Well I survived Christmas, which is good, and although it had the potential to be a disaster what with Dad being suspended, in the end most of it was better than I expected it to be.
The first day back, on Friday, was horrible. That was my first day with my parents and they were in full-swing massive stress out mode regarding Dad’s job. As I mentioned briefly in my previous post, he has been suspended for gross misconduct, the details of which I’m not going to go into too much on here. Basically he has been suspended for two things, one of which he did but which is fairly minor, and one of which he claims he didn’t do, but his story is a bit woolly and Mum doesn’t believe him. He should be in his disciplinary meeting right now actually, and we don’t know if he’ll get a warning or get the sack or what.
So anyway, Friday was MASSIVELY stressy. Which was odd, I thought, as this is a job that Dad hates and Mum hates and we have been urging him to resign for about three months. He hasn’t wanted to though, because he says he won’t get job seekers’ allowance if he resigns, so we said in some ways it would be better if he got sacked. Which is sort of what might happen now, so I was bemused that Mum was making it out to be such a disaster. It is true that the day before Christmas Eve isn’t the nicest time to be suspended, and that his manager most likely did that on purpose because she’s a cow and the things she has suspended him for happened in November. But aside from that, to my mind this was exactly what we’d been saying we wanted to happen.
So I spent most of Friday counselling them (when did I become their fucking counsellor?) and trying to get them settled back down. As I said to them: if he just gets a warning, nothing changes; if he gets sacked, he doesn’t have to go back to this awful job that’s running him into an early grave. So it really isn’t that bad.
“But he’ll never find another job, and then I’ll have him at home all day and I need to REST!” Mum wailed.
Well, fine… That’s possible. But a) it’s his house too, so you’ll just have to deal with it, and b) why have we been telling him to resign then?? Where’s the consistency, mother?
She was just catastrophising and being stressy, but it made being at home pretty horrible nonetheless.
It also threw into doubt whether or not they would come to Chris’ Mum’s house for Christmas lunch the next day, because she was “too stressed”. I wouldn’t have been happy about that, so I urged them still to come and reminded them that being out of the house for a day, and being around other people so they weren’t just thinking about this and squabbling over it, would do them a lot of good.
I spent Christmas Eve night at Chris’ house, and then had to wait until the morning for the verdict on whether they would be joining us or not. Thankfully, they did, and I was entirely right because they had a nice lunch where they talked and laughed with people (I can’t remember the last time I heard my Mum laugh), and it seemed to reset them back to a more normal level.
I had a nice Christmas Day overall, and I got some lovely presents. I’m always much happier once my parents have gone home, because then I know for sure we haven’t had any disasters and I can relax. I’m really pleased they came though.
Boxing Day was my day for seeing my Horrible Grandad, which I had complained about constantly in advance. Mum never ends up coming (she’s not up to it after Christmas Day), and my brother is on holiday, so I knew it would just be me and my Dad and my Grandad and I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. He doesn’t know I’m gay, he doesn’t know I’m married, and he doesn’t know Chris and I bought our first home this year. I don’t care much for his company as he is hugely critical, and at times bigoted and spiteful. He has also always favoured my cousins over my brother and I as they are ‘good with their hands’, and he puts much more store by that than academic achievement. So anyway, I dislike him, and consequently decided many years ago that he doesn’t deserve to know me properly or to be given the opportunity to judge me unfavourably because I enjoy hot boy-on-boy action.
I therefore went off to my Boxing Day meal with a fair amount of trepidation. I only go as a favour to my Dad really. But as it turned out, it was MUCH better than I was expecting, and was the best Boxing Day meal I’ve had with him in about four or five years. He was pleased about my secondment, he didn’t say anything mean about the infrequency with which he sees me or my Mum, and he actually liked and was grateful for the present I got him. Normally he just says something like “what am I going to do with that?”, or “I’ll put this on the pile of 10 of these I’ve got, shall I?” and I end up thinking well fuck you I wish I hadn’t bothered. But he LIKED his book this year and thanked me for thinking of him. You could have knocked me down with a feather. He also told me that one of my cousins’ current job (much to his disappointment) is Ditch Digging, which I found HILARIOUS. Yes being able to do things with your hands is so much better isn’t it?
The lunch reminded me though that for all my bitching about him, he is a lonely, old, infirm little man now. I still don’t like him, but I am perhaps too harsh about him sometimes.
And that was Christmas really. We saw some friends on Boxing Day night for drinks and giggles, and it was nice to do something normal with no family members and no stress, and then we escaped back to Brighton on Tuesday afternoon. It’s always nice to come back to my peaceful home after I’ve seen my parents, and especially so after Christmas. I’ve got a few days off left before I go back to work, and so far I’ve spent them slobbed on the sofa cramming chocolate things I was given for Christmas into my fat face. It is practically New Year’s Eve already, so the week is going pretty fast, but it has been nice to be off work, and overall I should be grateful for having a much better Christmas than I expected.