For the first time in 6 years, we went to my mom’s house for Christmas. Technically, it was Christmas Eve-Eve, but it still had just the right amount of holiday feels. This has been a tremendously difficult year for my family, and while I wanted to go out of the town for the weekend and pretend like Christmas wasn’t happening, I knew I couldn’t do that to my mom. She lost her sister, her childhood home, and three of her pets in less than a year. What a fucking year.
And you know what? It ended up being fine. Better than fine — it was really nice and relaxed, and the food was great (I definitely didn’t inherit any of my mom’s cooking skills), and the decor was beautiful. Henry’s contribution was some kind of egg and polenta casserole thing that he found in one of his housewife magazines, which he misplaced and started tearing the house apart like a wildman while yelling at me and his mom. I was about to get all defensive up in here but then I remembered that I constantly throw his stuff away, so…
But then he found it on the table or who knows where, so crisis averted.
“Are there mushrooms in this?” Corey asked around a forkful of the polenta slop.
“YEAH WHY ARE YOU ALLERGIC?!” I cried in alarm.
“No, I just don’t really like mushrooms,” Corey laughed nervously, but then he said he was surprised that he liked the slop after all! Maybe there’s hope that Henry can trick our kid into eating vegetables by the time he’s 26.
My mom’s aesthetic couldn’t be any different than mine*, but I really love it.
*(Said beneath a picture featuring clown figurines.)
We used to have this big, beautiful wooden Noah’s Ark in that bay window, with lot of wooden animal pairs to go with it, but then over the years our dog Rama ran off with roughly 75% of them, so I guess my mom finally got rid of it. It was weird not seeing it there. I started to explain it to Henry, who cut me off and said, “Yeah I know, I’ve seen it before.”
“YOU DIDN’T SEE IT WHEN IT WAS GOOD, THOUGH!” I yelled, because that’s how I communicate with Henry. At high volumes with a hatchet behind my back.
The faces of people watching a kid try to make a constipated reindeer poop candy.
This picture cracks (originally typed CRAPS — you guys, I’m starting to seriously worry about my brain. I USED TO BE A SPELLING AND GRAMMAR SNOB AND NOW LOOK AT ME) me up. If you’ve ever been around us, you’ve probably definitely seen Henry in this exact pose: A Sleep-Deprived, Down-Trodden Man’s AnguishTM.
Big shot Henry made another coconut (originally typed “cocunt” – someone order me an MRI, I’m scared) cream pie, this time with HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM laced with RUM. Thanks, Kitchen Wench.
Chooch got my mom a candle and a copy of his school picture, which he signed “My Beautiful Face” on the back. It was eerily reminiscent of the time I blew up and framed a close-up of my face for my grandma for Christmas one year and she was just like, “Oh.”
After dinner, Henry could stand it no longer and crashed on a chair in the living room. Meanwhile, my mom got Chooch so many Pokémon cards and that really kept him quiet so good thinking, Val! Also, she found two tubes of Pogs and at first my brother Ryan thought they were mine, but after .0002 seconds of rifling though them, I deduced that they were actually his because they were way too basic to be mine. I mean, one was a yin yang for fuck’s sake!
Mad props to my mom for wanting to end the year on a nice, peaceful note when it’d be just as easy to lay in bed and cry about it. Which is usually how I spend holidays. #sadgirl4L