This isn’t awkward. This isn’t awkward. It isn’t awkward! I kept repeating the phrase to myself, the thoughts becoming louder and louder until my ears almost hurt, as my parents and my friends sat in our living room, eating sausages and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol (NOTE: for my family, one drink is excessive). I tried my hardest to will the not-awkwardness into reality, but — just like when I tried to will being Tina Fey’s long lost son to be true — nothing happened.
Outside, snow fell, blanketing our home, and making the scenery perfect for the day: it was Christmas Eve.
As we sat, chatting and imbibing, the lack of someone’s presence was easily noted. We pretended it wasn’t an issue, that there was nothing amiss, but we all knew the terrible truth; my brother should’ve been there. But he wasn’t.
I can’t believe this happened. That jerk. If only I had said something else. Oh, this terrible!… Oh well, I thought, mentally going through all five stages of grief in under 3 seconds.
My dad began to joke about something with my friend’s mother. What did he say? I don’t know, I was too distracted, but, knowing them, it probably involved feces, The Bachelorette, or blowing up fruit, because we are classy people.
A few minutes more passed, and then I heard footsteps coming upstairs. I looked expectantly, and it was him: the prodigal brother. He had returned, after 30 horrible minutes of uncertainty.
The last fateful time I had seen my brother was, as said, half an hour before. Upon seeing him I made an inquiry about the one request I had given him for the evening, and it set him fuming.
“What? You were serious!?” His arms came up like a comic book character, showing his frustration and disbelief.
“Um…. Yes.” I looked at him simply, perplexed at his confusion and shocked at such a dire reaction.
“I thought you were joking!”
“Um… No.” Again, I looked him up and down, one eyebrow raised in skepticism at this reaction. I saw the steam building up inside his body with nowhere for it to escape except through his mouth in loud bursts of frustration.
“You can’t do this! You can’t be serious! Greg, this is Christmas Eve, you can’t take over!” He bellowed all this at me, his indignation matched only by his incredible rate of speech.
My dad, hearing this (not unusual) level of volume and passion from my brother’s voice hurried over to resolve the conflict. Ah, my father, always the mediator; I knew I could rely on him. “What’s going on?” he asked, his voice serene as two sleeping kittens.
“Greg was serious earlier!”
My dad simply laughed. “Hah, no he wasn’t! Greg, you were joking, right?”
I looked at them both plainly, aghast at this turn of events. “Um… Nooo?”
Then my dad’s face, generally calm and kind, changed, as he too was filled with anger. “Greg, you can’t tell me what to do in my own house! I dress like this for meetings and I won’t let you tell me what to wear in my own house!”
My brother pointed one finger at me and poked me squarely in my chest, basically bowling me over because he was in good physical condition and I have the physique of a pudding cup. “Greg, you’re a Christmas dictator.” He decided he could no longer look at someone as atrocious as Kim Jong Un and went downstairs in a huff, never to be seen again (for 30 awkward minutes). My father called to him to come back, but his words fell on deaf ears. He looked at me once more, angry that I would make a request that so thoroughly destroyed our family, before returning to his work getting dinner ready.
All I could think about was the previous day’s phone call that sent this whole thing into motion.
“Hey Greg, can I bring anything tomorrow?”
“No, I’ve got the food covered. I was just wondering if you could wear something other than jeans so it’s a bit nicer.”
“Hah, right, okay. See you then.”
Dearest readers, today it’s time for the second installment of the best worst Christmas movies ever. Last week was iChuanukah, a movie starring Lena Dunham and Andrew Garfield as two adolescents who discover love and adulthood through eight miraculous days of cellphone life.
Today, I change gears to a story of Christmas and family; a tale that could truly be a Christmas classic, jingling all the way down the annals of history. In fact, when I jokingly described this plot to my friends a week ago, they looked at each other and then at me blankly and said in unison, “Wait… Is that a real movie?” Clearly, if I had a superpower it’d be my ability to make awful movie plots in moments. I now present:
Black Christmas Continue reading
PrS (that means prescript, here): This isn’t a late post on 4th of July that I was too lazy to make yesterday, this is actually a story-ish thing! Rejoice!
Now, I used to be a big fan of the 4th of July. Not because I had any national pride; no, when I was a kid the only things I cared about were dinosaurs, cookies, and explosives. The thing you may not glean from my current high strung, hippy attitude is that I used to be quite fond of watching things burst into flames. My fondest memories of Independence Day were trying to talk my dad into buying $500+ in fireworks so that we could have a display that was the envy of all our neighbors, setting off a few artillery shells every night prior to the actual day. It was Pyromaniac Heaven.
Then I grew up and became lame. Kidding! I’m still (sort of) awesome. But the effervescent joy that radiated from my skin when I had witnessed a rocket dissipated as I grew older was replaced by yawns. Been there, done that.
Enter in Fruit -Blow-Up Day. Continue reading