You Can’t Pick Your Relatives

2 Moms in New Orleans

2 Moms, Sister, Hubman, and Me in New Orleans

First of all I want to apologize to all my beloved readers for not getting around to posting the pictures and tales from the road trip and wedding in Key West. I promise I’m working on it and will do so soon. I’m sort of working through the trip backwards.

Trying to sort out these pictures are part of reason I went sailing into the high seas of this physical and emotional upheaval, catharsis, entire life passing before my eyes, everything looks different now, semi-nervous breakdown, bah hum bug, hissy fit.

The truth is there are very few pictures on my phone. My body was there but didn’t take many pictures. That was a shock and also a sort of twilight zone feeling. Most of the pictures are on the Hubman’s phone. 2 revelations hit me hard. 1) I don’t take pictures when I’m not happy, and 2) Hubman is a much better photographer than I am….when he chooses to be. He’s not very cooperative when I try to get him to photograph something, but when he wants to he’s damn good at it.

Scrolling through all the pictures on his phone I also realized that we existed in 2 different dimensions on the entire trip and had an entirely different vacation. He went to the Hemingway House in Key West while I was sick in bed at the resort. He took pictures of all the shenanigans at the wedding reception, while I left early to go upstairs and hack up a lung. He took pictures of the resort in Alabama while I was upstairs choking to death. He went walking on Royal Street in New Orleans and ogled all the beautiful antiques and other gee gaws while I was in the hotel hacking up my remaining lung.

I blame it on string theory and alternate universes. If all these physicist brainiacs can figure out the very nature of the universe, why can’t they figure out how a man and woman can cohabitate without killing each other? Maybe that’s why they are all eccentric loners. That’s my theory.

All along the way Mother-in-Law cruised along, unflappable, like the Queen Mum, occasionally raising an eyebrow and saying “well you can’t pick your relatives.” She’s right in a way. But, you do sort of pick your relatives when you marry someone. Because we don’t just marry one person, we marry the entire damned family. And now instead of 1 set of bizarre and colorful personages there are 2, and we’re saddled to them for life unless we call it quits.

I hit a relationship nightmare wall in New Orleans with one of my relatives who has a major drinking problem. Was talking to my sister about it later and I had a rather disturbing revelation. At least with a drunken relative, no matter how bad it gets, you count on them eventually passing out and then you heave a sigh of relief and can go about your business.

However, with a wacko relative who doesn’t drink, they can drag the craziness on and on and on and on. Until you are tempted to slip them something in their coffee to knock them out cold for at least 3 days. Also, since they’re sober, they remember everything and can store up every little thing anyone said or did, take out of context, twist it around, and stab someone in the gut with it at a most inopportune moment.

People who do this have the most annoying tendency to act all high and mighty because they don’t drink. My response is; do the world a favor and have a drink, a pill, go to bed or just shut the hell up! Preferably before someone shuts you up, shoots you with a tranquilizer dart, or vows on the life of their first-born child to never be in your exalted presence again for the rest of their natural life. Or perhaps are forced to identify you in a line up because you finally snapped and tried to run over the bag boy at the local supermarket with your car.

Another thing I realized is that in my biological relatives and relatives that I chose through marriage there is one over-riding tendency that drives me bat shit crazy. And I let myself get sucked into over and over again. This particular hat trick is “hey, let’s do X activity, I really love to do it.”  Silly me, I always think that means that we are going to jointly participate, do it together and collective share in the joy and creativity of the activity.

Nope. Ding Ding Ding. Way wrong answer! What it really means is that the person suggesting or demanding that the activity occur is going to sit around on their ass and tell you what to do, how to do it, and refuse to budge on anything that is not exactly how they want it done. All while they are sitting around complaining about how hard they are working. They will also get all bent out of shape and put on a pout that rivals the tantrums of King Leer if you don’t do it with a gleam in your eye and pretend to enjoy every moment of your inadvertent indentured servitude.

So I guess I have some family issues. I find vague comfort in the fact that I am not alone. The holidays tend to bring out the good and the bad in all of us. Everything seems amplified and magnified during this time. All kinds of shoulds, and this is how it’s supposed to be, and we always did it this way, it doesn’t feel like the holidays if we don’t do such is such, tends to glob up into one huge ball of confusion that would bring a horse to its knees.

Perhaps I need to go on a solo trip to Fiji for the holidays next year? Or maybe even this year. It’s not too late.

7 responses

  1. Book your trip, woman! All that family time followed so closely by Christmas is enough to drive anyone around the bend.

    1. So true. It drove me around the bend and off a cliff.

  2. I live with my dad, whom I adore, but he drives me up one wall and down the other. I often respond to people who ask how he or I are doing by responding, “Well, I haven’t committed patricide yet, so I guess we’re good.”

    1. Aww, I hear you with living with your Dad. If I lived with my mom I’d be saying the exact same thing.

      1. Same here. Happy Holidays to you

  3. We are considering going to Lapland next Christmas…that should be far enough away.

    1. Wow that’s a great idea.

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