Hallelujah! Holy Shit!

So the holiday season is one that is supposed to be filled with light and joy and peace and happiness for all mankind.

In truth my family holiday always resembles something more similar to the Griswold Family Christmas. And while I don't have actual relatives parked in my driveway emptying their "shitter" into my storm sewer, there are a serious number of similarities.

Christmas '05 was supposed to go down like this: Christmas Eve day my mother and I were going to go down to some great neighborhoods in downtown Cleveland and browse around. Have a fantastic lunch at Great Lakes Brewing Company, then come back to the house and set up our traditional dinner (steak, shrimp cocktail, assorted other goodies), then we would go to the movies as a family.

Instead it went something like this:

Mom and I prepare to leave for downtown, then get a phone call from my Aunt saying she may have ruined the turkeys were supposed to eat the next afternoon. Uh, and by ruined them she meant that her and my grandmother took them out of the freezer to thaw on Monday and left them in the basement. In the laundry tub. For 6 days.

I should take a moment to explain the gravity of the situation because my mother's family is quite large. There are about 40 people and we usually have two pretty big birds to feed everyone. My mother frantically called around to see if anyone had a bird large enough to feed everyone that was already thawed. Luckily we scored one and she and I dutifully tripped off to the store to pick it up. We arrived at my grandmother's house to drop off the bird and found a larger mess than we expected.

In some fit of insanity, which is common at my grandmother/aunt's house, they had decided they could salvage the rotting birds they left in the basement all week. So they rinsed them off and stuck them in their refrigerator, on the top shelf. Open the fridge and you were assaulted with the mild smell of rotting turkey, which since being placed on the top shelf had dripped down over all the stuff in the fridge.

Everything had to be removed and bleached. It was hell.

I still to this day cannot for the life of me figure out why the hell you put a turkey that had been slowly rotting in your basement back into the fridge. Why?

But the family fun did not end there, because then my brother had a meltdown. He had recently broken up with/dumped his girlfriend, and frankly I've never been clear on who ended what. The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent consoling him and talking to him about her. Of course he decided he loved her very much and that he wanted to marry her. So the day after Christmas we popped off to go buy her a ring. Which he never gave her because after talking to her he realized that she wasn't ready or whatever. Again, the whole situation is this misty haze that never has really been sorted out for me.

This year was milder in terms of drama but really I was just burnt out by the second day I was home. This year my brother was doing his best Angry-man impression and repeatedly told me was bitch, my father and I had the same conversation that we've been having for the last 3+ months. I finally lost it a little bit and told him that I wasn't stupid and would he please stop treating me like some mentally incapable child? And my mother has recently taken up repeating everything to me, which she's always done but it has been ramped up since she is under so much stress. I feel like a shit evening mentioning my mom but my patience is on a razor's edge lately.

At several points this weekend I felt like giving this tirade and no one does it better than Clark W. Griswold:



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