Boxing Day

Hello, Best Beloveds! I am sitting on the spare bed upstairs at H’s parent’s house, having a good old festive lurk. Cute Ute the Despoiler is whining about something-or-other, which gives me the perfect excuse to be officially Left In Peace, also, not have to do any table-setting or vegetable-preparation. Sometimes, there is something to be said for a Uterus of Doom.

And I am writing this on H’s iPad. It is… amusing. Also, the autocorrect half fills me with delight, half makes me stabby. I may be brief, therefore.

Item! (why not?) – Christmas Day with H’s family was quiet, mellow, peaceful, and pleasant. I very much hope you all can say something similar, at least about the ‘pleasant’ part. Nobody rowed, nobody wept, we all sat around telling the naffest jokes we could think of, and the gift-giving was restrained and tasteful and delight-inducing. Yay us!

Item – My food issues are very awkward. Or, I am feeling awkward about them. There was the incident of the stale and bendy rice-cakes that had been in the cupboard since the dawn of the Jurassic. Of COURSE they tasted like polystyrene if their best-before date was in June. It’s not an inherent quality of the rice-cake, I pinky-swear. Fresh ones are bland, yes, but crucially, crisp and inoffensive. Also, I would’ve liked some cake. Four varieties of cake being joyously scoffed all around me and I am stuck with fruit salad. Or chocolate. Chocolate would do. Only no one is opening the chocolate boxes because they’ve all had SO MUCH CAKE. I know, I know, super-speshul snowflake problems. Especially as MiL made The Christmas Treat Of My Youth in a special flour-free version. Alas, everyone else is eating it in microscopic quantities and bitching about how rich it is, so MiL thinks I’m just being polite when I lavish well-earned and happy praise on it, and puts it back in the cupboards. Argh. It’s supposed to be rich. Argh argh argh.

Item – And booze! The only thing I can drink is gin in tiny quantities, and everyone else is swilling champagne and burgundy. Of course they are. Of course they SHOULD. It’s bleedin’ Christmas. Apple juice doesn’t have quite the same effect. Argh argh argh.

Item – I was very nearly driven insane by Christmas cards addressed to Mr & Mrs H Hlastname. I can tolerate being called May Hlastname, because not everyone realises I didn’t change my name on marriage, but Mrs H Hlastname? Are you freakin’ kidding me? Have you not MET me? Pinko feminist atheist, yes? The one with the hair and the attitude? And don’t tell me it’s etiquette. Since when is it etiquette to call someone by the wrong name?

Item – The In-Laws have a set of lovely neighbours who have a darling little boy, to whom the In-Laws are rather attached, and who made them a Christmas card and tree ornament with his own fair hands. It’s adorable. And it makes me sad, because the In-Laws so very clearly very much want dear little people to dote on in their lives, and H and his brother have not provided any, and in H’s case, this is my fault. And it’s just sad. My MiL is surrounded by friends who are all happy grandmamas, and she isn’t one, and it’s not fair, and I am sad about it. Obviously, sadder on my own behalf than on hers, but sad for her nonetheless.

Item – This post is very itemy because I keep being interrupted. It is also ridiculously grumpy for someone who is actually having quite a nice, peaceful, festive season. I hereby order myself to cheer the fuck up and quit bitching.

Item – Nevertheless, I would like to be at home right now, in pyjamas, drinking rum toddies and watching Doctor Who (which no one he wanted to watch) or the King’s College nine lessons and carols (grumpily vetoed by BiL), or Swan Lake (too long and ‘intellectual’) or Rutter’s Nativity (ditto) or Rossini’s Cenerentola (oh, for God’s sake, May, shut up).


11 responses to “Boxing Day

  • a

    My sister never changed her last name, and I always address her Christmas cards to “The Husband’slastnames” because I’m too lazy to write more. Consider etiquette less and laziness more…I have 50+ cards to address, FFS! I don’t have time to be writing out everyone’s names! 😉

    It sounds like a pretty delightful holiday…but there’s always reason to bitch.

    • a

      Oh, also, my BIL has a last name that is usually found with an s on the end of it, but his does not. So when I pluralize it to include the whole family, I irritate him too (since he’s used to seeing that as an error in spelling his name). There’s nothing better than irritating people with Christmas cards!

  • QoB

    I’m currently on my couch, clutching a hot water bottle, wishing my intestines would just do whatever it is they’re threatening to do instead of simply making me anti-social and keep a running calculation of the distance to the nearest bathroom at all times.

    Here’s to feeling icky at Christmas!

  • marion

    Weeeeelllll, just to be difficult…given that you didn’t change your name upon marriage, referring to you as part of Mr. and Mrs. H Hislastname is less incorrect than referring to you as May Hislastname. May Hislastname does not exist, but you are, technically, Mrs. H Hislastname. That having been said, when I am uncertain about name changes among married couples, I address the card to first names only. I have been known to send cards and the like to Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname, but only when the recipients have already sent me mail with that phrasing in their return address information.

    I am reminded of why Miss Manners is such a strong proponent of the title “Ms.”

    Anyway, my suggestion to you is to keep track of the people who address cards to Mr. and Mrs. H Hislastname, and then send them cards addressed to Mrs. and Mr. Herfirstname Herlastname. Make sure the return address has “May Yourlastname & H Hislastname” in the first line. Maybe they’ll get it. (If they’re over 65, try Mr. Hisfirstname Hislastname and Ms. Herfirstname Herlastname, and if you get any guff, point out cheerily that Miss Manners says that that phrasing is just as finickily “correct,” as per etiquette, as Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname.)

    On another note….My parents were the ones who were attached to neighbors’ children and young relatives for quite some time. I would hear from people whose parents attempted to guilt-trip them into producing grandchildren, and then talk to my lovely parents who never breathed a word about seeing me as a grandchild vehicle but who clearly were missing grandparenthood, and, if possible, feel more guilty AND more determined to produce offspring than if they had just blathered on about how I owed them grandchildren, etc. etc. Funny how the grandchild-guilters never seem to figure that out, eh?

    • bionic

      Mine ended up with a frankly annoying pair of children (okay, mostly their mother was annoying, but sadly, below a certain age that does come to the same thing), one of who was my father’s patient, who were encouraged by their (annoying!) mother to call my parents grandma and grandpa. To say I was pissed doesn’t begin to cover it.

  • Julie

    Uterus of doom, that made me laugh, going to have to remember that!

  • jjiraffe

    Boxing Day: I remember that! Sorry your Uterus of Doom is acting up and you’re not at home enjoying your TV of choice 😦 Your in-laws sound pretty lovely though. I’m also glued to my heating pad due to my own ute crap. Hope you feel better soon!

  • Twangy

    I didn’t take my husband’s last name either. Most people can grapple with this reality, except MY OWN FATHER who forcefully bestows it upon me on letters. I read this as: “Here, female child, take another man’s name! You’ve had mine long enough!” He probably doesn’t mean to make a political statement of this sort, of course, more likely is just being old-fashioned. But grr!

    Sorry. Did I rant?

    Also re the cake/food issues: These are not piffling matters, in my opinion, food being very important and a constant factor in life quality. It is good to hear that the in-laws are being Nice, but I hope you have time at home too? To drink rum and eat rice cakes of the non-bouncy variety, and hibernate with the remote control at your fingertips.

    Feel better, Ute.

  • Dr Spouse

    Nobody wanted to watch Doctor Who? Who are these people??
    I also use MY name not HIS name and it seems that having a new child is a new trigger for everyone to decide I have now changed my name. Bizarre. And don’t get me started on people who misspell our first and/or last names. You have Facebook and our email addresses. Check them, people.

  • kylie

    heh. I hyphenated (long story, but it is still seen as a poor compromise by the other half, balanced only by the fact that there would have been no change at all).
    Certain people still send christmas cards to us as Mr and Mrs hislastname. Including his parents (who are getting a pass mainly because I haven’t actually mentioned the hyphenation to them) and my mother (who also leaves the final e off his name, it being one that can be spelled either way.- so on balance we are about equally insulted)

    I am always blown away by the amount of people that assume the taking of the husband’s name- really!

    So sorry about the Dr Who- we were away from home, so had to wait until arrived at home to download the episode, but it was pretty much the first thing watched.

  • bionic

    We have confused everyone by not changing our names but giving the Bean a hyphenated one. Oh well. I’m still tweaked off at Sugar’s most dumb and rude cousin’s signing her regrets card to our wedding as “Mrs. Husbandsfirst Husbandslast.” This feeling is mitigated by the childish delight I take in her boorish husband having the rather emasculating last name of Wilts.

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