Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let The Games Begin

LB is a delightful man, who lights up when around other people. His family are really great folks, too. And he enjoys spending time with them, although they really don't get to hang out often so it's extra special for him when they can. Which means that going home to visit this weekend to celebrate his sister's masters degree should be pretty cool.


There is one member of his family who has never gotten over LB's birth, as far as I can tell. From the day LB was born, this person seems to believe that everything that LB gets in life somehow comes out of their karmic pocket. I know it's common in a family for one child to resent another, especially if money is tight and now used-to-be-an-only-child can't go to camp because little brother needs braces. But when you're approaching the half century mark and you still haven't pulled your head out of your behind, it becomes a little... um. Ridiculous.

LB never retaliates, just lets the nameless relative and nameless relative's significant other snark and be mean. Mock, belittle, insult, back stab. Pretend they're joking. Lather, rinse, repeat. But it's a little depressing to never be able to look forward to a holiday or family event because of the constant nastiness.

Well, this time we've decided that if they're not going to stop with the childishness, we're just going to treat it with the care and dignity it deserves.

Presenting "B1tch0"

Some of these topics will only make sense to LB, but highlights of the weekend will, I'm sure, include:

"Too Many Men on the Field"
This is a classic. Mom gets upset that there is tension between the two, so she brings Nameless Relative over, and forces him to say something nice to LB. Usually followed almost immediately by:

"Silent Seethe"
Perfect opportunity for one of their little snarks, but because of the presence of someone else in the conversation who would know it wasn't a "joke" and be able to call foul, they have to hold it in.

Doesn't really need an explaination, but LB thinks this should go immediately in the Oxford Eng. Dictionary.

"Nana Maneuver"
This is a classic. LB goes over to his Nana's house. While he's there, offers to take out the trash. She says no, it's not full. Everyone knows you can't take out the trash until it's full. She had a lot of fun rules like that. So the next day, we come home to an absolutely hysterical, invective filled 10 minute rant on our answering machine from Nameless Relative's spouse, demanding that LB go back over to his Nana's house and take out the trash. Immediately. Or else. That was my favorite part, the "or else". That and the fact that the phone call was made while Mrs. Nameless was standing right next to Nana's little 5 gallon trash can, the one that needed to be emptied. The technical definition of a "Nana Maneuver" for this weekend is when either one of the pair turns a non-situation (not-full trash not needing to go out) into an international crisis - which you are required to take care of RIGHT THIS SECOND - via misrepresentation of the facts or outright lies, with bonus points if it's caught on tape.

"Troll By"
Entering a conversation they aren't even a part of just to say something insulting. Not to be confused with a "Sniper Attack", which is just completely out of the blue and unconnected to any current or recent conversation.

Upon hearing anything that's happened that is the opposite of brilliant, saying "That Sounds Like Something LB Would Do". This is sort of a gimme on the card, since I don't think that in the decade I've known LB the spouse of Nameless hasn't uttered this little gem at least once in an evening.

"Insult Replay"
Repeating an insult more than once, just to make sure everyone heard it. This one's worth double points if it comes up in a completed "B1tch0"

"Holier Than Who?"
This is one of my favorites. Mrs. Nameless launched into a monologue last family event on how she was raised so religiously, and how treating others well is something she still, to this day, feels is an important part of her life. We went to the store. And when we came back half an hour later, she was still in the middle of her "why I should be nominated for sainthood" speech.

"... as a baby"
At least one conversation will be interrupted by Mrs. Nameless announcing that LB was "dropped on his head as a baby", for context see "TSLSRWD", above.

LB and I each get a card.

One "B1tch0", across or down = loser buys "winner" a martini

1 B1tch0 across and 1 B1tch0 down = loser buys "winner" brunch or dinner at restaurant of choice

Diagonal B1tch0, or any B1tch0 that includes the center square = dinner at favorite restaurant in town.

Full B1tch0 card = Thai Massage.

I never thought I'd say this, but we may actually be looking forward to this trip.


At 8:27 AM, December 19, 2008, Blogger Calamity Jen said...

I need to get a version of that game for when I visit Scott's relatives and have to listen to racial slurs. I try to reason with these people, but they all think I'm just some ultra-liberal, tree-hugging, bohemian idealist from The Big City. Arrrrrgh!

At 12:27 PM, December 19, 2008, Blogger panda said...

My ex father in law was a very conservative man, and a racist. He'd been raised in a small farming community, where everyone was related to everyone else.

One day, he actually said something in favor of gays being afforded the same rights as others. I agreed with him, and the room fell completely silent. My brother in law at the time said, in shock, "You agreed with him!" "Well, he was right!" The "for once" stayed unspoken.

They never did get used to me and my bleeding heart liberal ways.

At 5:35 PM, December 19, 2008, Blogger Zombie Mom said...

I love your game... perfect so many awkward occasions... I am lucky - Zombie Dad's family is totally great - my MIL a huge activist, artist and all around progressive...

I could play with my one sister's family though and a few of my uncles....

Hope you are surviving the season

At 4:30 AM, December 20, 2008, Blogger panda said...

Zombie Mom, glad to hear you've got great in-laws. My Ex-Mother-In-Law was a delightful woman, and the one and only thing I miss about my ex is his mom.

My family is pretty easy going, but usually LB goes into a funk at the holidays... because of the divorce, his family had so many separate-but-equal events, each one requiring an appearance so no one felt slighted. Plus, all his family members' birthdays were from November through December. It turned the holidays into a very stressful weeks-long negotiation and command performance.

This year we're doing his one family thing the weekend before, and my one family thing the week after. So this may be our best, least stressful holiday ever.

Personally, I'm planning a fire in the fireplace, a movie marathon, homemade chocolate peanut butter popcorn, and a shaker or two of Lemon Drop Martinis!

Happy Holidays to you and yours, Calamity Jen and Zombie Mom!


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