H and I, exactly as planned, spent Christmas day in our pyjamas. Mine were a rather fetching hot pink satin pair that had been rather too tight for me last Christmas and were splendidly comfortably appropriately slightly loose this Christmas, which cheered me up rather for the three pounds in the wrong direction these past two months have gifted me with. H was wearing nothing but a large and fluffy white bathrobe and looking very festive in a licentious sort of way. This degenerated into looking positively debauched mid-afternoon, when he picked his wine-glass up in a manner alas a little too dégagé and tipped the contents down his snowy frontage. Bother it, he thought, who cares, and spent the rest of the day in the same bathrobe, leaving me to enjoy feeling smugly sleek and neat (apart from the birds-nest hair).
The cooking frenzy paid off. The red cabbage thing, which H particularly wanted as it is a family tradition of his, and which I can take or leave by-and-large, was excellent (smug mode). The roast beef was tender, the red wine and mushroom sauce yummy. I am ashamed – we ate all the roast potatoes and parsnips. All of them. We’ve had smoked salmon on rye with mascarpone, pepper and lemon juice for three mornings in a row. The winter trifle, well, the custard didn’t set quite as firm as I would have liked, but it was still custard, not eggy soup, and it was still very nice to eat.
And there was television! We watched Doctor Who (squeeeeeeee! And again I say, squeeeeeeee!). We watched Hamlet (Patrick Stewart! David Tennant! Fight! Fight! Fight!) and were all moved and shaken and in need of a glass of wine afterwards. We watched The Gruffalo, and Victoria Wood’s Christmas Special, and The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Poirot, and nobody at all not once interrupted to demand that we play Charades, or Scrabble, or Fairy-Pirates versus the Dinosaur, or could we just do the washing up or peel 57 carrots or, infuriatingly, could we explain who that was, and who that other man was, and why was that woman crying, and was he her husband after all? Though the Poirot was, sadly, very rubbish indeed, and I wouldn’t’ve minded the odd carrot-peeling dinosaur distraction at that one point.
Today, we are dragging our unwilling bottoms to the shops, for all the presents we still haven’t managed to get (we have a list. We have a plan. Um. We plan on panicking). Tomorrow, we have friends staying for the night. On Tuesday, we are going to the In-Laws for a couple of nights, and on New Year’s Eve we are nobly braving my Maternal Family Unit, with added aunts and old family friends. This will be incredibly fucking annoying. My family are truly getting on my tits these days – had anyone noticed? The added aunt is the greatest exponent of ridiculous assvice known to human-kind, and she comes from a line who could give assvice for Olympic Gold. I love her dearly, and she was a favourite auntie when I was a kid, but she has, shall we say, boundary issues? I am a grown-up, it is my duty to not overreact. I can do this. Yes I can. Now, can I not overreact to Trouble overreacting when the assvice spotlight pins her down re: child-rearing? And breathe.
Note I haven’t said much about the In-Laws. This is because I don’t need to. They do not do assvice. Occasional tactlessness and a tendency to over-emote (FiL and BiL cover the first and MiL the second, and Grandmother does both as and when) are as nothing, nothing I tell you, to the cheese-grater-over-raw-nerves effect of being pinioned between a mother and an aunt in sisterly competition as to who is in charge of the assvice, a sister similarly pinioned at painful close-quarters with one and thrashing about, and everyone trying not to sound irritable because there are guests in the house.
It’ll probably be fine, as Narrative Imperative dictates that the more you fuss, the more embarrassed you’ll feel about having made a fuss. Therefore I must add, help help it’ll be simply awful I don’t wanna go waaaaaaahh. There. That should cover it.