The Christmas There Was No Fresh Basil
December 20, 2004
I found out late last week that a two of my many, many siblings were going to celebrate Christmas with my parents on Saturday. Jason and I went too, as I am unable to resist the prospect of early Christmas presents and maybe somebody would remember my birthday and maybe I would get money.
I don't think I've really written much about my family -- siblings in particular. There are two reasons for this.
1) They read this site.
2) They know lawyers.
But on Saturday, I was granted special permission to write all about our day together. There are three reasons for this.
1) They were drunk.
2) They would like to be famous and have people buy things off of their wish lists.
3) They were drunk.
Jason and I arrived to a great uproar of yells and applause and hugs and it was great to bask in the love of family and blah blah blah. Except then I realized they were mostly (okay, completely) excited because:
1) Jason was carrying a TiVo box.
2) I was carrying Ceiba.
3) They were drunk.
It was one p.m. in the afternoon, people. And the Corbetts had already Gone Wild and Gone Through about two bottles of wine. Awesome.
Let me introduce the cast.
Keith, my oldest brother. We find each other to be absolutely hysterical. We were both nearly hyperventilating over a recent episode of South Park, to the point that we couldn't actually SAY any actual quotes from the show, but we both KNEW what the other was trying to say and would lose it further.
AMY, STILL GOING ON AND ON ABOUT HER DAMN UGGS: Yes, it's all very Paris Hilton.
KEITH: HEE. HEE. Stupid, hee, Spoiled.
AMY: Stupid Spoiled Whore!
AMY: Hee. HEE HEE HEE. Mister Slave Hee.
KEITH: A whore-off! HAAAAA. HA.
AMY & KEITH: *die of laughter*
REST OF FAMILY: *frightened and confused*
William, Keith's son, my nephew (I know!). Eleven years old and smarter than you. Maintains that Jim Carrey is NOT the right actor to play Count Olaf, just no, and that his mother is making him see Polar Express and just blech, you know? Do they sell blindfolds at the concession stands?
AMY, AT DINNER TABLE: I think I have the giggles.
WILLIAM, AT OTHER END OF DINNER TABLE: No way. We totally didn't notice.
AMY, COLLAPSING INTO FURTHER GIGGLES: Hee hee hee. William needs a blog!
Jennie, my sister. We both enjoy expensive things and she knew the instant she I handed her a Sephora gift bag that I'd gotten her the stupidly-hard-to-find Chanel lip gloss that I'd praised to the skies last Christmas but didn't know the name of, so she'd spent all year going to stores trying to find a Lip Gloss With No Name.
JENNIE: You do not even know how excited this makes me. Also, I know how much these cost and YAY.
AMY: Ha! I know. And I have like, three of them in my purse. Brat.
JASON: Wait, how much do they cost?
AMY: Um. $12?
JENNIE: Heh. You dirty liar.
Jennie buys the best gifts ever, and was thrilled to learn that I still get dozens and dozens of Google search hits for "Care Bears Days-of-the-Week Thongs," which is what she got me last year.
(Confidential to Amy's Mom: Yes, Ceiba really did love that dollop of whipped cream you gave her, but by any chance do you know how many more times I need to wash my left foot that stepped in doggie diarrhea at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday night before I can feel clean again? Should I use lye?)
Then there's Cary, Jennie's husband. Dedicated Amalah.com reader, so everybody say hi. Totally wants me to upload their wedding video to the site so y'all can see me as an eight-year-old junior bridesmaid with really bad hair.
AMY, MINUTES AFTER ARRIVING: No, I swear to God, Ceiba is NOT a chihuahua, so stop calling her that.
CARY: *creeps up, hands Amy glass of wine, departs*
I gave Cary William Shatner's new album and a songbook of Christmas carols for dysfunctional families, many of which Jennie and I tried to sing during dessert but no one paid us any attention. We tried singing louder but then everybody just walked off to play with the TiVo.
Allie, the child of Jennie and Cary, who is now sixteen, despite my repeated orders for her to stop with the growing already. Properly mortified by all other Corbetts, especially the ones who are all, "Have some wine! Stay out late! Ride in cars with boys!" Her mother and her aunt may be among the people who tell her this garbage.
I got Allie a baby blue Ugg backpack for Christmas. How totally cool am I? Cool, I know. Also radical.
Allie and I cleaned up the entire kitchen together, because it's her job at home and she's THAT GOOD OF A KID. I helped because my mom said I never cleaned up after dinner, even though it had been my job my ENTIRE LIFE and I ALWAYS DID IT, and now I was being SMEARED by my own mother at CHRISTMAS. So I got all huffy and went to load the dishwasher, because I'll SHOW THEM what a lazy teenager I am and one day I'll go blind from dishwasher detergent and THEN they'll all be sorry.
Speaking of my mom, she nearly wept with joy over her brand-new TiVo, and also her DSL. Both of which Jason had to set up for her, which meant we NEVER, EVER saw him the entire day.
AMY, THREE HOURS AFTER ARRIVING: Where's Jason?
MOM: Oh, I heard him calling the Verizon people because there was some sort of problem.
AMY: Did anyone take him up a glass of wine?
REST OF FAMILY: *horrified gasps*
AMY: I'm coming, baby! I'm so sorry! Red or white?
My mom cooked a huge meal for us, and was frantically throwing random hams into the oven at the last minute because THERE MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH FOOD. She does this every year, and I used to laugh at her. But then I cooked several Thanksgiving and one Christmas dinners on my own and have learned that she can't help it, the oven gives off Crazy Rays to your brain that suddenly makes an 18-pound turkey not look nearly big enough to feed four whole people, so OH MY GOD I better defrost a pot roast and make another kind of salad.
MOM: I used your recipe for the potato casserole, but I didn't put the bread crumbs on top. I'm sorry.
AMY: Don't worry! I'm sure it will be just fine without the bread crumbs.
MOM: I also made coffee before you got here, but everybody drank it. I'm sorry.
AMY: It's okay! We'll kick their asses after dessert.
MOM: I can't find my wine glass markers! I've looked everywhere! I'm sorry.
AMY: Really, it's all right. I taped a big Christmas bow to Jennie's glass so she'll stop losing it. She's dumb sometimes.
MOM: I made a tomato and mozzarella salad, but I don't have any fresh basil. I'm so sorry.
AMY: Well, now you've just totally RUINED Christmas, you know.
And my dad, who is still holding his role as Post-Christmas-Gift-Wrap-Disposal-Patrol-Dictator after all these years. Also loves his TiVo and had a CIVIL WAR Wishlist created in mere minutes. Thinks Amalah.com is the biggest possible waste of my time and talent, because y'all are just four or five dimwits who comment under different names.
AMY: Hey Dad, a literary agent emailed me. I'm going to write a book!
DAD: That's amazing! Wonderful! How did she get your email address?
AMY: Well, through the site.
DAD: *immediately suspicious that Amy has mistaken Viagra spam for a book deal*
God, I love them all so much.