Sunday night we had dinner with my mother and step-father, my sister and all of her family. It was the first time we have all gathered in one place since the election, and so I showed up dressed head-to-toe in body armor, prepared for the worst. And when your family is Southern you want to avoid the worst at all costs as it involves roadkill, slingshots, and unsettling descriptions of your uncle aiming at wildlife with his penis.
Something crazy happened, though, and I think my mother may have started abusing illegal substances. That woman admitted out loud to a room full of humans with ears that she respects Hillary Clinton and is ready to support the president-elect once he takes office. And instead of wincing or ducking as she threw a ceramic rooster at my head, I high-fived her and chest-bumped her bosom with my own. Considering that my mother’s spectacular rack is one of the only things I did not inherit from her, I should probably note that such celebration resulted in a concussion and four stitches above my right eye.
When the political talk subsided she took all our preferences and ordered fancy pizza. Fancy meaning “pizza with more than one topping.” I know my mother is reading this right now resisting the urge to wave her middle finger at her computer, but she’s really proud of things she buys on sale, and those pizzas were bought with a coupon for a dollar off. A whole dollar. I’m not mocking that dollar one bit. In fact, I totally respect that dollar and the multitude of things you could buy with it at a later date. Like that side of ranch dressing. Or that SINGLE CUBE OF SUGAR.
Good news to report, my step-father’s lymphoma which was once the size of a football has been reduced by almost 98%, although it is the type of tumor that they will never be able to eradicate completely and will require chemotherapy at continuing intervals. He’s looking and feeling healthy, which is a huge relief, albeit somewhat tempered by the fact that chemotherapy has caused ongoing back pain. All in all, though, we’re happy he’s around and thrilled that he survived the last several months of hell. Not surprisingly, he didn’t lose any hair or his territorial nature concerning lunch meat. It doesn’t matter if you are the Pope or Jesus Christ himself, if you plan on taking my step-father’s last slice of bologna be prepared to find your name mingled with offensive slang for male body parts scribbled on the bathroom wall. If it’s his last slice of honey roasted ham, dude, the coroner will have to break out your dental records.
The only other thing worth noting is the announcement my sister’s daughter Meredith made to the entire room that she has no desire to date white guys. HER WORDS. NOT MINE. She’s drawn to Polynesians and African Americans, something about “their kind spirits.” And that right there is possibly the creepiest thing I have ever written. She’s only fifteen, meaning she has one more year until she can go on a date, and even then those have to be group dates until she turns eighteen. This is a rule many Mormon parents impose on their children, and you know what, I totally respect my sister and what she’s trying to accomplish. But I warned my niece that she shouldn’t restrict herself too much lest she turn out like me, someone who was so deprived that when she was finally let loose at the trough SHE ATE THE WHOLE THING. In fact, I’m still picking the splinters out of my teeth. And that’s when my sister punched me in the face.