Wednesday, August 11, 2010
10 Valid Reasons for Placing an Underperforming Relative on Probation
1. The Phone Calls.
Why must you call me constantly like that? We just spoke two hours ago, which means you’re probably still wearing the same outfit and therefore our conversation will be limited. I know that nothing exciting has happened to you, because nothing ever does, even though you insist on talking about it. Here’s a handy guideline: If whatever you’re doing has not attracted the attention of a TV news reporter, don’t call me.
And that tracking device you apparently have, that signals you to call me at the precise moment when I am sitting down to watch “Big Brother”? Take a hammer and smash it, then burn the pieces. Yes, I have a DVR. That doesn’t matter. Just text me. So I can ignore it.
2. The Refusal To Listen To Me About Food
I don’t like sweet potatoes. Let me try that another way: I don’t like sweet potatoes. One more time. I don’t like sweet potatoes. Would you STOP making dishes that have sweet potatoes and bringing them to my house? I’m not going to eat it. The second you turn your back, it’s in the trash. I have been telling you this for 45 years. Jesus, Mary and Jose Canseco.
Oh, while we’re at it. My partner? The one you’ve known for over a decade? He doesn’t like seafood. ANY kind of seafood. Never has, never will. Just because you might give it a fancy name or use a concealing sauce, it’s still seafood. Leave it at home, and don’t even mention it when you’re in my house. And stop suggesting “Red Lobster” every time we go out to eat. We can’t DO that. What do you not understand? God.
3. The Great Holiday Travel Debate
Seriously, I really don’t care where we meet for Thanksgiving. Your house, my house, Jupiter. Doesn’t matter. What I DO care about? Making a decision. Can we do that? Like today. Stop with the nightly conference calls where we all analyze every possible reaction by every known relative to each suggested scenario. This year, I just want you to call me, plainly say the name of the selected location, and then hang up. Wait, scratch that. Just text me. Two words or less. If you can’t get it down to two words, pick somewhere else.
4. The Evil And Vindictive Photo Albums
Why do you have old pictures of me looking that way? I was clearly not amused then and I’m certainly not now. The mere fact that you would hang on to these hated relics means that you wish me personal harm. There’s no other explanation. I don’t have anything in MY archives that would cause you distress, and even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you about it or parade things in front of other people. This is the difference between you and me. I just want people to leave me alone. You want to hurt them.
5. The Tragic Personal Stories That Won’t Die
I don’t find anecdotes about my childhood to be amusing. I was miserable, awkward and had no sense of fashion. Why must you share these tales with everybody you ever meet? They can’t possibly care, they barely know YOU, let alone me. If you just can’t help yourself, try to at least go with something light and charming. Stop going directly for the sordid accounts that cause listeners to think “oh my GOD that boy was one geeky freak”. This does not help me with my self-confidence therapy. Or the inspiration to ever speak to you again.
6. The Way You Decorate Your House
How is it that we grew up in the same family and yet turned out so differently? Seriously, what happened when that makes you think that the things you put on your wall are okay? This is why I lie to people who see me coming from your house. I tell them I’m doing social work.
7. The Christmas Presents You Pick Out For Me
See #6. If you like it, I probably won’t. Go with that.
8. The TV Shows You Watch
If the wrestlers have to wear costumes and fake names, it’s not real. If “Springer” is in the title, it’s not real. If it’s on Fox News, it’s most likely not real. (I think they get the weather right every once in a while.) If a woman is buffing a muscle car while wearing a bikini, the breasts are not real. If Sarah Palin is involved in any way, it’s not real. Are you seeing a pattern here?
9. The Way You Act In Restaurants
I understand that gas bubbles can be painful. However, there are discreet ways to remedy this situation, and none of these methods include sharing trumpeting body noises with the rest of the folks waiting for a table at “Olive Garden”. Likewise, whilst at the table, swallow your food before sharing yet another inane detail of your life. And stop stirring your iced tea with your fingers. I know you didn’t learn that from me. The dang glass comes with its own spoon. Use it.
10. Your Misunderstanding About The Visiting Policy At My House
My door is NOT always open. It’s usually firmly closed, and double-locked. Do not show up at my house unannounced. If you do so, prepare for gunfire. Do not prepare to be let in. I love you all very much. I love you even more when you stay away long enough for me to actually miss you. Cheers.