Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Family Fisticuffs 2006

On paper, my dad’s family is the classless one. Blue collar. Nary a college graduate. My dad’s family consists of car salesmen, boilermakers, guys who work on the line for Ford and gals who work behind the counter at department stores. They’re the simple ones. They live within miles of one another. They read the local newspaper. They prefer television to books.

On paper, my mom’s family is impressive. They’re prominent. In the not-so-small Wisconsin town they’re from, mom’s maiden name (my middle name) name conjures up respect, admiration and a hint of jealousy. Mom’s family is made up of lawyers, geneticists and professors. They’re sophisticated. They’re better than you. And they are so, so fake.

And hateful.

And arrogant.

You’d never know it.

If you’ve been putting on a façade for decades, you’d do it flawlessly, too.

Last night, my cousin attempted to punch my dad and, in the process, ruined Christmas.

To tell the story properly, I need to backtrack.

A handful of years ago, Uncle Alan quit the family. He was done with my mom and our family, Aunt Marie and her family, and Grandma and Grandpa. For no broadcasted reason, Uncle Alan maintained contact with Aunt Louise, Uncle Ed and their two kids.

Last year, Uncle Alan randomly called me. We hadn’t interacted in my adult life, and he jumps back into my life with a strange request: skating lessons. And then, as though he’d planned it all along, he dropped a bombshell. He was getting married. Oh, and it’s a secret. Don’t tell your mother or grandmother.

Please. Like I complied with that request.

So, Uncle Alan gets married and remains distant. But Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed, they meet his wife. They talk to him every week. They just don’t understand. Why don’t you just call him? Why don’t you go over to his house and see him?

What part of his abandonment don’t you get, you clueless assholes?

This fall, Uncle Ed decided he wanted to change our Christmas. And, in his overly detailed description of the new family Christmas gift exchange, he always included Uncle Alan and his new wife, maintaining the fantasy that they’d show up to our Christmas.

Well, of course they didn’t.

Dad mentioned that to my cousin, Evan. Dad, Evan and my Aunt Marie’s husband had gone over to our house to check out my dad’s new Mustang.

“It’s too bad Alan and Joy didn’t show up, your dad was really trying to get them to come this year.”

“Uncle Alan stopped by this morning.”

Oh. Okay.

“Have you met Joy? What does she look like?”

Somehow, this struck a chord with Evan. “You two are fucking immature.”

My dad changed the subject.

But Evan said something ignorant or stupid to my dad when they got back to the house. I didn’t hear what Evan said – I was sitting on the other side of the living room – but I heard my dad’s smart ass response: “I hope that one day I can be as smart as you are, Evan.”

And he set Evan off. Two seconds later, Evan pushes him on the chest. “You wanna go old man?” The style of confrontation, the words, it was something out of a move. “Come on, let’s go, bitch.”

He pushes my dad again. And again.

“Evan,” my dad said, strangely calm, “stop.” He grabs Evan’s arms, braces him against a chair. “Stop,” he said again.

My dad let go, Evan charged into the basement.

And that’s the last I saw of him.

Now, dear readers, here’s the quiz.

Who was at fault in Family Fisticuffs 2006?
A. Dad
B. Evan
C. Both

Correct answer: A.

Do you know why? Let’s ask my Uncle Ed. “I’ve never seen Evan act like that before.”

Okay! Free Asshole for a Day pass for Evan!

“And you’re the adult, Rob.”

Have I mentioned that Evan is 24?

24 years old and not yet an adult! Oh, how wickedly jealous I am!

[Side note: in many ways, Evan is not an adult. He does not have a job. He is not trying to get a job. He lives at home. He pays for none of his expenses. His parents picked out his college classes, consulted with his college counselor and generally held his hand throughout his tenure at a sad excuse for higher learning. He is entirely devoid of responsibilities. And he’s a massive prick. But he’s still 24. And any 24 year old, in an interaction with another living human being, is an adult. Sorry.]

So, because Evan is not an adult, his parents doted on him the entire night. While my mom would’ve grabbed me by the back of the neck and forced me to suffer through dinner with my family, Uncle Ed brought him down dinner. And dessert. Where my mom would’ve held me down to keep me in the room with the rest of the family, Evan sulked in the basement the entire night.

No repercussions.
No accountability.

This incident mostly ruined Christmas. We all spent the rest of the night attempting to pretend that nothing happened. I didn’t talk to my Uncle Ed. My cousin Mara and Aunt Louise didn’t talk to my father. My mom looked as sick as I felt. And Grandma’s heart, I think, was broken.

She had said that this was going to be the last Christmas that she’d host. And it ended so incredibly ugly.

Conclusion to this story: Evan is damn lucky that his confrontation with my dad didn’t last a second longer. Meg – remember, Meg cross trains for hockey with boxing – had stood up and was damn near close to repeating a fine moment in a hockey game where she took on the bastard stupid enough to mess with her daddy.

I’m sort of sad that it didn’t happen. Evan needs to get his ass kicked one day.

And wouldn’t it be just a tad bit better if his ass was kicked by a girl?


Anonymous said...

Wow, now thats something you only read about on holidays. Hopefully Evan will pull his head out of his ass and apologize to your dad. What a fucker. And your poor Grandma...what a bunch of ass hats!!! Here's to a better New Year's celebration!

Amy said...

Wow is right. I can't fathom such a thing. The people in my family that don't speak to each other just don't speak to each other and that's about all the drama there is. This is EXCITING (well, it is if you didn't just live it). Here's to a MUCH better New Year's!

A said...

Evan won't ever apologize. His parents might apologize for him, but I highly doubt they see him as being in the wrong (despite the fact that he was certainly the agressor).

It was ugly. I'm still upset about it. But I absolutely cannot deny that it makes QUITE the story.

I thought this shit only happened in movies!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're upset (as well as your family members) but I must admit to also being a BIT JEALOUS because all my family get-togethers PUT together do not come close to equalling that much excitement and interest!

Also, I was sitting her while reading the post just thinking, "wowwww," and your first 2 commenters started off with that same word. LOL.

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