Though it’s no easy task, my ex fell right in with my family when he met them 8 years ago. Yesterday I found myself wondering what it will be like for the next guy in this position. When the lot of us get together the noise level gets high and the jokes turn to potty humor fast. They are a funny, ridiculous bunch of people, and despite my pretentiousness about food and cloth napkins and humanely raised $100 turkeys, I am one of them, warts and all.
Despite actually being in town last year, I skipped being with them on Thanksgiving. I think I may have skipped Christmas too. It’s all a blur really, as it was the saddest and darkest few months of my life. But I do recall sending them a brief email explaining my meltdown on Turkey day. I decided to just be honest and tell them what happened. In return, they offered simple and kind words of support, period. No judgements. No questions asked. Because they’ve been there, and they understand more than anyone ever will, what I struggled with, and what it’s like to be one of us.
I don’t admit it much, but I love them dearly. Last night, driving home, I thought about how I wouldn’t change a thing about them. My brothers still crack me up, a 38 year old woman, as much as they did when I was an easy audience at 4. In turn, my 4 year old nephew thinks I’m hilarious. Sure, I resort to the use of words like “poop” to get him going, but the cycle must continue, right?
We’ve witnessed each others struggles, and endured some as a family too. Like in any family, there have been great losses, changes in traditions, feelings hurt and sides taken. I’ve learned that this is not at all unusual, and nothing to be ashamed of. But I’ve also learned, from talking with a lot of other people, that it’s no small task that we all still get along and manage to get most of us together for holidays. I’ve come to realize that the comfort I have in knowing they have my back when the “poop” hits the fan is one I shouldn’t take for granted. And so I don’t.
I used to dread introducing a new boyfriend to my family. I think I’ve grown up, because I simply don’t feel that way anymore. I’m not saying that when one of my brothers passes wind, then tries to blame it on me that I won’t be embarrassed. But, like or not, this is them, and they are mine, and if you are too uptight to laugh along, then it’s over between us, okay?
There is a lot more to them than fart jokes and loudness, but since we’re on the subject of low-brow humor, I offer you this:
“Overheard on Thanksgiving” – 2011 Edition
“I think I just burp-vomitted” – 14 year old nephew
“Are you a vag-itarian?” – An older brother, can’t remember which one, trying to block the memory.
“You can’t put a turkey in a cake, um, thing.” -Favorite Niece, struggling to find the word for “container”.
“It’s got a vibrator in it.” – My mom, referring the vibrating chair that my 3 month old nephew was sitting in.
“If I fart, I’m gonna pee.” – 14 year old nephew. He’s 14. What do you expect?
“It only goes in one way. Don’t try to force it in.” – Oldest Brother, not sure what he was talking about.
“Money!” – 4 year old nephew, when he won computer game he was playing.
“The butter in my pocket is melting!” – IT Guy
Favorite Niece: What is that? (looking at the cover of a food encyclopedia)
Me: It’s a tamarillo.
Favorite Niece: Well it looks like a vagina.
Runner up for my favorite Overheard on Thanksgiving quote:
“And then I realized there was a cheeseburger in my pocket!” – Older Brother # 2
But the winner definitely is:
“I just butter-nutted my squash.” – Little Brother
Charming bunch of people, eh?
More Food, Less Pain,