Thursday, February 11, 2010

The year of our lord...1929ish

Well, it could not be avoided. We had to have a family get together sooner or later. At least this time it was with a kind of dysfunction that I totally understand. I may even love it, I'm not sure.
It is my grandmother's birthday today (she told me to tell everyone that she was 51 again, so that's what we're going with). This is my mother's mother, the "originator" so to speak, of all of this sardonic wit.
Plus she gave us all her terrible diarrhea problem which my Aunt A likes to call the "Watson trotsomes". I think it's apropos.
So, the gathering at dysfunction junction (or devil's pulpit, since there were several mentions of horns) begins first with Aunt A, as I am walking into the house, trying to peel open a bottle of wine.
"Hey, you're alive. How's the f*ck are you?" And immediately following this my Aunt P, who I affectionately call Fa gives me a quick hug and somehow a pair of pants materializes and she holds them up to me.
"What size are you, right now I mean, these don't even get past my thighs."
Mind you, this woman is skinnier even than me. In fact, I would venture to say that I am the "big girl" in the family at a hefty range below 130lbs.
At this point, of course, there is the running and screaming of children in greeting and the annoying little f*cking Sheltie that I want to kill with the bottom of my boot, but since my grandmother is convinced that he is her best friend, no go.
After A LOT of banter and many comments about how the tap water smells like egg (or ass, or a combination of the two), we are ready to eat, sort of.
Thing is, most of us at the table, exempting the men and most of the kids, have some form of an eating disorder. Never been diagnosed, but it's there. It was funny to watch everyone negotiated the other's plate. Funny in a sick way.
"I told you not to get me presents," was my grandmother's angry response.
"They're not presents, they're tokens of your age."
"Don't be fresh."
The evening ended with the cutting of the cake, which my half-crippled mother cut into pieces that were so small they needed to be torn away from each other, giving each piece a "bitten-off" look. Of course, while she is doing this she is laughing without breathing. For some strange reason she decorated the edge of the cake with teddy grahams in alternating directions.
My "69" comment sent her over the edge.
Happy Birthday, Nana Fiss Fiss.

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