Family: As much as my family makes me absolutely crazy -- I don't live 2000 miles away from them for no reason -- I love them to death. I mean, they're the source of most of my best stories. You know, the ones that leave your listeners slack-jawed with fear or laughter. Yeah, those.
My dad, workaholic (and some other -aholic that will not be named) and "advisory scientist"... What the heck does advisory scientist mean, you ask? Good question, but that's what I put on my college aps way back when. In any case... The man had a heart attack or two about two years ago and has since been on anti-stress drugs and whatnot. Well, he failed his stress test (I could have predicted that - duh) and had to have a cardiac catheter exploration expansion something or other. Goes in on Thursday - doctors open up the femoral artery, send in the camera crew, decide that the blockage isn't bad enough to warrent futher measures, stitch my dad back up and send him home with orders to rest.
The nurse calls on Friday to check on the old man. My mom, unsuspecting, answers the phone. "Oh, he's a work," she says. BUSTED. So they called my dad at work to remind him that he's not supposed to get off the couch. He promises to go right home. Eight hours later...
To give him credit, work probably was considerably less stressful than being at home would have been. My Uncle Bill - his brother - was in for the weekend. Uncle Bill's a wicked, wickedly funny guy -- even more so since the stroke, I think. For a while, the only words he could say were of the four letter variety. Did I mention that he also has no teeth? Hasn't had any for as long as I can remember. From what I understand, he got them all yanked in his thirties because he'd never been to a dentist and they were all rotten.
My mom takes him in at least one weekend a month to give my Aunt Maryann a break. When I was home for Christmas last year, seeing the two of them together was like watching a special-ed comedy routine. Aunt Mary asking if we want to see the scars from her breast reduction surgery (NO - Please no!) one minute, and smacking my Uncle's good hand away from the cookie tray the next. He loves his cookies. Or at least I think that's what he meant by, "Bitch, I eat. You f**kin'... Woman." As I said, the stroke wiped out some of his higher speech functions. Ahem. We also got a visit from my cousin Heather -- formerly a boy crazy ditz always tipsy on wine coolers, now a lesbian who can actually hold a conversation and a job. I like her better as a lesbian, to tell the truth. Oh, and can't forget Chris, her younger brother, who showed up with his 15 year old girlfriend. Did I mention that Chris is 23? Statutory rape anyone? Gak. He's a wee bit too sleazy for my tastes.
Just been thinking about what I'll be missing this year by not going back for the holidays. Sigh. I suppose i'll live.