Monday, December 28, 2009

When I Start Sounding Like This, Take Me Out Back

I’m not sure if anyone else will find this as funny as I do, but this is the Christmas email my mother received from her sister. My aunt has always tended to be a little bit … critical, and age has not mellowed her.
NOTE: THIS IS NOT ME. THIS IS A QUOTE. TAKE ME OUT BACK AND DO SOMETHING VIOLENT TO ME IF I EVER START SOUNDING LIKE THIS.

From: bitchyaunt@comcast.net
Date: December 27, 2009 10:12:36 PM
Subject: Nice Christmas

Our Christmas began on the Eve. Chris’s boys didn’t come until today so missed the dinner. Brittney’s boyfriend was with us plus the French exchange student, Julie. Only Dave’s family made it for the 5 p.m. church service. The rest were supposed to meet us at 6:30 at our house. (We gave them an extra hour and they were still late.) After doing stocking gifts and cocktail hour we went to the Vintage Press. We had a preordered dinner of cioppino. It was delicious but we later found out that Julie was allergic to shellfish and didn’t feel well after dinner.

We came back to the house for dessert and the tree. It was a fun night.

On Christmas Day we went up to Chris’s at 2PM. It was a beautiful day. Almost 70 degrees and clear. You could see the Sierras which were gorgeous. Elizabeth put on the same dinner we had at T’giving as Brittney wasn’t home then and wanted the same food. Brittney is something else. She is so self absorbed, I wonder how this new relationship is going to go. He’s quite handsome with the stubble chin look. During dinner I noticed him looking at his reflection in the window. He’s an attorney but not in a firm and does wills and trusts. He also has a day job which he never explained.

This a.m. we had breakfast with Dave’s family at the country club. Always enjoy hearing what’s going on with the kids. Jason was playing blackjack last night and says he won $120 but had been up to $500. He’s home for 3 weeks but hasn’t offered to earn any money from us doing odd jobs. Megan, who is always on his case, said she’d work for us.

We’re doing an open house on New Year
s for Jerry’s 75th from 11 to 2 at our house. There’s just too much going on to put on anything else. It’s not like he’s never had any recognition.

We had a note from Bob on their card but seems his 75th wasn’t too noteworthy.

Looking forward to hearing about your holiday. Love, Sis


AGAIN: THAT WAS A QUOTE. AGAIN: PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHEN I BECOME THIS MUCH OF A BITCH.

You have any horrible relative holiday stories?

34 comments:

fairlysar said...

OMFG.

I would love to know what the precise amount of recognition for Jerry would be.

Note on a card < Appropriate amount of recognition for Jerry < A real party

clara-runner said...

Good god, all I could think as I read was "It sounds like my MIL wrote this." She always includes all the minute crap with sly snide comments.

MFA Mama said...

I can top that. Actual voice message from my mother, circa Thanksgiving of ten years ago:

"MFA Mama? We didn't hold dinner for you since you had to WORK and besides, ______ doesn't like you. Oh and we got tired of the debate over what to do with Granny's ashes so we poured them out on the compost pile. Sorry we didn't wait for you; I know you thought we should have scattered them at ______ instead. Don't call back because we're going to bed early, your father got this killer weed and I don't feel well."

Jill said...

My grandmother died a few weeks ago, and my mother called me and complained because my aunt is grieving too much. Seems she calls my mom and cries, which brings my mother "down."

Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law has decided 3 of the 5 d.i.l.'s (I'm one of them.) are not welcome at her house, plus one of her sons. Then, she whined for both Thanksgiving and Christmas that no-one came to their house for dinner.

Anonymous said...

We must be related as that had to have come from my MIL. I know the family members are different, but there can't possibly be two evils in the world, can they?

Kellie said...

Best ever, my mother introduced herself as "hello I'm mary-ann Collen's mom" to my best friend..my sister is colleen, I guess I don't rate? my gf was shocked..she then went on to tell all my friends about my highschool days when I got drunk and suspended from school...I'm 42 years old and have my own successful consulting firm...who cares about high school... I love my mother but boy I can fill the pages of this with quotes from her.

Kellie said...

another good one.. mom told me she couldn't visit my aging grandmother in the home as it brought her "down" its too hard on my mother and she doesn't feel she should actually have to depress herself over my grandmother as "granny" was never nice anyway...

Mignon said...

I'm guessing you have this because your mom passed it on with a snicker and a nudge? If that's so, that's awesome.

Ditto the MIL comparisons above. And ditto the 'do something violent to me' request.

DrSpouse said...

My mother thinks Mr Spouse is perfect and I am evil - see my latest blog post for her comment of yesterday.

B.E.C.K. said...

She must be a delight in person. ;^)

Halverson's said...

I'm sure she isn't enjoyable for you guys to deal with but sharing her email was EXTREMELY enjoyable to read - some people's kids!!!
Heh

Anonymous said...

It could be much worse. I had to read it twice to see what was wrong. I guess I just come from one of "those" families and this is my normal!

As for horrible family stories, I have one of the most obnoxious grandmothers ever. One year she made a baked potato at Thanksgiving for my Dad because that's his "favorite". It's not. There were mashed potatos, baked potatos, baked sweet potatos, sweet potato casserole and those were just the starches. This was the same year she made meatballs prior to dinner and then complained because no one ate enough dinner.

discopitbull said...

I'm with anonymous, I had to read through it a couple times to figure out where the "shoot me" bad stuff was. It could be a lot worse. My grandmother once asked my mom to have my hormones checked because she thought I was overproducing testosterone because I had short hair and loved tshirts and jeans and horses. The same woman would buy gifts for my sister and I that were one or two sizes too small "as incentive" to lose weight. We were healthy, athletic girls and not overweight, just not the stick-thin girly girls she thought we should be.

DoctorMama said...

Oof. Some good ones here.

Yes, my aunt is not actually evil, she's just bitchy -- her whole life there's been a constant stream of critical comments from her. As a person who is slightly prone to acerbic observations, I hold her up as a warning to myself.

And yes, my mom gave it to me because she thought it was funny.

kathleen999 said...

Oh my...like others I had to look for where the bitchiness was. This is nothing...my grandmother sent my mom's old flame down to visit my mom when my dad was away, hoping to start something between them. Called my mom on her birthday and was angry that my dad wouldn't wake my mom up (she was very sick with the flu). I have MANY MANY stories like that. Your aunt seems actually quite tame compared to my evil grandmother.

julia said...

Discopitbull...My grandmother used to do that! I was 5 feet 1 inch, and 86 pounds in high school, and she constantly commented on my extra weight! She never bought me smaller clothes, she used to buy me plus sized clothes! When we would be in the dressing room, she would always comes in with size 10-12, or even 14-16 and beg me to try them! I was a size 0!!!!

julia said...

By the way, I am not implying that size 10's are plus size.

fosterhood said...

That letter is CLASSIC. I'm so glad it made its way to the internet!

winecat said...

OMG, sounds just like my family before my aunt (the oldest of the 5) died.
But it cracked me up because it brought back so many memories.
My Irish grandmother married my Italian grandfather and her side of the family virtually disowned her for lowering the family standards. One of my uncles in a bid to ease the strain named his son James Patrick Lorenzetti.
Nothing like family to make you keep things in perspective!

Orange said...

I got just one holiday letter this year, via e-mail from a high school classmate I'm really not in touch with. It was two letters, one from her and one from her husband. She reviewed the nice parts of each month of 2009 and he went a little more the gratitude route. She mentioned that they'd hosted Thanksgiving and cooked [blah blah blah], and also recounted that they'd both lost their jobs in the spring (she found a new one within a couple months). He said that he was grateful he hadn't lost his condo despite their job losses, and he was grateful to the food pantry for giving them all the food they served on Thanksgiving.

Can you imagine? Zero whining, zero shame, zero unseemly boasting, zero bitching. They're totally weird, dorky people, but I can't imagine them ever being hurtful or snide to others. Which is kinda cool.

Artful Lawyer said...

Awesome. Not that bad, really, but I get the point.

My favorite is the Christmas letter years ago from a distant cousin of Mom's. In that year, Mom's mother died and elderly, infirm, grieving, dying-with-cancer father moved in with my parents. So, my parents were pretty much ready to have nervous breakdowns, and dad was retired but trying to find extra work. And we live in a cold climate.

Christmas card came from distant cousin, whining at great length about how, even though she lived on the Intercoastal Waterway and could watch the dolphins playing in the warm breeze all day long, and they had so much money that they didn't know how to spend it, she was so depressed that she could barely pick up a pen and stamp to write a card....

I recall suggesting that I pay her a visit and put the pen and stamps somewhere where she'd never lose them again.....

Mom, to her credit, had a laugh and called off the daughter/assassin.

Really admirable, when you think of it, that despite cousin's deep depression she was able to lift a finger and write such a passive aggressive card....

FeyIndigoWolf said...

I've got an uncle that drives me nuts. When I saw him in June the first thing he said to me was that my hair cut made my teeth look big. Later during that trip he kept messing with my glasses and almost broke them. I had to tell him firmly several time to stop messing with them and give them back, especially since I didn't have any contacts or extra glasses with me. Family can be so weird.

zb said...

"When we would be in the dressing room, she would always comes in with size 10-12, or even 14-16 and beg me to try them! "

I got to wonder if she just thought the sizes were smaller? In the old days (like in A. Hepburn days) wasn't a size 10 like a size 2 now?

(of course, that doesn't comport with the extra weight comments for a petite teen).

Jennifer said...

What makes this email so awesome is that she is obviously restraining herself. To her friends, she probably had far more awful things to say. The best part though is the subject: "Nice Christmas" HAHAHA

Old MD Girl said...

Aw, I didn't think it was SO bad. Maybe I'm just used to excessive complaining among family members, though. It probably stings more if you actually know the people she's talking about.

Jennifer's right. What's funny here is that she is trying to show how tolerant of everybody she is.

Tracey said...

Late to this festive party. I don't have too many stories, but can still remember the Thanksgiving of friends where we all shared our worst holiday memory. A couple there shared the most awful stories about their respective families that it ended up silencing us all while they went on and on, funny yet not. They were obviously meant to be together these two, as a respite from the family drama.All of a sudden their relationship had a whole new meaning for us on the outside of it.

As I read this letter, I had a different reaction, which was - I think your aunt lives in the same Central Valley town as my mom! I know that restaurant, I know that view! We're there every couple of months for a quick visit. Except for the summers when mom would rather come here by the ocean to get cool.

I just re-read your helpful hints posts and think they were the most useful ones I read all year. Happy New Year. Thanks for your witty posts and the community of equally interesting commenters that gather here.

Tracey

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Rory said...

I have been a step mom for 12 years now and 4 years ago had a baby between us. This Christmas, my brother and sil decided that they would give presents to the 4 yo, but not the older two. They didn't let me know ahead of time and the only "excuse" I got from my mother on the situation was "well, they are both over 18 now". First slam of this season.
This past weekend, my mother forwarded one of those fill in the blanks memes. Part of it was list your family and she lists son, daughter, two grandsons. Now, if she had only forwarded it just to me, I would've been offended, but no, she also had to send it to my daughter(her "granddaughter") and hurt her feelings as it should. The weak excuse was that she just skimmed over the answers already there and left them without thinking. No kidding?
Of course, these are also the people who thought last year at Christmas, my husband and I should have cooked the only Christmas Dinner we could afford to do, for my mother at a time when our oldest two were having their meal with their mother's side of the family. And they couldn't understand why we wouldn't do it. I have really started to dislike the holidays.

ozma said...

My holiday story is genuinely horrible. Not 'ha ha' horrible. LIKE BAD, BAD, BAD.

But man, I wouldn't want to go to your aunt's house. Sheesh, she's observant. And scary!

There are these people who see only the thorns on every rose. They are fascinating people, in a way. I have some in my family also--but not quite this type. A less incisive and critical, more melancholy version.

Anonymous said...

You know what scares me? I am already like that. Sort of. I try not to be, but I hae a very negative attitude. I know it's wrong, I know it's unattractive, I know it bothers others, I know that it makes me unhappy -- but so far I've been unable to change (I'm 44). I have tried drugs, exercise, Buddhism: I still have a profoundly negative tendency. It's sad, but that message is exactly the way I tend to think, and communicate: always looking for and complaining about flaws and shortcomings. Sigh. -victoria

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight. You and your mother sit around and talk about what a bitch your aunt is behind her back, while presumably smiling, nodding, and laughing to her face when she regales you with these stories. Does your aunt even know you find some of her comments offensive?

Just saying.

Jul said...

Reminded me of this: http://californiakara.blogspot.com/2008/11/happy-thanksgiving-ocd-style.html

Conrad said...

Thanks for this post, pretty effective piece of writing.
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