Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Losers

~Yea .. not those Losers. We aren't that cool. Or that buff ... *sigh*~

It's a really wonderful moment when you realize that you are the Losers of your family. I've been getting hints for a while, but after today I know it for sure. And it's a wonderful moment.

I mean, just our mere presence makes everyone else in the family instantly look better. We're like the ugly fat chick for family gatherings. The poor, white trash of the uppity uppity crust of the uber cool family members.

So what happened today that made me really realize this? Well, it wasn't the usual comment of "No, no, no ... you don't give people presents" (cuz, you know, we're too broke for that). Or, when I mentioned I had only gained 18 pounds while pregnant with Tristan, and a certain grandmother replied "Well, I was told to only gain ONE POUND per month while pregnant!" -- Gee .. and I bet they told you to smoke and drink too, didn't they?

No .. today wasn't really that unusual. It was rather normal actually. Justin and I were outside. He was cleaning out the front garden beds. I was sitting on our new front porch furniture (finally, something that doesn't fall apart when you sit on it!! WOO HOO!!), cutting up old clothing for future use -- crocheting into rag rugs! The kids were inside, taking naps, though they came out and joined us, riding their bikes, when they woke up. Sounds fine, right? --- Yea ... apparently you aren't from here.

Like I said, we got new front porch furniture this year. It was a bitch browsing for it all online. It isn't called porch furniture anymore .. what we got is now referred to as "Chat Sets" -- but that's the rub of it all. Apparently you aren't really supposed to sit out on your "chat set" ... especially not doing anything ... having a drink and doing something "uber yuppie" might be ok .. but really, REALLY all you are supposed to do is chat ABOUT your new chat set. That's the only appropriate thing to do. So .. by using our "chat set" we've completely ruined it's good standing and we might as well have an old couch and recliner out there now. TOTALLY UNWORTHY.

I was greeted with a "hi there" hug from a relative whom I supposedly have a lot in common with. Wouldn't know .. he won't really talk to me. Anyway, the first comment I got from him was how I looked like it was hot out. Or something like that. Pretty much a "aren't you sweaty and stinky and not looking lady-like and dressed up" type of comment. Gee .. thanks, good to see you too. -- FYI, I am Southern. These types of comments are nothing new in my world and I've been known to dish them out too. I call them "Complisults" -- compliment + insult .... you get it, right?

Justin's yard work was looked upon as worthy and something to be proud of. My cutting up old shirts was given a quizzical look. When I told them it was for crocheting into rag rugs it was given a mild nod of approval, but without that "hmmmm" that follows with something that is more tolerated than approved of.

The overall visit lasted less than 10 minutes. More a tour of the horror of renovations gone wrong than a visit. I call this type of thing "Pretending to Be Family."

I could imagine them running from the house, seeking sanitizer as quickly as possible, as well as air conditioning. Perhaps even one of those sticky-tape rollers that gets any hint of animal hair or stray hair or life off of your clothing.

So .. to my very big family .. you're welcome. You're welcome that we're the Losers. We make you look so fucking cool. Because .. you know, we actually do our own yard work. And our house isn't spic-n-span all the time, and our kids run around outside so they aren't spic-n-span all the time either, and we work on things and don't have AC so we might actually look like we've been working in the yard .. as opposed to some ad that shows happy, unsweaty people working in pretty matchy clothing -- you know, Martha Stewart kind of people.
And, it doesn't matter what else we do. It doesn't matter that we upcycle and re-use things. It doesn't matter that our meat is pasture-raised and local. It doesn't matter that we put our own food by. It doesn't matter that we didn't learn these skills through highly priced foodie classes but from digging through old cookbooks and websites and etc. It doesn't matter that we get by on one income, and that we've done so since Justin graduated from college and got his first job out of college. None of this matters.
One Christmas, several years back now but still infamous, I made a very special gift for everyone. Chateau Morrisette makes a Cabernet Fudge Sauce that you can buy for $16 (this was several years ago, I don't know the price now) in a tall skinny bottle. It is devine. Anyway, I go online and research and research till I find a recipe and reproduce it and give it away as gifts. And people look quizzical and ask "what is it for?" "What do I do with it?" I am guessing it is still in some cupboards if it hasn't already been thrown away. -- The truth? If it came with a fancy label from a winery they'd brag about it. It's like some weird status symbol. They don't really know what to do with it but they can brag about it because none of their friends do either.

Anyway .. this is how we became the Losers. Or at least one of the ways. They might try to gussy it up and say that we're hippies, perhaps bohemian (although I don't think we're artsy enough in their minds to qualify .. and I simply just do not look good in black). Something like that. But the truth is what it is. And I would be hesitant about blogging about such and issue, but the funny thing is that no matter how much they may brag to me about my writing talent, unless I post it on Facebook or I tell them directly to check out this blog, there is a very, very, very slim chance they'll ever read this.

So .. the only question that remains is this: if we're The Losers, then who am I?? Am I Clay? Jenson? Cougar? Pooch? Roque?? The chick? hmmm..


Elena said...

Family sucks, don't they? Naturally not all, but too many of them do. We're luckier...we moved far away from our family, and then I went a step further than you and got banned by a good portion of them. So never get the drop-ins. That's good. Don't allow them to make you feel bad, only you could do that.

Carrie and Justin said...

They don't make me feel bad anymore. There was a time when they did, but now I see things differently.
Like with porch furniture. You're supposed to pay all this money to make your outdoors look/feel like indoors. You get the "chat set". But, drive around, and tell me how many high falootin' respectible kinda folk you actually SEE USING any of it!! Almost NEVER.
And I can hear it in my head, the breathless exasperation of "Well! You don't ACTUALLY go out there!!"
Like we all fantasize about killing our bosses or something like that, but you don't ACTUALLY DO IT!!
So, I relish my role as the loser. Because we actually USE our lives (and chat sets!). Are we sweaty sometimes? Yes, because it is 90 fucking degrees out and we are *GASP!!!* OUTSIDE!!!
We are the shocking folk you see in the margins, warming our bare ankles by the fire. (medieval art referene)
I LOVE EVERY DAMN MINUTE OF IT!!! I PITY those who can't see past the Martha Stewart &/or Lowe's ads.