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The Festivus Thread

A place for members to talk about things outside of Virgin Islands travel.

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The Festivus Thread

Postby pipanale » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:59 am

We all know how Festivus starts…with the airing of Grievances. Use this space to bitch about the holidays, family, and the like.

So, this year, as per usual, my brother and his wife are coming to Raleigh. To add spice to the impending doom, she’s gone and invited her kids to come along. Sounds innocuous, right? WRONG! Her kids are 18 and 13, live with their respective fathers (husbands 1 and 2 (she’s only 36)) in Washington State, and rarely venture east. Why is she doing this? Lord knows. Want me to speculate? Sure.

She does all she can to ooze her way into the family. So, since we now have 2 kids, she needs to bring her 2 kids into the fold. Of course, we can all see through this. My parents, as it is, nicely tolerate her. My mother can’t trust her because she more or less left her 2 kids, flew across the country and started a new life because, we assume, she couldn’t handle motherhood. My father’s concerned because his son seems to be married to a more or less spineless narcissist.

Me? I just don’t like her. She rubs me WAY the wrong way.

So, the kids come in on red eyes on Dec 21. The MD parents (as they are) arrive in NC a day later. The boys are spending their vacation at my parents’ house…in NC.

Why does this bother me so much? Is it because my children won’t get all the attention? No…that’s not it. I’m pissed because now we have to buy these kids gifts. And what do teenage boys want? They want gift cards to Game Stop. $50 each. So, there’s $100 we didn’t plan to spend right out the damn window. Do you know how much $3 Chuck $100 gets you? (Well…if you can perform simple math, you’d know the answer is 33…with $1 left over to go towards the rehab fund)

We’ve met the younger kid once…3+ years ago at the wedding. I would not know him if he fell from the sky and landed on my desk. The older one visited last summer (and came here to NC) and he’s fun in a “corrupt an 18 year old who you have no responsibility over whatsoever kind of way”. But still…now we have to get them gifts.

But Jerkface, you all say, they’re buying your kids gifts, aren’t they? Isn’t that only fair?

No…it’s not. My daughters are my brother’s family. These 2 kids are just 2 kids who happened to pass through my sister in law’s birth canal. They’re no more my family than they are hers. But, they’re costing me $100. And, if memory serves, because the MD twosome are flying to NC (And bitching about the cost to fly 2 kids in from Seattle AND to purchase 2 tickets from DC to RSU), gifts for our kids may be lean. Or, they’ll just tell my mother to shop for the girls. And, that (gifts from my mother) will be a post for a later date. My point is that my brother SHOULD buy gifts for his nieces. He has a relationship with them. It’s what you do for family.

PS: When we asked how much to get on the cards…she replied “$50 each” and my brother said “We don’t want to force you into any amount…whatever you think is right”. See how that works?

Did I also mention that I think I have an ulcer developing? That will mean limited wine consumption for me in the coming weeks. I don’t know if I can do this sober. Is it wrong to take up crack for the holidays?

Feel free to post all you want in this thread. We don’t judge here at Festivus. We air grievances. Later, we’ll have feats of strength.
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Postby mbw1024 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:09 am

you set yourself up .. you ASKED how much the gift cards should be for. that is Christmas Foolishness!
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Postby pipanale » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:11 am

Only after we were told that we should be buying them as gifts...Plus...how the hell were we to know how much these new-fangled games cost?
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Postby mbw1024 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:12 am

who cares! if the GC doesn't cover it they cover the rest. isn't that how it works?
well........it's nice of you........think of it that way. it will make you feel better .........or not! LOL
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Postby djmom » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:21 am

You have every right to air your grievances...she sounds like an idiot and a rotten mother.

But remember this is an opportunity for you to make a nice Christmas (I'm not talking money, I'm talking Christmas spirit) for those boys who had the unfortunate luck of being her kids. Maybe this is a chance for you to show by doing what a normal family does. And even if they don't express appreciation maybe they'll remember it and when they grow up will want to have a Christmas like a real family.

I hope this doesn't ruin your festivus! Just have your festivus in a room away from the boys, like on the forum. I have a feeling this is going to be good "material" for you, there are gonna be some stories coming out of this!
"Sponges grow in the ocean...I wonder how much deeper it would be if that didn't happen."
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Postby PA Girl » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:22 am

I don't blame you for being pissy about the gift card thing. What about t-shirts from your local college instead? That might take the tab down to $50.

My side of the family is relatively normal so no drama there. The Mr. doesn't see most of his family anymore but Christmases past were FULL of greivances.

My ILs were dry drunks, all the a-hole behavior of a nasty drunk but with the moral superiority complex of someone who "doesn't need to drink" anymore (and no one dare mention the basket of pills on the counter) so I couldn't even dull the pain with booze when I was at their house.

The upside was FIL always cut the holidays short so he could get to the bar (where he didn't "need" to drink) to shoot pool all day and night. By the end of our relationship with them, we ate lunch and were back at our house by 11:30am.

Christmas at their house was VERY similar to Festivus, an opportunity for MIL and FIL to tell all the kids how they were disappointments, didn't appreciate the ILs, were greedy brats, only cared about themselves, etc. Someone always ended up leaving in a huff, which was the only reason there wasn't a feat of strength. Good times.
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Postby mbw1024 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:22 am

ok here's my holiday story .. for the moment. I'm sure there are more to come.
I have a 17 yr old niece whom I love dearly. but she's 17...and a dip stick some times! this makes me laugh .. it makes her mother enraged! hahahahhaa. the kid is always getting in trouble for one thing or the other but harmless things thankfully. example this week sister was away on business. niece comes to stay with me, with her dog. dog is acting nutso so mother leaves credit card to take dog to vet. niece takes dog and loses credit card in the process (dip stick). niece has to meet her mother at mall yesterday. she is late and she is forgetful as to where the meeting place is - mother gets enraged! LOL (her mother/my sister has short fuse to say the least. plus she just drove 3 hrs from Long Island and everyone felt this was the best day to go to mall to get niece's ear repierced. why you say? because they are both dip sticks).
last night niece calls at 10:15pm to advise she thinks she left her school uniform in her bedroom here. yup, there it is (dip stick!)! so she comes over for it this morning on way to school.
I ask if mother is still angry. niece says not really. then we decide to write a new tune for the holidays. The 12 Days of Angry.
On the 12th day of angry my mother said to me: you are irresponsible!

And so on......niece is working on the lyrics at school today. we plan to do a performance on Christmas Eve at sister's house. This will cause MUCH Christmas rage ..... maybe we should rethink that!
And to all a good night..........
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Postby pipanale » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:30 am

On the 4th day of Angry, my mother said to me "You're an epic disappointment because you didn't go to med school"
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Postby mbw1024 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:35 am

pipanale wrote:On the 4th day of Angry, my mother said to me "You're an epic disappointment because you didn't go to med school"


on the 3rd day of angry my mother said to me:"you are a WASTE you should be a professional photographer, you should put your talents to use"

no lie my mother said this to me about a month ago! hahahahaha I'm pretty sure she was trying to be complimentary about my photos from our Maine vacation. but I'm not sure! :lol:
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Postby mbw1024 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:36 am

everyone, join in on the Angry song! 8)
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Postby Tracy in WI » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:48 am

So, so happy to read that I am not the only one with an "interesting' family. Last year, we were univited to Christmas at my parent's house and are not invited again this year.

I have a sister who, if I put it nicely, is a "Dip Stick". Because of her repeated "Dip Stick" behavior over the past 17 years, my husband and I decided to limit our relationship with her. This made her "uncomfortable" during the holidays. As a result, my parents decided that they didn't want anyone to be "uncomfortable" and chose to uninvite us. I call this rewarding bad behavior, but so be it.

So on the bright side, we no longer have to spend any money on gifts for my side of the family. As a result, I will be sending a donation towards the $50 gift cards to Mr. Pipanale......
Tracy, Seaside Properties at Grande Bay
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Postby mbw1024 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:53 am

my family is crazy as loons but I wouldn't trade them. I just have to find tolerance and patience deep down inside. not always successful but I try.
funny thing is my sister that I mention above is slowly but surely turning in to my mother. I think I will mention that during dinner on Christmas Eve .. just to ratchet up the rage just a tad more! :lol:
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Postby bevm » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:03 am

My mother's husband is a total asshole. There I said it...Dipstick is just too nice a word for this guy. He sits on the couch and eats constantly. In other words, he's a pig. Last year he didn't want to "interfere in the family conversation" so he put head phones on and wore them all day. He got mad because I yelled at him to keep his goddamn hands out of the shrimp cocktail until my brother and his family got here. As a form of protest he wore his headphones to the dinner table. I had a filet and cooked my ass off all day and he sits down with headphones on. My 14 year old nephew looked at me with this "Aunt Bev is gonna flip out look" and it was all I could do to control myself. I waited until everyone left and I ripped him a new one. Yep, Christmas pretty much sucks here.....
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Postby loria » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:04 am

hey Pip--you have a right to be upset--but try to look at it from their perspective (not your brother's-- the kids)Check this out -- when they probably just want to be home with their dad and their friends-- they are flying across the country to spend christmas with virtual strangers they have no connection to but thru a recent marriage--and with a mother who basically left them-if i were a 13 yr old or an 18 yr old (or anyone else for that matter)this would be the LAST place on earth that i would want to spend christmas--give me a hot poker for my eye--send me to the civil war in congo--anything.
< leaving on the 22nd of march...but too lame to figure out the ticker thing again!>
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Postby Lulu76 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:07 am

On the sixth day of Christmas, my father said to me: Why can't you be a nurse like your brother?

I am not sure that my dad understands what I do and/or believes that being a writer is a "real job." He wanted me to be a teacher (or a nurse like my brother, who, admittedly, is rolling in the dough and can pretty much work anywhere. But people also bleed and vomit on him.). Anyhow, when I was home a few weeks ago (we had Christmas early because that's when everyone could come home) he kept getting on me about getting on the computer and asking me why I was writing all the time. I finally just looked at him and asked if he understood what I did for a living. He went and fed his cows.

I do love my family, but getting together is always a big, noisy adventure. For the most part we get along, but it stresses me out.

I do, however, try to avoid my extended family because this is the time of year that some of them are looking for a handout. I shouldn't be mean about it, but I realize that having a job and not having kids with strangers when you don't have a job is a good thing.

I am spending Christmas here in Nashville, probably all alone watching A Christmas Story and eating cookies, but I am OK with that.
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