In the spirit of the season, given that I have watched three or four different versions of “A Christmas Carol” (curious, they all end the same, except the musical) I have, for whatever reason, softened a bit toward this week's letter writers, rather than bristled. It's a cold place here in the Northeast, snowbound hearts are as frozen as the streets, and a good dose of charity and kindness is in order.
With that, I present a New and Improved Schuyler the Cat: Nice Guy Holiday Edition, V2.0.
And God Bless us, every one.
Original Dear Prudence letters can be found HERE.
Waiting in the Cold – Sisterly differences are a thing to behold, I say: I have 3 older sisters, and there was always a missing sweater that was “borrowed” or a boyfriend that was less than accepted around the house, and good lord above there was always a period happening – every day of every month – if my mother was thrown in the female fray that was my childhood. It was like living in a horror movie where all the women threatened to kill me every day of my life until I was 16, and then the threats slowed, yet never completely stopped...
My dad and I became professional ninjas – we could disappear swiftly and silently into the shadows and ride out these 28 day storms with skillz madder than the best TF2 team leader on a sniper mission.
Anyway, your problem here is a silly one, to outsiders anyway; a snippy spat of minor magnitude, although I understand you emit rising fumes over it, because I am fully aware that sisterz can do that to a person. Just as you, possibly unaware, are doing it to her.
I say you have a case of big-sister-itis.
Solutions are as simple as the diagnosis here, and revolve primarily around communication, a tool missing from many a sister's toolbox out there. In your case, a simple chat could solve it all, but beware – this little tiff could erupt into something bigger if you force your view. To her point, shipping was the alternative to a visit anyway, and let's face it: it sounds like you and hubby can afford the cost of freight.
I think you should let this little fire burn itself out like a well-used yule log and enjoy the spirit of the holidays, then do as she asks and ship the gifts after. It helps, I have found, to make part of the gift selection criteria include “small” and “shippable” as well as affordable and appropriate to the recipient: my grandson lives 3000 miles away in Canada, and shipping is a premium. No big heavy presents for him.
So de-Scrooge yourself, shrug it off, and enjoy the splendor and happiness of holidays, silly! Never mind you're a self-indulgent nit-picking fucking bitch of the worst goddamn kind. “Wah, my sister's a big lazy weenie and I can't take the fucking precious time to ship a gift to her!” my ass, you egotistical froth-spewing goddamn hag. If you were my sister I'd duct-tape you to your bed in your sleep and Nair your hair right off your empty fucking head. Run out of Pamprin, Princess Menses? What a snotty twatburger.
Merry Fucking Christmas.
Nix the Gift – Hmm, this has peril written all over it. Secrets and “don't tell this person that thing happened” are not good ways to begin a relationship. I wonder about the intentions of the gentleman involved, and more deeply wonder about the intentions of your woman friend.
Mostly, though, I wonder about your place in the scheme of things. It seems, my friend, that you have a few things of import to say that may not be any of your business, regardless your relationship with this woman. Even gently suggesting returning the gifts, or donating them to charity: these suggestions presume an awful lot about her relationship with this married man who may simply be a gift-giving type, and you making them states clearly to me that you are skirting the issue, which, I am afraid to tell you, is possibly jealousy.
Not that jealousy is a horrible thing: it's a natural response to humankind's possessive nature, and it frequently tells us there is something unsafe about a position we find ourselves in, and in your case I think you are receiving a very important message about the nature of this woman and any potential relationship you may have with her.
I mentioned the “gift giving type” above – we both know that's not what you are concerned about, don't we? I fear so.
So you find yourself here, but the situation is of your own making, believe it or not: your conversations with her have not been related to the right or wrong thing to do. Rather, you are suggesting actions based upon conjecture, which she could only interpret as negative insinuation, and there is no trust, no good basis for a new relationship, and this cannot proceed or end well.
Just tell that sleazy fucking whore to fuck off, and go find a new girlfriend. What, are you completely stupid? Guys like you make the rest of us look like fucking idiots: you get involved with a manipulative bitch with an agenda that likely includes sucking off married men in the church parking lot after services, then you act all wounded and weepy later and try to control the situation through manipulation of your own. like taking in a rabid dog then kicking it in the head when it bites you on your lazy stupid ass, Doofus McDickless. What a moron. Thanks for fucking things up for the rest of us, too.
Merry Fucking Christmas.
Appropriate Christmas Cards Only, Please – Oh, bother. This is just plain silly and an exercise in bee-in-a-bonnet poofery.
There is a focus in your letter upon two things: politics and appropriateness.
First, politically, the rift in stance between you and your wife's aunt in not only predictable, it is a statistical inevitability. If we take an example of a single nuclear family consisting of a mother, father, son, and daughter, we can likely find that together they present a somewhat singular front in Politics – that is, until the kids grow up and realize there are choices, and later in life you can have that same family presenting four discrete, separate, differing views on not only politics but each and every single itty-bitty issue politics reportedly represents. Makes for thrilling Thanksgiving dinners, yes it does!
So it may be obvious, but you will always have aunts and uncles and in-laws and cousins and whatnot who are “that” party, while you are “this” party.
Some people, methinks, carry it juuust a little too far.
Adding a line like that to a Christmas card is, indeed, inappropriate. Especially so amid a family where political beliefs are usually understood and out there for all to see – that makes it a bit of a jab at you in this case.
But – and there's always a “but” in politics – this is also a time of charity, and kindness, and forgiveness. The holidays are such a fine time for families to set aside their differences – even if some family members cannot do so. You and your new wife should simply smile and face the Christmas tree together and toast the good health and hopeful future the season holds, let this issue go, and have a safe and happy Christmas together, awash in the warmth of knowing you, at least, have done a kind thing.
Your New Year's resolution could be to send them a letter, stating:
“Dearest Aunt Edna and Uncle Charley,
You stupid fucking neocon poop-lickers: private healthcare is the most profound failure of human service in the history of homo sapiens. “Private” obviously translates to ”for profit,” you goddamn retarded fuck-knuckles, and “healthcare” cannot succeed when profit is the primary motivating factor: it's like paying someone in water for supporting a fire in the hearth: you get one or the other, you jerkoff dinglepuss asswipes. It sickens me to have you in my family, and speaking of sick: I hope you get truly sick and spend a little quality time enjoying your “healthcare”, while they deny your claim because hey: lung cancer isn't covered, loser, because you had lungs before you got sick, obviously a preexisting condition. Then you can pay the bills yourself – along with your continued insurance premiums – and then you have the privilege of losing your retirement and your house and everything you worked hard for. Total financial fuckholery, and the more stupid people on the planet – like you fucking monkeys – have bought into it while the rest of the country suffers. What a bunch of inbred, toothless imbeciles you are. Go shove Sarah Palin up your ass, you dickweedeaters, but do it gently, 'cause if you push too hard you're going to cause a rectal tear and have to go to the doctor, and your insurance company will deny you because let's face it: Sarah Palin is a preexisting up-the-ass condition on a good day, to be sure.
And don't ever come within a thousand yards of my home, or I will set my dogs after you, you goddamn fucking morons.
Love and kisses,
Bill and Betty.”
Merry Fucking Christmas.
Loki – you are a mischievous devil, you certainly are! This year my daughter will be getting the nesting “box in a box in a box” treatment: I wrapped and tagged and put bows on eight different sized boxes that she has to open to get to her big gift. Taped the heck out of them too. I cannot wait for her to open it! I a very silly daddy.
This, however, is my daughter I'm talking about. She's eight, and for the moment she's crazy about me (we'll see what 12 to 14 brings, won't we?). Your girlfriend's mother – a possible future mother IN LAW, I might add – is already disapproving, and you tread very deep and dangerous waters here, my friend. All that huff-puffery about financial standing and whatnot is just sauce for the goose she may be cooking for you, as well.
I certainly have to see your issue in a broader sense, too: early into a relationship may not be a good time to be a prankster, yes? But if you don't prank her, she may feel slighted by that, and there is your Catch-22: damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
This is a lighthearted thing, this goofy pranksterism, but you must read the terrain carefully before you forge ahead, you nutty little joker, you. Follow your girlfriend's advice on it, and move cautiously.
And may I ask: did you put a big greasy pile of fresh dogshit in the box you welded shut for her? I mean, it's a mother's prerogative to take exception to a boyfriend, but come on already: tell that fucking battle-axe to lighten the hell up or fuck herself. You say she cannot stand you: that implies she's completely in denial that her daughter, only hours before a visit, may have been straddling you cowgirl fashion wearing a latex and stainless steel bondage rig and screaming “yeah, baby! Twist my nipples like radio dials! Spank me!” Who does Mommy Dearest actually dis when she gives you the cold shoulder but her own daughter?
What a hideous slimy witch you have on your hands there, lucky boy. To think she may attend your kid's christening some day, as well. I'd rather shove bamboo barbecue skewers through my scrotum than spend a minute with a future Mother in Law like that...yet despite the fact she's your own personal future Marybeth Tinning-in-law, you do persist, don't you? What an idiot. Shake this bitch up or walk away a free man, lover boy, 'cause she ain't singing hymns of praise about you any time soon., regardless how you wrap her stupid fucking Christmas present. Idiot.
Merry Fucking Christmas.
Funny thing: speaking of Sarah Palin, I was just ruffling my son's hair on the way to get a cup of coffee, and noticed he was watching a cartoon about dinosaurs who were celebrating Christmas.
Dinosaurs. Christmas. Dichotomy? Hehehehe. Makes you want to go rogue, huh? And whatever happened to Road Runner?
Today is Thursday, the 24th of December, and I am expecting a house full of guests tonight: a simple little cocktail party, short lived, with snifters of cognac and Grand Marnier, a decent red wine, beer for me (Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA, or perhaps Stone Brewery Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale), treats for the kids like popcorn balls and yummy lemon muffins, and simple little gifts to exchange. Then we open our traditional Christmas eve presents: we all get new pajamas for Christmas morning.
And then tomorrow morning the kids will be screaming at 6:00 to get up, get up, Santa was here! The carrot sticks and grape juice we left out is gone! He left this note, too:
“Dear R and C,
Thanks so very much for the carrot sticks and grape juice – that rascal Dasher got to the carrots before I could stop him and ate them all, but it's just as well, since he's out front with Rudolph and works hard. The grape juice was much appreciated – all that milk gives me indigestion.
I hope you like your presents this year, 'cause you've been VERY good!
My wife got me something special this year, too. I suspect a Kindle, wrapped in a big box with a bunch of books and stuff in there for extra weight to trick me. I'm on to her.
Just so: Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Good Kwanzaa, and great happy days and nights to all of you and yours, from Schuyler the Cat to all of you.
Everyone, with me: “Merry Fucking Christmas!!!”