I did a bad thing. A terrible, horrible thing. I was trying to be funny, but like Kevin Hart and his gay son joke, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was only later that I was to discover my flaw.
It was Facebook that started the bad thing. It is always Facebook. It was a bright red screen that caused the problem with white letters in Arial Black font. They beckoned. The words were magical and lit up my sense of whimsy. “Ruin Christmas in Four Words,” it said. Isn’t that the magic of Christmas all in one? An invitation to make fun of the craziest time of the year in the safe-from-family page of a personal friend no one I know knows. It was the gift of a moment to take stock and celebrate the hilarity of the season. Those words were Christmas joy for me.
I could have written, “The dog just died,” or “Unwelcome guest arrives first,” or even, “All wine sold out.” All good choices. But I chose, “A vegan is coming.” It still makes me snicker. What could go wrong?
What I failed to piece together in my haste to make it to the top of the comment list was that scrolling bullshit on the right side of the FB screen. I never pay attention to it, but I understand it tells me when anyone I know is busy not being busy at work. Even though I don’t watch it, apparently others do–notably, vegans. A member of my family was newly vegan, and I had just hosted their family for dinner. I spent approximately 1.5 hours on the appetizers, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and veggies for 11 people. I spent two days, seven additional hours, gained twelve grey hairs, and got carpal tunnel from making the vegan holiday loaf for the one remaining family member. It was an intensive few days researching, specialty store shopping, chopping, sautéing, soaking, mashing, weighing, forming, and baking to make sure the vegan meal was balanced and delicious. I couldn’t look at the loaf by the time it made it to the plate because, like many new relationships, we had already spent too much time together. The vegan told me it was good before I asked them to remove it from our house when they left. If they trashed it at that point, I wouldn’t care. Me and that loaf were through.
Before you think I am anti-vegan, I am not. I have tried going vegan for varying lengths of time because I do feel better eating that way. I’m sure to wear my leather apron while preparing the meal because the irony makes me laugh, besides there is so much knife work that I could star in a slash film and I feel the leather protects me in those moments where I am chopping in the grey daze of auto-pilot.
Back to Facebook… I made my comment, pressed enter, and continued my scroll with a titter of delight at my little private ironic joke. Someone did not find it funny. And by someone, I mean my family member who replied, “It wasn’t that bad, was it?”
I tried to explain it was a joke. It didn’t ruin Christmas to have a vegan here. I thought my words would amuse others, blah blah blah.
Then the friends caught on. Evidently, vegans are the only people who read that fucking ticker on the side of the page because I endured a slashing from every knife-wielding, rubber-shoe-wearing, soy-fueled vegan on Facebook. I tried to calm the beast, but I was bested and gave in at the end of the day and removed my comment with the sadness of losing a pet at Christmas.
So, if you are faced with that beautiful red screen in your feed this holiday, remember to choose, “Grandma’s got the shits” or “Dad drank the gravy,” instead of the far-more-comical version I attempted. I don’t think the mushroom murderers understood the real irony of the situation–the vegans did ruin my Christmas, but they don’t have to ruin yours.