I'm sure everyone has tales about how strange their family is. "Normal" doesn't really exist, does it? However, crazy family stories are fun. I thought I would describe Mother's Day at my parents' house in an effort to capture the particular strain of crazy that has infected my family.
My sister and I arrive late due to traffic and those unfeeling bastards (aka my paternal grandmother, my father, my brother and my mother) have of course begun eating without us, because they don't care. After distributing large bones to the dogs so that my dog can steal both of them and take them to the rug where she will shut up and let us eat in peace, my sister and I sit down at the table. Everyone teases Melissa (sister) because she is in the last week of training for a fitness competition and thus can only eat one dish on the table, kale. People do horrible things like loudly proclaim, "Oh, it's really too bad you cannot eat this beef, IT IS DELICIOUS. You can't have JUST ONE BITE?" (my father).
Between bites of his actual meal, my father stands up with a fork, reaches for the pineapple cake in the middle of the table, and shoves large forkfuls of it into his mouth. In my family, we generally don't do things like cut a cake into pieces and eat it off dessert plates. When he sits down, his dog jumps up on his chair and pushes her head through his free arm, panting and attempting to lick his plate. In response, he feeds her from his plate and everyone laughs. We discuss my former job at Chuck E. Cheese and I mention that a man once approached me when I was dressed as Chuckie and whispered "Are you a man or a woman? A man or a woman?" and how horrifying that was. I then determined that I'd met a furry before anyone knew what a furry was. Then I had to explain furries to my mom and grandma. They both greatly enjoyed this, and my mother later referred to them as "fluffies." I turned this particular aspect of the night into my Facebook status. My small dog eats a large piece of bone and requires assistance in order to not die. My mother helps her create a giant disgusting puddle of bone on the floor and proudly exclaims, "See, I just had to massage her throat! Now it's out!" We discuss dogs who eat things like underwear and socks and throw them up later. Probably half of us are still eating throughout this vomit portion of the evening.
After the dishes are cleared, my mother tries to redeem us from my father's lack of manners by actually cutting a different cake and distributing pieces. At my sister's request, I provide an in-depth description of the chocolate mousse cake; she cannot eat things like cake and thus gets off on looking at and hearing about food. We give my mother and grandmother their gifts. My grandmother received two books, and she expresses concern that she may not be able to read them. I ask if I should return them for large-print versions and my sister jokes, "Or should we get audio versions? Or exchange them for an aide to come and read them to you?" And my grandmother says, "I'm just sorry I won't be around to see YOU at 70, you little bitch."
My dad goes upstairs to take a nap. He takes about three a day now, I think (he is only 51). My grandmother needs someone to put an eyedrop into her eye, so I volunteer. She also needs someone to cut her bangs, which my mom does at the kitchen table while my grandma holds a newspaper ad under her face to catch the hair. My brother says, "Jesus! Eyedrops, haircuts... what the fuck do you think this is, Mother's Day?!" My mother remembers that there is cookies 'n' cream gelato in the freezer. My sister convinces me to try some, though I don't want any. I explain to her that it's not very good and they obviously used generic cookies, not oreos. She wants me to eat more and I refuse.
My sister and mother go to the Vitamin Store together (seriously. This is what they do together on Mother's Day). They say they will be gone for ten minutes and about fifteen minutes later, my grandmother proclaims that they lied and she needs to go home now and feed her dog. I drive her home. When I return, my family is watching America's Funniest Videos. I cannot lie, I fucking love that show. It's best to watch with my family, because my mother cackles loudly any time something remotely funny happens (and, um, most of the show is funny things happening) and my father only laughs audibly when someone gets injured. He is the man who appreciates all of the hits to the groin. However, he was still napping. My sister and brother like to pretend they are too cool for the show, but they always get sucked in as well.
Anytime my mother disagrees with a video -- i.e., does not think it's funny enough for the show -- she does so loudly. "That was not FUNNY. Ugh, that was just dumb. I liked the dogs who opened the gate." There is a video about a woman who continually locks her husband out of the house or car and makes him dance before she'll let him back in. My brother and I loved it and my mother rolls her eyes and says "This is so dumb. I mean, I wouldn't let her take my keys then! COME ON!"
Later on, my sister and I finish up our laundry (our dryer is currently on the fritz) and everyone laughs at me when it is revealed that I fold my underwear. Then my mother says, "You know what I'm gonna do?" And I say, "Oh, this is about wine, isn't it?" She ignores me. "Well, it's getting late and I don't work tomorrow, and the kitchen is clean, so..." And she pours herself a glass of white zinfandel and lights a cigarette.
Happy Mother's Day, mom! I don't think you read my blog, though.