Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas Famdamily

The energy source has left and the house is quiet. Too quiet. Everything inside is as still as it is outside. No birds flittering about the branches of the stately pines. No snow weighing down the boughs. No movement apparent. The air is cold and still. The light dimly grey in every direction. Even the sounds of the house settling have a mournful tone.

The child has gone home to her mother, taking her grumpy papa with her. This is a many-edged sword, bringing with it relief and sadness, tangled emotions confusing and convoluted. Although par for the course when dealing with families I suppose.

I was informed back in September that my caustically divorced brother would be bringing my niece to visit my parents for a pre-Christmas vacation at their abode in Montana. He would have to oblige with the court-mandated vacation schedule kidlet swap with my x sister-in-law on Christmas Eve, but would be spending the previous week with Grandma & Grandpa. And would I like to join everyone?

For some, this would be a no-brainer, for me, not so much. The opportunity to see my niece was the major draw. Spending time with my parents can be a crap-shoot. Sometimes it goes O.K., others it's a disaster that takes me considerable time to recover from. Parental hangovers last a long time and no amount of mental Alka-Seltzer can touch it. My biggest concern, however, was my brother. We hadn't spoken in 18 months, and for good god damn reason too.

He went through a very nasty divorce a few years ago and lost his damn mind in the process. He's put my parents through hell and drug everyone in his path down with him. He's emotional quicksand and a giant misogynistic asshole and I tend to react negatively to people who are threatening to bash my face in when they're called to the carpet for being a disrespectful selfish prick fucker dickhead retarded insane ass. Therefore, you don't get to spew your venom on me anymore and I don't have to listen to 20 minute renditions of "My x-wife is a cunt". Ta da!

Needless to say, my virtual invitation had to float around in my head for a couple weeks before I made my decision. Having a buffer person in the Big Sky homestead is always to my advantage. My parents shift their behavior up a notch which makes a more pleasant experience for all involved. With that in mind, I put my faith into that little kid to hold everyone together by our crazy seams and booked my plane tickets.

I purposefully had myself arrive 2 days after my brother and leaving 2 days later. This gave my parents more time with their grand-daughter and only 3 full days of me having to be around my brother. He literally emanates hate. Hostility steams from his pours. His head is so heavy with self-imposed burdens he doesn't lift it to an upright position. He's hunched over at the neck like a grizzly bear.

I managed to ignore him most of the time, and really, he didn't speak much, so we were all spared his infamous tirades. He's so self-absorbed that the few times we all made an attempt at conversation he didn't realize his incessant ill informed countering of anyone's point or opinion was met with zero resistance. This is not the result of anyone being schooled by the more knowledgeable party. This is the by-product of witnessing year after year of a withdrawal from reality and a mind so closed it's a total waste to spend any energy belaboring a futile point. It's staring at an old bear in a dilapidated enclosure in a broken-down zoo. It's a reaction to the pathetic. And he has no idea.

Despite some discounting of obtuse utterings and a pestering pre-tween, there has been laughter, a little stress, narrowly avoided heated debates, a few tears, and many hugs given by a little blond monkey who delights in teasing and being as irritating as possible. And don't forget the alcohol.

We celebrated Christmas yesterday and it was a good time had by all. Her Auntie Betty managed to teach her a few new annoying tricks to bring home with her, like any cool Auntie should. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when she whips out the face lick on the next unsuspecting person trying to pin her down in a wrestling match. That was always my ace in the hole. Ha! Take that! SLURP.

Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for this feeling of emptiness today. She snuck into my room before they left and gave me a goodbye squeeze and said "I love you". I thought I'd fall right back to sleep but to no avail. My mind woke up and the past few days are whizzing around in there as my heart feels, I don't know, numb.

I anticipate my parents returning from the airport shortly and having to nurse their sadness until I leave in a couple days. My dad is in failing health and although I'm trying to cherish all the time we spend together, a conversation we had the other day keeps revisiting my mind and manages to bum me out for a moment. I recover quickly, but since today feels so weird, it's coming back up like last nights dessert.

Eh, I don't know. This entry is all over the place and I can't seem to put down all the great things that I'm thinking about. Like next week, and the incredible man I'm in love with who I'll get to squeeze for 4 days. Maybe I need to go shopping. I guess today I'm pensively numb, if that's possible. I'm sure this too will pass. Just like the fucking PMS I've had all week. PFT.

7 comments:

No_Newz said...

You were so not all over the place! I followed you from the silence to the upcoming love fest. 'Tis all good! Great trick BTW... face lick, hmmm, I might use that.
Merry Christmas Betty!
Lois Lane

Becka said...

I hope you have a good New Years (sounds like you'll have more fun next week)

magz said...

are you sure that's not MY brother? no wait.. mine has 2 kids... that said, he is your bro and hasta share some of the redeeming genetic qualities that you have.. so... perhaps Mr. Mysogeny needs to meet the pistol packin boonie-bunny . I've been known to twist the bent ones in all new directions, for their own good of course. anyhoo.. merry happy whatever little Wench-ette... and remember that while yer stuck with yer realitives.. you get to choose yer friends....

Special K said...

With such an emotional holiday rollercoaster, it's no wonder you're all over the ice.

At least you'll soon be a-squeezin' a certain someone before too long. (Unless you're already a-squeezin' him as I write this. If that's the case, as you were.)

whitey said...

I am fairly certain that I'll have the whatevers scrubbed clean out of that brain in no time, love.

Dr Rocks said...

Tick tick tick tick....your puppy clocking is getting overexcited.

Merry christmas past and happy new Year.

Bitter Betty said...

lois - thanks, I still feel a bit wobbly in the brain. And I have several more tricks up my sleeve.

becka - no doubt!

magz - i'm adopted, no sharing of DNA with the bro. thank dog.

k - it's been a slippery year for sure. But I'm looking forward to that squeezin'.

whitey - i'm counting on it, baby.

rocky - merry everything to you darlin'.