Monday, December 24, 2012

"Families are like fudge...

...mostly sweet, with a few nuts" (author unknown). As the holiday family fiascos continue, I thought you might enjoy a few delicacies from my nut collection.

http://anthony-thomas.com

My uncle Larry is in his late 50's but has never given up the dream that he will somehow find a way to get rich quickly, or at least avoid paying taxes. When I became a chartered accountant, he began lurking around me at family gatherings under the delusion that I was (1) so weighed down with a huge salary that I must be looking for somewhere to invest it, and (2) an insider at Canada Revenue Agency who might reveal the holy grail of tax evasion if properly handled.

I tried to explain that staff accountants at my Big Four accounting firm had more in common with slaves or prostitutes than Donald Trump, but my protests were regarded as feeble attempts to keep the hidden treasure for myself. After listening to a lengthy scheme that sounded at best subject to future litigation by the tax authorities, and at worst likely to result in prison and the permanent removal of my designation, I told Uncle Larry that I was quite conservative with my nonexistent investments and wouldn't be able to participate. He looked at me reproachfully. "So you don't want to take my advice," he sulked. "Is it because I'm a FedEx driver?" Well, it certainly didn't help.

My mother is the ultimate delicacy in that side of the family's nut collection. It's hard to explain her brand of lunacy to strangers, other than to say she simply has no grasp of societal norms. She has a code of behaviour that she takes very seriously; it just doesn't line up with everyone else's. She will buy me a birthday cake...but it's her favourite flavour (which I hate). When my father suggested I take home the leftover pieces, my mother reacted as if he had offered to turn over the keys to their car. "Don't be ridiculous!" she snapped. "They can't have it! It's mine." Being around her for any length of time is like stumbling into a Seinfeld episode, but without the laugh track.

Then there's me. At a memorable dinner with Jay's family, his step-mother was in her usual nasty mood that no one ever confronted. Unfortunately for her I had just written a university final I was pretty sure I'd failed, and my period had made an unexpected and embarrassing appearance right before dinner. Since I had been biting my tongue for years around Evil Step-Mother out of respect for Jay, she had no idea just how nasty my own mood could get.

When Evil Step-Mother insinuated while passing the dinner rolls that Jay and I had had sex in her bed, because what else could you expect from a slut like me, my infamous temper finally rose to the occasion. Slamming my utensils down a la Teresa Guidice, I shoved the table back and lunged to my feet as the rest of the family gasped. "That is IT!" I roared at Evil Step-Mother, shaking my finger in her astonished face. "You are a lying bitch and I do not have to take another second of your SHIT!" I turned on Jay, who sat frozen beside me, fork still in his hand. "Get up!" I yelled, channelling Kate Gosselin. "You're taking me home. NOW!"

I'm told I looked like this, but with less jewelry

Miraculously Jay married me anyway. Evil Step-Mother has been a perfect angel to me ever since the incident (although she did give me used golf balls for Christmas last year), and other nuts have taken my place in the family collection over the years. What can I say? I'm mostly sweet.


66 comments:

  1. Family! We all have a few "nuts" in our family tree; but we love them because after all they are our family tree :) I love how you stood up to your stepmother; sounds like it was just what she needed to have someone put her in her place for once.

    However you celebrate it, may it be a Merry Christmas!

    betty

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    1. I was just thinking I wanted to make it over to your blog today :) Glad to hear from you. It really was disgraceful behaviour on my part. I don't know what got into me, and I'm embarrassed to think about it now. But it seemed to have a strangely calming effect on the situation going forward.

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  2. "Are you kidding me? You didn't even do anything wrong!"


    Teresa Guidice

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  3. Love your chutzpah lady! I would never have the nerve to stand up to someone like that. We all have a few nutty holiday stories; that's what makes the holiday *special*, right?

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    1. Yep! I was more hot-headed in my younger days. Not to say I wouldn't make a sarcastic comment now if sufficiently provoked, but I doubt I would stand up and pound on the table while yelling expletives. I hope, anyway.

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  4. I'm really jealous I haven't done that to my mother-in-law yet. All these things do add fuel to the future fire though. So thanks for that. Hopefully in about 2018 I'll have a similar story ;)

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    1. Ha! That's the whole problem...it makes one heck of a blaze if you let the fuel build up enough. Looking forward to your story to come?

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  5. Omg. Our moms really are similar. She invited us to her birthday party a year ago (Sis and I haven't talked to her since) and wanted us to bring the cake! For like, 200 people!!!

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    1. Yes. Exactly. It's that kind of thing and it sounds silly when you tell other people until they experience it for themselves. Then I get pats of pity on my arm for my suffering over the last 34 years.

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    2. There, there. *pat pat* :D

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  6. This made me laugh Azara. What a unique collection of nuts :) I'm glad you stood up to Step Mom. And hopefully now Jay buys you your favorite cake so you get to have it anyway!

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    1. I wish I had stood up to her in a less Jerry Springer-like way, but on the other hand I'm not sure she would have responded to a more gracious approach. And yes, my husband now assumes that my mother won't do anything appropriate for any occasion and we go from there.

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  7. Ha ha :) At least you didn't shout "prostitution whore!" at her ;) If you have to suffer the nuts, you might as well at least be able to make a funny post out of it!

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    1. That's one upside of blogging regularly. Whenever something particularly aggravating happens, I try to smooth my ruffled feathers by reminding myself that at least it will make a good post. See, bloggers are their own breed of nuts! Haha!

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  8. Awesome, love it!
    There are good (entertaining) nuts and bitter nuts, and unfortunately my family consists mostly of the latter.
    We (husband, kids and I) moved to Canada 5 years ago and now we don't have any family here, those have been the best five Christmases, birthdays, etc. EVER! ;)

    Happy Holidays and the best ever New Year to you!

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    1. Welcome to Canada! Well, I'm sure you've been welcomed already in the last 5 years, but I thought I'd say it anyway. :) Fortunately my family is mostly on the entertaining side, but that's partly because I've adjusted my expectations of them. I used to get really upset by their behaviour; now I usually just laugh.

      I can see how it would be nice to have some holidays on your own with no extended family. I'm a little bit jealous actually! Maybe not all the time, but 50/50 could really work well.

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  9. Love this! I think every family has its collection of nuts. Good for you for sticking up for yourself with your step-mom. And I hope that from now on you only get your most favorite flavor of cake for your birthday :)

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    1. Thanks Samantha! I've actually heard many stories that made me thankful for my family's level of craziness. It could be much worse.

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  10. We all have our nuts, you however got the real deal of nuts when you stood up to your Stepmother in Law!

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    1. The funny thing is that most people would say I was the nut in that situation. It took the rest of the family awhile to get over the scandal (even though they were glad someone stood up to her).

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  11. Your description of your mother made me laugh and shake my head in understanding. I love the end of this, by the way because I could totally picture that scene!

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    1. It sounds like I'm not the only one whose mother has her own strange code of behaviour. It's sad but makes me feel better at the same time.

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  12. Oh, thank you for sharing because us crazies love knowing we're in good company. I really, really wanted to write a post today called, "Merry Christmas, Grandma lost her Shit," but my mother said I could not detail her mother's lunacy for the public to read and be amused with because it's private family business. Maybe I need to blog anonymously because I would have some damn good stories. It was a very Griswold Christmas. Happy Holidays Azara! I think your writing is awesome, and I have had so much fun reading and relating to you this year.

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    1. Now I'm hugely curious about your grandma's shenanigans! Blogging anonymously is mostly for my own protection, but I do enjoy the occasional post where I can mock family and friends with abandon and not be ostracized from my in-person social circles. Gee, that makes me sound like a real bitch, doesn't it?

      Merry Christmas to you as well! I'm glad I started blogging again because I've met so many great people like you :) on my new journey.

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  13. Hah, those stories made me laugh.I have a few members of my family that might do well with you. That cake story reminds me of one of my cousins...

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    1. I did a lot of laughing today. My mother was in fine form and if I didn't laugh I would have screamed, which wouldn't have been very Christmas-y.

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  14. HAHAHAHA! Omg, that is PRICELESS. It's it nice to know that you're not the one who is nuts?

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    1. I'd say I was pretty nuts at that one dinner! Oh well, someone has to provide the entertainment.

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  15. this is so funny - although, i'm afraid some members of your family won't be speaking with you for a bit now. ;)
    appreciate the housewife picture. that gal is some animal. also, maybe i am off skew but your box of chocolates looks a little "dirty" to me. hahahaha. could be i'm just nuts too. :)

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    1. Jay's dad didn't talk to him for a few months, but that was 14 years ago, so everyone got over it a long time ago. It's not behaviour I make a habit of - can I blame it on youthful passion?

      The chocolates...HAHA!! They do look dirty! I really didn't notice. Now I want to make all kinds of inappropriate jokes.

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  16. I have more than a few crazies in my family and my mother-in-law is the worst. Hope the drama doesn't get any worse.

    ICLW #6 Dragondreamer's Lair

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    1. It's been pretty good the last several years. Either that or I've just become completely desensitized to it. I also haven't swore at anyone at a family dinner for the last decade or so, which also helps keep things calm.

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  17. Thanks for reminding me why I didn't go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year! (Technically it's because I was on call, but that had it's benefits) Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. You're welcome :) Hope you enjoyed your holidays drama-free.

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  18. haha...sorry to laugh at your expense, but this was hilarious. Especially the uncle. And don't worry, every family has it's nuts!! Hope you have an awesome Christmas season and a great New Year!

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    1. Thanks! There are many other stories about this particular uncle that I'm sure will come up sooner or later. He's quite a character.

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  19. Wow!I am so wishing I could do that, but to a friend who is an expert on giving out snide remarks and put-downs and other imagined stuff (not my friend anymore actually but I still see her everyday because we work in the same place)! Marie here from ICLW

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    1. Ugh, the frenemy. Definitely bad news. Sometimes my tongue feels scarred from how hard I have to bite it around certain people. Work wackos are the worst!

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  20. Gotta love nutty family! I've been blessed with fantastic (for the most part) inlaws. But my own mother? Sigh... let's just say that I've chosen to expect nothing from her, so when she does something appropriate, I am always surprised. Happy holidays!

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    1. That's exactly the approach I take with my mom too. I think my husband gets more upset on my behalf by her behaviour than I do. Happy holidays to you too!

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  21. Okay, I almost spit coffee on my laptop 3 times!!!!
    This post was hysterical... probably because I can so relate on many levels! got to love family!

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    1. I'm sorry for you that you can relate to this! :)

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  22. Holy hell I'ma choke on my Starburst. My mother is like yours, still trying to get me to like coconut so that she can make a cake she'll want to eat. And used golf balls. I CAN'T STOP LAUGHING.

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    1. I don't think my mother is even aware of my likes and dislikes. She tends to block out anything that interferes with what she wants to do.

      The golf ball thing was surreal. Not least of all because I hate golf!

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  23. This is a perfect post. Perfect.

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  24. BA ha ha ha! You made me laugh back! Team Theresa all the way, Baby! All you needed was a "- YOU PROSTITUTION WHOAH!" (That's Jersey for prostitution whore, btw).

    Following you back!

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    1. Honestly if I got stuck in a room with Danielle Staub, I would probably flip a table too. One of the most annoying women ever!

      Thanks for joining up :)

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  25. Haha! Your family sounds hilarious! I love how you included yourself in the bunch. :)

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    1. Hey, I have to be fair. If I'm going to make fun of my family, I have to provide full disclosure about my own nutty behaviour.

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  26. hahaha! Oh man, I think every family has a few crazies--I know mine does! On Thanksgiving my relatives were rehashing all sorts of family legends and scandals--my husband, who's obviously new to the family, definitely got an earful!

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    1. Yeah, my family is actually quite tame compared to some of the stories I've heard.

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  27. What is your favorite flavor of cake? :-)

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    1. Chocolate mousse, especially truffle royale. Mmm. My mom prefers things like almond flan.

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  28. This was so, so, so funny! I have a Evil Stepmom of my own, so I was cheering extra loudly for you when you told Jay's off. Way to go!

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    1. I'm surprised at how many people had this reaction to my very rude behaviour! Apparently there's a lot of suppressed family dinner rage out there.

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  29. Ahhhh you had me at the picture of Teresa Guidice! Gotta love the crazies in the family- but you aren't supposed to admit you are one of them. :-)

    Here from ICLW. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

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    1. I felt guilty making fun of my family without mentioning one of my own emotionally unbalanced moments. The funny thing is, this all happened well before I'd ever heard of Teresa Guidice. When I saw that episode I thought, "Hmm, this is disturbingly familiar".

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  30. Love this post! Every family has a few nuts. In my case, I'm pretty sure I'm the nutty one.

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    1. Like one of the previous commenters said, there are good nuts and bad nuts. I try to at least be entertaining in my nuttiness.

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  31. Omg, I'm pursuing my chartered accountancy right now! Planning on becoming a forensic auditor in the big 4 too! haha. It's a good thing you didn't let the monster-in-law get between you guys!

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    1. I've always thought forensic auditing would be fun. Good luck as you work through the process!

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  32. Hello from ICLW. What a funny post and I love that you poke fun at yourself as well. Your story about your mom really cracked me up. I mean, why on Earth would you be entitled to leftovers of YOUR birthday cake?! Good stuff. -Erin loveismultiplied.blogspot.com

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    1. I know. I don't even argue with her anymore. I just smile and nod, smile and nod.

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Lend me some sugar!