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As they like to say, my family puts the fun in dysfunctional. On… - wander_free

Dec. 26th, 2009 08:35 pm

As they like to say, my family puts the fun in dysfunctional. On paper, we shouldn't even be able to function as a group, much less achieve any sort of healthy relationship, but somehow we manage to muddle our way through. Along with the fact that we don't touch or hug or talk about our emotions, holidays are little more than a chance for Mom to cook for everyone again. She cooks, I help, Dad carves the turkey, he and my older brother fill their plates and go to the living room to watch football while Mom and I sit in the kitchen. When it's time to go, Mom fixes us plates of leftovers and that is that for another year.

I'm not saying this year was any different from last year or the year before, but I think there were a few more funny moments than usual. (Fair warning, funny for one family isn't funny for another and I'm well aware that what we find amusing leaves most people giving us puzzled looks. Don't expect big yuks, but look for the simply humor underneath of people who are so emotionally constipated that stupid jokes and witty asides are as close as we ever get to saying I love you.)

First, there as the football game my dad and brother were watching. A re-run of a game played back in '02. I asked if he thought the ending would change and Dad said that it might. It didn't, but it got a laugh when Dad said, after the last play, that 'it ended the same after all'. We had already opened gifts but sat for nearly twenty minutes watching, even me and Mom, instead of scattering for our individual homes.

Then, there was my dad when he got the new Star Trek movie. Mom commented that she had heard it was good and I agreed, adding that I had heard it from 'people who took their Star Trek very seriously' which led to a rather amusing discussion about how the show only ran for 2 or so years and now it's the world's biggest spin-off.

We even got a couple digs at Mom. For years, as soon as the first wrapping paper came off, she would appear with a garbage bag and we have all gotten into the habit of being almost fastidiously neat in picking up the paper and putting it in the garbage bag. This year, Mom was the one standing in the middle of a wrapping paper storm while we had already picked up. We teased her just a little bit. :)

I suppose the big success of xmas this year was Dad's chair. The man is hard to shop for because, as he says, if he wants it he buys it and doesn't bother to wait for the hols. One year, he tried to point out a couple tools he wanted at Home Depot, but to me if it's not a hammer I'm lost. I told him that sending me to the hardware store was rather like me sending him into the fabric store. Doomed to failure, though rather amusing.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Dad said he needed a new chair and Mom came to a point like a dog scenting a rabbit. As in most things, the man is picky and she knew that the likelihood of us finding a chair he would like was close to nil, so even though it would 'ruin' the surprise, she sent him to town to pick out a chair. It's a sign of how much he wanted one because he went and looked and found one without any complaint about shopping.

He found his chair, we went and got it and hid it in the garage and we all pretended he didn't know about it. As soon as the food made it over to the house (another story. The heating element broke on Mom's oven, so she used mine to cook) Mom, brother and I went to retrieve the chair. Dad was waiting at the front door, wrangled it into the house and immediately took the old one away. :) To say the least, he liked his chair.

Along with my box o' socks (because socks are the perfect present, imo) I got a china cabinet for my growing china collection, something I have been angling for for a couple years. It came in right after Thanksgiving but Dad refused to put it together until xmas, but that's okay, better him than me! He left it in two pieces (top and legs) for easier transport from their house to mine and commented he needed a screwdriver. Mom asked if I had one and Dad interrupted that whenever he came over to borrow a tool, I never had it. I replied that if he needed the tools so badly (he'll be over here and need a tool, which if it's not a hammer or a screwdriver, I probably don't have) he should buy them and give them to me so I would have whatever he needed.

So, today what does Mom bring over before work? A handful of tools, pliers and a cresent wrench and a couple other things. Apparently Dad braved the crowds this morning to get them.

Most people, I'm sure will roll their eyes and say 'so?' or make some comment about enabling bad behavior on his part (I'm a feminist and I get the whole patriarchy thing, but it's my dad. He's a chavaunist and I've never tried to deny it) but, well, from Dad it's like getting flowers from someone who remembers your birthday. It's sweet and kinda clueless and you gotta look at it from a certain point of view to realize that it's the equivalent of a hug and 'i love you'. He heard what I said, took it seriously and even if it was just a joke, he got something that in the long run will be put to good use, moreso than flowers at any rate. :)

Like I said, for anyone rolling their eyes at me, it's a miracle that the family even holds together much less anything else. You gotta appreciate the little things.

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