Yup, I had one of those yesterday. I went to my paternal grandmother's place for the traditional get together. I have to say, this year was different for me than any year before.
My family tends to get into "pissing contests" quite regularly. One person will say their back hurts, then the next has to have a slipped disc and a pinched nerve in their toe. Someone else chimes in that they have been walking around with pneumonia, a broken wrist, and bunions for the last month. By the end of the day, you would think that we were all some form of crusty mutant by all the b*tching that gets done. Then, of course, starts the contest of who has the crappiest working conditions, and who told off the most people this week, and who is the smartest, the toughest, the most put-upon, etc.
What a group of Negative-Nellies, worry-warts, and hypochondriacs we all are.
Now, normally I find a sort of wry amusement in this behavior. Understand, I have witnessed this since I was in diapers, so it isn't anything strange to me.
This year, however, I had no patience for it. One uncle is particularly tenacious in his efforts to get some sympathy for his ailing body and horrible life. When he started this year, rather than allow the contest to even get going I just put on my best whiny voice and said "oh, you poor baby". I couldn't believe it, but it actually shut him up for a while (at least around me). I was merciless with all. "Don't mess with me this year", my attitude said.
Before you all gasp at my boldness and cause an oxygen shortage in your particular corner of the world, please know that this is not looked upon poorly with this part of my family. They will growl about how I was rude for all of a day, and then they will forget all about it.
The other thing that I noticed this year is that my grandma has been stuck with the post-holiday clean-up for as long as I can remember. I don't doubt that at one point she shoo-d everyone out of the kitchen, insisting she could handle it all on her own (Grandma is nuts like that), but the fact is we are a CLAN and make a huge mess! Besides, Grandma is getting old for crying out loud. At one point I went into the kitchen for something, and I happened to notice that both sides of the sink were overflowing with dishes (most of them not even scraped) and dirty pots and pans were piled on the stove all the way up to the fan hood. So I did two sinks of dishes. I figure I would kill anyone who came to my place and made that much of a mess and then just left, so why should I do that to my Grandma? I still left her with most of the pans and dessert dishes, but I had to go home and get some sleep. She seemed so surprised (and a little embarrassed) that I would do this.
That made me feel pretty bad. Have I always been so selfish?
Still, it was a good meal. My cousin sent hummus (a personal favorite), and the turkey was so juicy I could have cried. I made fun of my mother's mom (for eating so little) and fed Little Sprout until I thought she would burst.
Only after Little Sprout had Jell-O and gravy all over her white shirt did I remember the two (yes, TWO) bibs I had been smart enough to put in her diaper bag. Too bad I wasn't smart enough to put one of them on her BEFORE she ate!