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Christmas Connections

January 5, 2009 by BLAKEBUCK

Alcohol – A Family Tradition

“And I made a page on the intercom, there asking, ‘Is this anybody’s lettuce?’ And I did it two times, and nobody answered so I threw the lettuce out. Well come two o’clock, Bill comes up and he says, ‘Why did you throw out Tony’s lettuce?’ And I told him ‘I made a page and lettuce costs all of 99 cents, Bill, and you can get some more’”


My mother’s self-righteous monologue to my Aunt Bonnie would likely continue for another 30 minutes or so. I felt sorry for Bonnie, so I made sure her sacrifice w

ould not be in vain. I ducked into the kitchen and grabbed the orange juice out of the fridge. I might not be getting much in the way of presents from at the Buck Family Christmas this year, but I was sure getting my money’s worth in scr


My extended family continued to “visit” in the living room as I searched the cabinets for my cousin’s “good vodka”. Soon, I bumped into my Uncle Jimbo, pouring himself a hearty glass of straight Ciroc, a glass that still had the remnants of some quite potent eggnog. “Now Blake, you never drank when you lived with me in Nashville”, Jimbo muttered as I snatched the bottle of vodka out of his hand. “Well you know. The economy and whatnot.”

But Jimbo didn’t seem to hear me, he just smiled and wandered into living room. Perhaps he had another racist joke on tap, one that came to him in a moment of lucidity. And that’s when I had a revalation. One that I could only now spot, thanks to a fews year of experience with alcohol. Jimbo wasn’t just having a quick drink. It wasn’t just a simple sip before dinner. Jimbo had been drinking all day. And not just Jimbo.

Almost everybody at the Buck Family Christmas was completely smashed. And had been since 10 o’ clock that morning.

I took some solace in this fact, making my own alcoholic misgivings seem like a minor setback. But of course, it all made since now. The only way any of us could have a good time at this family gathering was heavy “medication”, and things had been this way ever since I was a child. How else could they all deal with the embittered attitudes, the two dogs tearing everything up, and the roaming gang of 4-year-olds demanding we open presents now instead of after dinner?

I now saw the Buck Family Christmas in a brand new light. Is every family more or less like this? But we hadn’t even opened presents yet – there was still plenty of fun to be had at this year’s party…

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