Skip to main content

Did You Ever Notice: Grandma Was A Raging Alcoholic

Happy Thanksgiving.

The holiday season is now firmly upon us. Once the turkey settles a little lower in our guts, the football games end and the Black Friday sales start, its Christmas music season again. I get why some people hate it. But our family falls firmly in the love it category: We started listening to Christmas music on Nov. 8 this year. I relish every  Christmas decoration, every advertisement, and every song. No matter how early.

And with Christmas song season comes the comedic songs, like Domonic the Donkey, My Two Front Teeth, and every single one of the Chipmunks' Christmas songs. These are mostly fun songs you can feel safe singing with your kids. And then there is Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer; an awful song with a terrible message about codependency and alcoholism. 

Seriously.

The entire song is essentially an open letter smearing Santa in the hopes of blackmailing him into a settlement. Sure, there are no overt demands made, but that is part of the scheme's cleverness. No demands, no blackmail, right? But think about it, here we have an angry, intolerable alcoholic who tangles with the beloved Santa on Christmas Eve and what does her family do? They publicize it in an effort at diverting shame and liability and in a clear attempt to secure more presents.

The evidence:

First: Grandma Is Probably A Raging Alcoholic.

The song clearly states that she had been drinking too much eggnog. Lest you think its the type they sell in grocery stores, the song also notes she:
"staggered out the door into the snow"
Grandma is staggeringly drunk. So Grandma has either been chugging the eggnog pretty good during this party or she pre-gamed.

And I'm guessing she needed that medication that night. Right then at that moment. There aren't many medications you desperately need to take - drunkenly walk home in a snow storm at age 90 desperately - that don't react poorly with alcohol.

Regardless, she wants to head home and get her medication. And her drunken state is typical enough of Grandma that no one bats an eye at letting her wander off into a sub-30 degree winter wonderland.

Oh sure, they "begged her not to go." We all know how that "begging" goes.

Second: The Family Didn't Really Like Grandma Very Much

Because ask yourself this: if your staggeringly drunk grandmother needed to go home in a snow storm to get desperately needed medication, would you let her walk more than a handful of houses? Wouldn't you offer to go along with her? And if that trip included traversing a snow-filled neighborhood, wouldn't offer to drive her? Yet this grandmother was so beloved they let her drunkenly stagger out into the snow.

Alone. For the sake of kindness I'll assume grandma lived just down the block. But that opens its own can of worms when we get the next line:
"When we found her Christmas morning."
Wait! When you found her Christmas morning? Grandma staggered out into the snow to go get critical medication, and no one thought to go look for her until the next day? What the hell were you doing all the while? Lets assume that after 3 hours, someone thought "hey, you know what, its getting pretty late and Grandma sure has been gone a while." What exactly happened here? How did this go down? The family placed a call to the house and Grandma didn't answer so they just gave up?

If Grandma goes missing in a snow storm and she doesn't answer her phone, you send out a search party for her, right? You wouldn't simply hang up and assume your drunken, medicine-dependent Grandma made it home in a snow storm, would you? No. But if she is close enough to stagger home in a snow storm, how hard could it be to find her? We already established that she can't be more than a handful of houses away.

And I can't repeat this clearly enough: there is snow on the ground. Is it believable that these people can't track the shambling, snow-bound footprints of their drunk Grandma?

Or is it more likely they simply never looked?

Third: Grandma Was A Mean Drunk

It is more likely the family simply never looked. Why? Lets look at how is the family handling this loss. Pretty well, actually, as the narrator admits. Grandpa is taking it particularly well.
"See him in there watchin football, drinkin' beer and playing cards with cousin Mel."
The two of them do seem to be taking this awfully well. Maybe because after years of abuse cousin Mel is happy to celebrate a quiet holiday without the threat of the police showing up when Grandma accuses someone of stealing from her. Grandpa is probably relieved to finally be free of Grandma's yoke. The two of them have been putting up with decades of Grandma's ridiculously dramatic stunts, like "forgetting" her medicine, berating everyone else for it and shaming everyone around her for their role. You have to assume that either the family just simply refused to go with Grandma to get her medication because of how horrible a drunk she is or that she belligerently declined an escort.

And then we get this line:
"Its not Christmas without Grandma"
Of course its not Christmas without Grandma. Who is going to pass out drunkenly into the Jello mold this year after bitterly accusing everyone of giving her shitty gifts in some kind of poorly planned and thinly veiled effort to wiggle their way into her will?

Not Grandma, that is for sure, because no one thought to walk her home or check on her when she never came back.

Nice.

Fourth: The Plan To Smear Santa

So if this story isn't really about how awful Santa is but about a drunk Grandma, what is the point? I'd suggest its an attempt at extortion.

The thing about it is, there isn't really any evidence the family is at a loss of any kind. In addition to Grandpa and cousin Mel playing cards and generally carrying on as if nothing happened, the narrator is singing a fun, upbeat song and the rest of the family is dressed in black. That is the lone evidence of mourning: the family is dressed in black. That is literally the least you can can do.

The rest of the song haphazardly smears someone everyone recognizes is a good guy. But this smear campaign has all the subtlety of a two-year-old child with a broad brush. First, the song mentions the family found Grandma - the next day, as we've said - with hoof prints on her forehead

I'll be the first to admit this doesn't look great for Rudolph and crew. But consider for just a moment that our kindly elf might have taken time away from his usual Christmas Eve business to try and help the clearly intoxicated Grandma. Knowing what we know about Grandma, its completely possible she struck the reindeer, who, being an animal, simply responded in the only way it knew how.

Next, the family suggests they found incriminating Klaus marks on poor Grannies back? Those are harder to justify. Boy does that look bad.

But I'll leave you with this... the family that couldn't be bothered to walk or even drive Grandma to her nearby home to get her medicine, or even go look for her after she disappeared, suddenly becomes all action when they smell an angle.
"I've told all my friends and neighbors, better watch out for yourself"
So while walking a few doors down for Grandma's heart meds proved simply too much work and imposition, the narrator already managed to spread word of a 1-in-Oh-I-don't-know-12-trillion risk from Klaus hit and run far and wide.

Maybe if he had used some of that motivation Grandma would still be with us.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Meditations

A couple months ago I posted about a push up challenge, and at the risk of pushing this blog into a self-help section, I'm going to post something else that I really enjoy that I think might help a reader or two (all two of you!).

Lifehacker.com currently runs what it calls "Mid-Week Meditations," which is a short story on some piece of ancient wisdom.  Oooohhhhhhh, its ancient.  Just so you know, I'm not one to fall for the whole "ancient" is best meme.

But this is legit good stuff.  They take a quote or concept from a philosopher in the past - think Marcus Aurelius - translate what the sometimes mumbo jumboish phrase means, and then kind of detail how you can apply it.

This week, its all about how to train your mind for constructive thinking.

One thing I love about the series is that it doesn't dress up the knowledge too much.  It doesn't make it out to be more than it is, or suggest that its great simply because some Greek guy said it 2,000 years …

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…

Stop Telling Kids They Are Perfect The Way They Are

Parenting is super tricky.

You do a thing you think is great - look, I've set very strict guidelines that will make my kid a super adult and prepare them for the world - and all you do is instill them with the thought that you never let them have fun and kept them from being able to adjust to the world as it is.
OTOH, you give them no rules and be their friend, and they long for you to have given them direction and guidance and pushed them so that they didn't end up with no skills and a habit of laying around on a couch all day.
It is really the ultimate no win situation in a game that feels incredibly important to win.  As a result, I'm hesitant to give hard and fast advice on how to parent a specific child.
But there is one piece thing I think we parents need to stop doing across the board: stop telling kids they are "perfect the way they are."  
This is also a tricky, mine filled field to traipse through, because honestly, self esteem requires that we like who…