Friday September 11, 2009.....
I know that every family has its own traditions. Some I envy, some I don't. In my family, I've learned that some of our traditions are not normal. I mean I hadn't a clue till outside people (not members of our family pointed this out to me). Two that come to mind include:
Moving Holidays: My family celebrates a holiday when it is most convenient to everyone. I understand Christmas. Many times the 25th falls mid week and it is easier for out-of-town family members to celebrate with local loved ones on the actual day and then spend time with siblings in CT the weekend before or after the 25th.
However, the year I learned that Thanksgiving was moved a week before the new date (which was earlier than Thanksgiving) was a bit disturbing. Apparently, my mother changed the date and told my sister Yoga Girl. If I hadn't talked with YG daily, I would have never known that 10 people were showing up at MY house earlier. Yeah, MY house. Mom had told all the other guests, but forgot to tell the hostess.
Willing Things to Loved Ones: Ever since I was in the 2nd grade, my mom would go around the house and say stuff like "Oh, I'm going to leave the pearls to your sister and my engagement ring to you". I was 7. I didn't grasp the concept of death or wills. I hadn't a clue that other families would not be doing this.
As time went on, this became a sick family joke amongst some of the siblings. In fact, if my parents got some ugly statue that all of us hated, I would plant the seed in mom's head that so-and-so should get it because she was admiring it one day. I'd go further and even comment how great it would look in her den. Weeks or months later, my mom would announce to said sibling that she'd be getting the ugly ass bronze cowboy statue because she had heard how much my sister had wanted it. When my sister would ask her where she got that information, she would say LMB told me. Of course, my sister wouldn't want to hurt mom's feelings and say you're right. Later she would tell me she'd get me back with something uglier that she'd have mom will to me.
September is My Birthday Month, What Are You Getting Me?: This is one tradition that is shared only with Yoga Girl. Here's the rub: I'm not a big surprise girl (I may have even mentioned that before in this blog) and Yoga Girl is. In fact, if I wrapped a box of shit and didn't tell her what was in the box, she'd probably love it. Not me. Just because a box of shit is wrapped beautifully doesn't mean I want it. Over the years, a new tradition has emerged around my birthday because I fear the box of shit and NEED to know what I'm getting.
Unlike many other family traditions, mine is not warm and loving, more like a whiny little record that keeps skipping. Starting September 1st until my birthday, it goes a lot like this:
Me - X shopping days until the big event.
The response is varied. Some years I hear:
YG - I don't know what to get you...
or this year I heard
YG - "Don't make plans for the weekend of November 14th-15th".
Me - Why? Are we moving Thanksgiving again?
YG - No. But, we really need to do that again, it's been awhile.
Me - Hubby really wants to know what you've gotten me(at this point I've asked hubby to mention he needs to know in case he's gotten me the same thing next time he talks with her)
YG - Oh really, why?
Me - Because he doesn't want to duplicate it.
At this point there is silence and I know to drop the subject till our next conversation which is later in the day. This time, I put hubby on the line....
Hubby - What are you getting LMB
YG - She's in the room (phone is on speaker and I make fake stomping sounds - for some reason, YG is smarter than a drunken sailor and doesn't believe me).
Hubby - She's gone.
YG - No she's not. (I realize no convincing her I'm out of the room and begin whining).
This tradition lasts for 21 days in the month of September because I get my present on the 22nd!
Now, before you say, LMB you're a whiny little brat and should appreciate anything YG gives you (oh pleasseeeee...one year my dad gave us pet rocks thinking we'd love it - she probably did because it was a surprise. Me, not so much. I was very young at the time and still knew it was a freakin rock), she gets PURE enjoyment calling me or emailing and saying "I got your gift and am not going to tell you because I know it drives you nuts".
God, do I love this birthday tradition. In December, I'll explain the reverse when it's her birthday and what I do to her.