Day 11 – Relatives
Now, I have to be careful here as rellies might one day read this for themselves. Therefore, see the disclaimer at the bottom of this post.
Just who is that mysterious woman?
That’s what I ask myself every year. Every year she is there. Sat in the corner. Drinking the house dry of port and yet nobody else seems to notice her. It’s probably Mrs Edson. Though I suspect it might be the mother of the grinning emaciated man that sits at the end of my bed just grinning. Or perhaps <lj user=”fj_warren”> projecting astrally.
Well it’s not me al mam. She’s always too busy fussing in the kitchen, my grand parents are all dead and unless it’s Cousin Sally or one of the wives of my brothers, she’s probably just someone in my imagination.
Anyway, relatives. They’re like buses really. You can wait all year for one then seven of them turn up on Christmas day.
To be fair, it pleases me to see rellies at Christmas as for most of the year I don’t get to see any of them. To be just, I must also add that they don’t all turn up on Christmas day.
In times past, in the Gnomepants manse, Christmas would be a “relative safari”. We would wake Christmas morn, have prezzies, have dinner, then drive round to the grandparents for Christmas there. Then the following day, we would be inundated with more rellies then we’d sod off to Auntie Pat’s for more relative mixings in her house behind the toxic paint factory. (I can still remember the smell of that factory. Her house has long since been demolished and Pat and her husband succumbed to the noxious paint fumes even longer ago).
Then, as rellies started carking it, Christmases changed. They would be Gnomepants centric. We would just be sitting down for dinner and the doorbell would always ring. You could guarantee it would be a relative to see my elderly grand parents (both my nans, who by this time were widowed would come to the Gnomepants Homestead rather than spend it alone in their respective houses in the middle of council Hell).
So yes. You were just pulling up the chair and there would be Uncle Fred and the spawn grinning and full of cheer. The turkey would be shoved back into the oven and we would have to pretend that we sat around the dining table anyway. And that we weren’t about to eat and by no way would they be disturbing us.
Was this a surreptitious attempt at trying to get a free dinner out of my old mum? Or was there something more sinister? Like dropping off that strange old smelly Aunt that sits in the corner drinking the house dry of port? I have my suspicions.
Anyway. An hour would pass and I imagine the sound of our rumbling bellies and the sight of eyes that say “Fuck off” caused them to make their excuses and so we would turn our attentions back to the meal that was now dried and withered and resembling something from the night before. Of course, the dinners will have their own post in the next few weeks so let’s not loiter in that area for too long.
The point I’m getting at is somehow, at Christmas, relatives develop this radar and know when to appear at the most inconvenient moment. Worse still, they somehow manage to eat all the chocolates, make dinners go cold and end up drinking more port than is humanly possible.
Of course it’s not limited to immediate family. Sometimes you’ll just be about to nibble a prawn and mum will come in, whisk away your prawn cocktail and then run to the door to welcome in some relative you’ve never even heard of. Ohhhhhh it’s great Aunt Fenella! Oh you haven’t seen me since I was 2? That’s nice. Yes of course I’ve changed I’m 35 now. What’s that? Port? Yes sure I’ll get you a glass. No you’re not disturbing our dinner. We always sit round the dining table…burning? No that’s just the cat…
DISCLAIMER – Names and relations have been changed to protect the status quo of family relations. Some,if not all, of the events in this post are or may be fictitious. If you think anything in this post is about you, then you are probably very wrong and you should pay a penance by buying me a nice pair of socks for thinking I would be as callous as the person you obviously think I am for writing defamatory comments about you on a public post. So yes. Socks. Black please. With coloured toes. Or I’ll tell someone about that thing you did with the thing.