Stamp of Disapproval

If you look them up in a psychology text book, the symptoms are exactly the same for spending time with your family and being criminally insane. Every day I'm home I find myself swinging from tears of anguish to manic laughter in seconds for no discernible reason, other than the fact my family are hard work. 

I've been home for two days so far hoping to spend some quality time with them over the Christmas season. Two days that's forty-eight hours, people spend longer together cramped in cars when travelling across America and still manage to maintain composure and not smother each other, the same cannot be said for us. 

Their body language shows a strong likelihood that strangulation is due to take place.  
Within the last three hours alone, three of us have headed for the knife drawer and the urge to lob a bottle of Brandy over the back of someone's head has hit an all time high. My father is walking places out of fear one of us has cut the breaks on his van and my sister's temper tantrums are sometimes over in moments and other times last long enough for my parents to almost finish the paperwork to give her up for adoption.

One argument today between my mother and I was particularly pointless. The following documents how it all initiated.

Mother: "Patrick, how much would you reckon a book of stamps cost?"
Me: "I don't know? Stamps are like 55c so for a book of ten €5.50?"
Mother: "Stamps are actually 68c each." She was telling me this with a lot of attitude.
Me: "Okay".
Mother: "I've had to send thirty cards this year so I'm spending a fortune on stamps."
Me: "So? Don't bother sending them if you're going to complain about it."
Mother: "And I suppose you never complain about anything."
Me: "That's not the point I was making."
Mother: "Last year most of your father's family left their cards down at your grandmother's and we had to collect ours, they didn't bother with stamps."
Me: "I doubt they put that much thought into it."
Mother: "I might do that with their cards this year, save myself the cost."
Me: "Sound." I thought it was a stupid theory, but I was sick of talking to her.
Mother: "And you know it's ludicrous forking out money to send a few greeting cards to the neighbours. I can give them theirs when I see them."
Me: "You cannot be serious."
Mother: "Yes, we are in a recession after all people will understand." As if I wasn't aware the entire country was in recession.
Me: "Sure you could just drive around to each house yourself, diesel is dead cheap nowadays."
Mother: "No need for the cheek."
Me: "You're just sad if you are actually thinking seriously about this."
Mother: "Excuse me." World War III.

Funny how when you are away from people for so long you forget how they can be. I'm back to work on the 27th, thankfully I love them each enough to find a way to control this kind of erratic behaviour until then. 

We're all just holding out for the turkey, it's like The Hunger Games. 


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