I didn't want to go to my families for Christmas Eve, but I couldn't say "no" and I had no where else to go. In the end, I just wanted Christmas Eve to be over with. I was determined not to "step on any toes", stick my foot in my mouth, or get in the way physically. I sat a bit away from everyone else (there were 27 people/5 tables) and didn't share any political or religious views.
The only thing I said that instantly drew criticism was that I felt my mother shouldn't go to a funeral of a drug dealing gang banger who had my cousin killed in his own house, in front of his own daughter. My brother-in-law (who believes he has the only intellect of the family) immediately turned to me and said, "You go to a funeral for all the other people".
I didn't argue, I changed the subject.
The most difficult part of the evening was having to listen to everyone talk about how much fun they had the night before when they got together to go bowling. I didn't even know my sister was here from out of town - no one called.
So, the entire evening, everyone made a point to be polite and conversational. When it was time to open gifts, I helped move the selected gifts into the living room and the one I got my mother was tall and cumbersome, so I asked her where she wanted me to put it. She told me to put it against the wall (over there, cause I'm going to sit over here). I was crushed. She opened all the gifts and never made a move toward mine. I nearly couldn't take it and then, 30 minutes after everyone was finished and cleaning up wrapping paper, Mom finally got up and came over to open her gift.
Mom smiled and said she was going to like the gift I bought her and put it back up against the wall. I couldn't wait to get out of there. I could feel panic defying gravity and sliding up my legs, over my stomach, and out onto my fingertips. Just when I was about to leave the house crying, she decided she wanted to go home.
I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
Once we were home, Mom went on and on about the gift I bought her and how much she liked it. Why was she so dismissive at my brother's house? I will never get it. No matter how much I try to convince myself that I don't care, they manage to hurt me beyond words. I'm glad it's over with.
I hope y'alls Christmas was better than mine.
I'm going to go get a hamburger and fries.