A festive gathering with little genuine cheer attached. The nut stuffing has ruined Erin’s meal, her day and perhaps her life. This story is a snapshot of fake relationships and of biting the tongue in order to play nice with family out of obligation and in trying to keep everyone happy, even though everyone clearly is not.
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Of course now everybody wants the nut stuffing. Fucking bitch.
Look at them all gorging themselves on Christmas lunch like it was their last meal. The food tastes of nothing and it has the texture of soggy cardboard in my mouth. They enjoy theirs, with their paper crowns and hilarious one-liners scraped from the very barrel of humour. I’m swallowing acidic fur balls and no-one notices as they wallow in their deep self-indulgences.
“More wine, Erin?”
“Thanks.” That’s Truman, sickly sweet boyfriend of mother’s. At least the wine tastes good. It washes the foul taste of the meal from my mouth. I chose the wine myself and it tastes sweet. Like the lunch would have done so too if it had been left well alone.
“Chestnut stuffing,” she’d said, taking charge of my kitchen, “anyone fancy nut stuffing?” Of course, they did and now they all chew on it like the it’s ambrosia itself. Again, fucking bitch.
They’d have been happy with my sage and onion stuffing if it hadn’t been for her and now it’s ruined the meal. Ruined the day. Ruined Christmas. My life. Like what I do isn’t good enough for the family all year round. Like Christmas needs her and interfering ways. The gravy-laden meal in front of me turns to raw sewage before my eyes.
“This stuffing is great, Erin.” That’s all I need. Truman slops around in his creeping, soliciting way. He likes everybody to like him, for some reason he feels he has to prove himself to the rest of the family. The best way for him to do so is to kiss everyone’s ass.
Mumbles of appreciation and acquiescence floods in from all corners of the dining table. Oh great, they all like the stuffing and are thanking me for it! The meal would have been incomplete without it. What’s wrong with the roast potatoes? The turkey? The home-made cranberry sauce? Why does no-one mention them? That’s because they are the bland and insignificant ideas I came up with compared to the wondrous culinary delight that is the nut stuffing that she had me make. No one mentions the veg. No. Just the nut stuffing. Her fucking nut stuffing.
A quick glance at her and I can see the sadistic grin on her lips as she sucks another chunk of the stuff off her fork.
“You’ll have to give me the recipe, dear,” says mother.