I should probably first state that I'm taking these four days before I go to meet my new husband's family for the first time for Christmas, of which I am deathly afraid and extremely nervous, to spend with my grandparents. Around Thanksgiving, we kids (my mom, my gay uncle, and I) found out that my grandmother had bought bus tickets for my other uncle, who hasn't been home for over a decade because she wouldn't let him come home as long as he was an addict, and his girlfriend to come visit after my grandmother, crying, told that uncle that she thought it would be my grandfather's last Christmas and he did say that he'd like to see my grandpa. Now, first of all, no doctors have said anything to that effect. Second of all, it could be my last Christmas. Hell, last Christmas could be my last Christmas if I walk out the door and get hit by a car standing in the driveway. Third of all, she did this without making sure that this uncle could get off work. Fourth of all, she did this without thinking to ask us kids how any of us thought about him coming home for Christmas, kinda last minute, without any amends or anything being made for previous wrongs. (This doesn't really apply to me, as I was too young, but I think does really apply to my other uncle.) So, it could be argued that being here could be awkward. And, as I'm here before my mom and other uncle can come for the holiday, I'm on my own to deal with all this. Ok, ok, fine, fine, fine. Awkward, but I can deal.
About a half hour ago, Gram gets up, just like she did all summer when I was here, because she's slept enough in a regular bed and now must sleep in her chair while "The Closer" plays in the background. "You're STILL up?!?" "Yes, Gram." She smokes a cigarette, then comes up behind me while I"m at the computer. "Tomorrow, will you either stay home with Grandpa while I go to Wal-mart or go for me?" "Well, I was going to go pick up some stuff at Target anyway, but I could just as well go to Walmart. Sure.--------- But Gram, if you want to just get out of the house, it's not like Dave and Christine aren't here. They can't really go anywhere." [They don't have driver's licenses or a car here.] "But they're GUESTS here." Thus ends the conversation.
And I sit here and think. And think. And then I start to get mad. My mom and I worked our asses off all summer trying to care for my (other) uncle and my grandparents. Once he was well enough, my other uncle came out as often as he could to help out with things as well. My mom still works her ass off, coming out here almost every other weekend, to do all the shopping for my grandmother on Saturday, after working a full work week, taking care of the house, making sure that I'm not about to kill myself, and driving the four hours out here (and then back the next day). It's not that I mind doing these errands and it's not that I wasn't going out anyway. It's that this uncle gets a pass on the responsibility that the rest of us have had for half this year, longer if you count the last time my grandfather got sick and was in the hospital for several months after the flu kicked his ass or if you count my grandma's knee replacement surgery or her back surgery, that we were all here for and took care of them for. But that is what family does. That's why you have kids!!!! To take care of you when you are too old to take care of yourself. People start their life with their parents changing their diapers and their parents end their life with them changing their diapers. It's the circle of fucking life. And, the more kids you have, the more that responsibility can be spread out. So just because he's been a deadbeat addict for most of his life and he has finally been allowed to come home for Christmas, he should not be devoid of the same responsibility that the rest of us have shouldered while he was away living/wasting his life. Hell, all the more reason why he SHOULD be helping to do these fucking things. Guest? Guest?!? No, fuck that. He's family and he should be acting like it. And she should be making him. She makes the rest of us.
Oh, and she won't let the rest of us drink because of him. To paraphrase my mother and my other uncle, "How the fuck does she expect us to get through 3-4 days there if we can't fucking drink? That's bullshit!"
Oh, yeah, and, just for good measure, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuckity fuck.