Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Taking No Shit During The Holidays

By the time this is published, we will be in the midst of the holiday hullabaloo. If you're anything like me, the thought of spending hours on end trapped in a foreign house with people you barely know and only see periodically throughout the year brings feelings of stress, panic, and an overwhelming desire to see exactly how much alcohol one can consume before your liver rips itself out of your body. Only me?

This year is going to be - how can I say this tactfully? - really fucking difficult at family gatherings. I am one of a small number of liberals in my and my husband's families. I've always been able to keep my thoughts to myself and play nice, but I don't know if I'm going to be able to do that this year. I am already developing my game plans...

The first time someone brings up the rapist-elect, I will ignore them. I'm good at ignoring people, especially at family gatherings. There are a lot of people talking. It's easy not to hear people when they are speaking and looking directly at you.

The second time he-who-shall-not-be-named is brought up, I'm throwing caution to the wind and diving in. Most people in our families identify as Christians. This is ammunition in my arsenal. How can they claim to love Jesus and embrace someone who has made a mockery of everything Christian? I will wait for an answer. I'm a teacher; I've perfected the resting bitch face. Hopefully, this will shut them down immediately. If not, I'll just bust out my "Nasty Woman" shirt.

Another topic that I dread at family gatherings is parenting styles. Apparently, just because someone raised a baby 50+ years ago, they assume they are the ultimate authority on parenting. If someone asks why my daughter still isn't potty-trained, I'm immediately taking off her diaper and instructing her to pee and poop at will wherever she pleases. If I know my daughter, she will laugh and immediately find a corner to squat in. She's pretty cool like that. If someone complains about me still nursing my 18-month old, my boob might just *accidentally* flop out of my "Nasty Woman" shirt. It's a crazy world we live in, and boobs have a tendency to flop out at will. I'm hoping that my daughter goes into one of her famous "screaming for no damn reason" fits. They're endless fun for all involved, especially if you're already nursing a headache and possibly a bottle of wine. If and when all of this happens, I can almost guarantee we'll pack up and be heading home within ten minutes. That's what I call a win-win.

I used to deal with the "When are you going to have kids?" question frequently. No one ever asked the hubs this question. Just me. As if I had somehow become asexual and was able to do that on my own. My response was to ask if they wanted us to live-stream our sexual encounters. Now that I have 2 kids, if someone asks me if and when we're going to have another one, I shall hold nothing back. Responses like, "Fuck that!" or "Hell no!" are my go-tos.

The holidays are supposed to be a happy time. However, for so many of us, they are days full of dread, anxiety, and strong desires to become hermits. Instead of the requisite family gathering, I think we should have friend gatherings instead. Most of the time, I definitely like my friends more than my family. Also my friends embrace my love of wine.

Now that is a gathering I will welcome.

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