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How I Ruined Christmas
by Jay Scott
So, back to 2003 we go….
So let me start this by saying most of what I am about to write has been told to me by those that were there, for I was in such a state that I only remember bits and pieces of it. So let me put on “ A Charlie Brown Christmas” and tell you how I ruined it one year. In my little world the saying “You ruined Christmas”, doesn’t come from this event, but I’ll share that story another time.
Here is some back-story. I have had the same friends since I was 12. Lets call them Tony, Rob, Cerena and Kristin. A few additions along the timeline are Jenn, Scott and Tasha. Lets just assume I made those names up.
For as long I can remember, both Tony and Kristin have been together, as have Rob and Cerena. Well, Tony and Kristin got together and married after High School (as I helped make that happen, thanks very much), but she came along around the time we were 15. Rob and Cerena got together when we were 16 and for as far back as time went, we were a group. All of us. Scott came along later, round the time we were 20, and Jenn about the same time. In fact, I have known her since she was 16 and I was 19, but knock it off with the jokes, that’s my baby's momma. I digress.
Every year since we were 16 or so we spent Christmas Eve together. It became our thing. It's what we did. After we hit our 20’s, it was always hosted by Tony and Kristin. It was always my very favorite night of the year. Having grown up together, we saw each other all the damn time. Sunday breakfast, weekly dinner and drinks, most holidays, marriages etc. Everything life offered, we shared it together. I don’t remember much about the day my son was born, but I do remember that these people, my friends, were there. And that’s all that counted. So, like you see in the movies, well, that’s how it was. And all was well for many a year.
Then the epidemic hit. First Scott got divorced from what everyone agrees to be the Anti-Christ. That was April-ish. Then come August, Tony and Kristin separate and file, and by the end of September, Rob and Cerena were done. That was a fucking brutal year. Brutal, because from my standpoint, me, the guy whom most would agree was raised by wolves, was watching what I consider to be my family break apart. It was fucking awful. So here I am, stuck in this middle of what the holy fuck situation.
I mean, I had a key to their houses, we were family. These are my son's Godparents, carefully chosen, so that in the event of my demise and that of Jenn, these people would raise our boy. So the coming of Christmas Eve was looking pretty grim.
And that’s where our story begins. Sorta, since I just laid out a whole fucking back-story for you, just pretend it starts here.
So I show up with Jenn, and since my Mom is in town, well, instant babysitter. Scott is there, along with Rob, Tony and a few others. We were making merry. And Scott provides me with the biggest bottle of Bombay Gin Sapphire I have ever seen in my life. It's almost too big. I said almost. That’s important later.
The night goes on, and we drink, and joke, and drink, and reminisce. Etc etc. So now, most of the other people not normally here for this have left and we go into our tradition of gift giving.
Ok, let me point out here that Kristin always did the shopping in regards to the Tony /Kristin thing when it came to gifts, because, as wonderful as Tony can be, he just buys lousy gifts. I don’t mean cheap, I mean lousy, like he doesn’t think about what he’s buying (see the original reference to “ you ruined Christmas)”. For example, I know Tony's likes and dislikes, so I shop with great care for him, and always get him thoughtful gifts, as I do with all my friends. He, however, always just got “whatever”, whereas Kristin was thoughtful and sweet. So she bought the gifts. This year, however, that wasn’t the case. So we open gifts and voila, Tony has bought me a knife. A what? Yeah, pretty much you could know me for 30 seconds and know this would be a bad gift for me.
Now before anyone goes on to say how ungrateful I am, let me just say it's not about the what, its about the why. I don’t care about what it is, I do care about why. Meh, that’s just me. Ok so, I'm a little shocked by this, but say nothing. The rest of the night goes on and we drink more. Then it happens. I find it. The magical thing that makes the whole night turn.
A few years back for Christmas I bought Tony a really nice amp to go with the 1940’s style microphone that Kristin got him. You know, a full on microphone with a stand. Tjat amp is plugged in next to the piano. It's on, its calling to me. By now that bottle of Bombay Gin, yeah its over half gone by me. I can barley fucking stand, let alone act with any social safeguards.
I first make a few test sounds. Sinatra is just starting to sing My Way in the background, so of course I sing along. It's my favorite song, so I’m drunk and I think I’m fucking singing like Sinatra, when in fact it sounds like someone put a cat in a dryer. On tumble dry.
Song ends, there’s laughing etc. and suddenly my mouth opens and I have no idea how. I start by asking Tony what’s with the knife and saying how much I miss Kristin cause she bought great gifts and WTF was Tony thinking with a knife. Why did he get divorced from her, this sucked etc. Then I turn to Rob and ask him about Cerena, and make jokes about how if he can't knock her up, he should let me take a pass. Oh yeah, it was awful. I go on about how it sucks they are all divorced, and how the big fuck up of the group managed to keep it together, but they couldn’t. How I had the worst family out of all of them, the crappiest examples, yet here I was raising a great kid and doing well and all was good, but they had to go and fuck up. Jenn at this point is horrified, I think.
I have been told this went on for 20 minutes or so longer. Nobody could believe it, and the only reason they didn’t stop me was to see what I would say next. I know I made Tony cry, as I was told he left the room totally crushed. Merry Fucking Christmas. Yeah, I was outta my tree. I remember none of it. Not one single moment. A soon as I made the first crack, the rest goes blank. I was so drunk, I threw up for hours. And hours. My eyes were bloodshot from it, burst a few blood vessels even. The only reason this ended is because I fell down and blacked out. Only to wake praying to god to make it stop. Time never went sooooo slow.
Here was the worst year of our collective lives and I cracked. I crumbled under the weight of it all and let it all out in one drunken blur. I did, in fact, ruin Christmas.
It was 2 weeks before Tony and I talked again, as his new girlfriend needed help with her surround sound and the others let me off the hook because they seemed to feel a lot of what I was doing was funny.
Later I found out that I didn’t know I had drank so much because Rob and Scott thought it was funny to keep my gin and tonics full, so I couldn’t ensure my intake was lower and my normal level was passed. Hilarious indeed.
So kids, I’m sure everyone has a tale like this. This is mine. I never drink that way anymore, not at all. Just a few for me, because as it would seem, I’m not very good at it.
Don’t ya just love the holidays?
Hark, the Herald Angels sing, too much Gin will make you an asshole.
Jay just drinks rum and yells at his friends nowadays