Here we are, coming up on the holiday season, and once again, I am starting to dread the annual holiday arguments with my husband Richard. I should explain that Richard seems to have a lot of resentment about holidays in general, but if it were only that, I think we could get through the season without much trouble.
The problem is that Richard seems to feel compelled to spoil everyone else's fun as well. Last year, we spent Thanksgiving at my parents' house. When my mother emerged from the kitchen with the turkey, her pores wide open and glowing from the hot steam, the entire family applauded. As my mother beamed proudly over her triumph, who should open his big fat mouth but my husband. "Ah good," he said. "I see we're kowtowing to the meat industry again this year." (Richard is not a vegetarian--he later ate as much turkey as anyone). He then added, "Say, how about after dinner, let's go out and find ourselves a Native American and slaughter his entire family."
My mother was so crushed, she dropped the turkey. I was so mad, I ripped off a drumstick and beat Richard about the head and shoulders while screaming about the g*#^&()#n meat industry. It took three of my biggest cousins to pull me off him. We came pretty close to celebrating Christmas with a divorce.
I have been taking anger management courses for several months now, but I can see Richard already casting me sidelong glances, and I know he's wondering just how much he can get away with this year.
Can I celebrate the holidays without killing my husband? What do you suggest?
Not Feeling Very Thankful at the Moment
Chere Mme. Thankful,
First, forget about the turkey (I am speaking of the dinner, not the husband). The turkey, he is the potentially deadly weapon. Instead, educate the children by serving for Thanksgiving the time-honored pilgrim classics such as the fish and the eel pie. These are the authentic pilgrim foods, and they are having the added benefit that they are not very dangerous.
Cut all of the other food items into the very small pieces that cannot be wielded in a dangerous fashion and serve everything on the flimsy, disposable aluminum dishes. This way, you can relieve the feelings by throwing the candied yams at M. Richard without doing very much of the serious damages.
As for M. Richard, clearly, he is enjoying to have for himself all of the attention of everybody. Possibly, you are noticing this in other areas of your life. For example, possibly he is always wishing to have the loud, lusty sex while you are on the telephone with your mother. There is no point in the screaming or the tantrums. This is exactly the attention M. Richard is liking. The more you are trying to change him, the more fun he is having.
Instead, you should be taking advantage of M. Richard's sense of the drama. This year, why not propose that M. Richard is presenting a pageant representing the first Thanksgiving. Give him a headdress, paint his face and load him down with the holiday food items such as maize and pumpkins. Hand him a tomahawk. While he is scalping Uncle Horace, your mother can be slipping into the room with the eel pies. The children will be delighted, especially if you are encouraging M. Richard to make his performance as gory as possible.
Possibly, all of the attention is going to M. Richard's head and he is getting carried away. In this eventuality, you will be glad you were planning ahead by arming your aunt Edna with a rifle loaded with tranquilizer darts. Simply shoot M. Richard with a tranquilizer, dump him on the sofa to sleep it off, and enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving with the family. Everyone will be begging for M. Richard to be repeating his performance next year.
Possibly, it will become quite a tradition in your family.
Bon Chance Mme. Thankful.