Yesterday I joined the rest of my brood to feast on a large bird carcass and various other things that grow from the ground. Every year is a little different, but my family has now evolved beyond the fighting, crying fits that used to be Thyme family holidays. We have a good time together now but of course it wasn’t without its controversy…
This year the first big stink was about this upcoming Christmas. My mom proposed that we start a “Chinese Christmas” however racially sound that may be… I think white elephant gift exchange is a more PC term… anyway, she threw the idea out there and the room was immediately separated into sides. On one side were the adults, AKA broke asses that were all for the idea of spending $50 for one gift to be exchanged instead of shopping for 10 people individually. On the other side were my nephews – and strangely my re-juvenile brother-in-law – who don’t keep things like a broken economy in mind and just like opening a ton of presents on Christmas.
So the debate ensued. Of course the matriarch made the decision for us, and I mean really when the matriarch “proposes” an idea it’s really more of a statement of how things are going to go down, they just enjoy the interaction and intellectual stimulus it gives their family. Once it starts to escalate to raised voices they stop it and make the final decision, but it’s always a fun process anyway. So Chinese Christmas it is.
The next debate came when my brother was making my mom tell old people stories, and I call them old people stories because they always start with questions like “do you remember when blah blah blah happened? What was it like?” And my mom, even though she’s 62, is by far not an old lady. She’s recently retired, looks amazing, and doesn’t act “old” in the least. It’s actually pretty cool to hear her tell old people stories, especially considering she’s a retired school teacher, very well mannered, clean, and refined, a definite lady and most of her “old people stories” take place in the 60’s usually in some Janis Joplin/Grateful Dead inspired situation. This time she was talking about the JFK assassination, and how she remembered exactly where she was when it happened.
The subject of the conspiracy surrounding it came up and I compared it to 911. Surprisingly both my ultra-conservative McCain/Palin loving mom and my super liberal democrat brother jumped at the statement acting like I was ridiculous for even suggesting that there was any kind of conspiracy surrounding 911 in mainstream society. “Maybe in some obscure off-center internet blog somewhere (…offense?…) but not in *mainstream* society” my brother said. They both were insistent that pretty much the entire world believed Al Qaeda was responsible for it because they took responsibility for it, END OF STORY. Even though it’s the most controversial subject of the past 50 years or so I left it at that because there is no debating with the matriarch and the eldest son.
The next debate was while we watched the movie “The Santa Clause”. My nephew and I agreed that the real, genuine North Pole living Santa Claus wore a black belt and black boots. My sister and mom were insistent that he wore a red sash and black boots. Red sash and black boots? WTF? What kind of pansy ass is Santa that he’d just wear a red sash and black boots? So I said he’s been going out in public for hundreds of years and there’s no way anyone in the public eye that much would wear a belt that didn’t match his boots. “BECAUSE HE’S NOT GAY!” My sister said, like homosexuals are the only people allowed taste… so I ask my step father if he would wear a black belt with brown shoes and he took way too long to answer so I moved on. For the rest of the movie we were trying to spot the color and coordination of his accessories. We finally figured out that the Santa Clause Santa wears brown leather boots with a brown leather belt. I still insist the real Santa’s combo is black.
So at the end of the day we all gave our hugs and said our I love you’s and goodbye’s. We don’t get together as often as we should, we’re scattered around the metroplex and the other two siblings have busy families and blah blah blah excuse excuse – when it comes down to it we don’t see each other enough. I love my family, I love how strong willed we all are and I love the fact that we can debate without hating each other. We don’t play backgammon or cards, we engage each other’s minds. I guess some people would think we were pretty odd and maybe even a little sick, but they’re my family and they made me the sick fool I am today.