Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aaah, Family Gatherings (This is not fiction -- you couldn't make this stuff up)

My dad always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."  So, "The food was great."  Having said that...

Went to a family function about a week ago.  Having previously worked in the restaurant business, I know dim lights hide a multitude of sins -- food splattered on walls, dusty light fixtures, the reaction on people's faces when they have to do that fake air kiss thing with people they don't remotely care for, or don't really know.  In this place, I couldn't even see my feet -- PERFECT!

So, here we are, all smoochy-smoochied and settled in.  The children are slamming back Roy Rogers and Shirley Temples like Domino sugar had set up shop in the front parking lot.  It's a free-for-all in Minorville; Mom and Dad are so busy making nice with the natives, the kids are ordering Red Dye #2 with a side of outta-control.  One of the little nippers manages to inhale so much junk in so little time, Dad takes a call from Guiness Records right there at the table; the deal fades when said nipper empties his stomach contents onto the floor right in front of the salad bar.  But, there's still hope.  He's now squeezing lemons into his ice water, dumping in every sugar packet his little arms can reach, and slurping up what doesn't run down his shirt, with a spoon.  Maybe he can clinch some sort of record for projectile vomitting. 

Meanwhile, Uncle Warbucks in his $300 tracksuit begins to circle.  Since I'm on a roll here, allow me to take a moment to offend almost everyone: Tracksuits are for the track, and workout gear should only be worn by those who look like they've experienced at least one workout since high school.  Anyhoo, Perry Ellis here has just divorced Wife #Who's-Counting and he's staring down my sixteen year old.  He leans over to my husband and I to remark how beautiful she is.  OK, a compliment.  "Thank you."  Not that I had squat to do with it, mind you, but in an effort to be gracious...  But that's not enough.  No, why would it be?  This is a guy who thrives on lighting people up, ticking them off.  "You know, if I married your step-daughter I could be your son-in-law."  Oh, no he didn't!  "You could also be prosecuted," I say without blinking.  Scott says nothing, but to his credit -- Uncle Deliverance still has his face and his dental work in tact.

Ralph, the vomitting bambino is now swinging on a bar rail and dragging himself across the restaurant floor.  His brother is screaming and elbowing people in the bread bar line.  And I am worried whether my ladies have napkins on their laps?  Are you kidding me?

The irony in this whole thing, is my husband and I are considered somewhat freakish -- outcasts, because we don't want to associate with (read: endure) this kind of thing.  We don't think it's cute, funny, relaxing, or enjoyable in any way.  It's downright embarrassing.  But we are ignorant and thoughtless when we honestly voice our opinion and refuse to attend.  We are embarrassing.

Lucky for us, we have another function coming up in a couple of weeks.  Dare to hope that Ralph and Uncle Tom will be there?  It just won't be the same without 'em.  Cue banjo music...

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