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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Juice, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Juice

    Juice
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    I get along well with my extended family, but it wasnt always the case. I grew up down the street from my cousins and everyone got together every month or so for one reason or another. My aunt is very nice to me, and always makes a point to go out of her way to ask me about wedding planning, how the fiance is doing, etc.

    However it wasnt always the case. She used to think I was a bad influence on her kids. I think what sealed the deal was when I was about 12 and my cousin was 10, we were at my great grandmother's funeral. Afterwards, we went back to my great grandmother's brother's (great great uncle?) house for a gathering. My cousin and I were bored as kids that age usually are, decided to play in the basement. I cant remember what we started playing, but we ended up playing "Hostage Crisis."

    I tied my cousin to one of the support beams in the basement with a dress shirt and fed him pretzels that were covered in dirt. He was fine with it and was having fun. After about 15 minutes of that, my mom called me up to get food. i ran up the stairs and immediately forgot about my cousin, so he stayed in the basement tied to the support beam. My aunt started frantically looking for him and I told him he must still be in the basement. She gave me a puzzled look and ran down there and screamed. She untied him quickly, ran up the stairs, gave me an ear-fucking in front of my entire family (including my mom who did not take kindly to other people yelling at her kids) and their whole family left. My uncle just gave me a wink as he walked out the door with them as he tried to contain his laughter.

    This was about 1 week before Thanksgiving. Since they had everyone over the previous year, it was out turn to host and after some apologies and discussions, we thought the matter had been settled. Well, Thanksgiving rolls around and they dont show up for dinner. They just didnt show up. We called them to see when theyd be coming down but they said that my aunt "was tired" and that they werent feeling up to it. Easily my uncle and the kids could have walked down the 1/5 mile to our house themselves, but nope. So there we were with enough food for 13 to split between 6 people. That soured the relationship between the families quite a bit for a few years. Eventually when my uncle got sick and subsequently my sister, all of the past grudges melted away and we now act like they never happened.

    Focus: How are your family interactions around the holidays? Any interesting tales of disfunction?
     
  2. Angel_1756

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    Every time my father's family comes over for a holiday meal, my mom ends up bitching about it for the better part of a week. First, one uncle didn't RSVP. The other uncle RSVP'ed the morning of the event so we're either scrambling to get together enough food to feed his brood of 5, or we're stuck with way more leftovers because we assumed they'd be there and they bailed. One aunt is a "lazy, useless piece of shit" who my mom "would have drowned in the river if she were my daughter", and then there's White Grandma... White Grandma who has been known to occasionally throw a racist slur my mom's way. I don't think it's intentional, and I don't think it's meant with real malice... I just honestly don't think White Grandma knows any better when she says that she's glad her grandchildren (my sister and I) married white boys because "it'll be nice to bring some blonde hair back into the family".

    Yup. Holidays are fun.
     
  3. JWags

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    My mom's side of the family is incredibly fucked up by traditional metrics. My grandfather was an abusive alcoholic who my grandma finally divorced about 15 years ago, he's since lived in Florida, I see him rarely, talk to him on the phone on holidays (which I dread as he's usually drunk and weepy). Her extended family is varying degrees of white trash, some just hard working blue collar people, others deplorable Wisconsin stereotypes. But since my grandpa is murdering his liver down in Florida, our direct family is fine. My two uncles are great people and I only have one cousin on that side. He's a peculiar manorexic burgeoning alcoholic, but he works for a newspaper in rural Minnesota now, so he's not around often, so its just fine. My family, my two uncles, my aunt and my grandma.

    My dad's side of the family seems more "classic" and respectable. Of his 6 siblings, all but one have graduate degrees, kids, decent jobs, etc... However, his oldest brother became a FAR left, bleeding heart liberal atheist in a familiar of conservative Catholics, which is his choice and is fine, if he didn't insist on trolling pleasant email chains or picking fights over dinner related to it. Including berating my 85 year old grandfather at a wedding once. He and his family live in MA and don't come to holidays anymore, only big occasions, so thats a moot point.

    We do have my pair of lame ass aunts though. My dad's oldest sister is a psycho control freak who divorced her first husband, an awesome Chicago police sergeant who could have made my Chicago life way more fun, because of jealousy and paranoia issues, is remarried to a shell of a man, and who makes every family event some drama filled power struggle. She is the most judgemental person ever and attempted to break up her son's engagement because his now wife is an artist with a small tattoo on her foot, SO DISTASTEFUL. I could write a novella on how much this woman sucks and how uncomfortable she makes things, but you get the point. The other aunt, my "godmother", recently divorced from my other favorite uncle, is now seriously dating a 75 year old man, 20 years her senior, and hasn't remembered my birthday for 5-7 years, despite showering her other godchild, the daughter of the other terrible aunt, with gifts all the time. Fuck them both.

    Oh, and my Dad's youngest sister has been dating a married man for close to 20 years who dreads family gatherings, comes only for dessert and leaves less than an hour after arriving, which is an ongoing joke. He is still legally married to his wife and has twin daughters that are my age. One of whom is married with a child. My aunt has never met them and they presumably don't know she exists, HOWEVER, she co-signed with the douche on their student loans. THE ARISTOCRATS!
     
  4. Crown Royal

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    My family is small, Conservative and has never known the magic of what booze does for the holidays-- I had to discover that for myself.

    I don't have any siblings, my dad doesn't, my mom has one and we all hate him because he destroyed the once tight-knit family we had. We used to have a Norman Rockwell-esque Christmas Day with everyone together, now I have a family that shit's long gone. Die in a fire, Glen.

    Nowadays it's simple: on Christmas Day it's Santa gifts at dawn (when she wakes us in a frenzy) then breakfast at my folks and dinner at her folks, where her dad always has a fridge full of beer and shoves them into any open hand you have. Good enough for me.
     
  5. happyfunball

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    I'll try to be quick. I have 3 brothers, a sister and tons of aunts and uncles. Although we don't hang with the ones on my mom side so much as they are druggies, murderers, etc.

    My sister is currently going through a divorce. They have an 18 year old and a 15 year old son. He walked out on them about 8 years ago to "find himself". He then realized how much he would have to pay in child support and agreed to "work on it". Which meant after work he would go to their house for dinner, and then to his apartment to live his own life. My sister said she didn't want to be divorced and after many years together was pretty beat down, so she tolerated this. Finally had it about 2 1/2 years ago and filed for divorce. Whole other issue as she is now over 60K in debt paying her lawyer as her husband is a dick and fighting it.

    So Christmas several years back, she shows up with her husband for dinner. We were all happy as she hadn't been coming around since he was so controlling and drew her away from us. But we didn't know if this meant they were back together and we were all wondering about it. So dinner is done, I'm helping my mom clean up, we're both doing the dishes. She wanders away and all I hear her say is, "So, does this mean you guys are back together?" I did one of these:

    [​IMG]

    My younger brother is coming into the kitchen at a fast clip and he loops around into the laundry room. I follow him and ask what happened. He said he didn't know but he almost choked on what he eating since it came out of the blue.

    What entailed was a nice argument with my sister being all defensive and my mom acting surprised that she was upset. The dick thought it was funny and smirked the whole damn time. They packed up their stuff and she didn't talk to us for about 3-4 years. Things are on the mend now and we text and talk although it's still rough with my mom. And she still doesn't come around for holidays.

    Christmas Eve however is great. We have a dinner where all the aunts, uncles and cousins from my dad's side get together and we laugh a lot. Lots of fun.
     
  6. gamecocks

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    I love the holidays. For Thanksgiving my immediate family throws a big party for anyone who wants to show basically, we usually have around 20 people for the meal itself with others coming throughout the day. The holiday usually starts with me running to the liquor store on Wednesday for several cases of wine and beer, followed by prepping my turkeys for frying. On Thanksgiving I get over there around 9 and start heating the oil and start the first of several beers. I basically tend to my turkeys and hang out with whoever comes out back. Being the singular person within 8 or so years either way puts me in a good spot where I can bounce around between the "adults" and "kids." After the meal, I meet up with all of my old friends who are in town and we either smoke way too much, or head downtown depending on the weather.

    Christmas is a little more low key, it's just me and my parents. We open presents and have a nice breakfast with mimosas, then go our separate ways for the day. The past few years we've been meeting up in the afternoon to grill a big meal and invite my friends over. My mom loves it, our house was the one that everyone congregated at so she's seen everyone grow into adulthood. Dad tolerates it so long as no one touches his crown.
     
  7. CharlesJohnson

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    We used to throw a big Christmas party every year until it got too expensive. Nobody wanted to chip in. We'd get together for Easter, too. No drunks in the family so nothing besides bickering happened. Mom has two nieces and a nephew, local. I'm friendly with them, but not particularly close. She has another niece on the other coast of FL, and one in NJ. She doesn't speak to FL one often, the latter never. I have no contact with either. My father is dead, my uncles are dead, both grandfathers, my aunt (mom's sister), they're all gone. Mom's brother went two years ago on Christmas Eve; I'm convinced he spiked his insulin with a bottle of scotch on purpose because he was a cunt of a human being who couldn't stand the thought of anyone being happy. Joke's on him, nobody cared.

    Quite frankly, there is no one left I consider close. Oddly, it doesn't bother me. I prefer not having an expectation of familial duty. Mom and I do the holidays on our terms, with as much wine and champagne and gluttony as possible. Last year instead of some interminable dinner with her nieces where they pick a fight with their brother, I took her to New Orleans for a week. Best. Christmas. Ever. Fuck that clucking noise. This year we'll be joined by my buddy who's dad just died. He has no family in the area so he'll bring a shitload of beer to fill the hole.
     
  8. Misanthropic

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    Similar to what CJ posted, the Misanthropic family has taken some hits, dramatically altering the holiday dynamic. Last year my grandmother and Uncle died, so that branch of the family tree has sort of pulled into a shell. My father and my father-in-law have both been dead for years. I only have one sibling, and she has sort of staggered through life, literally and figuratively. In her mid-40s and never married, she is in maybe the second serious realtiosnhip of her life, and has never been much of a family person anyhow. We see my one brother-in-law and his wife regularly, and they are great people. The other brother-in-law, while he's a good guy, hasn't been north of the Mason-Dixon line in about 10 years, and every year the excuse is different, invalidating all of them. So . . .


    Thanksgiving will likely just be me, the Mrsanthropic and our daughter, and my crazy mother. The in-laws will be with the sister-in-law's family, and my mother-in-law is currently in the hospital.

    Christmas Eve, once a large family gathering, will be at our house with my crazy mother, and my sister and her boyfriend if they show up.

    I'm bumming a bit about all of this. I can't drink the holidays happy, because I have to drive my mother around. Worse, in my view, is that my daughter won't have those memories or fun of big family gatherings. I think I'm projecting a little here too, of course. But I've always been big on family, and want to keep that going for her.

    We are very fortunate that we have a second family of sorts in the good friends in our neighborhood. We will be having 'Hoodsgiving on the 29th, and 'Hoodmas the weekend after Christmas. Two neighbors up the street will be hosting these parties, and we'll all bring tons of food and booze. We all get along extremely well, there will be lots of kids running around, and we all have a great time together.

    It appears that this thread has helped me find another thing to be thankful for, and a week early. Thank YOU, Idiots.
     
  9. audreymonroe

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    There's only one family from my dad's side (my aunt's) that I know and one cousin on my mom's side that I keep in touch with at all. After my grandparents died we've only spent one or two Thanksgivings with them and are usually left scrambling for Thanksgiving plans, so I've only had to deal with lack-of-family drama around that holiday. Last year I hosted a Friendsgiving and it was the best Thanksgiving I'd ever had, and this year's shaping up to be the same hosted at another friend's, so it looks like that's going to be the trend for a while. It feels weird to not spend it with my dad, but it'll be okay.

    My aunt and her family live in Boston, so while I was going to school there I started spending the Jewish holidays with them and it was really nice. It was the first warm fuzzies family experiences I'd had in a really long time. For a couple years after I moved here, my dad and I continued the tradition by going up there for one of them, which was also great. But, somewhere along the line, my aunt and uncle did that thing where they got old and rich and suddenly became Republicans, and while they usually do a good job of avoiding talking politics, something happened two years ago where my dad and aunt really got into it. I was out with friends at the time, but according to his girlfriend, at one point he started yelling that he could hear their parents rolling in their graves at what my aunt was saying. We haven't gone up there for the holidays since then, for some reason.

    I spend Christmas with my best friend's family that I'm more or less a part of. No drama there, really.
     
  10. Kampf Trinker

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    I usually have a great time during the holiday season. Everyone on my dad's side has it together and is fairly smart and successful. Everyone is pretty laid back, and there's lots of good food, drinking and shenanigans. Since we're all spread out now it's also usually the only time of year all of us siblings are together so we catch up on what everyone has been doing in the past year.

    My mom's side of the family is total white trash. My grandparents canceled their garbage service so they can just dump it off at the casino when they go to gamble, which is practically every day. Last time I saw my grandfather he didn't even know who I was. He's not senile, he just doesn't give a shit that either me or my siblings exist, which I'm kind of ok with since he's the most boring person I've ever met and only talks about golf. One of my uncles on that side is mildly retarded and despite the fact that he met my aunt only 7 1/2 months before my cousin was born still hasn't figured out that she isn't his. I found out only recently and nobody has the heart to tell him. One aunt on that side is a shut in, and the other is drunk 24/7 and drifts from shitty marriage to shitty marriage. I haven't spent a christmas with them since I was 8, and it's been years since I've seen any of them.

    It's probably only going to be the immediate family this year, which works fine for me since both my sisters are old enough to join me at the bar now and all things considered we should have a blast. I can't wait to see what awful gifts my younger (but older of the two) sister gets everyone. Last year she got me a horrid book on astrology (why?) and my other sister a bag of M&Ms. Hilarious, and she's somehow oblivious to how ridiculous she looks every year.
     
  11. AlmostGaunt

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    I love my immediate family but have no use for the extensions. My memories of Christmas center around stress and domestics. I usually have a couple of mates over for drinks. Last year I said fuck it and flew to Gili Islands, this year I said fuck it and will be on a plane to Jamaica and the States.
     
  12. sisterkathlouise

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    Thanksgiving on my dad's side of the family is probably my favorite family holiday of the year. There are 8 of us cousins ranging in age from 20-33, and we all get along really well. They all even picked good significant others, which is awesome. Our aunts and uncles are pretty great, too. Since the cousins kind of took over a few years ago (mostly my doing), the quality of food and booze has improved, and since we have it the Saturday after, there are fewer scheduling conflicts. When we get the full host, there's Grandma, 7 grown-ups, 15 "kids" and 6 dogs.

    Christmas has gone from being one of my favorite holidays to being an enormous pain in the ass because of all the different family obligations we have. Boyfriend's side of the family has no fewer than 4 christmas events, and we usually end up with 2 or 3 on my end, so instead of enjoying the various contingents of family we spend time with, I'm usually cranky about the fact that I'm feeling over-obligated, and would rather be drinking warm boozy beverages with friends and wearing my stupid elf hat. Also, Boyfriend's 84 year old grandpa creates more drama than any middle school girl I've ever met. Shit is unreal.
     
  13. katokoch

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    I was very close to getting in a fistfight with my brother in our grandma's kitchen when we were visiting for Christmas a couple years ago, aside from that they are usually pretty calm and peaceful. My siblings and I tend to revert back to our old patterns when we get together sometimes, which means he resumes being a typical dickhead older brother (especially with the audience of our cousins) and my old temper flares up accordingly. He's not going to be in town for Thanksgiving and that is fine by me.

    Neither sides of my extended family have much if any infighting, which I realize is a rare thing now, and we get together annually. I grew up assuming it was normal for dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins packing in the grandparents' farmhouse for the holidays. It's something I still look forward to.
     
  14. lostalldoubt86

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    For Christmas Eve, my aunt, her kids, and her boyfriend come up to my parents' house for dinner. We eat steak, shrimp, and salmon balls while listening to the South Park Christmas album at the "kids" table (kids is in quotes because the only one who is not either in their 20s or 30s is my 13 year-old brother). After dinner, we play some sort of card or board game. The last 2 years we played Cards Against Humanity. At some point in the night, my cousins will get into a fight about how one is a psychopath (converted to Mormonism a few years ago, hates it, but still goes to church. In and out of the psychiatric ward at the hospital. Had an all-encompassing crush on Vladimir Putin) or the twins will get into nothing fights and someone will cry. After that, we walk down to my uncle's house where I find new and exciting ways of making a fool of myself.

    I spend Christmas morning opening presents with my immediate family and we eventually make our way to my uncle's house, where we pick at a spread of food and drink. Eventually, my mother finds the karaoke machine and sings Christmas songs into a microphone while her sisters egg her on. At some point, my aunt will make a comment about her sister whose kids spent their childhood being out of control and the night will be momentarily awkward because none of the other sisters want to talk about it.
     
  15. Queen-Bee

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    Xmas was always high stress. My mother losing her shit, cleaning and baking for the guests. Buying junk food and treats, but locking them in suitcases because they were for the guests (we were poor, so we never got them normally). But, the guests rarely came...we were a highly dysfunctional, loud and violent family. Who would come visit?

    As an adult, I'd force my husband (daughter didn't mind) to travel 3 1/2 hrs on a sketchy highway for Xmas to visit. Same bullshit. When I got my own house, I lied about plans with the in-laws and the 3 of us stayed home. It was glorious. I started having orphan dinners (friends with nowhere to go). They were awesome, casual parties, with a full turkey dinner on the table between 10pm and midnight, in case you were hungry. That petered out.

    2 yrs in a row my kid and I went to Vegas over Xmas. A-mazing. 4 days to just be with her.

    The last 2 were the worst. She was busy having her own life and I was alone, missing her, missing everything. I cried in the dark for 5 days and ate Cheese Puffs and all the boxes of chocolates I was given.

    This year I've taken my happiness into my own hands and I'm off to Ucluelet, BC for 11 days. I'm going to be with my best friend and my adopted Ukee family. My two best male friends have just moved to the Island and will visit. I'm going to be oozing love all over the place (in a non-gross way).

    In the end, I choose this loving family to be with, not the one I was born into.
     
  16. ghettoastronaut

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    Welp, I'm apparently that guy that doesn't show up to the holidays and makes his mother cry.

    I kind of feel bad about it, but in my defense, she has terrible taste in husbands.

    This year I'll likely be going to Montreal over my Christmas leave and spend it with the girlfriend, and when the girlfriend is not there, her cats. Time well spent.
     
  17. shimmered

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    I don't like family get togethers at my parents' place anymore. Family revelations aren't so kind to relationships, and I don't feel like spending the day developing a migraine.

    I'd much rather do thanksgiving and christmas with friends.

    This year my boys are headed back to Texas to visit family, and my girl is staying local. And I'll be working. A lot. Because work.

    My family's fucked up as a football bat and shows no sign of rehabilitation. My parents are considering flying to visit my brother and I wished him and them well in that endeavor because no. I'm not about any of that.
     
  18. D26

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    Our issue is always who we spend holidays with. My wife's mother gets exceptionally upset if we don't spend a holiday with them and we see my family instead. For 15 years this has been an issue.

    Normally, it is Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with hers, and we rotate thanksgivings. For my parents, they've said they literally only care about one day: Christmas Eve. Any other holiday they are okay with not seeing us or compromising. Now, my mother in law literally cries every year at Christmas Eve because we don't see her: as if this new (again, this has been the arrangement for 15 years now).

    We see my in-laws on New Years, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, thanksgiving (we relented and they see us every year now), and Christmas. We see my family on the 4th of July and Christmas Eve. It's still an issue for my mother in law.

    I'm gonna go drink now.
     
  19. Hoosiermess

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    I feel pretty fortunate that we've always had a fun family gathering on Thanksgiving. It used to be larger, with more family coming, but we still have a good group of immediate family that show up and have a good time. I still sit at the kids table with my brother and his wife. More out of choice than because we're the youngest there, sadly not the case anymore. It has evolved though. When dad was still with us he would make grasshoppers and that was all the alcohol that would be consumed. Now we all bring wine and typically get halfway hammered and then pass out, it's the turkey (or turducken lately but I plan to smoke a turkey breast this year) not the alcohol. I swear. Then we watch football and do desert and then go home.

    I do find it sad that my aunts who used to come over too now skip out. I'm not sure exactly what it is other than a combination of my dad and grandma not being around anymore and a difference in some opinions in religion and/or my sister getting re-married and my brother and I tying, to different degrees of success, trying be aggressive in business. Either way we have a great time and really have very little drama. I look forward to it every year.
     
  20. shimmered

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    Holy shit dude. Fuck your life.

    Except for my brothers, my house is an in-law free zone. As in - my parents can't stay here and neither can his goddamned mother. One of the better aspects of having gotten married at an 'older' age is that neither my husband nor I feel compelled to be 'liked' by the family or siblings or whatever, and man. That's a load off our shoulders.

    When we go home, we MIGHT spend an hour at dinner with each set of parents, but other than that - it's us there to watch baseball, see friends, and do as we please. Tears and whining only serve to aggravate us.