Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dysfunction At It's Finest

Family time during the Holidays?
Full of love and cheer and happy smiles?
I think not.

If you are hoping for some lovey, dovey, "families are so great", quality time bullshit blog, please look elsewhere today.

Let's get real people? The Holidays are are a time where we have to hang out with people that annoy the crap out of us. As a matter of fact, I like to refer to last year's Christmas as the "Great American Family Blowout."

Now not every family member bugs. I have some aunts that are amazing and my sister is my best friend (and the ONLY reason I can survive the holidays). My niece is the apple of my eye. But there are some... we ALL have one... that just make you want to hop on a plane to Paris on Dec. 22 and come back Jan. 2nd.

I have an uncle who seriously makes me want to kick a baby (ok, I don't really want to kick a baby, but I'd sure like to kick him). And my mother: She is worthy of several blogs. I love to her to death, but we have a VERY hard time connecting and she has some social dysfunctions that I can't even explain. The best word to describe her is WACKY.

I cope by trying to get in a really good workout first (long runs are great on family days). Then I hit the bottle. Seriously.
Family + Wine = Manageable
Family + No Wine = Just Plain Stupid

So fess up. Who is your annoying relative? What makes them so irritating? They probably won't read my comments, so feel free to be honest. How do you cope?

Song of the Day: Tell it Like It Is by Tracy Chapman


Ian said...

In-laws in general. Blech! Drinking is most certainly the answer in these dark times.

Heather said...

Narrowing it down to ONE annoying relative is tough. There's my overbearing mother, who I'd love to blog about, but she's a loyal reader. I like to call her Smother sometimes. I love her, she means well, etc. etc. but she drives me crazy.

I'd say it would have to be my creepy "uncle" Bill. He's my stepdad's sister's husband. He likes to hug real, real tight, mostly (my mom says) so he can smush your boobs into him. He's incredibly creepy and makes completely inappropriate comments about sex, sex with his wife, or lack of sex with his wife. He looks at my chest, talks to my chest, etc. In general, I dread seeing him. His wife is a total, TOTAL perfectionist to the extreme, but she loves white wine, so I generally get through the dinner nice and drunk. And a turtleneck.

Laura N said...

Great post, girl. In the Shrek Christmas special this year (which we DVR'd and have watched like 10 times), Donkey says "Christmas ain't Christmas until somebody cries." Too true!

My dad's wife is unbearable. Hopefully we won't even see her this year. But unfortunately that may mean I won't see my dad either.

I have several bizarro family members on my mom's side. Scary Uncle Bill... ooh, I stay away from him.

My DH's brother and wife and son can be quite annoying. There's a lot of dysfunction there--our nephew is 23 and still lives at home and has never been to college and can't even get a job, he's so socially dysfunctional. It's sad, but it makes him very difficult to be around. He relates very well to my 6 year old.

Love the idea of a long run on a family gathering day. DH doesn't drink anymore, and as I've gotten older I get massive headaches from just about any kind of alcohol (tragic, I know), so I cope by eating. Can you say holiday weight gain challenge? I'm just trying to maintain at this stage of the game.

Hope you are having a good week!

Laura N said...

Oh! I just read Heather's comment... what is it with "Uncle BILL"??? Mine is a real Uncle (by marriage, not blood, thank goodness), but he is similarly creepy.

marie said...

My sister-in-law G who has a "mysterious illness" where she can't eat certain greasy foods (yet I witnessed her eat chicken wings and nachos at my niece's third birthday two weeks ago. convenient). She manages to miss most family gatherings we have or comes out and makes it all about her and her ailing tummy.

We cope by making a little game of it (since I'm in a family of mostly non-drinkers) - what will G eat THIS time and complain about? How long will she ACTUALLY stay before the whining starts and my brother takes her home? Or will my brother smarten up and just leave her at home? We'll find out Christmas day!!

Stuart said...

AhH the joy of being a foreign transplant with your family 5000 miles away...yeah they can bug you on the phone but; "can you hear me now"!

Auntie J said...

well, I sure hope Im one of the good Aunts,,,

Frayed Laces said...

I'm experimenting this year and not visiting the fam for christmas. Instead, a very good friend is coming to visit. We still plan on drinking lots of alcohol, but it won't be to block out annoying relatives!

J~Mom said...

Could be any one of them. It used to be the in laws but we seem to be on a really good kick right now. That leaves my mom or sister....time will tell.

Laurel said...

I love the label on your post! Haha!

Mine varies, it's different from day to day. One day I will love my brother, mother, father, husband, other brother, etc, then the next they are killing me.

Drinking usually helps, as you pointed out.

RunnerGirl said...

I always feel the need for some mood altering drugs before heading over to a certain family member's house! Xanax, Prozac, Valium? Whatever, just please give me some stat!

RunToTheFinish said...

allllll of my in-laws make me want to become an alcoholic...kicker is they don't drink so there is nothing in the house when we go to visit!!!!

Reluctant Runner said...

Love my family but I can't recall when it became family policy for every one of us to freak out at least once on Christmas day. It's like we're passing the baton on some crazy "go ballistic" relay. Except for me, of course, I'm calm and relaxed the whole day. Hahahahahaha.

Amy@RunnersLounge said...

I love them all dearly, but only in small doses. They always think I am kind to remember to bring the wine - I don't think they realize it is the only way I can survive 16 people in one house for 2 days. Lord - I am praying for warm weather so we can head outside and get away from each other - even if for a little bit.

If you have a chance, join us for our virtual white elephant gift exchange.

Unknown said...

Hahaha! I love this!

By the grace of God, most of the family is tolerable - well, with enough alcohol. Except...Uncle Burp and Fart.

It was funny when all us cousins were like uhhh, 9 years old. But as an adult, being in the physical presence of a 50 year old adult ripping HUGE arse farts and belching so loud the windows rattle is just plain gross. And, he does this in public, at work, where ever - and yes, I REFUSE to go to a public eating establishment in his presence.

Thanks for they safe vent.

kate said...

Oh man, I feel your pain! My sister-in-law is a total psychopath and I seriously have to wonder every time I'm around her what in the world my brother sees in her. They live on the other side of the country and only bother to come home if someone dies or gets married and since that doesn't usually happen on Christmas, they don't come home. BIG sore spot with my mom but whatever. The rest of the family is awesome, she just unfortunately married in! Glad to know I'm not alone ~ every family has that one. Hope you manage to get through it in one piece.

SoberMommie said...

My family is dysfunctional too. Funny how we all cover or ignore the "problems" during the holidays.
Love your post. =)

Jess said...

Oh, I could write a book on my dysfunctional family, but thankfully, because they all live in different states, I rarely see them all at once. But my mom definitely annoys he crap outta me. I can handle her for 3 days. No more.

Amy said...

I have a holiday scene for you:
A Transsexual Uncle (or wait, I guess it's my aunt now) just back from gender reassignment surgery in Thailand and a super-religious extended family. Interesting. It's hard to discuss eye shadow colors with your uncle in front of your Bible-thumping grandfather. LOL!

Did I mention the minister uncle turned child molester?

Pass the bottle!

Midwest said...

I'll pour myself a glass of wine, too. My sister-in-law is one of the most annoying human beings on the planet. Unfortunately, my brother is like a completely different person when she's around, which is all of the time, because heaven forbid they should be apart for a nanosecond.

Marcy said...

Oooohhhhh girl I hear ya!! I NEED a bottle to get through holidays :-X :-X Heck I need a bottle to even go visit my Mom once a week :-X LOL

Anne said...

Is all of humanity being a bit too broad?!

I cut out the relatives in my life that act like a cancer and just suck the life out of me. What a HUGE DIFFERENCE. Of course, it doesn't work with immediate family, for whom you are forever linked and no doubt doomed to encounter each and every holiday season.

Viv said...

We will see who works my nerves this Christmas. The blowout over Thanksgiving was with my Mom. She says I did not take any pics of her at the Turkey Trot. OMG!

zanne said...

how do i cope? by running hard & fast and then drinking hard & fast. Wine & running are key. not at the same time - have never tried that ... running keeps me sane & the wine helps in pretending that the big pink elephant in the room that no one is talking about isn't really there. -- ahhh, the joy of the season.