And so it begins…

not with a bang but with a drunken episode of bad parenting and Percocet-induced sleep.

On the 23rd, I had decided that all the kids would go to lunch and then off to race go-karts. There’s nothing better than go-karting.

We all met up for lunch. D, the younger child, declared his food to be disgusting. Hooray for a happy holiday lunch.

JewelrySlut decided to head home after lunch, preferring to not risk having Moo lose her mind while watching us race around. She was wise. We arrived at Adventure Landing and bought our tickets. Shmuppie rode with Uncle Brother and the rest of us rode solo karts.

As luck would have it, my kart sucked ass. I was so slow. Not as slow, however, as SIL. For some reason, she just opted to put around at about 3MPH. After the race, she declared that she was going to sit in the car for the rest of the afternoon.

“I don’t like doing stuff like this. I don’t like go-karts and don’t like arcade games.”

Fine then…sit in the car and sulk. The rest of us bought a crapload of tokens and hit the skee-ball and pop-a-shot games. Much fun ensued. We did our 2nd race and, again, I had a crappy car. I was also forced off the track by some kid and hit a wrought-iron fence “Earnhardt Style”. I needed Advil when we got home because I was in a good deal of pain.

We’d been invited over for dinner. My mother was making Wedding Soup apparently. OK…not what we’d had in mind, but we all knew this was coming. What we didn’t know was just how horrid it would be.

We arrived, and immediately, everyone started yelling. It’s really the only way. SIL’s kids looked miserable. D was especially unhappy. He had a look on his face of “Why am I here? Who are these people? Why can’t I be at home?”

Shmuppie got sent to her room because she decided that she wasn’t getting enough attention and needed to start serving herself straight out of a bowl of tomato salad I’d been asked to make…by eating off the serving spoon. She was not happy that the universe wasn’t revolving around her.

All during this, a gaggle of complete strangers were standing in the foyer. I have no clue who they were but my mother had told these people that it was OK to come over right in time for dinner for a dress fitting. So, while the rest of us stood, confused (and in the case of my father, irate) in the kitchen while this gaggle of women squawked away out front.

I have no clue how I ended up in this family. I think I deserved better. I can’t imagine what my poor wife, who’d been sucked to the foyer, thinks at times like this.

Mind you, compared to what followed, this was normal.

We ate…well; anyone from my branch of the family ate. SIL and the kids opted to not eat their soup. OK.

To that point, I’d been good and hadn’t had anything to drink. I was unable to hold off the DT’s anymore and had some wine. So did SIL. Then she had some more. Then, a little more. Then…some more. Was I enabling her? You bet. Was she becoming drunk, and at one point slapped me, rather forcefully? Yup. Did she then clonk me on the head and rub my head, remarking how soft what remains of my hair was? Yup.

Dinner done, we noticed that my mother was gone. You see how much we all care about each other. A family member can literally vanish and it takes time to notice.

Her ass was sore due to a muscle pull she’d suffered some time ago but had refused all medical treatment for. A trip to the doctor that afternoon had apparently brought a bottle of Percocet to her stocking. She was doped up and asleep somewhere.

The rest of us huddled in the kitchen, seeking sanity. It, naturally, was at this point hat SIL decided to put on a parenting display. Sitting down with her sons (and a glass of vodka) she launched into some tirade about cell phones, jobs at Best Buy and class photos.

She’d seen her older son in July and her younger a year prior. Way to go Mom. You see the kids annually, roughly, and this is how you go about handling things.

It got worse.

At this point, I was sitting on a chair rocking. It soothed me.

My poor brother was going out to the garage every 10 minutes. I learned that his bourbon was out there in the freezer. He was downing a fist (a new unit of drink measurement) of bourbon every few minutes. He looked horrified but knew that there was nothing he could do to stop the horror that was taking place at the table. The drunken tirade went on, but now the 18 year old was fighting back, using a combination of logic, sobriety and sass on his mother. My father just shook his head and sipped his drink. There was nothing any of us could do.

I’m fairly certain Shmuppie was using this time to twirl around in circles in the living room. She was struggling to get any attention. Sorry, kid, the 547-car pileup happening at the table was too riveting not to watch.

At about 9:30, I’d had enough and went to get Moo out of her bed. I was time to go home. I got her and brought her downstairs. C, the older child, was sitting in the laundry room, his knees pulled to his chest in a look of utter surrender. D was somewhere, no doubt also beaten into submission. SIL and JewelrySlut were having some sort of heated conversation in the foyer. Well…conversation is not the right word. SIL was sloshing her drink and yelling while JewelrySlut looked on in horror.

JewelrySlut asked C if he wanted to come home with us and get away from the insanity.

He looked up at us with hope and regret in his eyes.

“Yes”
(Slurred) “No you can’t!”
“I’m 18″
(At this moment, I’d taken Moo and had moved into the garage. I had figured that if I got her out of the house and into the car, JewelrySlut and Shmuppie would notice our absence and follow.)
“You’re still in high school and under my control!” (Irony anyone?)
(I have the door to the driveway open and am crossing outside…I can hear them because I didn’t close the door from the garage to the house)
“I don’t even live with you!”
“For this weekend you do and…”

I shut the door to the house and the silence of a winter’s night overtook me. I looked at my groggy daughter and she waved “Bye Bye” to the house. I strapped her into the car and we waited. It took another 2 minutes but it seemed that everyone noticed that we were gone and JewelrySlut and Shmuppie made their way to the car,

We drove home in silence. JewelrySlut and I were in bed by 10:15. I was too tired to go on.

PS: On the way home, my phone chirped. My brother had texted to say that SIL had demanded more wine and he’d told her to maybe slow down. He observed that he was in a lot of trouble as a result.

PPS: My father texted this morning. They’re at the doctor getting my mother a MRI.

PPPS (Is that next??): We have to go over again this afternoon for the Christmas Eve festivities. It should be worse by a factor of at least 10.

I’d give just about anything to be anywhere but here right now. We’ve crossed from “They’re our family and we love them” to “Get me the hell out of here. Who are these people?”

More to come.

PPPPS: Right now, the baby is wearing a pair of JewelrySlut’s underwear on her head. She grabbed them out of the laundry basket.

One thought on “And so it begins…

  1. Wow. I feel bad that I don’t see my family on holidays. The scenarios seem similar, though and I had decided to protect our child from the chaos. Thanks for sharing. Your story makes me feel as though I’m not the only person out there with the a strange family. Happy Holidays!

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