This is a short piece I wrote for a competition that involved writing something in the style of Erma Bombeck. I enter and lose every year because it's a tradition and Erma is a personal hero. I really liked the piece I wrote this year though, especially after surviving my Grandmother's 80th birthday wherein one of my aunts got hideously drunk in public and booed a band at a local bar. This is my life. Enjoy!
Introducing my fiancé to my parents was easy. In fact I allowed it to happen way back when he was just my boyfriend. But I made sure a ring was firmly attached to that finger before I unleashed my extended family on him. Especially the Lashmet women.
My mother has three sisters, all of whom have names that begin with the letter K. Some say the Kardashians stole it from us, and by some I mean my Aunt Kelly, loudly, in a Target, every time we go to Target. They are extremely close, very loud, and I’ve often been known to describe their Christmas Eve party as entering a frat house full of old ladies. Do you mean a sorority house you ask? No. I do not.
My fiancé, a soft spoken man from a religious family assured me he was prepared for Christmas Eve with the Lashmet women but I also got the sense that he thought stories of my crazy family were exaggerated. That particular Christmas Eve was a bit tense because the year before we had broken my grandmother’s table in half during an especially heated round of the card game Spoons, so competitive games were outlawed.
The film The Hangover had just come out and all of the Lashmet women agreed it was the epitome of hilarity. So, when searching for something to fill the festive space after presents and before someone inevitably left crying, one of my aunts pulled the DVD from her purse. (I guess she just carried it with her at all times?) She suggested we watch it, and do a shot of Wild Turkey every time they said “the F-word.”
My fiancé glanced nervously at my Grandma, apparently fearful of her delicate constitution. “Katrina!” My Grandma grumbled in disapproval. “It’s Christmas...Wild Turkey is for Thanksgiving! We do Peppermint Schnapps at Christmas!” I had seen my fiancé do shots once. On his 21st birthday. He didn’t like it. I gave him a nervous shrug. I had warned him. He just smiled and took the shot glass Grandma handed him. His family was probably silently curling into bed for the evening, full of milk, cookies, and the Lord’s light, as we watched a naked man jump from a car trunk onto Bradley Cooper’s face.
Watching The Hangover at Christmas became a new family tradition and my husband has learned to (mostly) hold his own with the Lashmet women. Although, I must say he still can’t hold his liquor like my Grandma.