Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Ask Auntyji: Do I have to visit my in-laws for Christmas?

You ask, Auntyji answers!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Family event

Dear Auntyji,
Let me tell you the tale of my Christmas woes. My husband is is fifth generation white Australian, while I am first generation Australian of Indian origin. For the past 15 years, we have celebrated Christmas at Andy’s parents’ place, where all his uncles, aunts, cousins, long lost relatives all get together. But Auntyji, instead of families getting together and having fun, at this Christmas event, every single year for the past 15 years, it all becomes a shambles. At the end of the day, there are tears, tantrums, tormented tussles and even one torrid affair. Auntyji, what is this nonsense? When I talk to people at work, it occurs to me that everyone seems to have tales of woe – and no family is immune from these holiday horrors. So, now that I am older and have kids, I really don’t want them to see this type of behaviour. I am planning on boycotting the party entirely and spending the day at home self-medicating with eggnog generously spiked with vodka. I know, I know, this is not how to make egg nog, but the idea is what matters. What should I do, Auntyji – can I safely get out of this event?

Auntyji says

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Oh, what marvellous tales of mean-spiritedness come to the fore at Christmas gatherings! What delicious stories of the worst of human behaviour on display for all to laugh at. So my dear little bauble, now that you have survived the Christmas carnage that is good tidings at Andy’s parents’ place, why would you stop now? Imagine, you have so many tales of Christmas woe that you will be the life of every dinner conversation. All you have to do is tell all the tawdry tales of Christmases past, and you will have everyone hanging on your every word. Besides, now that you have kids, and they have seen the worst of their relatives, why would you stop them from acquiring stories that they could tell their own kids of the ghosts of Christmases past? I say you continue to go to all the Christmas events, and watch everything that goes down, and then retell them to friends over the New Year all the way through to Australia Day. How interesting it is to be part of such a loud, rumbustious, crazy, wild, weird family. You really are lucky to be surrounded by such characters. Christmas is a time for family and togetherness and many are not fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who love them in spite of their outbursts. Most people’s relatives and Christmas events are fairly sedate, dull affairs. Not yours, my dear, so enjoy it. And if I were you, I would look for opportunities to create a tamasha of your own. Try playing the racism card by reminding everyone that the British stole the Koh-i-noor and they should give it back. Merry Christmas!

Office Xmas party

Dear Auntyji,
At the office Christmas party, my very bright, very good looking and very single manager got a little drunk and told me that she thought I was hot. Now Auntyji, who am I to argue if my manager thinks I am hot, but she said it in full view of everyone, and now, everyone thinks I am using this to get an unfair advantage. People make little sly comments and wink at me on the way past my cubicle. I take my work very seriously and all these shenanigans are distracting me. My manager has not said one word about this since it happened, and I have pretended that nothing is amiss. But every now and again, when I walk past her office and she looks up at me with her beautiful, violet eyes and smiles that slight, teasing smile that she has saved only for me, my heart skips a beat. Not that I am going to do anything about this, because I love my husband very much, but I must declare that I find it very flattering my manager thinks I am hot. Not since 2006 has anyone told me I am hot. How do I challenge the silly sausages at work to mind their own business

Auntyji says

Oh my little gulabo, my tarbuz ka daiquiri, my little love petal! How exciting it must be to be you. You were called garma garam by your saucy wench of a manager, and secretly you are loving it. Outwardly, you are pretending to be all high and mighty, you little jhooti – with your work-sherk distractions. Well, I have no suggestions for you. Stop making cow eyes at your manager and focus on your job. The workplace is no place to be indulging your khatti meethi fantasies. Everyone knows that at workplace Christmas parties everyone has the right to be a little silly, and being called hot is nothing worth worrying about. I can tell you five stories in five minutes of the real craziness that takes place at corporate bashes across Australia. Dancing totally naked on top of the boardroom table in front of the CEO. Making a grab for the boss’s PA and declaring undying love for her in front of her husband. Photocopying one’s nether regions and emailing it to HR. Telling the Sales Director exactly what kind of a ratbag he is and breaking the news to him that his wife is having an affair. These are the real casualties of Christmas bashes in offices across this sunburnt land. What happened to you is not even a moderately interesting story. Forget about your manager’s gulabi ankhen and focus on your mazduri. Good tidings to you.

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The original Australian sub-continental agony aunt. Email: info@indianlink.com.au

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