Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tryptophan Tidings

Happy Thanksgiving to you, my dear readers.
I am currently sitting in the living room of my in-laws writing to you on my wife's laptop. Everyone is asleep except for me. Maybe that's why it's so quiet.
Yes, I am once again at my in-laws, despite the fact that I was promised I wouldn't have to be here.
However, unlike my
last trip, I am not physically able to fight back...though I did have to defend myself at dinner.
Let's start with my frustration.
When my son was born in June, my wife promised me that I would not have to go anywhere for this year's holidays.
"I promise," she told me, "that we will spend Christmas and Thanksgiving here in Minnesota." Awesome. That's what I wanted.
However, over the course of the last few weeks, the pressure has been laid on thick by the in-laws. The clincher? My wife's grandmother calls and explains that she, "is dying, and who knows when I can see my grandson again?"
My wife caved and agreed to bring Little Leab down to Missouri. She forgot, however, to check in with me. My protests fell on deaf ears as her parents, grandparents, et al were ready for Poozer and that was that.
Angry, I started driving yesterday at four. No problems until we hit Iowa. The small town of Mason City across the border is pretty much the only place you can stop to fill up until you get farther into the state (like Des Moines). When I got off the highway, it was packed full of cars. Instead of a quick fill up, I waited 30 minutes to fill up the car (I had to, I was empty).
The real fun started today.
My wife's grandmother who talked about dying kept calling me Eric. The problem? That's not my name. She also kept referring to me as, "Our Jew."
I kept my mouth shut through dinner as many of my in-laws used the term "nigger," but when it switched to politics, I was done for.
During the course of the week, I warned my wife I would be ambushed. She scoffed.
I was ambushed.
"It's the fault of Liberal teachers...not unlike my son-in-law...that our kids are dumber."
On and on it went. I got to hear about how the Democrats are destroying the country, and how only Bill O'Reilly can save us.
On and on it went.
Finally, after hearing that teachers aren't teaching kids what they need to know, I snapped.
"What are kids not learning that they need to?" I asked.
"Why we're in Iraq for one thing."
"Why would we talk about that in an English class? We want kids to be able to read and write, but we have so many problems because of YOUR NCLB," I responded.
On and on it went.
When it was over? My wife asked me to calm down. Did she defend me? No.
Then we went to the second dinner, which was at my wife's aunt and uncle's house.
This is where my wife's cousin and new baby would be. They were hyper competetive, which I didn't have the energy for.
"Well...Brayden is talking. He's sleeping through the night. He's fill in the blank for annoying comment."
"I don't care," I finally responded. "My son doesn't look like he's the product of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome."
A hush filled the room. My wife kicked me hard under the table.
It's just sad. I really hate the holiday season. My wife doesn't understand. I love my family, and they love me, but we don't feel the need to see each other around this time of year. My wife's family cannot deal if they don't put up the lights and tree and have all the food for Thanksgiving. My wife knows that my family doesn't do this, but she refuses to see why it makes me uncomfortable. We, of course, don't want to the see the foibles of our families, but they should not be ignored. The fact that some of her family talk about how much the problems of America are because of anyone not white is a problem.
I wish I was asleep like the rest of them.
I wish I actually liked this time of year.
I wish that my wife understood why I really don't like to make the drive down here.
I wish I was more tolerant of this.
Again, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your holiday is fantastically plain.


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Liar_Liar said...


1. My family is a source of misery for me this time of year and its worse since my birthday gets sandwiched right in there also. As a kid when it would have mattered the holidays were an exercise in what we were supossed to do, never anything anyone would have liked. Now that were all adults, and my sister has kids, its like rewind and do over, except same thing. Being half jewish makes it even worse since celebrating that is like a passing thought, oh yeah, and light those candles...

2. At least you have a wife and child to enjoy this with, make it about them, and I think you will find it much more tolerable. I had a chance at doing this for a year and found the holidays 200% better. Now I volunteer to work on all of them, beats reading/writing blogs....

Arthur Willoughby said...

Leab, sorry you didn't get the support of the missus...and doubly-sorry that the promises of home for the holidays fell through.

My first attempt at marriage ended partially because of situations like this. To me, a promise is a promise. Unless a person is literally on their deathbed, guilt over "the last holiday together" or whatever should be a non-factor.

We just got back from the Nebraska trip. I sympathize about driving thru Iowa...about Mason City...pretty much everything.

Hang in there, Jew.

Cristina Cordova said...

the horror...

Anonymous said...


Try informing your in-laws again that by Jewish law we aren't Jewish as it is our Dad and not our Mom who is Jewish and it depends on the faith of the mother.

Not that it will matter to them. Or my in-laws either....

Sorry it sucked.

I actually like getting together with the family, just prefer it spontaneous to weird holiday pressure/enforced family bonding.

If your in-laws like Brayden so much, they should take him in and then there shouldn't be so much pressure to see the Poozer........right?

Love you

Sister 1

Bill R said...

Next time send the dying grandmother a picture or video of little Poozer and stay home. I would not set foot in that situation ever again, I would point out to the wife that it is not fair to you in any way shape or form. Start your own holiday traditions and tell everyone that is what you are doing. There is never any need to expose yourself to that kind of abuse.