In general, I try really hard to not rant. I try to be reasoned, to put myself in the other person’s shoes, and if all else fails, to remember that science has shown over and over again that venting actually makes people more angry.
But, inspired by my IRL friend who has started a hilarious blog called AnecDodo, I decided to try presenting this in a more amusing way.
Not about anything I’m actually upset about, like that bitch at work that acts all smug before she puts her work on everyone else, or the fact that my roommates and I seem to be irreparably different. No, no, like I said, that would actually do nothing and make me mad. This time, I’d like to tell you a story of my dad, and of birthdays. Not my 17th birthday, because AnecDodo’s already pretty much got that covered.
As a random coincidence, the birthdays in my family fall so that my mom and dad share their birthday month, my two oldest sisters share their birthday month, and so do I and the sister I’m currently living with, E.
A few days ago my dad texted E and me to see if we’d be okay with him holding a big birthday barbecue for us at our house; he and my mom would pay for the food and do all of the prep work, and our friends were welcome to come. While that’s a very generous offer and I’m glad to see the outgoing party-planner side of my dad I haven’t seen since I was a teenager, the last time my dad cooked at a sibling’s house several years ago has become an infamous family legend.
We were at my sister R and her husband’s house, with E and her fiance and both of my parents. My dad immediately decreed that he would be cooking a fantastic meal for us that evening and took the significant others shopping with him. He ended up entirely ignoring them, walking too fast for them to keep up and cutting off other people with his cart, leaving the guys embarrassed, a bit angry, and apologizing in his wake.
When they got back my dad threw himself into cooking, using most of the pots and pans in the house and leaving them burnt and in a massive pile in the sink, while there was far more food than we could eat sitting in front of us. Dad brought out a bottle of wine, but quickly realized that there was no corkscrew since R isn’t a big fan of wine, and in fact no one at the table particularly liked red wine. He promptly disappeared without telling anyone to go buy a new one. While still weird, this isn’t entirely unheard of for my dad, and with all of us starving we dug into the food. The porkchops were simultaneously burnt and raw, with the corn mildly burnt as well, but we ate what we could.
Dad returned, disappointed that we hadn’t waited for him even though we had no idea where he’d gone or how long he’d be, and the wine sat unopened on the counter. He then decided it would be the perfect time to trim his dog’s nails. Why my parents brought along their dog on a day trip, or what possessed my dad that the dog’s nails needed to be clipped right then, I’ll never know.
He cut them too far, leaving the dog yipping in pain and his nails dripping blood, and then my dad proceeded to let the dog run around the carpeted house.
When told that his dog was getting blood all over the carpets, he simply said “No, no, it’s fine.”
I’d never seen R cry or heard her curse before, but as she followed after the dog trying to get the bloody paw prints out of her carpet for the next hour she was reduced from grumbled swearing to quiet, tired sobs.
This is why my dad is no longer allowed to cook at our family gatherings.