Hissy Fit - November 2017

Control Freaks Report to Center Stage: It's the Most Fabulous Time of the Year to Boss People Around


Get ready control freaks. The holidays are your time to shine.
Sorry to call you freaks, but I didn’t invent the phrase.
Besides, most control freaks are pretty quick to admit they’re one, as if it’s a good thing.

Oh dear! Did I just imply it’s not a good thing? Well, it can be a good thing if you want to be the one and only who knows it all, plans it all and does it all. Doesn’t that sound relaxing and fun? Plus, other people, such as your friends and family, are thrilled not to have to worry about having a thought, idea or opinion that counts. Everyone wants to live out your version of the perfect holidays. They are perfect, right? Silly question, of course they are. For you. Oh my, did I just say that?

Correct me if I’m wrong (and if you’re a control freak, I probably am), but aren’t the holidays about joy, giving, sharing and caring? I realize those are dreadful concepts, but joy should be joyous…jus’ sayin’. Did not the Grinch even learn to embrace joy for joy’s sake?

We lesser people—you know, the ones you have to tolerate and occasionally appease because we have a mind of our own—want to help and infuse our ideas into the holiday family gatherings. (I know, you’re now hyperventilating. Breathe. Deeper.)

So here’s a little list I’ve put together for the control freaks out there to help them relax (and share) into the joy of the holidays without hyperventilating:

The Thanksgiving meal:
This may come as a surprise, but other people know how to cook. Good, too. Some people even like it. Let’s plan the meal together. What do you say? (Somebody get a paper sack. She’s turning blue.)

The Christmas tree:
**Spoiler alert** There is no such thing as a perfect Christmas Tree. There are not right and wrong placements of ornaments.** The spirit of Christmas is lost when our only job is to stand back nodding our heads when you ask us if you missed a spot and then be told you didn’t. The tree is a tree, not a stick up your…Oh wait, here’s a business idea: A “decorate by numbers” Christmas tree kit. Same concept as paint by numbers: All #1 ornaments go on #1 limb placements, etc. And, I know you have an artificial tree because a real one is going to have a hole, or lean, or have some flaw that you’ll eye first thing.

Shopping for Christmas gifts: Let your poor husband have a say in what the children, or at least his side of the family, are getting for Christmas, and if you won’t, then don’t drag him around shopping with you, making him feel fairly worthless, just sitting in the “man chair.” By the way, your mother can shop for herself. It’s OK if she doesn’t find the absolute best deal in town. Rumor has it she had a whole life before you were born.

Family gatherings: Try something new—listen with an open mind. (Paper sack, please. Somebody needs to fan her) I know how these conversations go, which are not conversations at all.
They are guessing games, with land mines, that go something like this:

Control Freak (CF) with a plan in hand: Hey y’all! I’m excited about our gathering. (looks at her plan) Where do y’all want to have Thanksgiving this year?
Others: Mom’s?
CF: (silence)
Others: Aunt Roberta and Uncle Bobby’s?
CF: (silence, glancing down at her legal pad)
Others: (reluctantly) How about your house?
CF: OK. We can do it at my house. That’s a lot of work, though. (sighing, as she checks off location) Well, let’s plan the meal. We should have turkey and ham.
Others #1: I can get the ham.
CF: Well, I was going to get it at Costco. They have the best ones and the best prices. But… you can get it if you want.
Others:  (looking at each other, not daring to offer to get the ham again) No. Costco is great. Perfect!
CF: What sides do y’all think we should have? Gerry, you always do a pretty good green bean casserole. Were you planning on bringing that?
Gerry:  I can do that again.
CF: (check)
Others #2: I saw a great recipe in Pink Magazine for a Libby’s Pumpkin Roll that looked delicious. I really want to make one and bring it.
CF: I guess so. Although we always have pumpkin pie, though I guess it would be OK to have both. I don’t know. Do y’all think people would eat both?
Others:  (silence)
Others #2: (rubbing wound from land mine blast) It was just a thought.
CF: So who wants to make the pumpkin pie? (check)
And so it goes. Finally, the plot, I mean plan, is in place, ready for everyone to gather.
CF: (inner thoughts) They better enjoy this. I had to plan the whole thing. Without me we’d be eating at Denny’s or something. No one appreciates anything.
Others: Y’all want to watch “The Grinch?” (inner thoughts: Maybe this year it will sink in.)