family feud

December 9, 2009

so, jon has 8 (EIGHT) brothers and sisters.  mostly sisters.  with significant others, we are a cumulative 15 adults.  and let's not beat around the bush here, they don't really get along.  the likelyhood of 8 very independent personalities and their spouses and their dogs (and now, with kids) all getting along swimmingly is slim to none.  and i'm betting on the none.

every year, right around this time, some ridiculous fight breaks out about christmas.  last year it was, "who wants to go in with me and get dad (fill in the blank!)?" which led to, "no, i don't want to get that for him, we're going to do our own thing."  reasonable, right?  well you would be dead. wrong.  this led to familytime world war 23, in which names were called and insults were slung and snark was had.  and this happens every.  freaking.  year.

of course this year was no different.  the traditional fight finally exploded today.  the chalice of anger has been raised.  i won't get into specifics about what or who it's about but seriously, it's about something stupid and completely irrelevant.  again.

what complicates matters is history.  all these siblings have history with each other.  people who don't like certain other people.  old battles that have never been settled.  grudges.  now being new on the scene (in a relative sense, i've been around for 8 years) there are levels of complexity in all their interactions that i just can't grasp.  and it's amazing how it can go from, "no i don't want to do that" to "you're an asshole and you always (fill in the blank!)."  add on the fact that i'm an only child and DUDE.  THIS IS SO OVERWHELMING.

they are all practiced at battling each other and then *SNAP* getting over it.  not staying mad.  fighting as a way of life.  and i'm SO not accustomed to that.  when a fight breaks out i get mad and i stay mad, i can't seem to turn it off.  unresolved conflict sits like poison in my brain.  jon can snap right out of it and say, "oh, well (whomever) is just a stupid whore.  that's how it is.  oh well."  and meanwhile i'm like "OH MY GOD DID YOU HEAR WHAT (whomever) SAID I CAN'T BELIEVE IT> THEY MAKE ME CRAZY WHAT A DOUCHECANOE WHAT ARE WE GOING. TO. DO?!>#L:!@<#!ASDNASD *BRAIN EXPLOSION*"

i can't turn it off.  i just don't have the know-how.  so this year, i tried to stay out of it.  i usually try to stay out of it and say absolutely nothing.  today i tried a new technique, playing peacemaker ms let's-not-fight,-seriously-you-guys.  you know what happens every time?  i can't do it.  i can't hold it in!  someone eventually says something that pushes me over the edge of OH MY GOD I HATE YOU YOU'RE AN EVIL EVIL PERSON and out comes the sass.  and it happened again.  the good news (sort of) for me is that everyone views jon as the "troublemaking instigator" (even when he isn't, sometimes... ok every once in a while).  and i'm the instigator's wife.  so it doesn't really matter what i say because i'm already evil.  and NOT PART OF THE REAL FAMILY.

anyway, you see how i get sidetracked by this? i can't handle it.

so the fighting, oh god, the fighting.  every year.  it's like a toxic poison over the holidays making them no fun at all.  and the fighting is truly just a symptom of something that no one really wants to confront: what do you do when you straight-up DON'T LIKE a member of your family?  what happens when your values and personalities are completely incompatible at the basest levels?

i think most people would say well, you fake it.  you make nice when you see each other three times a year and call it even.  but obviously that isn't working for us.  i'm {thisclose} to running away and never coming back to deal with it.

so........ who's looking forward to christmas?

5 comments:

RenderMeMama

I WISH T's family would get into it man! They just get upset and let it fester and they find little obnoxious ways of making you PAY for whatever slight you caused. Or they THINK you caused. Ugh.

Sorry his family is as crazy as my ILs!

Wendy

My husband has one sibling and that's bad enough. The amount of drama from just that one sibling and his family (and my MIL!) causes me much stress sometimes. I can't imagine 8 siblings - I'm amazed you've managed to NOT lose it yet!

Mickey D.

Oh, you're an only child too!?

May I recommend skipping Christmas with his family and spending it with your family instead? Or having a nice quiet holiday at home with your new little family?

Then just send a gift card to the parents, and give the rest of the haters the finger.

Sometimes I enjoy the family drama from my husband's side of the family. It doesn't get that heated, but it's so different than what I'm used to so I kinda get into it. But he also doesn't have 8 brothers and sisters.

Try not to stress, they probably aren't going to change so just start doing your own thing and create your own holiday traditions. Ones that don't involve swearing :)

AthenaBee

Aaaaawwwww yeah. I can comment like there's no tomorrow.

Seriously, new family traditions are in order. And as far as giving the others the finger, may I suggest faxing a copy of yours? It works well.

Junket

Douchecanoe is now my favorite word of the week. I've tried to play both sides of the fence with my family, too. It never works. I'll take yelling and shouting and getting it out over the passive aggressive trying to figure out what the hell so-and-so is trying to spell out with their moody Oscar-nominated performance of silence and poignant looks any day of the week.

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