How To Visit Your Family For Not Quite The Holidays

First, you wake up to gunshot.

And your first thought is: why is someone beating a carpet in the freezing cold? Because, you’re still half asleep and, in your save-the-children, non-video-game-playing, I-don’t-own-a-TV, dreams-of-living-on-a-remote-island-where-things-are-simpler life, “beating a carpet” is the closest corollary your brain can make with this sound. And as you come out of your early morning dream fog, your brain goes digging through its memory banks like a nutty professor with a hoarding disorder and suddenly your eyes blink open and you’re very much awake because you realize THAT sound is one thing and one thing only. Gunshot.

And you whisper to your man-friend sleeping next to you, is that gunshot?

And he whispers, yes, it’s the cops target practicing across the reservoir.

And you are relieved, but now very awake. And you would really much rather be sleeping.

Because now that you are awake, things much more disturbing than gunshot come into focus. For example: you and your man-friend are sleeping in his childhood bed at his mother’s house. You try very hard not to liken your life to that of a very sad sitcom character who finds herself sleeping in the childhood bed of her boyfriend at his mother’s house. But you soon realize that your life IS a sitcom character’s and now you’re mad at yourself for not having thought of “Everyone Hates LoLo” first. You wonder if you will look back on this when you have grandchildren together and laugh… or if you will pack your bags and leave this relationship, because, let’s face it: adult girlfriends should not have to sleep in a room where a Brooke Shields poster and skateboard promotional schwag once counted as “decoration”.

And then the phone rings and words are exchanged and there is a mad rustling of sheets and hurried movement in the hallway and you hear the words “lots of things are going wrong” and your manfriend announces that he has to now go put in a few hours at his parents’ business because things are falling apart and they need his help. And there goes your quality time this morning. This morning that you were supposed to have a leisurely breakfast and make a Christmas present list and get all warm and fuzzy thinking about the approaching holiday.

And again you find yourself scratching your head and asking yourself, why aren’t I getting paid royalties to live this life?