Christmas is finally over.
I don’t want that to sound like I’m not a fan of the holiday, or that I don’t appreciate it for what it is, but I’m extremely thankful that the unique set of stressors that accompanied this one are at an end.
My work schedule dictated that the usual Christmas day visits of my parents and my wife’s parents weren’t going to happen this year. As a result, my family came to visit on the 26th, hung around for a few hours, and went home pretty painlessly.
The fun and games portion of the show was Christmas 3.0, which involved my wife’s family, and occurred on Sunday the 27th. Dedicated readers will recall that I mentioned some marital problems between my brother-in-law and his wife. Well, it turns out those ‘problems’ stem from his having been wrapped up in an affair for the last few months. The breaking of this news caused massive contention in their family, mostly between him and his younger brother who now considers him massive slimeball.
My wife too, is not her own brother’s biggest fan at the moment, and MAY have given me permission inflict some level of physical harm on him. We all understand that things happen and people grow apart, which isn’t the problem. That sort of thing can be forgiven if it had been the case. The problem is the execution of the whole thing. He basically sent his wife away to be with her family this holiday season because ‘we need time apart’ – and could then spend time with the other girl. His wife, meanwhile, is looking for counseling options to try to mend the problems he told her they’re having. Did I mention she knows nothing of the affair yet? There’s a lot more to it than that, but he’s essentially checked out of his marriage, while she still thinks there’s a chance to fix it. An extremely shitty thing to do, and everyone seems to know it but him.
-The reality of the situation is that its playing out like an episode of “Mad Men” or some other TV show where this sort of thing has to be scripted because it is too ridiculous for it to be happening for real. But it is. It’s real.
So…yeah. Christmas 3.0 had the potential for a massive blow up. My wife has been seething with rage for the last week or so since finding out. When everyone arrived, the younger brother-in-law and I sort of huddled up for most of the day. He and I have always been very close, and traded barely-audible commentary about the situation. Aside from that though, things went smoothly. That is to say, the subject never came up. I was waiting for one of the boys to ask “Wheres Aunt B?” But they never did, and her absence from the family gathering was never commented on- missed though she was by my wife and I, who are very fond of her.
Even though I didn’t end up having to bury anyone in the back yard or explain to the local sheriff’s patrol why the neighbors had heard frantic screams for help from our property, it was a very high-tension time. (Note: I am not a violent person, and the insinuations otherwise in this post are artful exaggerations to give you an idea of just how annoyed with him we are.)
Wisely, the brother-in-law with the questionable morals kept quiet. He played a few games with the boys, and helped our oldest assemble a Lego set. (I take great joy in being able to say that he sucks at Lego sets, and had to be corrected by the 6 year old a number of times.)
I couldn’t get them out of the house fast enough on Sunday. Mainly because this holiday gathering was not the venue for anyone to tear a band-aid off and poke at a wound, and the longer they were there, the more likely someone was to pull that band-aid off.
Not for nothing, but it really isn’t my place to say anything at all about it. I’m an outsider. Yes, he’s my brother-in-law, but I don’t have any business sticking my nose into the situation, no matter how much I’ve grown to love his wife in the time I’ve known her. Still, that doesn’t stop me from tallying up the list of things I WANT to say, and may yet when the opportunity arises…nor does it make me want to reconsider my stance on gratuitous limb-breaking. (Remember, artful exaggeration.) She HAS become like a little sister to me, and I suppose I’m really more worried about her getting severely hurt than I am their marriage falling apart…if that makes sense.
So yeah. When they all finally left the house at an hour which was far, far too late for my comfort, the entire family breathed a sigh of relief. My wife and I because they were gone, and nobody ended up screaming at each other, and the boys because…well…they were exhausted from wading through the pile of new toys, games, and books that Christmas 3.0 had to offer.
For now though, All of the Christmases are over. The problems that were brought under our roof have been removed, back to their origin source two hours away. We still have to think and worry about them, but we aren’t staring a massive problem dead smack in its face. Its smarmy, doofily-bearded face.
’tis the season. Pass the
Rum. Pass the rum. All the rum.