Families are crazy.
We all know that.
Why do I get the feeling sometimes that my family is exceptionally crazy?
Like I am somehow related to a group of people who are more dysfunctional and fucked up than the average bunch of shitty family members that most people were blessed with?
Family has been on my mind a lot lately.
Mainly because it's now officially "the holiday season" and that means one thing: my dad is going to go batshit crazy, make everyone mad, and do a bunch of Scarlet O'Hara impressions until I get drunk and throw food at him, then he starts crying and handing out cans of vegetables to all the children, saying "Eat up little darlings!"
OK, maybe that's not exactly how holidays with him go, but it's pretty damn close.
Does anyone remember Father's Day?
I remember Father's Day.
I don't know what exactly holidays do to my father, that make him so certifiably insane, every Goddamn time, but it is truly remarkable how his insanity seems to increase, exponentially with each day of the year that is supposed to be a happy memory of family love and togetherness.
Take Thanksgiving, for example.
Every year, for a long time, my sister Erica hosted Thanksgiving. She was the mature, responsible one in the family, with a husband and a full set of silverware and all that. So every year, we would all head over there, and she would make an awesome meal, and I would avoid my dad by staying in the kitchen with Erica, and we could usually get through the whole day without fighting. But, since our family had a huge falling out over the last three years, primarily between me, my dad and my sisters, with my two sisters on one side of the divide, and me on the other, and my dad somewhere in the middle trying to stir up both sides, we no longer go to Erica's for any holidays.
So there was a year where I went to a friend's house for Thanksgiving. Stress free and wonderful. And last year, where I felt bad for my dad not having any where to go, so I ended up cooking.
No big deal.
This year, it is the first year that my dad is not staying with some friend, or in between housing arrangements, and he actually seemed to have his shit together enough to possibly pull off hosting a holiday, so he volunteered to do it.
I knew in the beginning that this was probably too much for him to take on, but I didn't want to shoot down his dreams, so I encouraged him to try it. I figured at the worst, we'd have some mediocre food, and I'd get bombed on cheap wine while my dad passed out plastic spoons for everyone to cut their turkey with.
I was wrong.
My dad has clearly cracked under the pressure of hosting a holiday, and after a huge, white trash, front yard screaming match over a text message I didn't understand properly, he has locked himself in his house, and cancelled Thanksgiving all together.
So, this year I have every intention of staying home with some rum and coke, a stack of movies, and a delicious pot roast and mashed potatoes.
I will be thankful with my kids, and do my own thing, and not have to please anyone.
Plus I get to stay in my pajamas, and I don't have to share my french onion dip with anybody.