Christmas is an odd time for my dear old dad. I guess because it combines the two things he loves and loathes the most; beer and family.
That’s not to say that he hates our family. I think he loves us all in his own peculiar way. It’s more that he can’t stand a group of us arriving en mass, singing bawdy Christmas songs, giggling over our presents, or trying to coax him into a round of Charades (he does Gone with the Wind every bloody year and still grumbles about it).
This year was particularly interesting, as his grandson was there. The grandson in question had recently leapt out of the closet, and although my Dad had accepted this, he couldn’t quite understand it.
“Such a lovely looking boy…” He said at first, with such sadness. “He could have had any girl..”
Then a few more drinks entered his bloodstream and his tongue became a little looser.
“I just don’t understand homosexuals.” He said finally. “I mean, if it’s all about the bums. At the end of the day, nothing beats a girl’s bottom…”
I honestly don’t know what is worse – having a father who fails to understand basic sexual compulsions, or having a father discussing his own penchant for female arses – all whilst we’re sitting cracking nuts and talking about the state of the country.
Luckily his Grandson burst into laughter, kissed him on the head and told him he was a “’legend”
I guess that’s one word for him….
Today I was sitting outside, enjoying the early spring sunshine and sipping a glass of wine while the children played (and baby actually slept for a moment). It made a change to actually find myself relaxing for once – usually I’m as tightly coiled as a pre-menstural woman who’s just found that her last piece of chocolate has been gobbled up by the dog.
We were discussing family gatherings (which as you can imagine are quite an event in our household) and one Christmas in particular came to mind.
It was 1993 and my sister’s boyfriend of the time was a little worse for wear, and getting progressively worse. Then all of a sudden he disappeared. One minute he was playing charades with the rest of us and the next he was gone. My sister quickly conducted a search, concerned that he may have come to some harm in his inebriated state. However, all she found was my brother uncouncious in the bathroom with a cooling cup of coffee draining onto his trousers (leaving a lovely stain…)
Finally she gave up, deciding that he must have staggered home and she returned to our party games.
It was only an hour later that we found him. A young boy knocked on our door and asked us if “that man on the grass belonged to us?”
And there, laying spread-eagled on the public green next to the house was my sister’s boyfriend.
Even worse, the local kids were playing football around him and using his prone body as a goalpost,
And no – they didn’t date for much longer after that.