Happy Turkey Day to all!! Late post..very sorry.
Typical dysfunctional family bliss awaits and ’tis the season.
This week, for Thanksgiving, I was off from work. That’s a love/hate as I visit two houses for the holidays. My parents are divorced. I try to visit both families with an equal amount of time spent for both. This year, my dad and step mom went to visit my stepsisters in Austin. I was relieved that I didn’t have to stress over visiting both homes. And bummed because I like that I was able to do it this year without the added stress of having to get to work.
I felt very off balance without my vitamins. They need to be refrigerated which makes traveling with them a little inconvenient.
This post is mostly about my sister and I.
Ya see. She kinda stresses me and everyone the fuck out!
I sit at these family functions thinking. “I’m the Cancer? Shouldn’t I be the dramatic one?”
Mom’s birthday falls on/around Thanksgiving. My sister and I spent Wednesday at resale shops before heading up to Mom’s house for the night. We completely lost track of time and had to ask our brothers to pick up Mom’s gift. We all chip in for Mom’s most desirable present. Sometimes, we’re pumped and feel so good about how we all come together like this kick ass team for Mom. Other times, it is quite stressful. Which doesn’t need to be. I had already bought her present in advance so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Alas, not wanting to put anyone else in a financial bind with having to chip in more money. I still put my 27 bucks in.
The entire drive to Mom’s house, my sister was unleashing her nerves. Understandable, of course. Worried because we hadn’t heard from the boys. Thinking they couldn’t find it. There’s no guarantee that if they hadn’t found it they’d call. Or if they couldn’t locate the store. I live in the belief that if someone has an issue? They’ll call. If there’s a question that you have an answer to? They’ll call. Me reassuring my sister. 😉
She wondered if there was something we could have avoided in the day that might have given us the time to pick up the present. “Sis, you can’t stress over what’s already been done. It’s in the past. The boys are on it. We can’t go back in time.”
We forgot. This is the hand we’ve been dealt. Roll with it.
Honestly, I’d rather her get it all out of her system before getting there upset. She was tired and still arrived at The Mom’s house with a bit of a ‘tude.
On Turkey Day, I wanted Mom to go ahead and open my present while we were lounging around waiting for the bird.
Why not? Right!
My sister, gave me a look like hell no. Not yet!
Tough shit. Just because you’re oldest doesn’t mean you’re the boss of me..or Mom for that matter. Mom was fine with it.
Why not? Again, I ask! Mom opened her present from me and liked it. Yay! Right? 🙂
Ruined when said sister jumps off the couch telling us “kids” we need to have some meeting outside. Wtf, woman?
I notice Mom’s face. She is thoroughly confused. Wondering what the heck is wrong? When we go outside my sister asks us, “Did we get Mom’s present?”
In unison, my brothers and I respond, “Yea.”
“Where is it?” As she hops in her car to grab the card she bought last night.
“It’s in the closet in the guestroom? Didn’t you hear Brother shove Mom away from the door so he could hide it from her?”
“No. I thought it was out here in one of the cars.” Licks the envelope and closes her car door.” Let’s go inside and do this in the guest room, then.”
Ok. We’re now in the guest room with the big present laying on the guest bed. Odd that it looks like we’re paying our respects to a windmill in a cardboard coffin.
*Shrug* That’s what it looked like. My brothers and I were joking. Laughter echoes down the hall until my sister asks, “Did y’all get a card?”
I told her, “You know my thoughts on cards. They’re pointless. Get stuffed in a box.”
One brother says he has a box full of cards. My sister mentions that she has a box of cards too. “Exactly.” I say.
My brothers are a little confused. Every year for many years, my sister has bought the card and we all sign. Present and card from everyone.
Look. Don’t get my thoughts on this confused. I agree. If you’re one that believes in buying cards for people? Get your own damn card with your own sentimental message for the person. Don’t always expect that one person gets the card for everyone. Especially, when you know that said person sets out to find the most meaningful card. There is a personal effort that goes with buying cards. I understand, why my sister got so upset about my brothers wanting to sign her card. I understand, her frustration with finding the perfect card. The trouble and thought it took for her to find the one that had the perfect message she wanted for Mom.
The issue is, when you make a habit of doing something for many years and suddenly stop. It throws people for a loop. If you want the card or present to be from you personally? You need to communicate that you want the present to be from all of us. But get your own card! That’s my two cents on that matter. I see both sides in this trivial situation.
Pissed off. Opens the envelope again, grabs a pen and tells the boys, “Fine. Sign the card. Next time y’all get your own.”
Mind you. I’m not one who holds back when I think someone is in the wrong. I don’t care who you are or what you do. This is now three times that I felt she should take her tension down a notch.
Still keeping my mouth shut. It’s Thanksgiving. We’re all together. Which doesn’t happen very often with everyone’s crazy schedules. It’s Mom’s birthday. More reason to just keep quiet.
Ya see? I hold back more than people realize. I do have breaking points. Everyone has a breaking point. These were little issues anyway.
After the big present and chow. We had agreed to drawing names for gifts at Christmas. Our family is growing with kids and spouses. I, myself, buy presents for another set of parents and siblings. Name drawing became a little confusing as there were people to include in the name drawing who weren’t present for Thanksgiving. Both of my brother’s have partners now. Both of them weren’t able to attend. The boys needed to draw for their spouses. Then it was thought that the couples could pick as a team. Does that mean whoever draws for the “team” has to buy for both? It became a bit of a mess. My brother kind of threw a fit. I think he was holding back all day, as well. We’re a blunt family. Holding back is difficult on all of us. So, he did it.
In the confusion about couples and name drawing. My sister leaned back in her chair, “Why don’t we just keep it to just us four kids.”
My mouth dropped. One brother gave the What The Fuck face. And the other brother…lost it.
He pretty much said what some of us were thinking anyway. Wouldn’t have gone about it that way. But, I understand the frustration.
I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have your spouse totally excluded. As their partner you can feel and see the hurt of it. When a partner comes into your life…they’re in your life. With your family and you with theirs. It’s just wrong and disrespectful for any member to exclude a spouse. Not only are you hurting the spouse…it really hurts that family member. That family member is thinking the world of the rest of their family. Wanting their spouse to feel the same love and joy they experience. Only for the spouse to be hurt, neglected and disrespected. You’re completely disrespecting said family member, as well!
I thought my family members had learned this lesson from my own experience with Ex-Hubby.
Name drawing resolved. Brother’s meltdown covered. On our way to the pub for some holiday cheer. One brother went with my sister. The other with Mom and I. Him and I kind of vented on Mom about the sister’s behavior. I mentioned that name drawing was below the belt and incredibly inconsiderate. Mom stated that it was because Sis didn’t want to buy anything my brother’s girlfriend. Mom and my brother asked if I even like this girlfriend. I simply stated that given my experience with my own spouse being excluded causing me to remove myself. My opinion of her doesn’t matter. She is his girlfriend and we need to respect that. It’s his choice who he wants to spend his life with.
I’ve not yet formed any opinion of the girl, honestly. I haven’t really spent time getting to know her. I only know what my brother tells me. Sometimes it’s good..sometimes there’s bad. When the bad comes up? I know to take into consideration that it’s usually a miscommunication issue and my brother is just upset. Emotions are irrational. I don’t base my liking anyone on what other’s have told me. I make my own conclusions.
When it comes to family? If a member of my family is generally happy with their spouse? Who am I to have a problem with that? Don’t we want them happy? Really happy? Let them find their happiness.
That’s my take on it. It just shouldn’t fucking matter.
I had quit drinking. Who knew my tolerance had gone down so dramatically? Caved for the holiday and time with the fam. I confronted my sister after a couple of beers and rounds of pool. I told her that her stressing out so much over every little thing makes everyone tense. Like everyone has to stop what they’re doing to make sure you’re happy. I said it in a way that was not hurtful, of course. Then she mentioned that she’s very stressed and finding things to do to keep her busy. Distracting herself. Her daughter has been away all week. She said that she feels off without her.
“Does that make sense?” she asked.
Remembering a time when I had to shove that “missing piece” aside. If you think about it you’ll just crack. You are stressed and tense and unhappy. Feeling alone because that “piece” isn’t with you. I was working last time I felt like that. Kept myself drowned in work and staying busy. If I was off during the holidays at any point? I do believe I got smashed. Ignore, numb that pain.
I had a kid around for the holidays once. I had a lover for the holidays. I had a lover who proposed to me for Christmas. Try getting by the holidays after that one.
I did so much to get past all of that. That I forgot. I’ve been so fine without a “piece” that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to suddenly miss it.
“Yes. It’s been awhile. But, I know what you mean.” I admitted.
When we said goodbye and drive safely to our sister. On the way home, I started to miss it.
Beeesh! Damn me for saying anything in the first place.
When my brothers, Mom and I got back to Mom’s house. I suddenly missed being around my Dad and stepsisters. Realized it was too late to call and wish anyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Knowing that I get annoyed with texts and Facebook comments all saying the same thing. I didn’t bother to text him, either. We said our greetings the day before anyway, right?
Instead I retired to a warm bed texting a long time butch friend of mine who happened to still be awake. Talking about missing pieces until I fell asleep.