Wednesday, 6 August 2008

12 Monkeys (well, 9, actually)

Saturday's dinner went quite well, in case any of you were wondering. We seated my homophobic father on the other end of the table to my gay uncle and his Muslim boyfriend, whom he refers to affectionately as "my mid-life crisis" (the age difference is about 20-odd years). In fact, Sammi (the boyfriend) is only a year older than I am.

My grandmother was miserable, which is a common state of being in her case. Much as I love her, she can drive me crazy. She did have a reason this time - she'd driven four and a half hours to see my uncle and he'd mixed the dates up, so they only had one evening to catch up before she had to drive back.

On this particular occasion, gran did not partake of the wine, so there was no dancing on the table with her prosthetic boob strapped to her head. She did keep trying to offer Sammi wine though, even though we explained that he's Muslim and thus doesn't drink alcohol. Everybody politely skirted the fact that, technically, homosexuality is not allowed in Islam either.

Poor Sammi was subjected to frequent barrages from our very non-submissive female family members, myself included. My mother thinks that foreigners need to spoken to loudly, in pidgin English, so she kept saying things like, "HOW YOU LIKE SOUTH AFRICA?" She sounded like a deaf non-English speaker herslef. LOL. I love my mom. She tried really hard to make conversation with Sammi while my father studiously ignored him and my uncle from the other end of the table and engaged in a heated (and oft repeated) pointless argument with my brother about car sound systems.

Any argument with my brother is futile. He just keeps on going until you give in to make him shut up. His vegan, ballroom-dancing teaching girlfriend, whose hippie father wears feathered earrings, is also not exactly my dad's cup of tea, so in between arguing with my brother, he tried to convince her of how normal we all are (hah!) and that she should come over from the dark side. His most-used phrase at family get-togethers is always, "I am the only normal one in this family!" This time, you could tell he was thinking along the lines of, "Jeepers, my loony wife and children are actually quite conventional after all."

TSC enjoyed his T-bone while the vegan girlfriend, seated next to him, went slightly green. The rest of us enjoyed some really good fish, which I'm assuming is Halaal by definition (correct me if I'm wrong).

Meanwhile, my gran regaled us with random tales of fellow small-town residents we've never met, insisting on going into great depth about each one's family history, how many pets they've lost and put down, and their full medical biographies. My uncle alternated between trying to translate into Arabic for Sammi and making rude remarks under his breath. One that stood out was when my gran was telling him about how my parents had taken her to ride an elephant while they were all on holiday, and how sore she'd been for days afterwards. Uncle's remark? "Well, at her age, she shouldn't be riding anything bareback".

Charming, right? That's my family.

I do love them to bits though. Life is never dull, that's for sure ;-)


Charmskool said...

I would have paid good money to have been at dinner with you on Saturday night - how did you resist taking notes (or filming the whole thing). I do expect to read the whole episode in one of your books one day. You are sooo lucky! I only have a few strange relatives these days - the really eccentric ones have all died.

Ruby said...

i wish i could have been a fly on the wall:) Don't worry hun, everybody has those weird family members, and we do love them...even tho we sometimes feel like killing them:)

Kit said...

OMG. That was funnier than a good passage out of Bridget Jones' Diary.

You should get your family together more often and start writing a book! Love it.

Oh, and tell your brother next time he starts that Normal is Boring, and if he aspires to normality, then he is boring too. Who wants to be normal?

Gill said...

I'll say it again - I'd love to have been a fly on the wall. Thanks for giving us a peek into the get-together :-) I agree with the others, you need to write a book!

phillygirl said...

Wahahahahahaha. Sounds like an entertaining evening! Probably if you write a book tho, they'd tell you it wasn't believable enough ;)

Being Brazen said...

HA HA HA - great dinner party description.

elizabeth said...

I think I am completely enamored with your family. I think mine would get on quite well with yours.

My brother had a french girlfriend once - somehow my parents got it in their heads that she was deaf and they were constantly yelling at her.

Slyde said...

thats pretty damn funny.. i was about to ASK you how Sammi handled the homosexuality angle being a muslim and all...

AlasMyDear said...

oh my...your family is hilarious! i would have died laughing that night. no wonder you all have so much fun! *drools with envy*

Tamara said...

Charm: Damn, that's a good idea. I could've charged an admission fee!

Ruby: Thanks, lady. Good to know I'm not alone ;-)

Kit: I'm actually starting to write my granddad's memoirs this December. He also has a fascinating story. I agree with you that normal equals boring.

Gill: Thanks. I plan on writing lots of books, so I'll have to dedicate some to my blogger friends who inspired me to do it. Or something.

Philly: Probably! Plus, the family would stop speaking to me and then I'd lose my source of entertainment.

Brazen: Thanks muchly (yes, I know that's not a word).

Elizabeth: Wouldn't it be hilarious to put them all together? Now THAT would be great subject matter for a book.

Slyde: I wonder the same thing. But I'm sure if I'd asked him he would've pretended not to understand me ;-)

Alas: They are pretty hilarious, in a kind of oh-my-goodness-this-is-so-embarrassing-I'd-better-laugh-it-off kinda way ;-D

angel said...

omw you should write a book- just this dinner party would make an awesome movie!!!