Saturday, March 14, 2009

Games People Play

My husband's family has always been a mystery to me. Lithe and attractive - George's family are hardy people who look as though they never get sick. Not only are they physically strong - they are the most 'evolved' and loving people I have ever known. Whenever we visit George's San Diego family I am reminded of the hobbits, elves and fairies of Middle Earth. George's people are the sort of stout, merry people that upon a first introduction will embrace you in a stifling bear hug, take your hand in theirs and while looking unflinchingly into your eyes say something creepy like "Wow, what a pleasure to connect with you - thank the goddess that you have made a safe journey! Can I bring you some ale? We fermented it ourselves this very morning!"

George possesses a large extended family, which is made even larger by the family's fierce adherence to the custom of maintaining close familial relations with ex-wives, ex-husbands, ex-girl or boyfriends, ex-coworkers, ex-drug dealers, ex-maids, or ex-12 step sponsors. They blindly adhere to a once-family-always-family philosophy. Were I to bludgeon my husband George to death with a baseball bat, I'm convinced that his family would continue to send me Christmas letters, and upon my release from San Quentin would ask me carve the ham at Easter. These same gentle people, who had welcomed me into their home with the same fevered attentiveness one expects from a retarded Walmart greeter, hid the darkest and sickest family custom I had EVER had the displeasure of beholding. A custom so primitive and barbaric - I'm convinced the Spanish used it during the Inquisition.

I refer to the unspeakable Christmas atrocity innocently called 'The White Elephant.'

(To Be Continued)

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