I can assure you. Scolding me will only make matters worse.
She asked me how my Christmas was. I told her it was good. I did not give any specifics. Specifics only lead to more questions. I didn’t have time for questions. Anyway, I couldn’t remember any specifics about the holiday. I wasn’t paying attention during that time and it was a couple of months ago. None of those memories were on the tip of my brain. “Good” sufficiently summed it up. Not that I cared, but to be polite, I asked her how her Christmas was.
“Well…” she hesitated, “…good, I suppose.”
Great! I should be leaving now.
“Our family is a little screwed up.”
That’s too bad. Take care.
“My father has Alzheimer’s, and he had a pretty rough couple of days during Christmas. My brother-in-law, who is an alcoholic, would not put up with my father’s abnormal behavior and beat him up when he could not take it anymore. My father almost died from the beating, and we had to have my brother-in-law arrested.”
Look, lady, this is just idle chatter while I’m waiting for my son to put on his coat. There is no need to fling bad vibes at me. I’m not here to ameliorate your purgings. I just want to take my son home.
How dare she ruin my day? I couldn’t let her leave me dangling on a cliff of despair, so I followed her lead.
“Now that you mentioned horrible family holiday scenarios, I just remembered…during Christmas dinner my aunt’s lung exploded when she tried to wolf down the boiled turkey neck while simultaneously taking a monster drag on her Pall Mall. My uncle berated her about the evils of cigarette smoking at the dinner table, not to mention the adverse effects of consuming turkey entrails in the whole. My uncle’s shouting riled up the dog who tripped my nephew who was returning from the toilet after ‘making some room for seconds’, causing him to crash face first into the turkey carcass, lacerating both of his corneas on the razor sharp rib bones, rendering him forever the blind Christmas miracle boy. Then my grandma shit in her pants from the excitement, and we all had a good laugh.”
Thank you for having my son over to play with your son. Let’s do this again sometime real soon.