Christmas makes me want to die…kind of.

So, the older I get, the more Christmas makes me want to die.

Now, please do not mistake my wish for my own demise as an indicator of the standard holiday blues type deal.

No, I want to die so that the people around me can know just how annoying they actually are. More like a, “See how annoying you are? See what happened? I just died. That’s how fucking annoying you are. Your annoying-ness induces death,” type thing.

And the thing is, I love my family. I’m crazy about my family. But, the older I get, the more intolerable everyone’s questions seem to be.

Here are the standard 3. See if answering these year after year don’t make you want to die in defiance too.

1. “Where’s your friend?”

Innocent enough, right?

WRONG. WRONG. This is old, southern, black people speak for, “Where’s your boyfriend?” (In these progressive times, please note, that “friend” can also mean “gay lover.” Old, southern, black people haven’t quite come round to the terms “gay,” “homosexual,” or “lesbian,” quite yet.)

Here’s the thing. There’s always a specter of the unsavory about the word “friend.” People always kind of whisper it when used in this context. What it really means is, “Where’s that man that you brought around last time that we all know you were having probably-nasty sex with, who you just couldn’t quite get to marry you?”

Now, you probably think that a question like this can be answered with a simple response like, oh, idunno, the truth: “We broke up.”

DON’T DO IT. Cause then, everyone who wasn’t listening, now is. And even though you JUST answered these questions at Thanksgiving, and at the family reunion, and on the Fourth of July before that, suddenly, everyone has degenerative memory loss. And when you try to simply answer their queries with basic responses like, “It just didn’t work out,” everyone will pounce on you like the bloodthirsty, carnivorous, feral wildebeests that they all are, and make all kinds of ludicrous suggestions as to why it “just didn’t work out.”

And if your family is like my family, it will lead you through this exercise for every man you’ve ever brought home, and make you re-live every breakup you’ve ever had, to the extent that, by mid-evening you’re feeling like some insufferable, relationship-unworthy, premarital-sex abusing, lonely-old-whore. Awesome.

2. “Have you gained weight?”

This is what I want to know. Has anyone EVER been asked this question, when the answer was “no?” Has that shit EVER happened? If you have to ask, the answer is “yes,” which, of course means, you really fucking shouldn’t ask. I work 6-7 days a week. I drink copious amounts of alcohol a solidly consistent 3 days a week. The quickest, easiest meal in the world to prepare is pasta with something. I get it. My ass is expanding with rapid, hulk-like speed. I don’t think we all need to weigh in on it (pardon the pun).

But, to add insult to injury (which, frankly, is the EPITOME of all inter-familial dynamics), there’s always “THE DEFENDER.”

Who’s The Defender? The person, who, JUST when the weight discussion is dying down, brings it back, in an attempt to restore honor to your figure. And, I don’t know how this happens, but, The Defender always has a way of making the word “weight” reverberate throughout the room.

“I don’t think she’s gaining WEIGHT.” “Shhh…just leave her alone about her WEIGHT.” “I can’t tell that she’s gained WEIGHT.” “I think that extra WEIGHT looks good on her.” “I love the way her dress looks. She’s just the right WEIGHT for it.” Now, Lord. Take me now.

3. “When are you getting married?”

Cliché? Yes. True? Sadly. My family is worried, too. Like worried, worried. Cause I should, at the very least, be navigating my way through marriage number one by now. I’m clever, educated; I have a good job and am not some boulder-dwelling troll. I should definitely be married. And yet, I’m not. Not even a fake proposal. More concerning is the fact that, I’m seemingly not bothered by my unmarried status. Ever helpful, my southern black family is ever-at-the-ready with positive input:

“Something must be wrong with you.”

“I hope you’re not ‘funny’ (read as: “gay.” My family puts any small measure of progressivism behind when we’re speaking in terms of my sexual orientation and any remote possibility that I will not find a suitable boy-match in this life)”

“You’re not getting any younger.”

“Marnita’s half-retarded girl—the one who use to be a crackhead—you know she just got married, don’t you?”

“I don’t know why nobody wants to marry you.”

“Maybe if you lost some of that WEIGHT you put on. It looks good on you, but it might be the reason you’re not married.”

“Keep on doing the way you’re doing, and you’re gonna get too old. Then nobody will want you.”

“You won’t be able to have any babies before long. All dried up.”

I’m fuzzy on the details, but i’m almost certain my Aunt Faye tried to sell me to my cousin, Josh’s, 21 year old unemployed friend a few years back.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but…I just turned 29.

All of this being said, I’ve elected to take a different approach, this year. I can’t spend the rest of my life wishing myself some violent harm because sensitivity training wasn’t a viable option for my father’s generation.

So, I’m telling everyone that I’m pregnant.

That’s right, pregnant.

Where’s your friend? –“He left me cause I got pregnant.”

Have you gained weight? –“Uh huh *insert abdominal pat here*. Pregnant.”

When are you getting married?—“Honestly, my number one priority right now is my baby.”

It’s the only way.


3 Responses to “Christmas makes me want to die…kind of.”

  1. December 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    This post made me snarf my prosecco (what, don’t you drink prosecco on semi-holiday mornings too?) on more than one occasion. The moment that really left sparkling goodness all over the screen was “Marnita’s half-retarded girl—the one who use to be a crackhead—you know she just got married, don’t you?”

    Sadly this is all too familiar for me, and precisely the reason my family never gets to meet women I date, NEVER.

    I think you’ve got a pretty good plan for dealing with the familial death march, except it has one glaring flaw – if you pretend to be pregnant, then how can you drink the required anesthetic that helps make all family gatherings tolerable?

  2. 2 KSpris
    December 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Here is a tip. This kind of familial torture does not stop after one gets married and produces a suitable grandchild. It is neverending. I hope I am strong enough to stop the cycle.

  3. 3 TeeTos
    January 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    lol…pregnancy is always a good way to go. i’ll try it next week monday…”are you going to work today?” “no…i think i’m pregnant”. yes!

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a history of my meanderings….


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