Father’s Day

I feel like I should say something about this weekend, just so that, when I look back, I can ask “What else was going on the weekend my dad told us his dad told him to kill him?” and have an answer. But I feel like the nephews are getting too old. The stories of our family time are often their stories, even if they’re not present, and maybe they deserve the possibility of someday reading this and not feeling like everyone’s laundry was hanging out on the whole internet.

I will say this, I am enjoying watching my nephews grow up. My oldest nephew is right on the verge of really and genuinely being a teenager. He is the tallest person in our family. He asks complex and grown-up questions. It is really like hanging out with a very young adult instead of a big kid. I don’t know when that happened, but it has.

I was making fun of him because he likes to eat Vienna sausages, which he says “vie-eeenna” and I said that, when he gets older, I’m going to stand on his law, my silver witch’s hair swirling around my head, shouting vie-eee-nnaaah aaahhh-ooo-str-eya-aye and that we would go to Vienna and then he would just have to deal with everyone being like “Vie-eeena? What the fuck?” to which he replied “There are a lot of things we pronounce differently in English than people pronounce in their own language, so they wouldn’t think anything at all except ‘oh, American.'”

Which, yep, is probably true.

As for the rest of us, sometimes it feels like we are all on a boat that has been slowly going down since long before any of us got here, each of us born to our own level of wetness, each thinking that love is putting one of us on a twelve-person lifeboat, and the rest of us standing on the sinking boat waving and crying as the loved one escapes. And I feel like, when I try to get into the lifeboat to prove it will hold all of us, I get turned on for wanting to hog the raft.

And I don’t think there is any fix for that.

13 thoughts on “Father’s Day

  1. My grandparents loved Vienna sausages. And they pronounced them as vie-eeenna too. The sight – and smell – of them grosses me out to this day.

  2. …sorry. Got cut off. Yeah. If you guys go to that city you would be going to a place that calls itself Wien (pr. Veen), Osterreich. Theyd pretty much write you off as English speakers the minute they hear “vienna austria”.

    As for the weird family stuff…it’s like the point of this weekend is to overlook discord in favour of a false harmony.

  3. Just to make sure you guys understand the magnitude of this weekend, I will tell you that our server at Southern Bred asked if we could be nicer to each other.

    How’s that for embarrassing?

  4. I personally would be pissed at the server. But gad. Why do they keep insisting on these get togethers if they disintegrate into travelling emotional abbatoirs?

  5. I have no idea. And I’m not sure how we’ve gotten ourselves into this rut where every get-together, even the most bland ones, are fraught with stupidity. I almost wish they lived closer just so that we could have lunch and then go home on Father’s Day or someone could pop over after work or something.

    Just try to take the pressure off all the family togetherness.

  6. Nah, that’s no advantage either. It lessens the intensity, but it repeats oh so much more often.

  7. I wish for you that your home wasn’t the halfway point. It seems like you and Bart bear the brunt of the bad behavior because everyone meets in the middle.

    Families like ours are lobster pots. There’s a hole in each end and it’s pretty straightforward to get out (especially if you’re younger), but there’s a lot of claw-waving and desperate pulling back that keeps the bigger ones at each other, stuck inside this open-ended thing and eventually, those are the ones that will get eaten. While it is sad that the rest of the lobsters can’t see or will not take the way out, that should not stop you from heading for the hole at the top. You’re going to be talked about anyhow; it’s not like being miserable ever worked to turn off the criticism. Thus, ignore and be happier.

  8. Coble, ‘travelling emotional abbatoirs’ is the best description of family gatherings I’ve ever read.
    I’m glad I can just send a card for everything but Christmas.

  9. Here’s the thing – everyone is at your house. You make the rules. Put your foot down. If everyone can’t act like an adult – and a decent human being – go stay somewhere else. Simple as that.

    Or use weed pulling as punishment for bad behavior :-)

  10. I’m desperately in love with “traveling emotional abbatoirs.” Sounds like a circus act in a burlesque show. “Exit/In presents Panty Raid! Featuring Sideshow Benny and his Traveling Emotional Abbatoirs!”

  11. Echoing what Beth said. Strongly. Prefaced with “I love you all, but this idiocy has GOT. TO. STOP. You have strangers, in public places, commenting on our behavior as a group. We are not a bunch of drunk fraternity boys; we are family, and being dickish to each other for the simple sake of being dickish has to stop.”

    I say that, of course, coming from a family that includes a man who made a scene at his younger brother’s recent funeral. Which was bad enough, coming so soon after that younger brother’s wife’s tragic death. This idiot’s idiocy caused one of the funeral-home employees to walk out, red-faced and just about in tears. Do you know what it takes to upset a FUNERAL-HOME EMPLOYEE? I do. My (expletive deleted) uncle.

    Obviously, B, you are not alone. Thank goodness you’ve created another family around you that loves and respects you to pieces.

  12. Thirding the love for Coble’s beautifully-turned descriptive phrase, and chiming in to say yes, you deserve better behavior. I hope, somehow, it can be foisted upon the perpetrators.

Comments are closed.