Sailor Man and I will be heading back to Detroit for the holidays this year, something we don’t often do, and of course I am being peppered constantly with the “Dowehaftas”.

So let me be clear about this right effen now: Yes, honey, we do.

I don’t go home very often for the simple fact that as much I love my family and they love me, we have come to a perfect understanding that we love each other much better from great distances with only the occasional gathering, like, say, in the movie “Highlander”, when everyone dukes it out in the end to see who gets the title because there can be only one.

Sailor Man thinks it because we drink too much but I disagree. We’re Irish, we fight  too much, drinking just makes us slower on the uptake and hence better capable of dragging the ordeal out. For example, I can tell you exactly, to the minute, how the evening of December 23rd will go down: All the sibs with and the spouses will be sitting around the table, ganging up on my parents and telling them all the horrible things we did as kids that they never found out about. We’ll be joyfully ratting each other out and doing our best to make one another look like the Demon Seed. After 45 minutes or so, someone, one of my lug-headed brothers, will say something, anything, that will initiate a pause and then the obligatory response: “What the hell was that  supposed to mean?”, and then blammo! China withdraws from the UN Security Council on Christmas Peace Negotiations and it’s all fight-fight-fight through Guy Fox Day 2008.

Actually, I rather enjoy the holidays with my family. Sure, it’s exhausting, but enjoyable nonetheless. I just make sure I only do it once every few years. That way the hurt feelings and rumpled egos have time to smooth themselves over and everyone generally has a chance to recover. I’m not as young as I used to be.

I just keep telling Sailor Man: pack your bags, take your vitamins and buckle your seatbelts because its going to be a bumpy ride. It always is.