Why does everyone always talk about hating coming home for the holidays? I’ve struggled with this question for years and never really discovered my personal reasons for it until now. Before I go into a complete family history let me clarify what I mean by home. I definitely don’t mean my parents’ house, because that is something I absolutely adore. Sleeping in my old bed, playing with my dog, having my mom cook all my favorite foods. Home for me means Alachua, Florida. It means coming down to spend time with all my extended family, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, cousins baby mommas and all. That is something I dread.
Do I get the typical “why are you still single questions?” of course I do – and as someone who was recently fucked over by the fuckboi supreme of all fuckboys trust me I’m constantly dodging certain family members just so I can avoid all man discussions. For me it’s not what’s said but what’s unsaid that bothers me. My family is one of those “we were raised going to church 4 out of the 7 days of the week families, and not just normal church but that deep south type of church families” and two generations later it still shows. Sex before marriage, drinking, dancing, cursing, drug use of any kind, gay marriage, abortions you name it it’s off topic. But the one thing my family likes to do that particularly bothers me is the a la carte approach they like to take on when it comes to these religious beliefs and values.
Let me explain – As someone who is a single lady of the New York streets, I enjoy a good time and I can with 100% certainty say that my family would not approve of over 90% of the things that I do in my free time – drinking, men, my dress, my language, it would all be frowned upon and is not to be discussed or bought up around these family members. However deplorable they might think my behavior might be it has nothing on what some of my cousins do. Multiple children out of wedlock, absentee fathers and mothers, abuse, neglect (I can go on) these are things that are not only running rampant in my family but dare I say accepted?
Drinking around my family? – a huge no
Bringing around your 3 kids and multiple baby mommas? – yes of course!
Wearing a skirt above my knees – I would never hear the end of my grandmothers ranting
Two children living with her that have basically been abandoned by their mother – Not a single eyelash is batted.
The fact that I can be openly shamed for drinking and cursing around my family while there is a myriad of abuse and neglect victims sitting around the table that we won’t dare speak about is absurd to me because on holds no flame to the other. Me having a glass of wine with my Thanksgiving dinner vs. my cousin sitting next to me who doesn’t acknowledge or take care of his 3 kids out of wedlock are not even comparable.
The fact that we hold one so highly above the other is something that drives me crazy. Granted not everyone wants to discuss their abuse in front of their family members and is a personal choice, but don’t you dare shake your finger at me when I decide to throw back a few shots of whiskey before dinner because it hurts my hurt to sit around the dinner table looking at my family which contains 3 generations of sexual abuse victims that we have never to this day have spoken about. It physically angers me that we treat our men and our women so different, watching all the men sit around as their wives fix their plates, or the way my uncles grill the girls in my family about their love life while their sons are chasing after their multiple children whose mothers are nowhere to be found. Don’t you dare ask me about what I can and can’t cook while you’re sitting there with your grandson who hasn’t seen his mom in years because she’s hopped up on drugs. How about instead of focusing on my is or isn’t in my cup you focus on the real issues at hand. For some prayer is the answer, for other it’s alcohol and for me it just happens to be both.