Songbird mentioned that I needed to relate the trial that was my younger brother's graduation. I related this story back when it happened in a newsgroup we used to frequent, and it was met with much hilarity. I warn you -- bad language abounds, and some of you may realize that we might be related. :)
Here's the original message with a few edits for names and such....
I mentioned that I just attended my brother's college graduation -- let me share the full horror that it was to demonstrate the levels of Hell to our other members.
First of all, my brother went to Clemson. Which, while a nice picturesque school, is rather decidedly more *agrarian* than I had supposed. The first thing I saw when I drove up, on this, my very first visit, was a large barn and silo combination. Nice, but not really what I was expecting.
The ceremony was nice, but my father totally ignored the "please wait until the end to applaud for your graduate." He brings an air horn. Hoo-whee, we're a classy bunch! My father then breaks out the cell phone to call my brother to let my brother know that Dad was the source of the air horn. (Like it could have been *anyone else.*)
Then, after the commencement, it was my brother's intention to take us all to the restaurant where he's worked for the past three years. I'll admit that I was thinking along the lines of Bennigan's, or TGIFriday's, when I learned that he was waiting tables and tending bar. Imagine my surprise when the place was rather posh.
After the ceremony, we all troop over to my brother's girlfriend's for some wine and cheese and the like. It's only 1pm, and dinner reservations are for five, so we have time to kill. The libations start flowing freely. A bottle of champagne, a bottle each of Dewar's, Scotch, and Royal Crown are all liberally emptied, along with several types of beer. Keep in mind that there are only six adults in our party, and I'm not drinking.
So, we move along to the restaurant at about four, stopping to take the quick, two-wheel tour of Clemson. We arrive, and go straight to the bar because our table is not yet ready. The restaurant is beautiful. As dinner finally gets underway, we (what do I mean, we? *They*) consume two more bottles of wine, plus at least three mixed drinks each as well.
We are in an upstairs dining room of what was probably once a colonial mansion. There are, I would estimate, about thirty other diners there in the room. My mother gets up, and announces a toast to the room at large. When this goes largely ignored, she decides to *sing* instead. I was too busy being horrified beyond all rational thought to pay much attention. When this, too, goes
largely ignored, she goes around to various diners, hugging them, as she sings. My brother, larger of heart and more forgiving of nature than I am, stands up, and says:"My mother, ladies and gentlemen. Give it up for her."
Our table gets progressively louder, until my father, who by this time, is now close to a dull shout, announces, in one of those sotto voce tones that still manages to carry like a son of a bitch, "I'm feelin' my titties, and I feel *good!*" As if this wasn't enough, my father looks over to the foyer where a large Christmas tree is displayed, and says, "Hm." My stepfather sees his look
and estimates aloud that the tree is about a twenty-five footer. (We are on the second floor, looking down on the first floor, which is currently filled up with tree.) My father gets up, walks to the balcony, unzips his fly, and pretends to "measure" the tree. He then turns around, and says to the assembled crowd -- "Yup! That's a twenty-five footer all right!" Fly still unzipped and all.
My mother cries. Her baby boy is graduated. She then launches into a diatribe about how Clemson is a fine place of higher learning, and just because all her family went to USC, they can kiss her ass. It's mentioned that my brother, who graduated magna, was the only person who graduated with honors in his field. My father announces :"That's great. He got in with a bunch of dumbasses!"
After this, my father and stepfather both trade insults back and forth about what a bitch my mother is. I entreat my father not to say "fuck" so many times, or at least not as loudly. When this doesn't work I tell him that he's the one who will have to attend the conferences with Offspring's BattleAxe teacher when she repeats that in school. This ploy also does not work. I then begin to assess a fine of $20 for each "fuck" he utters. I collect a hundred dollars before the night ends. (Somewhere in here, he also mentions that my ass is large enough to show a movie on.)
As we (mercifully) leave the restaurant, I mention to my brother that I'm sure glad he'll be moving on to bigger and better things since we've certainly ruined his career here at this fine establishment. My father decides that he needs a drink "for the road." (No worries about open container laws at the holidays for us!) My father flirts with the bartender, who is younger than I am. My *brother* has to pry my father off of the bar so the poor girl can see to the other patrons. (Not to mention that he's scaring the hell out of her.) Leaving the building, my father falls down the stairs, only to come up cursing that he's spilled his drink.
As we all pile into my mother's van, my father feels up my stepfather's ass. I warn my stepfather not to take it all in drunken jest as Father *did* spend some time in the Navy.
They all troop back to my brother's for more drinks, and my father realizes that somewhere along the way he's lost his cell phone and his car keys. He tells my brother that he'll just spend the night on his porch, and proceeds to pass out on my brother's steps.
The capper of the story is that my husband, who had to work and could not attend, laughed his ass off, and said that he always missed the *good stuff.* He didn't feel sorry for me in the slightest.
So, you can see why "family time" make me very afraid.