Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Illusive Perfect Holiday

Just what is it that makes most Holidays a living nightmare? I believe that it is the illusion that we create for ourselves that this particular day will evolve into all that we hold in our minds as the quintiessential, primrose, poetic yet traditional holiday-esque time capsule. Just how long this illusion lasts into the day depends on an entire host of random acts. Most of us give up on the illusion by the time the perfect feast is laid out in front of us.

You want to sleep late into the morning. One of the central players in this theatrical endeavor is usually the maternal figure. She has not slept at all the night before because of all the responsibility she bears for bringing this illusion together in as faultless of a pattern as is possible.

You do your best to sleep but eventually guilt drives you out from under your warm covers. You wander down to the kitchen area for a bowl of corn flakes and encounter the red-eyed "significant other". With her nerves already frayed to the breaking point she points out an area by your recliner where your dog has evacuated his stomach of a load of green, soil-laced, froth. Before you have time to place anything into your stomach you have to get the paper towels, 409 and mop to remove the gastric exudate of your "best friend" from the family room. By the end of the day you will reinforce his role as your best friend from the experience of general interplay with various members of your family.

The day quickly springs to life. We are short on eggs by two. "I knew I should not have listened to you when you said that 2 dozen eggs was all we needed." says the red eyed galley chef. "Now what are we going to do?" You suggest that she cut down on the 13 pies she is going to make by one and therefore problem solved. She walks away muttering to herself and you go out to fetch your paper.

The newspaper looks like it is strapped with bailing wire to accomodate all the ads in their special, "pre-Black Friday" issue. You only want to find out who is playing football today and if there are any college hoops worth watching. As you leave all the ads in a 4-5 foot deep pile in the corner, extract the portion of 2-3 pages that actually deal with news and sports you pour yourself some Wheaties. You then find a quiet corner to crunch and read. Before you are able to finish half your bowl the next crisis hits. Uncle Ed has been released from the asylum and is coming to join us for dinner.

You wander out to find Uncle Ed. Now just which bridge overpass was it that he was sleeping under? Ah, it must be this one with the Mexican diplomats emassed. I pull up, place my .45 Smith and Wesson in my belt and get out of the car. Uncle Ed, over here ! Here he comes to join me. He asks me if it would be OK if he brings along some friends of his? I hesitate to respond then it becomes apparent to me that they are all imaginary friends, sort of like a virtual Facebook page. He wants to bring William the Conquerer, Sir Winston Churchill, Shoeless Joe Jackson and his agent. I can't really see the harm so I tell him it is OK.

Now comes the fun part. Taking him and his friends in the front door. By the time we have arrived the rest of the family is with us. They are comprised of a Judge, a police detective, a software engineer, a physician, and various working stiffs like myself. There are numerous conversations ongoing. They cover a variety of subjects: tea parties, Sarah Palin and Bristol, Mitt Romney, Tom Delay, Rick Scott, Obamacare,etc. Uncle Ed finally brings everyone to a focal point by announcing that Shoeless Joe and Sir Winston are hungry and when are we going to eat.

We go out to bring in the children. They have removed the cover from the pool and most of them are in the pool with or without clothes. The couple next door are in their hot tub, definitely sans clothes as is evident from the atrophied body parts as they make a mad dash inside .

By the time we sit down to eat the food is cold. Most of our women are off reading the paper and eating Wheaties. The dog has somehow consumed most of the turkey and dressing anyway. Uncle Ed calls on Shoeless Joe's agent, who is a reformed Druid, to pray over the food.

Later on that night, the mother figure says, "What a lovely Thanksgiving we had." Remember that you have to get down the Christmas decorations tomorrow first thing. The dog and I both vomit a sickly, green-hued froth near my recliner and we seem to have come full circle.

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