Merry Christmas, dear Readers! Please enjoy the delightful second installment in a series of holiday guest posts from my dear sister! If you missed the first, which introduces these totally-made-up-definitely-not-based-on-you characters, you can read it here.
by Helen Morille
Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn.
Meadow Breeze Kisses is coming for Christmas.
With Rain, who will shower our furniture with her pees of terror.
And her husband who waxes about how great “Napa” is while sneaking shots of tequila when MBK is cleansing her chakras with steam in the bathroom (she doesn’t shower, I think she just sits in there, but who knows really).
Greg is equal parts pretentious and totally vapid. He is an expert in everything, which is inconvenient because he tends to take over tasks that don’t really need his “know how.” He once took a whisk right out of my mom’s hand–she looks like a slightly younger Mrs. Claus but she has a jewish evil eye like you wouldn’t believe, and that day her ayin hara packed a real good punch! Hey, look at me, turns out I know three Yiddish words, including schmuck and gribenes! Anyway, the first time he came to our house, he jerked his head in the direction of our sweet, kind Mexican neighbors and asked loudly if it was safe to park the car on the street. Nice guy.
I’d be excited about the entertainment aspects of Meadow & Co. if I wasn’t totally devastated about the inevitable demise of our otherwise perfect holiday. They’re getting here on the 20th. I’ll do my best to report all incidents, but before I do, I want to write every detail of what Christmas looks like in our house before they get here and pee on it:
When it comes to thanksgiving, my mom is experimental and adventurous with her menu (turkey everything was delicious, by the way, all except for the aspic which made me want to cry softly to myself) but Christmas makes my mom totally peaceful and serene, and nothing if not traditional.
“I think I love it because I didn’t get to have Christmas growing up,” she told me, “we just had Hanukkah, and it’s really, just, not the same. Hanukkah Harry can’t hold a candle to Santa–”
“Or eight,” my dad called from the couch, without taking his eyes off Call of Duty.
“Yeah yeah, Hanukkah Harry just isn’t the same, no offense,” she finished, shooting that last part upward, as if G-d was ready and waiting to say, “no no, none taken!”
We celebrate Hanukkah by eating donuts for eight days straight, but we are the happiest Jews on Christmas, I’m sure of it. From December first on, the house is covered in garland and twinkle lights and tiny snow covered porcelain houses with tea lights inside. Mom makes cookies non stop, we buy presents for kids in need, we pretend our Texas winter requires fires in the fireplace, it is magical.
Or at least, it was.
Okay. Here we go.
They’ve arrived and Meadow is smudging every room in the house with burning sage. Apparently she’s confused the Christmas Spirit with the lost souls from the movie Poltergeist. I made sure my dad was within earshot when I asked if she was concerned that we moved the headstones but forgot to move the bodies. Five bucks to Gryffindor!
Rain, who’s 4, didn’t get to walk through the door first and threw a fit.
“She’s been really into the Dog Whisperer,” Greg informed us, with smug superiority, “whoever walks through the door first is the alpha, and the other dogs submit to her authority.” I guess we’re the dogs? Awesome.
MBK gave us all t shirts emblazoned with the logo of her latest business venture as “early Christmas presents.” Everyone got size appropriate shirts, but my mom’s ‘Peace ‘N’ Love’ Life Coaching tee was four sizes too big. “I guess you’re a lot bigger in my mind’s eye!” Meadow told my mom, with a wink, as if this were a delightful compliment. This time my dad gave her the best ayin hara I’ve ever seen. I hope I did too. My mom killed her with kindness and said, “l guess the mind’s eye adds forty pounds!” but she looked sad after she said it. I hate Meadow.
RAIN PEED ON MY BED. I don’t mean that I gave up my bed to her for a nap and she is sweet and had an accident. I mean, I walked into my room and she was standing on the bed like a rock star, holding her puffy dress up around her ears, in a full throttle pee-a-thon like the bed got stung by a jelly fish. When I asked why, she jumped down, shrugged, and said, “SOMEbody needed a thicket tricket and yeeeewwww didn’t get one.” I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’ve replayed it over and over in my head and I just want to know wtf it means. Whyyyyy.
Greg just left. Something about work, I think he said? He has his bag.
The worst part is I walked past the guest bedroom and Meadow was hugging her elbows across her tiny torso and rocking while she whispered “I love myself” over and over.
Shit. I really do not want to feel bad for this woman.
Greg didn’t come back last night. Meadow has been an unstoppable hate monger, criticizing nearly every aspect of our home, lives, and especially every word my mom says. I thought she’d quiet down a little when Greg left–maybe be sad or something, but her fake smile was bigger than ever as she lectured us on repeat about GMO free dog food, and everything else. It’s weird though, the meaner she gets, the worse I feel for her. She is really sad. Up until now I thought sad looking people felt the worst–like in that Depression Hurts commercial, I always thought those guys win at sadness, hands down. But now every time Meadow clenches her teeth into a smile and does her shrill sing song voice about how we aren’t perfect enough according to her, I just feel like she probably feels the worst. I wish she would just say what’s actually bothering her, because I really don’t think it’s us.
Okay Greg came back. Some excuse about a fire at work that only he could put out. Maybe it was true, who knows. Meadow is being, well, not nicer exactly, but there’s less high pitched nervous laughter from her. I think this is what she looks like when she’s happy to have Greg back? I don’t know.
“Thanks for being nicer to Meadow today,” my mom said to me, sitting on the arm of my chair.
I looked up from my book, “I didn’t know I was being nicer to her.”
“You were… less quippy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the quips, but.. thank you.” And she went back into the kitchen.
I don’t understand adults. I don’t understand why we have to have Meadow over, or why she even wants to come over if she clearly hates us. Maybe she hates her own home more? I never thought about it. I don’t really want to think about it now. Rain is curled up on the rug in front of me watching White Christmas, not peeing and looking kind of cute with her christmas pajamas that she’s been wearing all day, and her little plate of Molasses Crinkle Cookies. Mom is making dinner and she’s so happy, despite everything, my dad is keeping her company in the kitchen, and I’m reading Harry Potter. Aunt Clementine and her family will be here any minute and she always brings the most amazing salted caramels, plus a million other delicious things. I don’t know where Meadow and Greg are, but I hope they’re talking to each other. I hope he helps her to be less anxious. But even if he doesn’t help, and even if she can’t stop herself, Christmas is okay. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s warm, and the house smells good, and it’s good. Even with Meadow, Rain, and Greg in my life, I’m really lucky. I have to remember this feeling next time the “thicket tricket” brigade comes through. I’m going to go back to reading Harry Potter. I think I’m done reporting for now.
Like this post? Read the first part here: A Thanksgiving Story