Goodness!!! With businesses going under, folks loosing homes, and the cost of survival so damn high, I can imagine how stressful most holiday gatherings have been this year. My family had its usual craziness, where extra energy and thought is spent on fizzling tempers before the surge of testosterone-estrogen-claustrophobic-alcohol induced confrontations rear their head. For this holiday we purchased less champagne than usual. Most of the females in the family have crazy hot flashes from the alcohol consumption, and the drink tends to make everyone lethargic anyway. But there were still the usual fires to smother: the wrong words spoken and tolerance levels at about zero. The real problem has to do with misunderstanding. Here's a perfect example.
It was New Years Eve. My family usually gathers that night like most, to celebrate, but this year there was no conversation about it so most of us figured we'd down-play it and stay at home.
At 5pm, my 2 youngest sisters (let's call them The Sisters Grimm) visited my parent's house and announced that another sister was expecting everyone there for champagne etc and she would make accommodations for the evening since the drive back was so long. Although I and my parents were not fully up for the drive, the drinking, or the energy for celebrating, it was important. So we picked up our spirits and started to prepare for the evening, which included washing some clothes, packing, and eating dinner sooner. My dad was most excited because it meant champagne and sweet treats, when he's not supposed to have it. A couple hours later, after 'The Sisters Grimm' left, I called the one who was to host the event, to get the logistics straight.
She'd just returned home from work and major shopping at CostCo, longing to take a hot bath and jump in bed asap. When I informed her that we'd be arriving in a couple hours, she could only laugh (the laugh of a mad woman). She had no idea that her house was to be the playground for another 8 noisy adults until the morning. I think she was crying! After some back and forth about how the mix-up came to be, she finally learned that her husband had merely inquired from 'The Sisters Grimm' about plans for the evening, never suggesting that anyone sleep over, and even hinting that his wife might be tired after work. But somehow, no one heard all of that.
Also, my sister had been talking to 'The Sisters Grim' about all the preparations for the New Years day meal at her house and not the New Years Eve celebration. This was a misunderstanding. Again, no one was listening. So she kindly called the whole thing off and called it a day.
In the end, my dad was in a funk because there wasn't to be a big celebration; sitting on the raised deck overlooking broad hills as we watched the brilliant light shows ... while sipping champagne and eating cheese, crackers, and homemade pralines. I was ticked off too because, once again, misinformation created an argument and feelings were ruffled. And still, no one learned from the event because something similar is happening as I'm writing this blog!!!
May you have a Happy New Year, with Peace, Joy, Tolerance, Love, and Patience.