Sunday, May 6, 2007

From A New Friend

A guest blog, hopefully the first of many. Read more at Selenaland.

I can sum up my dysfunctional family in one simple sentence:

The Police had to be called after my baby shower.

Don't get me wrong. My baby shower was so much fun. My mom worked really hard to get everyone together. It was at a really beautiful restaurant and the food was awesome. Ben's mom made an incredible cake and it really was better than I could have hoped for.

But as with any other event in the life of my extended family where there should never be a need for police intervention (First communions, 5th birthday parties, funeral, just to name a few), an aunt got drunk, and the cops were called.

My mother's sister (whose name I am going to withhold to protect her anonymity in case she goes to AA some day), is a drinker. And she's also crazy. Not "I see dead people" crazy; more like "I was on Jerry Springer and all I got was this lousy tee shirt-although I did flash my knee-slapping boobs for some beads" crazy. In the days before the shower, I had heard that she and my other aunt, Ann (who although dramatic is not really a trouble maker) would be coming from South Carolina to see me. Any time that I can drag family across state lines I consider that a plus. My mother explained to the unnamed aunt that: a) there would not be a keg at the party, and b) No, she could not bring her own keg to the party as we were going to be a respectable family, if only because Ben's relatives were coming as well.

When Ann decided that she was not afraid to fly and she didn't want the hassle of driving, it was rumored that Anonymous Aunt wanted to drive up to NY. But since her license had expired and she had never bothered to renew it, she would need to take her driving test again. I don not know this to be a fact, but the story is that she showed up at the road test in an un-inspected, un-registered and un-insured car with the mild scent of old beer on her breath and she was promptly sent home by the lady at the DMV.

Flash forward a few days later and we find that she has, in fact, left S. Carolina and is driving up in the same above-referenced illegal car with her husband and their (completely awful little runt) dog. However, they had left days before and no one had heard from them. Dramatic Aunt Ann got everyone convinced that they were stopped by the police and had obviously been arrested in one of the several states between South Carolina and New York for driving said illegal vehicle. They had apparently brought boxes of fireworks (to sell) and we all knew that they seldom travel without some form of narcotics. In fact, they had not been arrested, just visiting friends, and they made it safe and sound on the day of my baby shower.

My aunt had some fun stories to share, which I won't go into here. Let us just suffice to say that on more than one occasion, she made mention of sex acts with multiple partners, public drunkenness and many, many references to drugs, all in a voice that could not be ignored and all within earshot of pretty much anyone in the restaurant that day. This was actually kind of funny to me, as I appreciate the inappropriate joking, and like I said, we all had a great time.

After the baby shower, the relatives (and me and Ben, who up to this point only had met my parents) went back to the parents house and were welcomed with Drama Aunt Ann crying because the Anonymous Aunt's husband (who I will refer to as Uncle John Doe) came over and started yelling at her for no reason. While in the process of trying to figure out what the hell she was talking about, we heard a commotion in the back yard and I jumped up to see what was going on.

On a side note, my parents live in a pretty ghetto neighborhood. At this point I was still assuming that this was one of the neighbors acting normally and that this would be a nice relaxing evening of catching up.

When I got to the window, I saw Uncle John Doe hammered out of his mind, barely able to stand up, and in a fit of rage yelling and being held back by Anonymous Aunt. My other aunts were there and Anonymous Aunt somehow managed to clock him in his head. My OTHER uncle (let's call him Punchy) runs out of the house and tries to keep Uncle John Doe from retaliating. Then Uncle Doe makes a comment to Punchy's wife (Another aunt) and next thing I know Punchy is as Uncle Doe's throat.

I called the police.

No one believed I did. My mother was like "we don't call the police. This is a family matter." Although I realize that this is an essential function of the dysfunctional family, I refuse to partake in even the "fun" part of dysfunction. So I called the cops.
By the time the cops got there, Anonymous Aunt and Uncle had decided to take a walk and cool off. The cops were happy that things had calmed down and I wanted nothing more than to get the hell away from all the drama. I mean, I was so exhausted from being the center of attention all day that the last thing I was going to do was explain to everyone involved just how completely absurd this whole thing was.

Ben just sat quietly with my Dad, not saying anything through this whole fiasco. "I'm sorry," I said. "I tell these stories and people think I exaggerate for dramatic effect, but now I finally have a witness." He explained to me that if I think for a second that he would put up with that kind of drama in our house, on our turf, that I was insane. My father told him that this was the reason he just didn't get upset anymore – He just tunes it all out.

After Ben and I went for some ice cream, we were on our way back to my parents' house and just to be sure the drama had resolved itself, I asked him to drive past the house before we stopped. We turned the corner and there were my Aunt Anonymous and Uncle John Doe, still obviously intoxicated, trying to change a blown out tire. The police man who responded to my call was there as an onlooker, basically making sure they didn't block traffic. I have no idea how or why, but the police man let them get back into the car and drive away. Their engine blew out in Pennsylvania.

I found out from another relative (My Crackhead Uncle Phil) what really got Uncle John Doe all worked up. CRACK. That's right. John Doe used to smoke it, but he had sworn it off years ago. For some reason, he thought Uncle Phil's place would be the perfect hangout while the wife did girly baby things. John Doe asked Uncle Phil to get him some pot and gave him money and Uncle Phil's connection only had CRACK, so Phil bought the crack with Uncle Doe's money. Uncle Doe (supposedly) got angry, refused the crack and in an attempt at a dramatic exit grabbed his dog to storm out, without his money or pot. But since the dog's leash was caught on something, he had to set the leash on fire to get it loose and then marched out, drove (drunk, full of rage and possibly high on crack) over to my parents' house and went crazy on my Aunt Ann telling her that somehow his going over to my admitted crackhead uncle's house and his subsequently being tempted to do crack was her fault…Go figure.

Can I even believe at this point that I have a true story like this to tell? No. But it sure does make for some great material to tell the baby when she asks why she doesn't know an entire side of her family.

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