Wednesday, December 29, 2010

There's A Reason God Invented Wine

As we come to a close on yet another holiday season, I've come to the conclusion that Benjamin Franklin was right when he said "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" because according to everyone I've talked to, alcohol is the only thing that has gotten them through the holiday season. Once upon a time I thought this was some sort of little joke that you just saw as a cliche in movies where mom sneaks off to the kitchen to take a few hits from her bottle of Schnapps while grandma sits in the other room criticizing the cleanliness of the household. Now that I've grown older, I am beginning to realize that the movies are cliche because they are SO TRUE. Every cliche is rooted in some form of truth somewhere along the line, and the overuse of that truth makes it the cliche. Who knew, right? But after talking to several friends about how they spent their holidays and it has boiled down to mostly one common statement: "With a beer in one hand and my dignity in another".

This brings me to a question I've been rolling around in my head for a long time. What is it about families in general that makes people crazy when they have to spend time with them? I've always thought "Surely it can't be all families who are like this" but I'm starting to think that maybe it is. I love my family, and I like holidays with my family, but I'm starting to realize that maybe it's because holidays for us are super low pressure. We've never tried to fit into some Norman Rockwell painting of what a holiday is supposed to look like. Truth be told, everyone is damn lucky if my mom gets out of her pajamas all day on Thanksgiving or Christmas. For us it's about food and watching tv. And maybe that's how other people should be, if spending holidays together is so excruciating. Of course, I don't write one of those rosy "We were all snuggled in together in our cozy little house enjoying the warmth and joy of togetherness and love" blogs because the last time I checked, I don't live in a Thomas Kinkaid painting and life is a messy ball of crap for the world, so I'm not going to pretend that there are never holiday blow ups in my family. But, for the most part, I don't require a ton of alcohol to get through the day. Not to say my dad wouldn't provide it upon request. Dad was a bartender once upon a time. The man knows his mixed drinks.

This brings me to another question I've had about holidays. Why is it that the people we're related to, the people we love most or the people we should depend on during our darkest times are also the ones we find ourselves, on occasion, thinking about bludgeoning with the nearest table lamp? What is it about family that makes people crazy? Is it that they are possibly the only people who truly know us for all of our flaws and misgivings and therefore they know exactly which buttons to push to send us over the edge? Or is it that because they are family, we find it easy to take them for granted because we assume they will always be there when needed? Maybe it's a combination of both. And while I am not a religious person, I think if there is a higher power out there, they knew what they were doing when they sent us both families and alcohol. Family and alcohol go together like wine and cheese. Sometimes you need one to balance the other out. Just a thought.

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