Easter is next weekend. While my children are excited to color eggs, wait for the Easter bunny, see their grandparents and their aunts, uncles and cousins, I am getting a severe eye twitch. I am not mentally prepared for a day with my whole family all in the same place. I also know that the people who irritate me the most will detect the kink in my armor and try to zing me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, individually and in small doses. Putting everybody in the same place at the same time is a lot of pressure. Now, because I am anticipating it, I am afraid it will be worse. I would so love to just spend a quiet Easter at home with just my own brand of dysfunction, but the kids would be so disappointed. I guess in a way it is good that they clearly don’t notice all the completely effed up stuff that goes on when we are all together. Ah, the innocence of childhood. As long as the get jellybeans, they don’t hear their grandmother ranting about the Apocalypse. I am jealous.
So let’s see how it could possibly go. My mom is going to be irritable, because A) that is her middle name and B) she is going to be tired from preparing the perfect meal and decorating the perfect house. Mind you she didn’t have to do it, but if someone else did it, then what would she have to complain about? If she isn’t complaining, well then she just might be happy for a day and then she wouldn’t know what to do with herself.
Then we have my brother, who in his defense has something clinically wrong with him. I don’t fully understand his Aspergers/Social Anxiety disorder and while I am sympathetic to him, I am not sure if he is a snarky ass because of his disorder or just because he is a snarky ass. Either way, while I don’t respond to his nasty, under his breath comments. I do still hear them and perhaps because I eat that shit sandwich all the time, maybe I am a little pissed about having to do it yet again.
My sister is lovely and I adore her, her husband and my nephew. My sister is the opposite of me in that she enjoys her wine and is a nasty drunk. She says the whackiest, most inappropriate things and has no recollection of saying them. The next day you get a phone call from her ditzy ass rambling about how nice the day was and I’m thinking,”Yeah it was nice, for you. You didn’t cook anything, you got ripped and insulted everyone in the room. Way to go!”
My Dad, he is perfect. He almost never says anything because my mom says it all and he is just a nice person. I feel bad that he has to put up with all of us. Sorry, Dad.
Then, there are my in-laws. Now this is where the fun really begins. My in-laws are special. They aren’t any less crazy than my own family, they are just a whole other kind of crazy. Like batshit, call the men in the white coats and put them in a padded room crazy.
As long as no one brings up anything controversial, my mother-in-law can contain herself and we can have a nice day. However, someone always has to bring up Obama, the pope, religion, politics, Dr. Kevorkian, cults or mashed potatoes and it leads to total insanity.
My mother-in-law is a devout Born Again Christian. I am a devout non-practicing catholic. She believes only the Born Agains will be saved. I tell her she is going to be so pissed when she gets to heaven and she see that I am there too. She is the only Born Again I have ever known, so I don’t know if they are all like this or just her. Anyway, Christmas this past year was lovely and everything went really well. There had only been one slight incident. I forgot to give my beloved Uncle the head’s up that MIL was very religious. She made some comment about religion and he said he didn’t believe in it. Immediately I saw the color rush to her face. Then she said it. “Well, what about God” and he replied that he didn’t believe in him either. OH SUGAR HONEY ICED TEA!!!!!!! She took this as an invitation to preach to him, teach him the error of his ways, baptize him into the faith and turn him into a believer. Enter crazy person #2, my sister-in-law. She walks over to them very quietly and tells two grown people to stop talking. She doesn’t like their topic of conversation and she doesn’t want them talking about it, so please stop. My uncle looks stunned. I don’t think anyone has ever told him to stop talking. He tells Debbie that everything is fine, no one is upset or offended, they are just having a conversation, but she insists that they drop it. So they do and the rest of the day is enjoyable…..or so I thought…….because now my side of the family leaves and as per usual the in-laws hang around and DING DING DING, round two.
My husband has to tell his mother that she is wrong, that she shouldn’t be preaching to people everywhere she goes. He tells her that she sounds like an idiot when she rambles on about the president being a muslim or the Apocalypse or grilled cheese. Then Debbie starts in on her too and I excuse myself to clean up the kitchen. They are yelling and cursing and it is nothing less than buffoonery. This is all so foreign to me. My mother in law’s church is so fanatical, they are borderline terrorists. The cursing back and forth is so crazy, not because I don’t swear like a long shoreman, but because I have never spoken to my mom or my siblings the way they are talking to each other now. Then out of the corner of my ear I hear something about gay and I have to go in there. I very politely remind my mother in law that there will be no ill talk of homosexuals in my house. We have had this argument before, she and I. Then she very calmly replies “Oh, I wasn’t saying anything bad about the gays. We have a gay pastor in our church now and the gays are going to be saved too.” At that very moment, I felt a large cluster of my brain cells shrivel up and die. You see a few years before, she was asked to leave by her own son because she flipped out saying the gays were an abomination and that God says so and it’s in the bible and a whole lot of other really mean, inappropriate stuff to say at any time, nevermind in mixed company on Easter Sunday. Now because her pastor is gay, it’s ok. I sighed and walked away. The argument between my husband, his mother and his sister continued until his sister got really upset, burst into tears and said she would not be spending holidays with her mother anymore. If her mom was here, she wouldn’t be. She can’t take being around her crazy family anymore. I sat there, exhausted, but not surprised. This is not the first time they have argued and it ended like this. If I remove my mother-in-law from the equation and just leave Debbie, then Gene and Debbie fight. They fight because Debbie is super controlling, they fight because she says I am controlling, they fight because she insists on dispensing marriage and parenting advice when she is single and has no children. She calls herself a cougar, I tell her a cougar is a hot older woman with a hot younger boyfriend, my husband tells her she is hippo. Merry friggin Christmas.
So this Easter Sunday, while we celebrate new life, the ascension of our dear, sweet Lord into heaven and eat our pizzagiana, I will pray for peace and quiet. I will hope that my mom drinks a little too much and is relaxed and silly, I will hope that my sister decides to have a dry holiday and that my in-laws can steer away from controversial topics or just stay home. Come to think of it, my throat is scratchy, I have a headache, I think I will have the flu next Sunday. Mwaaaaahhhhhhaaaaaaaaaa