Chaos Attraction

An Offer You Can't Refuse

2007-12-25, 10:52 p.m.

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Well, as promised, here's the big deal entry that should have gone up on the 24th...

On the 23rd, I had my big meltdown. I guess I had it coming, though I'm still pretty proud of not crying from around mid-January to now.

Sunday had been relatively okay, all things considered. Mom was bitching about cleaning, I had managed to throw out a bunch of her old papers without her going through them beforehand, all was good, even if it was 2 p.m. and we still hadn't had lunch yet.

Then Auntie Dolores called...and we got invited over for Christmas Eve Eve (Ron works on the holiday as usual) dinner.

I didn't want to, obviously. But I knew it was An Offer You Can't Refuse, unless we had been out of town. So that meant we'd have three hours of running around like chickens with our heads cut off, wrapping crap.

Only, well, I started crying instead. And ended up locking myself in the bathroom for three hours. Not wrapping gifts, obviously. I just did NOT want to go over there and have flashbacks of Dad not being there.

Mom was nice for the first five minutes of it or so, at least trying to call to cancel on going. (NO DICE NO NO NO YOU MAY NOT CANCEL FOR ANY REASON, was the response, I gather.) Then it got ugly, hence the bathroom lockage. Then she'd periodically come in outside the door and yell at me to wrap gifts already.

So sue me. She has a breakdown most of the freaking time all year long (okay, so hers are five minutes, but it's a lot more frequent), I have ONE DAY where I break down (okay, so my timing stunk) and she can't be a little sympathetic? Or at least, not completely be bitching me out THE NEXT DAY for not having wrapped the gifts? If I had remotely been able to cut wrapping paper and cry at the same time, I would have. I'm not proud of myself for doing that there at this time, but GEEZ. I can't even get a little slack? I have to be The Stoic One for a decade and the one day I can't? She actually yelled at me for not crying more often ("you should have cried before this!"). Good lord.

I couldn't help but think, Wow, I really am all alone here. For all of this crap where I feel like I am married to her and am her one lone source of support in the world, what do I get when I need help, on the one day a freaking year I needed it? Nothing.

Suffice it to say, at the end of the 3 hours, we had to go. God forbid we not go. (She got them wrapped.)

I ended up sobbing once I got inside the door all over Uncle Bruce again. (Who is out of the hospital and is just fine, btw.) He pretty much took it in stride. I ended up calming down once I walked into the house and started drinking alcohol. (Seriously helped.) I also went in and talked to my cousin-in-law Les, who lost his mom AND grandma this year, and asked how he was doing. "About how you are," was his response.

I actually dried up from there and had a good time. Everyone was on good behavior. Even Ron didn't tick me off (plus gave me booze when I demanded it, so yay for that). The kids were very entertaining and bouncy and funny, having a good time, doing bunny ears on everyone in the photos (yeah, I so would do that. Still.), and generally were distracting. I was down with that, especially since in the olden days they were a little young to get up to much. We read stories to them, watched them play with stuff, and I laughed at whatever they got up to at the kids table. It's a good thing I don't have to discipline any children on a regular basis, because all I do is laugh.

Moment with Jessica, the five-year-old, after she got a Hannah Montana Doll and 2-sided Miley/Hannah CD.

Me: "What's the difference between a Miley song and a Hannah song?"
Jessica (thinks): "They look different."
Me: "Thank you, that's just what I thought."

I got a nifty dichroic necklace and two books I wanted in the gifting, so that made me happy. The people who got scarves seemed happy with them. So, that was good.

WHEW. Wasn't as bad as I thought after all.

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