The SO and I have a mutual understanding - I lucked out with his wonderful family, and he has great holiday horror stories to tell his co-workers about mine. He's made peace with the fact that my parents are killjoys, if you call mumbling 'can we go now' under his breath from the moment we walk in the door making peace with his fate. What he can't forgive is the bad cooking. His mom packs us a Thanksgiving survival bag to bring along the years we go to my parent's house and we take turns sneaking out to the garage for bites of the contraband.
There is one day a year where this gets turned around on the SO. Christmas Day. We join the rest of his family at his sister-in-law's mother's house. Somehow, a couple years back, we made the guest list. Ever since, we've tried to figure out how to disinvite ourselves, but to no avail. If we don't do something fast it's going to be tradition. (We're seriously considering divorce for his brother and sister-in-law as an option. Sure they're happy, but at least we'd be freed from the Christmas Day onus.)
A streak of schadenfreude (meaning "damaged joy." It's a German word. Go figure that the Germans of all people would have a word in their language for deriving joy out the misery of others.) has mated with my gallows sense of humor and produced a bouncing baby spirit of Christmas gone terribly awry. I can't wait for Christmas morning this year. Picture Gomez Aadams watching his train set as the two locomotives hurl down the track, destined for collision, and you know the expression of manic glee on my face.
Here's the set up:
Don't worry about how these people are related to me, because they aren't, which is part of what makes it so fun. Now matter how many racist jokes they tell, or how many fights they have on the front lawn, I'm secure knowing they don't share DNA with me. The SO is only distantly related by marriage, but that's still too close for his comfort. The sister-in-law somehow transcended her upbringing to become a very nice, classy, intellegent person. We think she was a foundling, because there's no way she's related to those people either.
The sister-in-law has a sister who is a Jehova's Witness. I don't know much about her beliefs, except that she's against commercializing the birth of her lord and savior Jesus by giving Christmas gifts - a lecture she uses to explain why she doesn't bring gifts for anyone. She does, however, accept them. Even though we aren't related, she gives us the stink-eye for not bringing "love gifts" for her four demon spawn to rip open Christmas morning. She does the same thing for birthdays. She's managed to claim the haughty moral ground by taking gifts but never giving them in return. How does she do it? And is she really a Jehovah's Witness, or is she just a greedy bitch? If I could stand talking to her, I'd ask some probing questions- like does her faith have any doctrines other than gift scamming?
But wait, this family gets better. Last year, they gave each other boxes of bullets as gifts. AND liter sized bottles of Jack Daniels. What a combo! At the time, I remember whispering to the SO, "If anyone here runs out to their truck to grab their handgun for a little impromptu target practice using the empty beer can collection in the back yard, I'm leaving."
Now that I've had a whole year to think on it, I'm seized with curiosity. How can you top whiskey and bullets? What lethal gifts will they come up with this year? The imagination reels.
I'm betting heavily on the home version of a meth lab. Or a guest appearance on Cops.
Either way, it's the one day a year I get to smile smugly at the SO, cuddle close, tickle his earlobe with my lips, and purr quietly, "Want to spend next Christmas at my parent's house, baby?" and watch him struggle with the tempation to say, "Yes."