Social Icons


Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Christmas Story Part 5


No one has ever really given me a sufficient answer as to why the Germans have the 1st and 2nd days of Christmas (December 25th & 26th). I mean...ok...I do get it, but it doesn't stop me from being annoyed at everything being closed for those two days.

We got up and, once again, had a family breakfast. There was a nice little discussion going on, Frosty was explaining stuff about hip-hop to his elderly grandparents. Frosty was sitting to my right, his grandpa to my left and I was there in the middle drifting in an out of the conversation.

Suddenly, everyone at the table began shouting at one another. Grandpa was shouting at Frosty, Frosty was shouting back. C. Dub jumped in (from my perspective, out of nowhere) with some kind of literary comparison to Bertolt Brecht that left me trying to find the connection between her reference and the over all topic of conversation (shouting), which I still assumed was hip-hop. Then, grandma got fed up with the yelling and began shouting about that, as she got up to start clearing the table. Breakfast was officially over, but not before C. Dub pretty much got in the last words:

"I didn't even want to come here for Christmas anyway, I wanted to go to Hamburg!"

There was a stunned silence from the group, until grandma said, "Well, then you just should have!"

To which C. Dub replied, "Fine! Maybe next year I will!"

And the breakfast table was then quietly cleared. I felt like I had somehow stepped straight into two decades of family drama and propelled myself straight into the middle of it by the mere fact that I live in Hamburg and that C. Dub would rather spend Christmas with me than with her own parents. Yes, I will steal your children and grandchildren away from you!!! Bwah ha ha ha! 

A few minutes later, Frosty told me that such blow ups were part and parcel of the Wolff Pack Christmas Experience. His aunt (perhaps somehow sensing my distress) had another sit down with me, confirming that argument at breakfast was typical for a family gathering and that the basic procedure is to just never ever mention the argument or its content ever again.

Ok, gotcha.

That afternoon, Frosty and I went to go visit his dad and his paternal grandmother. This turned out to be probably my favorite part of the trip, despite the fact that it included a long hike through the cold and the woods and up a big hill. 

I had heard a lot of stories from Frosty about his dad. Like how one time he stole a sheep and brought it home when he was drunk. Or the time when he robbed a store to get gifts for his son (my boyfriend). Somehow, I felt that this was the type of family dynamic that much more resembled my own. I could relate to that much more than the "let's repress our feelings until we flip out" mode. Throw in some threatening each other with knives and/or a gun stash and I would have felt right at home. 

For the German comparison, Frosty's dad reminded me of a cross between the character of Karl ("Denk an die Elektrolyte!") from the movie Herr Lehmann and Dittsche . For Americans, to me he looks like Randy Quaid. Randy Quaid in Independence Day or maybe, more fittingly in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (one of the best holiday films ever):

At any rate, it was a lovely evening. His dad cooked us a nice meal. Frosty and I reinstalled Windows on his father's computer. I killed a bottle of red wine. We played Boggle with his grandma, who is awesome at this game. And I got to see oh-so-cutey baby pics of my boyfriend. He was a giant baby. 

I also found out that Frosty was christened catholic, which I hadn't bothered to ask before, so I was a little surprised. His paternal grandma is, however, a cool-ass lady and I enjoyed her company very much.

No comments: