In your family, Christmas might be a big deal. Or maybe Thanksgiving. Possibly Easter. By “big deal,” I mean whatever kind of day makes everyone in your family plus, like, maybe 50 or so family friends come over to eat, drink, and gamble all day long.
Right. Because in my family, the big deal is Super Bowl, and if you’re not getting drunk or trying to figure out where my father has hidden the dessert from the kids who he thinks will steal it but, in reality, the kids have all grown up and can wait for the brownies/cake/pie/who the fuck brought pudding, you’re supposed to be playing poker, putting your name on the board, or screaming at the TV because of how much money you’ve got on the game.
I don’t gamble. Okay, fine, I put my name on the board, but I don’t do it with my own money for a few reasons:
1.) I NEVER FUCKING WIN. Ever. In my 27 years of Super Bowl, I have NEVER won that motherfucking board. This isn’t surprising to me because I have only won one game of chance in my entire life and it was a $14 Bingo prize, but even a statistician would agree that I should have gotten something by now.
2.) Why use your own money when others will pay for you? Neither my dad, my godfathers, nor my grandfathers (when they were alive) could stand to not see my name on the board. Even if I had no money on me and claimed I didn’t care, they would press dollars into my hand and write my name on there themselves.
3.) My cousins are maniacal biker hoosiers who were taught poker by my grandfather, who once supported himself by playing cards and was buried with a royal flush on his lapel. I was the only one who didn’t show any interest and now the master isn’t around to teach me. I have somehow disappointed the family by not becoming a compulsive gambling addict.
So. I don’t gamble. But I do eat and drink, and someone has to get asked about my parents’ divorce, my own divorce, and the boyfriend I’ve managed to have for more than a few months, which used to be my record so everyone is fascinated that Graham has been around for this long.
To begin – my parents got divorced a few years ago. I saw it coming a year ahead, but it was a surprise to everyone else involved (besides my parents, I mean, and probably my dad’s mistress, who is now his girlfriend). It was an ugly situation and things are still broken on both sides, but I’m a grownup, so are my parents, and I’ve accepted the way things are. No one else has, apparently. I am forever being asked how my mom is doing (I would say “call her” but she doesn’t answer the phone when they do), why she won’t talk to anyone anymore (because she’s too busy drinking) and what I think about Julie (the mistress/girlfriend, only every time I tell them, they tell me I’m being mean). But really – I am FINE with most of the divorce, I just wish everyone would leave me alone. Especially my dumbass stoner cousins, who take every opportunity to remind me that they like my mom and can’t believe what happened. Great, dudes. Go blaze up a doob in the backyard and leave me alone.
Speaking of divorce, mine is another favorite topic. For the brief and retarded time I was married, my cousins were constantly touching my stomach (they don’t know me well enough to know that I’d rather break someone’s hand than have them touch me with it) and asking me when we were going to have kids. “Uh, never,” I’d say. To them, having kids is the sole reason to get married, which may explain why most of them have several kids from several different relationships. Also, they continue to ask me what he’s doing now, as if we’re friends or something. Look, the fucker cheated, lied, stole all my money, and disappeared. I know the basics of what he’s doing now because he had a habit of hunting me down on MySpace to message me about it (and also call me a bitch, terrific!), but overall, I’d like to ignore his existence. We’re divorced. So are my parents. Drop both subjects, please.
And Graham. Goddammit. Half of these people still think his name is Grant, and have only seen him maybe twice in the entire three years we’ve been together. Why they’re so interested in him I don’t know, nor do I know why it’s such a big deal to them that we’ve been together this long. Is it really that abnormal for a woman in her early 20s to date people for short periods of time? Really? Shit. Guess I lost that memo back in the 1950s or something.
According to my family, all I’m supposed to care about is divorce and boyfriends.