tell you, every tear is a tear, and she rips the necklace apart, and before anyone can stop her, she drops the pearls, one by one into the egg nog, then dumps it on Teddio, and walks out. Teddio bursts into sobs, then runs out in the snow but by that time she’d gotten a taxi and was gone. He went back into the house, got drunk on Vermouth, which is no easy thing to do, and spent the whole time moaning like a cow, with his mother patting him, and the rest of us wishing we had gotten in the cab with LooLoo. That was the last anyone saw of her until last month, when it turns out she got a job as the TV station lottery girl, you know the one who says the numbers each night at the end of the news, and we never pass a night without checking it, especially not Christmas when we’ve all given each other tickets for presents. So after a year of not mentioning her name, especially when Teddio can hear, it’s gonna be like she was invited.
What are we going to do?
Fearful for everyone’s safety, Alley Park
PS, I KNOW there is no such saying about pearls, but it doesn’t matter, family first.
Well, you can’t get in between someone and their mother, although there might be a case made for someone helping Teddio cut the apron strings which sound like they are wrapped directly around what the people in my neighborhood used to call his THING. But that’s not for me to say. As for you and the rest of the family, you have plenty of choices.
- Fall into the TV set and break it or get it stuck on that Yule Log channel
- Have someone go downstairs and pull the fuse out
- Start a game of Pokeno early
- Bribe one of the little kids to bite Teddio just before the lottery comes on and insist that the mother take him to emergency, because you know how dirty kids' mouths are, then the kid's mother can start a fuss because she’s insulted by the thought that her kid could cause tetanus.
OR…you could all GROW UP (too easy)
God bless, Donna
I am allergic to cats. I just have to walk into a house where a cat is and I blow up like the Goodyear Blimp, and wheeze and wheeze and wheeze. Medicine does no good. My mother in law has ten cats. So I let my wife go to her mother’s for the holidays for dinner and I stay home. We’ve been doing this for years. And I’m used to it, it’s no big deal. So I thought, until last week, my mother in law says to me that she’s had it, she knows I’m faking, and if I wanted to be a good husband, I’d make sacrifices, so either I’m a rat, or worse cheating, which is what she accused me of. I said to my wife, what brings this on, and she only shakes her head, and I can’t talk against her mother, but I don’t want to have to call the EMTs who will have to give me oxygen, which is what happened the last time I went to a house where there were cats. Plus I’m not cheating. Believe me, I have no need for more women to make my life complicated. But try to tell that to my wife, who is right now weeping in the bedroom where she won’t let me sleep until I prove to her that I love her by going to her mother’s house this Christmas cats and all. I love my wife, but I don’t want to die from dander. Advice?
All Choked up, Mesterton
Dear Choked Up,
You say that before last week, you’ve been doing the same thing for years and no complaints? So either you haven’t been paying attention, or someone has a brain tumor. So either pay better attention, or spring for the CAT scans. Something else is going on.
God bless, Donna
So readers, unless you have a superstitious allergic mother that your sweetie decides to give a necklace of alternating hairballs and pearls, count your blessings!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.