Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Holiday Rehab

What is it about spending that "can't ever get it back again" quality time with family during Holiday that always makes us feel the need to bathe when it's over?

Don't you so wish it were a reality show on VH-1 where Dr. Drew offers free counseling and copious amounts of alcohol for those who survive it?

I can see it now:  HOLIDAY REHAB WITH DR. DREW (Viewer discretion from your children is advised)

If it were a single, isolated incident that occurred once within a ten-year period, then I could understand it:  A good shot of Jack Daniels and it would be done.

But, that's never the case.  Nope.  By the time you pile the 4.7 children and the dog and the goat and the nanny and the hamster into your '67 AMC Pacer with the break-away read-end, and peel away from your parents, the first thought that crosses your mind is how quickly you can file an order of emancipation to keep this from ever happening again.

When you weigh the sleepless nights, the arguing, the crying, the excessive drinking...and then the pain your wife must be feeling, is it all worth it?

I posit it is not.

And yet, countless millions across the world repeat this form of measured masochism every year.  In fact, one of last year's biggest tabloid headlines was how families of third-world countries handle traveling cross-country in their Hummers just to visit the in-laws for Thanksgiving in their mountaintop chalets.  I'd wager a guess that if it were up to these unsuspecting adult children of insane, even less-mature parents, they'd sooner put out a hit on them than have to go through this unnecessary and humiliating ritual year-after-year.

I will say it:  Going home for Holiday is not for the squeamish.  Or for those with pacemakers.  Visiting and spending time with "loved ones" is nothing but an exercise in fortitude; a way to separate the men from the women, the women from the children and the children from the clutches of the grandparents.  It is the quickest way for you to gain the title, "Camp Self-Abusement Director" with all the rights and bequeathments included therein.

I am happy to announce that I've found a cure for the on-going madness.

I don't go.

Sure, I get so lonely I could chew off my own foot without removing my shoe, and yeah, maybe I cry a little too much at cat food commercials because I don't have Christmas presents or anything to eat for my celebratory dinner but the "I-can't-believe-I'm-eating-packing-materials" Rice Cakes, but at least the cats don't fight me for complete control of my remote, I don't come away from an argument with my mum wondering just what the hell the colour of the sky really is, and if I had strong views on politics and religion, then they certainly would remain intact.

So.  Now that it's over, do you feel better?  Or has the combination of Excedrin and Crack worn off yet?