If your family is big enough you’re gonna get some kooks. Happens to the best of us. All those unique (read: weird) people. But you love them. You know, like the Jesus freak. And the alcoholic with the 4 ex-wives (but you can only remember 3 of them, who the hell is this Irma that you all keep mentioning?). The Amway sales reps (doing their best to keep an Amway home!). And then there’s the grouchy drama-queen uncle. Who is not happy unless he has made someone cry.

The usual.

This weekend we had a big family gathering for my aunt and cousin, who flew in from neighboring states for a quick visit. My cousin was bringing her new husband, and I was thrilled to meet him. I opted not to go on my weekend retreat so I wouldn’t miss out.

And it was lovely. Really nice.

Right up until my crack-head cousin showed up with her crazy mother and gigantic children.

See, I have this very sweet uncle who really thought that if he invited said crack-head and her unusually large children that maybe, just maybe, she’d feel the love and decide to give up her evil ways want to get better and come back into the fold of regular human beings.

But here’s the rub. She was never in the realm of regular human beings. Doesn’t even know what that looks like. The secrets in her childhood home were big secrets. No really, BIG SECRETS. Big ones. And then there were all the lies required to cover them up. Really fucked up shit. No joke.

So, fast forward a couple of dozen years. And a failed intervention or two. Picture a lovely BBQ. Visiting and chatting. Noshing and drinking. A brisk but sunny California day. Celebrating with my lovely(ish) family. And then she walked in.


It’s not that I hate her. I don’t. It’s not that I don’t want her life to be better. I do. But coming to this party is not going to make it better. Not for us, and not for her. How could she help but feel different? How could she help but feel less than? Her breath stank of booze. Her clothes were visibly soiled. Her teeth (the remaining ones – formerly her proudest feature) were chipped and stained. She didn’t talk the way she used to, because she wouldn’t lift her upper lip to show her gnarled teeth. Also, her voice sounded at least an octave lower and was all scratchy. Like a 75 year old bar fly. With throat cancer.

But what really pissed me off was that suddenly everything was all about crack-girl. And it wasn’t supposed to be about her. It was supposed to be a lovely celebration and visit for the out-of-towners.

And isn’t it just like a crack-head to steal the measly family limelight.

So I’m just being a whiner. If I were a good Christian woman wouldn’t I invite her in with open arms? “Come right this way! We’ve more than enough food/clothes/money/booze to share! Please grace us with your delightful presence!”

But I don’t feel like that at all. I feel like telling my sweet and well intentioned uncle that the next time he wants to invite crack-heads to the family gathering I’m gonna punch him in the face.

And God bless us, every one…

(BTW - my mom and my brother LEFT THE PARTY just after the arrival of Cracky the Cousin of Delight. Left me and my dad there. Cause that is how they roll. Ass holes.)


Steve said...

Ah, the family Crack-Ho. What fun would a family gathering be without them?

I know the baby Jesus forgives you for your feelings. He's cool with things.

I would have hitched a ride with your Mother. CYA Suckers!

Anonymous said...


Love, Mother

Erica said...

Oh, you just pipe down, MOTHER. You don't get to defend your abandonment on my blog!


Wifey said...

GRRRRRRR. I have this same situation but with my BIL. Oh and his ex-wife too. I mean seriously. At what point do we stop making this all about them?