When Family Traditions Go Awry

“Oh and I bought canned whipped cream,” my mother-in-law said. “So if you want some on your pie it’s in the kitchen.”

Several happy chirps rang out from the inhabitants of the table. I kept my peace. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and that nasty spray can whipped cream is more sugar than dairy. It actually surprised me that it was even there. My in-laws are healthy eaters. You know the type; organic vegetables, unpasteurized milk, and cereal that tastes like cardboard. When I first came around their family, holding hands with their tall curly haired brunette boy, I was about thirty pounds heavier than I am now. I felt like Bertha Big Butt among the clan of Healthy Stick People. Thankfully they loved me anyway.

Back to present. Once I got over the initial shock of hearing this garbage food item was in the household, someone said, “Can we spray it into our mouths like we used to do at Nani’s?”

Really? I thought. No. No they won’t.

“Sure,” my father-in-law said. “We need to do the two little ones first because they never got to.”

I tugged my husband’s sleeve. “Timmy, is this usual? Like some Thanksgiving tradition that I knew nothing about?”

Tim shrugged. “We used to do it at Nani’s.” Okay love… I’d heard that part.

The can emerged from the kitchen. Apparently Dad was the one to administer, Father’s privilege I guess. I watched them squirt the squishy sugary sticky slop between the open lips of everyone around the table: the two little ones (four and eight), my sister-in-law, Jessica, my brother-in-law, Jon, and then my husband. I knew Mom wasn’t going to partake and Dad held the can so he didn’t have to worry…

“Do you want some Rachel?” Jon asked.

I considered. I knew I didn’t care for the stuff, (I’d had it before) but it’s good to push your boundaries and try things when you have the opportunity, especially when they are unlikely to cause real harm. Besides, what if I die tomorrow. I could see myself lying in my hospital bed, looking into my husband’s tear filled eyes and murmuring in a weak hushed voice, “Now I’ll never know what it is like to have whipped cream sprayed into my mouth.” The heart monitor flatlines. My husband presses his wet eyes to my hand.

“Oh why not,” I said. “You only live once.”

If you can’t understand what I’m saying with my mouth full of whipped cream, I asked, “What do I do now?”

It should have stopped there. We had all been apportioned our share of gross chemical dairy product, but my sister-in-law really wanted to administer some of the delicious whipped treat herself. My brother-in-law, Jon, volunteered. He asked the video to be taken in slow motion. What followed was completely unplanned, impromptu, and all around unscripted. Here it is below. It was well worth the cleanup. 🙂

(and if you listen very closely, you can hear Pinkie, my mother-in-law’s pet stegosaurus, humming Thanksgiving carols in the background)

18 thoughts on “When Family Traditions Go Awry

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  1. I love your description of first impressions of my brother’s family. I will never forget Jess saying “I’m totally stress eating, I’m not even hungry” or something to that effect – as she chowed down on a huge bowl of….SALAD? Seriously I wish I stress ate salad instead of chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We always spelled her name Nanny….
    I can’t believe you made it to adulthood before experiencing this. I found it much more pleasant as a child than as an adult.
    Being from the less healthy, organic, raw food side of the family…. this chemically rich holiday tradition is a staple in my mother’s refrigerator year round….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you watch the expressions on their faces as the event is occurring, you can see, with the aide of slow motion, the sinister thoughts actually flitting through their eyes. It’s hysterical. ❤


    1. I’m afraid it was necessary, or the post would have made little sense. I did, in fact, accidentally post this earlier this morning without the video’s embedded. I can assure you it lacked the proper “punch”. I removed it until the matter was appropriately rectified. I do, however, I apologize for upsetting you. I hope the feelings will soon dissipate (in all probability they already have). If it won’t regurgitate too many fowl memories, may one inquire as to what exactly disturbed you?


      1. Oh, yeah, I’ll tell you what I found disturbing about the videos, and then, then I’ll tell you, in detail, about the death of my dog, and how everyone at school always picked on me, and specifically, the time in the first grade a kid called me fatso even though I wasn’t fat I was just wearing a large coat. Let me just get right on that.
        Ha ha. Really I just don’t like watching people eat stuff,

        – The President and Founder

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh My Gosh I laughed through this whole blog!!!! Your take on the eating habits of your in-laws is perfect! Oh how I LOVE this family! This is absolutely priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

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