Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Disaster

This year Becca and I joined my family in Whistler BC.  My parents have owned a condo there for the better part of two decades but Becca's never been.  I was never super fond of Canada as I'm not a big snow person.  However, once I turned 19 (legal Canadian drinking age) I was a lot happier to make the long drive up north.  This year Becca and I flew into Bellingham, Washington where we met up with my Dad.  Then we made the three hour drive to Whistler.  Pretty uneventful, which was good as there was some worry about my eligibility to get into the country. (Yes, I got a reckless driving charge when I was 21 years old, something Canadians do not tolerate in their country.)

Before we left, I packed up a Tofurkey vegan feast as well as Earth Balance, Gardein chicken tenders and Daiya cheese.   Luckily the frozen Tofurkey acted as a coolant for the other foods and everything made it intact and cold.  As soon as we got in, we ate the chicken tenders because all I'd had to eat all day was a Cliff Bar.  Sadly, LAX Terminal 3 is the worst terminal in the entire airport.  All they offer is a Starbucks, Burger King and Gladstones, which is way too pricy for what they offer.  No bar, no nothing.

The trip was going well.  My sister recently had a baby so I have a new niece to accompany my nephew.  Then the man she's dating brought his three daughters as well.  There haven't been that many kids in my parents' house in a long time.  Then my sorta adopted brother brought his girlfriend to round out my siblings.  (Only my baby brother couldn't attend because he didn't get a passport in time.)  My father doesn't understand veganism.  In fact, he finds it hilarious.  I know this because he couldn't help but throw some barbed comments my direction.  My mother tries, or at least likes to seem like she's trying.  For instance, she bought "vegan" soy cheese, although one of the first ingredients on the label was casein (aka milk protein), not to mention the fact that I told her I was bringing my own.  She also bought gluten-free (both my brothers and nephew have a gluten allergy) vegan crackers and hummus.  On first glance, this seems great until I looked and saw that the crackers are made of corn.  I am allergic to corn, along with my big sister.  My mother knows that I'm allergic but somewhere in her head, the vegan beat out the fact that my body can't actually digest the food.  However, I don't want to sound like some ungrateful brat. I appreciate that my mother tried to make concessions for my diet.

However, I knew that Christmas dinner would be entirely up to me, at least for our part.  My sister made steamed green beans and brussel sprouts, both of which she overcooked so much that they just fell apart.  I doubt there was any significant nutrients left but hey, they taste good.  My mother made turkey, instant corn stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes (these actually ended up being vegan because the boys drank all the milk) and gravy from a mix.  I, on the other hand, slept waaaay too late so our Tofurkey only made it into the oven about 45 minutes before dinner was served.  Blach.  But Becca and I were cool to eat a little after everyone else.  Against my better judgement, I also started the gravy on super low heat since it was still a frozen brick.

Meanwhile, everyone else started serving themselves.  My dad sliced up that poor bird, most of which would end up in the garbage disposal (SUCH a waste!) and everyone ate.  Becca and I worked on our wedding list.  When I got up to check on my gravy, I discovered a couple of things.  One everyone ate basically all the veggies.  There was one sprout left and a handful of green beans.  This pissed me off because everyone knew that those vegetables were to be the staple of my meal.  Now I only had Tofurkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and maybe a roll if I could salvage it.  That's when I noticed that the thick gelatinous pan of meat gravy sat untouched while my beautiful vegan gravy was scraped almost entirely clean from the pan.  My fury amped up.  I mean, what the fuck?  I get that the other gravy looked nasty, mostly because it friggin is!, but why would people go out of their way to eat my food?  If I arrived and served nothing but vegan food, you know damn well my family would revolt.

I tried really hard to keep my shit together, especially since there was another hour and a half wait time on the Tofurkey, but I was really angry.  Like bordering on crying, I was so mad.  Becca was upset with me and we went up to my room so I could cry without looking like a brat.  No one in my family understood what my problem was.  I think a few jokes were made about the sensitive vegan, blah blah blah.

Finally, Becca and I put on all of our heavy clothes and plodded out into the village in search of anything warm and vegan.  We went to a pub where I got a mediocre lentil burger and salad.  Becca opted for fish and chips.  Merry effing Christmas.

In the end, my sister did scrape what gravy was left, mixed it with almond milk, salt and pepper.  It was okay but I won't know what real Tofurkey gravy tastes like.  All in all, I guess what upsets me the most is that my family disrespected me in that manner.  I had already dealt with plenty of quips about veganism.  How I must feel superior or some such nonsense.  I made every effort to keep my mouth shut when it came to food.  I didn't want to seem preachy or make anyone uncomfortable.  However, my family had no problem doing that to me!  Every time I ordered food, there was laughter and mockery, like somehow I was doing something wrong.  I wanted to scream that they were the ones eating a turkey that a few days ago was probably dipped in ammonia to kill all the festering diseases in it then injected with "flavor" so that it tastes the way they think turkey should.  Or that all that meat and dairy was probably choking their hearts from the moment they shoveled it into their mouths.  It's just so frustrating that the double standard exists.  It's the same frustration I feel over gay marriage because people somehow think that my relationship with Becca is inferior to their own.  AHHHHH!  Alright I have to stop this blog post because it's upsetting.  Suffice to say that this wasn't the best Christmas I've ever had.  On the plus side, I got a goat from Animal Acres and a Vitamix!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment