My family is Hungarian all living around Budapest, but my parents live in Portland, OR.
J’s parents are Japanese, but his mother got remarried to a German–and they live in Italy now.
Our kid is a Nazgul and he comes from the fires of Mordor.
We’re entrusted with him, but any day, Sauron may call to claim his kin…
‘Your family is so international!’ people gush if we get into the complicated ‘where are you from?’ conversation, and maybe that’s true, but it does make the holiday times a bit of a bitch. Namely, because you can’t do the ‘Eve at my parents’ place, Day at your parents’ place’ thing. We do the ‘this year at your parents, next year at my parents’ thing–and this year was J’s parents’ turn :< which means no Hungarian carp (the Official Fish of the Holiday Seasons) and no family hilarity, as J’s parents are of a fairly sober nature.
Sure, they’ll eat food together, and they’ll decorate their home in a tasteful manner, and maybe get in some undertow-jabs across the dinner table–but would anyone announce, right after the presents had been torn open, and right before the fish had to be served, without a touch of facetiousness, and with more than a touch of bravado, that they were just as good of a dancer as the late Michael Jackson?
My sister did exactly that the Saint Eve of 2010 (or was it 2011)?
Nobody was foolish enough to vocally refute her claims of being on par with a dancer and entertainer proclaimed a genius in his own lifetime– still, my sister was determined to immediately put her feet where her mouth was. Perhaps there was something insincere or not quite credulous in our silence.
In the soft ambient glow of the flickering Christmas tree with the scent of Baby Jesus still clinging to the air, she popped in her MJ CD (always kept on hand for such emergencies). Back when Miley Cyrus’ twirling ass-cheeks weren’t even a twinkle yet in anyone’s eye, my flour-white and doughy-bodied sister started to shimmy, growl ‘shamona’ and occasionally grab her crotch to the fat beat of ‘They Don’t Care About Us’. Before we could entirely process this musical cry for help, the song came to an end, and my sister smoothly segued into the evening’s next entertainment, announcing with gravitas that she was a better drawer than I–not that that is so hard to be, then again, she had (to my knowledge) never attempted to draw anything beyond a stick dog.
‘I’ll prove it to you,’ she said. ‘We’ll have a Michael Jackson drawing contest. Right now.’
Had she been secretly practicing? Would she shame me now by going Michelangelo on my ass? I took up the challenge.
We pushed the festivities on the kitchen table aside and used a photo of MJ from her CD’s album art as a reference. Less than five minutes later, my sister called out that she was done, and she would have my mom come over and adjudicate. I had MJ’s mouth done at that point, and maybe his eyes.
Sister: Isn’t mine great? It looks just like him, right?
Never the type to lie, even to her progeny, my mom:
Uhhhhhh… so what happened to his face?
My sister (the shadow of self-defense creeping into her voice for the first time this holy night): Well, I didn’t get his hair entirely right, that’s all. It’s hard. He has curly hair.
My mom: You call that ‘not quite right’? It looks like a truckin’ WISTERIA TREE fell on his head!
I lost it at ‘Wisteria Tree’. I started to laughing uncontrollably and the laughter may not have stopped until the fish was finally on the table…..
And knowing that it would be exactly this brand of hilarity lacking from J’s parents festivities, I made my polite holiday exit at Christmas Day Three to run away to Hungary, close to the Romanian border, to the sleepy little town from which one of my best friends from here hails. By the fourth day of Christmas all civility was drained from them though and they were as thoroughly sick of each other as any group of people forced to make merry together for the past week.
At the dinner table:
Hungarian friend’s father: Can you pass the bread, honey?
Hungarian friend’s mother: I’m sick of your negative comments, go ski into a cunt!
Back home for New Years, which we spent with fireworks (even those big explode-y ones are not illegal here o_o). J and Nazgul and I got out to the street-corner smelling like WWIII. I thought the baby would love the fireworks (aren’t kids all pyromaniacs?) and he did appreciate them in a restrained way, but he seemed to be concerned about me catching on fire….
‘R,’ he kept saying. ‘Fire. Ouch. Come here.’ And he would direct me under a tree.
(He didn’t seem concerned about J catching on fire–J was welcome to stay in the middle of the street and keep lighting fireworks for us.)
But yeah–that was Christmas–Christmas past, present–and may there be many fun ones in the future, full of Michael Jackson drawing contests– For all of you moofs too, I’d like to wish you a wonderful 2014 ^___^ full of
sex and violence friends and food!