As the rich cultural tradition of bitching about your family around thanksgiving goes, I feel like I should chime in with my story. Specifically, the In-Laws. My wife, God bless her, comes from a really fucking weird and fucked up family that we’ll delve into here. And please, feel free to run away screaming, as that’s my desire as well. You aren’t going to hurt my feelings, and I can’t hurt theirs so I am forced to type this for the internet.

We’ll start with the mother’s side, because they are divorced and this is the first of my four thanksgivings. Mom and step dad are cowboys fans, as it deserves to be mentioned at the forefront. Stereotypical Cowboys fans at that, her with her big half-a-can-of-hair-spray doo and him with his ever present hat and never present sleeves. Ole stepdad lost his job before I met him and had to abandon their old house and move into the house he grew up in, which they quickly mortgaged to keep up with their lifestyle of 70 inch televisions and Sunday ticket. Stepdad then proceeded to have quadrupole bypass surgery, sans insurance, which is not recommended by anyone I’ve ever met. While stepdad is in the hospital, the wife’s half sister decides it’s a bully idea to take step dad’s new truck and teach herself how to drive with two boyfriends. This ends as well as you are picturing, namely in the front of a house five Goddamn doors down the street after having destroyed the yard, porch and entryway to the house. Upon hearing this, while he’s fortuitously still in the ICU, he has a stroke. This was two years ago and he’s not yet been released to drive a car, which is fine because liability-only didn’t cover a new truck anyway.

So the house has now been foreclosed upon after having been paid off two decades earlier and then re-mortgaged. This drives the folks to step-dad’s sisters property out in the fucking boondocks, where they are setup with a nice refurbished trailer. All’s well that ends well. Except, he is unable to ride in a car for any extended length of time due to complications from the stroke, so every time we are going to visit it’s over an hour away in the middle of the woods where the kids can’t spell but can all play the banjo with fantastic skill. Fan-fucking-tastic.

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We’re going to move on before I give myself an aforementioned stroke, to the fathers side. Father was recently married for the fifth time, after having been engaged three times in the six years I’ve been in the picture. He’s on full disability for having had back surgery once two decades ago, so it’s not all bad in that he gets to watch my four year old son once a week for free, provided we take him to his smoke filled ramshackle house in the city. Again though, free daycare, one day a week! When I picked him up a few weeks ago, they were watching “Saving Private Ryan”, so it’s really working out well for me. Dad’s brother also lives with him and his new spouse, and he is also on disability for going through the windshield of his jeep a while back in a head on collision. To look at, the uncle has no outward signs of struggle except I’ve never seen him in anything other than cut-off sweatpants. But the suicidal thoughts and general lament of life and responsibility really make it a stellar situation to have to drop my son off at once a week.

I have zero bad to say about my Step-Mother-In-Law, she’s fantastic. She, however, has three children that we are now step in laws with and forced to spend time with and holy shit. The oldest is a nice enough guy with a good job trimming trees. Apparently you have to protect yourself from the trees, because I’ve never not seen him with his S&W; at the wedding, his kids birthday parties, Christmas at their house, Phantom of the Opera, etc. He had a kid at 18 that also had a kid at 18, but his baby’s mother was clean during the pregnancy, while his daughter was not. So she has a 2 month premature son that weighed just a shade under three pounds at birth and promptly left the child at the hospital to go and shoot up heroin. For some reason, the state took the kid and no one can figure out why. Anyway, she just turned 21 and celebrated by getting knocked up again, so that’s pretty sweet. His son is pretty rad though, I genuinely enjoy him so of course he GTFO asap and joined the army to get away from this family. Dammit.

The middle son is a peach. The first time I met him was at the bachelor party for his new stepdad, my already father in law. I met him as he was being escorted from the bar by three bouncers at 315 on a Saturday afternoon for being too drunk and picking a fight with the sound tech that was setting up for the opening band. This guy is actually a pretty tragic figure, so I’m going to cut the snark for a minute. He had a kid at 18 as well and when his daughter, the second kid, was 13 she was raped by her uncle, on the moms side. Upon hearing that his brother in law raped his daughter, he lost his shit, which, yeah. Two days apart the mother and rapist brother killed themselves, he in jail and her in their bedroom. The daughter, scarred understandably, blamed herself and went on a rampage, getting knocked up in the process and having a kid at the tender age of 14. Brother in law is a grandpa at 33. He again flips out and this time gives himself a brain aneurysm on a bender and is now on full disability as well.

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The youngest daughter, I really don’t have time for because this thing is way god damn longer than I intended. She’s got two kids, two dads, neither are her husband currently who is a colossal cocksucker, which makes sense. She’s never had a job that I know of, yet has two kids and a deadbeat husband who steadfastly refuses to do family affairs, like take the kids to school or pick them up or be a decent human being.

Lastly is my wife’s sister. The sweetest, most naïve and trusting person I’ve ever met. She married a Marine that was her high school crush and he’s a solid dude, hence Marine. But he’s kind of a selfish dick, in that he spent his first months’ combat pay while she’s home with their child on high end photography shit while in Afghanistan. Why is anyone’s guess because he has never shown anyone one photo from his new equipment and then he sold the fucking thing for a beater ‘project car’ to work on, even though they currently live in a one bedroom apartment in a tenement style complex with no garage. Or tools.

This poor girl though. She was always nervous and sick, and soon after I’m in the picture she gets Thyroid cancer at 24. It was removed and she made a full recovery, but she can’t regulate her weight anymore and so the husband gets back from Afghanistan, because he couldn’t get his tour cut short while she’s in the hospital for some reason, to a wife that is now almost 80 pounds heavier than the one he left. In lieu of sympathy for his sick wife, he’s stopped wearing his ring and started prowling bars. He’s being discharged in a few months and they are moving back here, where the expectation is he’s going to abandon her, which I honestly, after all this is coming out here, can not blame him.

SO, sorry for typing two damn pages of vitriol and disgust, but it’s family tradition to have to deal with this shit.