Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas is ruined!

Ask a member of my family for some family lore, and they will utter the following phrases...

- "we spit on the weak!"
Said by a fairly tipsy aunt about the strength of the family members and the lack thereof of others

- "the golden child"
Referring to my older brother - the one whose shadow we all live in

and the all time favorite -


Why is this so vividly burned on our brains, you ask? Well, according to family history, one fateful Christmas eve, while the three youngest children slept, my oldest brother was helping my parents put presents under the tree. Somehow, and in my mind, it plays out in slow motion like the changing of the tire in "A Christmas Story" - the Christmas tree fell down.

As in over. With the ornaments, lights and all.

And my father doesn't deal all that well in crisis. So he proceeded to flip his shit out.

"Christmas is ruined!" he exclaimed.

Whereas my oldest brother, home from his freshman year of college and quite the smart ass, replied by saying something to effect of

"What do you mean, Christmas is ruined? It's not like anyone stole the presents!"

Way to keep your eye on prize, big guy.

My father, not one to let someone rain on his melodrama parade, didn't appreciate the musings of some 18 yr old punk, especially one who might have a point. So there was some escalation and some yelling. I'm pretty sure at one point, my father told my oldest brother to get out, my brother grabbed his coat. Perhaps my mother stood on a chair and screamed to get them both to listen. It's all legend at this point.

A few hours later, by the light of Christmas morning, the other children crept downstairs to check out the loot. There is was, heaped in all its glory, under a perfect Christmas tree.

Only I noticed the very tiny threads of fishing line securing the tree to the wall.

"Christmas is ruined!" reminds us all that while things look bad, dude - there's still presents. Helps us focus on what's important. And when another Christmas disaster strikes, we can call keep our mind on the loot in the morning.

Like this Christmas, when there was a minor dog scuffle at the parents house which ended in me taking Alan to the emergency room. On Christmas Eve.

Really, combining family tipsiness and dogs who don't know each other that well - hell, it was bound to happen, right? In fact, as my mother was demanding that Alan put his head between his legs to prevent fainting, my drunk little brother exclaimed, "Christmas is ruined!"

Actually, Alan only had a minor hand wound. But it was deep enough and Alan was pale enough to warrant a little trip to the ER and perhaps a tetanus shot. So off we went, over the river and through the woods, only grandmother's house looked a lot like a hospital waiting room.

Things I've learned about the ER in my hometown on Christmas eve:
-Speaking English is helpful but not required.

-Someone will remind you when you present your insurance card that
the last time you were there was February 14, 2006. No shit. Like I forgot about that.

Alan and I spent a surprisingly short time at the ER, thankfully - since Alan's buzz had worn off and the pain from his hand was pretty intense.

But you know what, I didn't go to the hospital for cancer and there were presents under the tree when we got home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hum.... I am sure you exagerate about your father.