Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Life Lessons

Many people living in NYC did not grow up anywhere near the city. If you listen to these people talk it would seem they came to New York to flee their families and small towns. The transplants talk trash about their relatives as if their relatives thought they were the cats pajamas. Please. Trust me folks your family finds your existence just as mystifying as you find theirs. If your relatives believe in the existence of DNA they don't undertand how you guys share any of the same code.

This is what I have learned having many a Thanksgiving meal away from my actual family: no one tolerates a person more than that person's own family. Members of your family or even yourself could be the biggest douche bag out there, but your each other's douche bag. And sure they'll talk behind your back tell stories about you to their coworkers but in the end you're invited for the holidays year after year. And every year when you start in with the politics or eat all the mashed potatos without ever passing the plate to others, your family rolls its eyes and continues on.

Why? There is some kind of magic that happens when you know a person since that person's birth. Or you know a person since you were born. They know you. They know what they are getting. They may even hate you, but when it comes to family it doesn't matter because we don't know any better. You are you and we are related.

In my case my family knows I'll barely eat anything on Thanksgiving because I'm a pain in the ass when it comes to food. Are they insulted? No. I've always been picky so they just ignore it. My family knows I'll say horribly offensive and insensitive things, which they will argue againsta and call me names, and then we'll go watch football.

But when you are graciously invited to some other family's home it's cauldron of uncomfortableness. "Why are their hard bits of god knows what in these mashed potatos? What is the surprise in brocoli surprise? Really it's ok that everyone under 30 goes on the balcony and smokes up before dinner? Why don't you understand sarcasm? Why are you taking what I say literarlly? Oh god. how I long for my sociopath of a grandfather and my aunt who thinks her dog is a person, and my self-involved cousins who try to be a popular high school clique in the context of family. That's a world I understand."

So this holiday season remember you may not love your family and I'm sure they don't love you, but who cares at least you know what to expect when you're with those people.

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