Naughty, But Nice and My Token African American Card!
Posted on December 27, 2012
You’ve heard the horror stories about family gatherings and seen the dysfunctional Christmas comedies, but have you ever lived through one yourself? Probably. You’ve just never lived through one with my family. I’ve avoided the phenomena known as the “extended family gathering” on my mom’s side for the past seventeen years. They didn’t invite me because grandma and I weren’t on speaking terms. Truth be told, I can’t say I missed them. The food? Yes. The guests? Not so much. Well, now that grandma and I are well on the way to patching things up, I’m suddenly on the guest list. I’m just not sure I want to be. Dad’s side of the family is so much quieter. Sure, they’re deceased, but I swear my aunt could learn something from their example of only speaking when there’s something worth saying.
Okay, I may have been slightly naughty at dinner Christmas Eve night. Grandma was apparently annoyed with my aunt by the time I arrived and, as punishment, sat me next to her. Auntie wasn’t thrilled with this. I wasn’t either, but because she was less thrilled with it, I was suddenly ‘ok’ with it. See how this works? Anyway, Grandma bought a new brand of shrimp and wasn’t sure it was any good. You get what you pay for, right? And if it’s cheap…there may just be a reason for it. Auntie ate a piece and Grandma asked her if it was any good, as in “Are you having a reaction to it?” That’s how I interpreted it, then I answered for her. And, fine, I drew first blood:
“It’s fine. She’s obviously not having a reaction to it since her jaws are still capable of letting a multitude of sounds escape them, none of them remotely articulate and all of them completely annoying.”
That is kinda first blood drawing-ish, right? Personally, I feel I was being too nice. Grandma laughed. Mom laughed. Auntie’s three children laughed. Auntie didn’t laugh.
***INTERLUDE: When I posted that little bit of conversation on Facebook later that night, I was gifted with what I firmly believe is my Token African American Card. It’s official. How do I know this? Because writer Kimber Kahn responded with a resounding “nigga, no you didn’t…” It’s official. Physically, I’m white…just with a great deal of Chinese DNA in me. Sarcastically, I’m now partially black! How cool is that??? INTERLUDE OVER***
Auntie and I went a few rounds throughout the rest of the evening. She was at one point trying to tell us all how many people she knew versus how many we knew (she’s competitive that way) and I mentioned she obviously knew Marie Calendar. Auntie got an onion ass; every time a man sees it, he cries.
Now see, everybody else thought I was a frinkin’ god-blessed JOY to have around after such a long absence, but not Auntie. She determined it was about time we moved to the living room and unwrapped gifts. I should, in retrospect, been suspicious. Why? Bitch knew my Kryptonite and I wound up with some Blu-Rays. This forced me to redirect my inner evil, only a new target was just a phone call away.
Yes, my honorable black sheep of the family called. I won’t go into detail about what makes him the black sheep of the family, though. Suffice to say that his phone calls are typically sigh-inducing and that’s when he’s sober. Anyway, the phone rang, grandma looked at it, frowned, and that’s when I jumped at the chance to ask if she’d like me to answer the phone and “Here’s what I’ll say!”
She handed me the phone while the entire family gathered around.
Moi: Detroit Leather Club, Happy Holidays! How may we lube you for your pleasure?
Uncle: Um…who is this?
Moi: (seductively) Well, who’s this?
Uncle: This is Uncle.
Moi: Well, Uncle, you have a very sexy name. (He doesn’t, but it seemed like the thing to say. The man doesn’t even have a sexy voice. Not even remotely.)
Uncle: (totally uncertain) Who IS this?
Moi: This is Kris, Uncle. Would you like to talk to Grandma? She’s right here.
The family is all laughing at this point and Grandma takes the phone. She laughs even harder when Uncle tells her “I thought Auntie brought another new man-loser with her as her date!” We all laugh harder, too. Auntie doesn’t. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure Auntie laughed much that night. It’s okay, though. Her kids did.
Just before I departed, I did consent to hug her (Auntie has cooties as do ALL redheads named Patty or Patricia) and then told her to “Drive carefully.”
“You all seem to forget I’m a professional driver,” she sighs and informs me. She’s really a school bus driver.
“Well,” I look her in the eyes, “I hear you’re a professional.”
Her son leans in and adds “Yeah, but it doesn’t mean she’s any good.”
The family laughs. Auntie doesn’t.
I’m thinking Auntie might have a bit of stick up her ass. Anyway, came away from the evening with Blu-Rays and that made it brilliant. Also picked the hubby up from the airport at 2 a.m., got him home and did some major lip service (conversation) before drifting off into a blissful slumber.
So, come on now, out with it. How did you spend your holiday?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
8 Responses to “Naughty, But Nice & My Token African American Card!”
Jeff P says:
December 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm
I am glad you had an enjoyable time with the family. I too enjoyed the noel with both my family and the not too soon to be in-laws.
December 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm
I find they inspire my writing in absolutely absurd ways.
Lloyd Meeker says:
December 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm
Can’t possibly compete with yours, Kris! (And truth be told, I’m kinda grateful…) We marked the Solstice, then headed into Christmas.
Bob’s son Sean came to visit, and we skyped with his sisters and their kids in Paris before the big meal. I messaged my son because I figured he was working (he’s a chef at a restaurant). We talked by phone later.
For our food, Bob cooked the turkey, I made cornbread stuffing and my almost-famous green apple and sweet potato casserole, four other good friends brought more than we could possibly eat. Bob played carols on the piano and we sang. Well, “sang” might not be a perfectly accurate description…
Great company, good food, Florida sunshine. Hard to beat! Yesterday we hiked a loop in the Florida panther preserve — allowed only during daylight when they’re not so hungry — and happily we saw none. Beautiful wilderness, though.
December 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm
I always wondered what it would be like to spend Christmas in a warmer climate. Hmm… Key West might be nice. Always wanted to go back there anyway.
December 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm
Now, Kris, you’re too hard on Auntie. She could have slapped you six ways from Friday after that “How was the shrimp” retort, and kept using you as a punching bag from there on out. But I’m glad you had a chance to reunite with the other side of your family.
December 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm
My Auntie is annoying. ANNOYING, sir. And she annoys my grandmother. Auntie’s behavior is a disease. I’m the cure.
Katherine T. says:
December 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm
Christmas with my in-laws and their extended family is right up their with your experience. For starters, they all showed up an hour earlier than I told them to (I was still in the shower). My mother in-law is half deaf and your have to practically yell everything so she can hear you (although, that makes it easier to get away with insulting her under my breath). 😉 My father in-law can’t string together a coherent sentnce, hucks up luggies incesantly and chews with his mouth open (very loudly).
The good part was, after 3 cosmopolitans, I didn’t give a crap what they did or said. I just let them blather on with a glazed look on my face and smiled like an escapee from the nut house.
A merry Christmas was had by all. LOL!
Pat Brown says:
December 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm
We always have a great time when we get together. Even the sibs who aren’t crazy about some inlaws leave it all at the door. And this is even after copious amounts of alcohol. My daughter and I were the last to leave and stayed up with my sister and her oldest daughter and had a great time. All of us — except the sister’s kid were nicely spliffed. 🙂