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Archive for the ‘The Fam’ Category

As I sat there trying not to stab my eyeballs out while listening to an extremely high volume decibel of Christmas songs (not the nice ones, you know, the one’s that SCREAM cheese and make you wonder how on earth these people ever entertained the thought of making an album), I’m shot dirty looks because I’m a ruiner.  That’s right.  Apparently, I may have ruined Christmas Eve.  

Why, you ask?  Because I’m a grinch? Possibly, but I try to fake niceness and whatnot for the sake of other Christmas lovers and family.  

Instead, I’m a ruiner because I didn’t move the car.  Yep, that’s right.  It snowed like 8 trillion centemeters over the past week or so, and then rained.  So slush had taken over.  Olympic size swimming pools of slush.  Everywhere.  My feet have been wet for 24 hours.  No matter what I do.  So there I was, in the basement frantically gift-bagging presents last minute as always and I’m told that I need to move the car, from the street to the driveway, before the plow comes or it will block me in (with all that slush?) and make a mess.  I exclaimed that it didn’t really matter, you know, since slush is not the same consistency as cement, and I was okay with dealing with it.  Anyhoo, after much frantic worrying re: slush,  I gave in and moved the damn car.  The plow had just passed, but I moved the car anyways.  I was too late and was reminded of that about 20 times. I’m pretty sure everyone heard about it, including family overseas.  Even though the plow went down the entire pool of a street, it still looked exactly the same.  But, I was too late, and therefore mysteriously caused the mess on the street. Ruiner! In her defense, the slush eventually froze and it did make a slight mess, but you know, whatever.  It was livable,  and the world didn’t end, so it couldn’t have been that terrible.   Anyhoo, I was forgiven eventually… it’s a Christmas miracle! 

I also discovered that my Eastern European side of the family has some entertaining, strange pet peeves.  For example, a cousin of mine can’t stand the smell of the fridge when it’s open.  So much so, that she literally plugs her nose, holds her breath and covers her mouth every time it’s open.  She’s worried that the fridge smell will waft into her body and turn into germs. If she has to open it herself and can’t hold her breath for as long as it takes her to make a decision, she will close the fridge, leave the room and then take a gulp of fresh, fridge-smell free, germless air.  

Cuz believes that one of my pet peeves is worse.  Every year the cousins do the dishes before present opening.  I either wash, put away, or supervise. Last year I got to supervise, which was awesomesauce, but this year the other Cuz was sick, so I opted for washing. Never, ever, do I dry.  

Our conversation went a little something like this:

Cuz:  I can’t believe you’d rather wash than dry.  You’re nuts.

Me:  Ya, well, you know, I can’t stand the feeling of a wet dish towel.

Cuz: Why?

Me:  Ew. Wet cotton.  Cotton.  Ew.  I can’t even touch a cotton ball.  It freaks me out.  Way out.

Cuz:  So you’d rather dip your hands in nasty food water and touch a germy sponge?

Me:  Yep.  I’d rather lick the sponge than touch a wet dish towel.  

Cuz:  Ewwwwww.  So gross.

Me:  Well, obviously I wouldn’t actually lick the sponge.  I just don’t like wet cotton, or cotton in general. 

Cuz:  Well do you wear cotton?

Me:  Sometimes, but I try not to get 100 percent.  I don’t even like cotton sports socks.  They give me the heebee geebees. 

Cuz:  That’s so much weirder than my fridge problem.  

Me:  I suppose.  But you’re the one who thinks fridge smell changes into germs that float up your nose and infect you.

Cuz:  Ya, we’re a weird family.

Me:  Yup.

Other than that Christmas was rather uneventful.  I still found myself spending the majority of the time driving from one city to the next.  I stayed overnight where I hadn’t in years (due to past drama), being in the spirit of the season and all.  It was drama free, but still relatively uncomfortable.  You know, that type of uneasiness where you feel the need to raise your hand to go to the washroom, and half expect a hall monitor to pop in and tell you that you’re sitting on the toilet wrong and to stop using so much toilet paper.  

All and all, it was nice to chill with the fam.  One of the highlights, as per usual, were my niece and nephew and their crazy holiday excitement.  My 5 year old niece proved that she can speak and pronounce french better than any adult I’ve ever seen (I literally almost cried, she was so damn cute). And then, the most darling 3 year old nephew ever, ran down the stairs buck naked with his schlong swinging to and fro, and then continued to plaster his face with red tinted chap stick.  Ah, the kiddo’s… always a source of good entertainment.  

And now, back to my countdown… one week until I break up with winter.  Weeee!

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*Sigh* Ah, it’s Monday yet again.  On a positive note (for me, anyways) it is the last Monday I that I will have to deal with my fabulous commute, and even better, my circus of a job.  Weeee!  With all of this in mind though, I still feel pretty lethargic today – the fact that it’s raining and that Coldplay is on repeat on my ipod probably doesn’t help.  

Speaking of rain, I have a question.  With all of the technological savvy things we have in our society today, why on earth has no one invented an umbrella that can withstand the wind without flipping over backwards?  Why?  I mean, we can GPS practically any location on earth, but we can’t make a sturdy umbrella?  Okay, I know these things have nothing to do with one another, but I can’t think of a better example so early in the morning.

Alrighty.

So now that I’ve been made aware that my director is absent today (by word of mouth, because god forbid I’m included in any kind of office correspondence – seriously, sometimes I really think that I may be invisible), I already have two posts in mind.  One of them is along my regular patterns, and the other not so much.  I’m going to start with the later, as I really need to get it off my chest and it contributes to my lethargic mood.  Maybe if I write it down my mood will lighten some. I don’t really feel like I can talk to anyone about it, so cyberspace, you’re it.  It will probably give some insight to my heightened Grinchiness at this time of year.  It’s all about feelings and whatnot, so if you aren’t in the mood, stop here.  You’ve been warned.

So, here we go.  My weekend had its moments, but in the end was not all that great.  To add to that, a family member, whom I love dearly, but really, really, really (I can’t stress that enough) knows how to push my buttons.  She knows just what to say to make me sob uncontrollably in an instant.  And even though she means well, sometimes she just won’t stop.  English is not her native tongue, so sometimes it comes out wrong.  But, even though she can hear my voice cracking through the phone, she pushes on. When I beg her to stop, she just keeps going. I completely understand the point she tries to get across, and I appreciate it, but sometimes it passes the point of being tactful. I understand she only wants the best, but some things are better left unsaid. But hey, that’s what family is for, right? Right.  

Anyhoo, most times I can brush it off, but I was already in one of those moods, you know?  I really felt as though she attacked my character, and that’s what got me in the end.  Here’s some background info:

I come from a divorced family like a large percentage of people. I’m sure  many are in worse situations than me, but everything is relative, and for me, at this moment, this is it.  Not only are my parents divorced, but I can count on one hand the number couples (cousins, aunts, uncles etc) that are still married in quite a large family.  Remarriages average from one to four times per person, with many children from each.  I’m not judging here, but this probably explains my lack of knowledge of what a ‘real’ relationship looks like, and why I have no idea what to do in one myself. Anyhoo, this is beside the point.  

In a nutshell, among others, the comment that got me this weekend was something to the effect of, 

‘You treat people that try to help you like shit, and kiss the ass of those that treat you badly.’

This really offended me, big time.  I mean, I try my best, now, to treat everyone fairly.  I know when I was younger things were different, but I was a lost soul and immature.  I try my best to please everyone, but in the end, it generally bites me in the ass.

Every time I go home I hear one side bash the other openly in front of my face, as the other side probably secretly bashes the other, but at least they leave me out of it.  Each time I go home to drama.  

Drama, drama, drama.  

The holiday’s have always consisted of me driving from one city to another, trying to please everyone, but still shot down with guilt trips, because no matter how thin I stretch myself, it’s never good enough.  

Why can’t you come here for this?  Why do you have to be with them for that? Why this, why that. Why can’t you digest five meals in one day?  Why can’t you stay here, or there?  Why do you put up with this, why do you put up with that? Why don’t you say this, why don’t you say that?  

Blah, blah, blah.

What bothers me is, it seems that no one stops to think about what it’s like for me. It doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case, but that is how I see it from my eyes.  

Ya, no one is perfect, that’s life.  Sometimes, some people may treat me like shit, but I’m not going to change who I am as a person because of that.  I know I’ve said before that I’m a big karma believer.  I’m all about getting back what you put in, and trying to treat people how you would like to be treated yourself. So when I get the shaft, or whatnot, and am suddenly asked for support in some way, I still give it. Why? Because it’s my family, and I care.  Easy as that.  I’m not going to hold a grudge for years and years (although this is quite common in my family) because of ill spoken words or actions. Sometimes things are just the way they are, and you have to deal with it.  Some things are harder than others.  Some people and some things, will never change. Some people don’t mean what they say, and other’s don’t say what they mean. Some situations are not how you envision them be, no matter how hard you try. 

And yes, I’m aware of my own faults, and as if that’s not enough, I am continuously reminded by people. Yes, I’m not confrontational enough.  Yes, I let things slide too often.  Yes, I don’t express my emotions enough. Yes, I hold it all in too long. Yes, I get very defensive.  And, yes, apparently, I aim to please.

These are things I can work on, but in the grand scheme of things, so what?  Why are people so quick to judge and point out your faults, but not your positive traits? It’s always about how I’m not doing this or that, and I should be one way or the other.

What’s wrong with just being me? Is that really so horrible? Now, I’m not saying this to be conceited or narcissistic, but I actually like who I am, and I think that’s a pretty huge accomplishment.  

I know family says things because they care etc etc, but due to contrary belief, I am one sensitive little lady. I may seem like I’m a tough cookie sometimes, but really, deep down, I’m not.  

And this, dear cyberspace, is why I hate the holiday’s and can’t wait get out of here. No matter how hard I try to avoid it, enter drama. I wish for one visit, I could sit back and enjoy the company of the people I love. It’s unfortunate, but I seem to have greater mental stability when I’m not in close vicinity of all of the drama.  

For once, I wish people would just appreciate my efforts, and leave it at that. For once, I wish I wasn’t made to feel like everything is at the fault of my own actions. I make mistakes, I say the wrong things, I don’t stand up for myself enough, and stand up too much for people that don’t always deserve it.  

After all, I’m only human.  

Okie dokes.  Congratulations to anyone that made it through that, and who ever you are, thanks for listening.

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Uh huh… wow…. uh huh… mmmm

“Ahhhh.”

Finally I sit back with a heaping bowl of Smartfood popcorn (mmm cheese and popcorn – how can you go wrong) after a long day and am ready to chillax mindlessly in front of the TV.

My cell vibrates off of the table (I proudly screen my calls) and it’s Nana. I know that if I don’t answer now, she’ll call back 8 times (literally, no joke here) wondering why the phone isn’t attached to my face or why I didn’t jump to answer at the first ring. Her messages go a little something like this,

“Hi dear, that’s Nana. Uhm. Are you there? You didn’t answer, so I didn’t know where you were. I am having an extra loaf of bread for you in the freezer and some letter (lettuce). How come you don’t picking up? Are you okay? Did something happen? Where are you? Are you at work still? How come you working so late? Are you on the bus? I hope you aren’t alone. Call me okay. We are thinking about you. Papa is, how do you say… worried. Okay. Byebye. That’s Nana.”

To avoid having worries spiral out of control, I answer. I love that although she has been in Canada for many years, her accent is still going strong, and no matter how many times you correct her, she still has her special words for things. She is the 24/7 caretaker for my Papa, who is turning 90!!! this year. He seems to have the reverse Alzheimer’s thing happening. Lost all physical ability, but his mind seems to be intact. Man of few words (mainly because he has lost hearing in both ears and has two incredibly large hearing aids), just when you think Papa isn’t paying attention, he says the funniest things. It is horribly sad to watch him disintegrate by the day, size and all. He constantly has seizures that cause him to loose control of every part of his body. Each time I see him he seems to shrink smaller and smaller….but somehow, he’s still kickin’ and making marijuana jokes. Who knew?

Anyhooz, Nana loves to talk. She asks the usual, ‘how are your feet?’…’are you lonely?’… ‘busy at working?’….’are your cats alive?’…’why don’t you answering the phone faster?’…’did you talk to your mother?’…’did you eat the turkey I gave you?’…. ‘do you use mayo?’ …’how was the soup?’…’did you eat dinner?’….’are you starving?’…’how much money do you making?’ … and so on.

Then she manages, easily, to tell me about her new fridge purchase, no exaggerating here, for over 45minutes… what price they were at every store (Leon’s, The Brick, Sears etc) and in which order she visited all of these stores… “Leon’s….Sears… no, ….Sears, The Brick….no wait, the Brick…then Leon’s….”… then about compressors and their prices and why it’s worth or not worth changing it …. then about fridge colours at every store, whether the shelves are removable, whether delivery is free or not, how wonderful/horrible the sales people were, what exactly they told her (every single sales person), how they told stories about their own fridges, what all of those stories were, why she chose Thursday for the delivery and not Wednesday or Friday, why that was a mistake because her old fridge is possessed and changing temperature dramatically, how her last fridge lasted 20 years, ’20 years!! they don’t make things like they used to,’ why she believes they ‘don’t make things like they used to,’ how the handles on her last fridge turned yellow, how that fridge was only 7!! years old almost exactly to the date it was delivered, how her new fridge looks just like her old fridge other than the inside which ‘I swearing it’s smaller,’ how she almost went to buy milk today, but then didn’t because her 7 year old fridge is on the ‘kapootz’…………

Me: “uh huh……uh huh…..uh huh, …..wow, ……uh huh……uh huh.. ..mmmm….. mmmmm….uh huh…..yep…..wow……… well, 7 years, I mean, they don’t make em like they used to….. yellow eh?……mmmhmmm…. uh huh…..right…mm hmmm’

I could go on, because she certainly did. I do admit, sometimes I get annoyed with the numerous questions (sometimes much too personal), stalker-like phone calls and sometimes try to pawn off her calls to my younger cousins, but man…. what a sad, scary day it will be when those calls stop coming.

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