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Country Fried Nutballs November 23, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Baptists, Fam Damily, Holidays.
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There’s a it’s-funny-because-it’s-true sketch on SNL they do around Thanksgiving where they show a family sitting around the dinner table and everyone is teeth-grittingly pissed off and they alternately try to make conversation/break out into screaming arguments. One character always jumps up as if to leave the table until everyone yells at her to sit back down and stop being ridiculous and the whole cycle starts over again.

They showed it this past weekend, and it made me miss my family.

But, with getting to spend the holiday with Brian’s family this year, there will certainly be no lacking in the crazy. It’s just that southern people are a little more subtle about it. There isn’t any yelling or sniping; at best you might witness some light ribbing about when is so-and-so gonna finally settle down or some light debate on how we’re going to manage the Christmas gift exchange this year. No, their drama is all behind the scenes and kept very quiet. Which kind of makes it seem more sinister than it actually is. 

None of the following will be talked about on Thursday, but all of it is currently happening:

– The 24-year-old male cousin who although is finally out of his parents’ house and in the military, requested to be stationed as close as possible to home. Supposedly he’s saving money for a vehicle but in the meantime, his momma drives two hours one way to pick him up every free weekend he has so he can spend it with them. And then of course drives him back on Sunday. Elevates the meaning of “Momma’s Boy” to alarming levels.

– The real-live Cat Lady aunt. Her collection started modestly a few years back with ten or twelve, who were mainly outdoor pets. The number has risen to the point she’s not even sure how many she actually has now. She spends a large portion of her not-large income seeing they are all fed, sheltered and given veterinary care. Family members no longer visit her beause of the horror movie-like atmosphere there and also because the last person who did told everyone else there’s really no place to sit down. Considering she has a husband and kid, she doesn’t fall into the typical cat lady profile and is otherwise an extremely sweet, seemingly very normal person, if a little quiet and shy. George has already claimed that if she brings a dish Thursday, he will not partake. Which really bummed me out because she makes the most awesome macaroni and cheese ever. But yeah, I think I’ll be sticking with the no-eat policy on this one.

– The uncle who a few months ago quit his stable government job of almost twenty-five years and who also wants to quit his wife of almost that long. He prayed about it and God told him he was meant for a higher calling. Not sure what that calling is supposed to be, but maybe he is, since he’s been CALLING almost everyone in the family, asking if he can come stay with them and help with whatever odd jobs they need done around their houses.  

– The two family members who went into business together a few years ago. It was going very well, up until the aunt and uncle who live out of state and invested all the money to get the business running started getting concerned when the nephew was never, ever in the office when they called. The concern grew to genuine fear when they found out even though the nephew was clearing a salary of $1,200 a week, had his vehicle repossessed, and was depending on his parents to pay his mortgage. Embezzlement, drugs and a few other quite unsavory situations have recently been revealed and to say things are awkward between the two families is a big-ass understatement.

– The 20-year-old supermodel cousin. Raised in a strict Southern Baptist home, she used to be painfully shy at the big family gatherings. Brian always told me it’s the quiet ones to watch out for, since he was that way himself growing up and then became one of the family’s biggest hellraisers. Well he damn sure called that one, as now she’s living here, two hours away from her parents, working, going to school, and partying it up. There have been sightings of her at various bars around town, not only with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other, but the Baptists’ worst nightmare: DANCING. Her parents would literally need to be sedated should they ever find any of this out. She’s a really great girl though, and one who’s probably agonizing over the upcoming holidays and all the quality family time, so I have a goal. When I see her Thursday, I’m going to let her know she has both an ally and alibi in Brian and me, depending on what is needed, that we have professional experience dealing with her uptight family and if she ever needs a late-night rescue she wouldn’t want her parents to know about, we’re the people to call. The trick will be letting her know this without letting her know we’re onto her.

Yes, family holidays are often stressful and annoying. But with the right attitude (and medication), you can easily turn it into your own private sketch comedy show. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this stuff writes itself.

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Comments»

1. morethananelectrician - November 23, 2009

If this stuff doesn’t come up, then what they hell does everyone talk about…the weather?!?!?!?!

Dyskinesia - November 24, 2009

Oh no, in Southern families, you talk about other people’s families. Usually starting by way of who died, who’s cheating, and who wasn’t in church on Sunday – not necessarily in that order. There are a lot of, “Well, I de-clare!” and “Oh! Bless her heart!” thrown about. When the grandmothers and mothers get into their little pow wow in the kitchen, I’m up and out of there like someone set my seat on fire. I actually like all of the ladies, but that is one conversation I can’t sit through anymore.

The menfolk talk NASCAR, baseball (or should I say the Braves?), lawn mowers, and tires.

And these are the conversations they had when we had a bona fide heroin addict girl cousin who had a child she gave to her physically abusive father instead of her mother, lost an eye in a fight, and (we’re pretty damn sure) killed her boyfriend by running him over with a pickup, fled the country, and then came back — and was at dinner with us.

I feel ya, sister. I always try to hang out with the kids. 🙂

Kimmothy - November 24, 2009

Yes, basically they talk about whoever isn’t around and do it under the guise of being concerned! And in polite tones of voices.
I’ve ALWAYS sat at the kids’ table and probably always will. Metaphorically as well is literally.

Kimmothy - November 24, 2009

Politics. Straight up.

Kimmothy - November 24, 2009

In reply to MTAE’s question.

2. Taoist Biker - November 24, 2009

I know not whereof ye speak. All Southern families are normal.

Except for those weird-ass “white sheep” you occasionally hear about. Not that I’d know what one looks like. I think possibly my tattooed and foul-mouthed ass is considered pretty light grey in my neck of the woods.

Kimmothy - November 24, 2009

Ha!
Brian could write a book on black sheep, but he’s worked his way back up to a lightish gray himself. He probably would’ve made it all the way back to white had he not lived in sin with, then married a Jew.

3. Swistle - November 24, 2009

My favorite part is that the SNL skit makes you miss your family.

Also, I thought the title was “Country Fried Nutella,” which sounds DELICIOUS.

Kim - November 25, 2009

It actually does sound good! I think it’s the “country fried” part.

4. iamheatherjo - November 24, 2009

I miss my Mama and spending the holidays with her. But I do not miss “the family holiday thing” we had to do when my Nana was still around at all.

Kim - November 25, 2009

I try to look at it all as fodder for the comical book I’ll someday write and that helps a little.


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