The Holidays Are For Love… and Desperation… and Love.
This post is a sponsored promotional post for the movie Daddy’s Home.
Nothing brings out one’s insecurities and a raging desire to be loved like family gatherings during the holidays. Illustrating that perfectly is the hilarious new movie Daddy’s Home, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in theaters Christmas Day. Will Ferrell plays the step dad who finds himself competing with his children’s real dad (Mark Wahlberg) after he rides into town on his motorcycle oozing coolness. Needless to say, they result to some pretty over the top stunts in an effort to outshine each other.
I personally know that feeling of wanting to impress, and almost every family has a story of a holiday disaster, or sibling battle, or an out-gifting attempt gone too far.
When it comes to holiday stories, I have a personal one that will always stand out in my mind. I’m sure I will tell my grandchildren about it someday – it was almost a disaster, and could’ve left me intensely insecure around my in-laws for years to come.
It was the Christmas of 2009.
I was a mother to a one-year old boy, and my in-laws had travelled to stay in our home for the very first time. Our very small home – four grown ups, one baby, one bathroom. Good times.
I sympathize with Will Ferrell’s character in Daddy’s Home so much. I wanted to “win” their love, and I wanted to win it hard. Every move I made was spawned from a deep need for them to fall in love with me. I wanted to impress them with my home, my food, and even my diaper changing skills…
The “incident” happened on the Saturday before Christmas while we were all in the living room hopped up on coffee (with the exception of my newly mobile baby, who was hopped up on the sheer joy of living). My husband and his folks were talking quite loudly and excitedly over each other – which I now know is simply their natural state. Out of the blue I felt a sharp, twisty pain in my lower intestines… I quickly ran out of the room shouting, “Going to the bathroom! Somebody watch the kid!”
I don’t know if I ate something I shouldn’t have, or if the need-to-impress-stress was causing my insides to bubble, but something was terribly wrong. I started to get the sweats, and the bathroom was still steamy from the three showers it has endured that morning. I started to have a hard time breathing as I prepared for… well, the something bad that I knew was coming.
As I braced myself sitting on the toilet, I noticed that I no longer heard voices coming from the living room (our place was small and acoustically well designed). There was a lull. THERE. WAS. A. LULL. There were no grown ups talking over each other, and I could feel the pressure building up in my abdomen. I remember screaming in my head, “Why is the loudest family on Earth quiet at this exact moment? No one should hear what I’m about to do. Somebody make some freaking noise!”
My heart started to beat very fast and in a moment of brilliance, I reached over and turned on the faucet.
Thank goodness for powerful water pressure.
And I had zero control over what came out of my body at that moment.
It did not feel good. It did not sound good. It did not look good.
It also smelled of death.
I so very much wanted to hide in that bathroom and never come out… but the smell surely would’ve killed me. Instead, I futilely opened our penitentiary-sized bathroom window and cracked open the door to peer out and meet my fate…
The living room was empty. There was no one even in the house.
For some blessed reason, everyone had decided to go into the backyard…
And I was about to count my lucky stars when they all came marching in and my father in-law declared it was his turn to take a shower.
I could feel waves of panic wash over me as I realized I had to warn him. I couldn’t possibly let him walk into that smell…
And then have him associate that smell with me.
I mustered the bravery to say not loud enough to the general air, “No one should go in the bathroom for a few minutes”. The fake smile on my face was ridiculous…
But my father in-law was now arguing with my mother in-law on the other side of the house and didn’t hear me.
I silently wished for the magic of Christmas to make me disappear…
But my husband had heard my warning and went to check it out.
He stopped short at the bathroom door where the smell-wall had clearly hit him. He turned to me with that look that someone gets when they suck on a lime and mouthed the words, “Do we have any matches?”
“No”, I mouthed back.
He bee lined to the junk drawer and rooted around only to be disappointed.
He grabbed a lighter and a box of birthday candles instead.
Just then I saw my father in-law swing a towel over his shoulder and head for the bathroom…
Before I could scream, “NOOOOOO”, my husband intercepted him and said frantically, “I need to get in there, Dad, before you shower.”
Then he went in and…
stayed in there for at least five minutes.
It took me a while to realize what he was doing…
He was claiming that smell as his own.
That my friends, is love…
And it was a good Christmas after all.
I look back at that moment as one of the greatest romantic gestures of our marriage. Lord only knows the ridiculous over-compensation I would’ve attempted to try and erase it from my in-law’s minds had he not saved me.
Years later, I’ve given them two grand babies and they spoil me like the daughter they never had…
Although, my brother in-law did recently get married, so they have another daughter now too.
Don’t worry. When they start pumping out cute grand babies too, I’ll be ready to up my game.
Daddy’s Home is in theaters everywhere Christmas Day! Might I suggest seeing it in the evening so that whatever craziness has happened with your family that day can pale in comparison to the antics of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
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Do you have a funny Holiday story? Or a standard fight that happens every year? Comment using the rafflecopter below to win a $50 Amazon gift card.
See you at the movies!
“This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Daddy’s Home blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.”