I've been home for the Christmas break since the evening of the 21st, and Christmas Day has just drawn to a very pleasant, peaceful, uneventful close in the Starvingartist household. Why, you ask? Well, ever since I got home, I'd been steeling myself to hear one of my parents say, "Oh, by the way, Freaky, Uncle and Boyfriend have
subpoenaed invited us for dinner at some chaotic, anxiety-inducing Chinese restaurant in the middle of downtown Toronto for X date, and we've unilaterally accepted for the whole family." But, this morning, during breakfast, I learned that that's almost certainly NOT going to happen this holiday. Why not? Well, apparently, Uncle got back from spending a few months in Singapore with Boyfriend and Boyfriend's Mother on the 17th, but didn't call my dad until the 24th or so. My dad asked how the trip had gone, and Uncle said it had gone well, but nowhere in the conversation did Uncle mention Boyfriend, which was strange, because they'd just spent an extended period of time travelling together. So now, my dad thinks that Uncle and Boyfriend may have broken up.
Now, I know that it seems awfully schaudenfreude of me to be happy about something like that, but let me explain. See, when Grandma Toxic was still alive, Uncle was her favourite son (out of him, my dad, and Uncle's twin brother, AmericanUncle). However, since Grandma Toxic WAS so toxic, "favourite son" was sort of synonymous with "slave/sounding board/shadow." The upshot of this was, Uncle wasn't even able to come out of the closet until THREE YEARS after GT died, partly because she was notoriously homophobic, and partly because he was just so used to being bossed around by her that I think he forgot how to FEEL his own feelings, let alone express them or act upon them. Now, don't get me wrong, coming out of the closet was a HUGE step for Uncle, because it helped him become more human (he used to claim that he "never got hungry/tired/thirsty/hot/cold," but that stopped after he came out). However, at the same time, Boyfriend has always been extremely bossy. Besides his unilateral, permanent mandate that all restaurant fare MUST be traditional Chinese, he's also been known to shanghaii people into watching travelogues of his and Uncle's latest trips while HE was visiting at OUR house, and to call every hour, on the hour, when Uncle visits with people other than Boyfriend, including my dad. (Uncle and Boyfriend have never lived together, although Boyfriend wanted to). So, Boyfriend's bossiness may start with Uncle, but it has a "ripple effect" that spreads to everyone around him as well.
Anyway, my theory is that Uncle basically isn't happy unless he has someone to boss him around, and Boyfriend was pretty much just fulfilling that "need" where Grandma Toxic left off. I've always been at least semi-aware of that, and I remember expressing the same sentiment about GT when I was maybe nine or ten years old......only, nobody listened to me, because hey, I was just a child, what did I know? Anyway, now that things might be cooling off between Uncle and Boyfriend, maybe Uncle will find someone who's a little less controlling, and a little more willing to consider other people's needs and wishes besides his own. Uncle isn't like that himself, he's usually up for whatever, but whenever Boyfriend enters the picture, everything revolves around what Boyfriend wants to do. My mom put a stop to the travelogue thing by refusing to have Boyfriend over to the house anymore (although she denies it, and still issues invitations to both of them that she knows they'll never take her up on), but we still keep up a pretense of having a relationship with Uncle and Boyfriend as a social unit by doing the "once-a-year-dinner" thing, but if the relationship is already so strained, why bother? On the other hand, when Uncle vists alone, everything's great. We talk, and laugh, and just have a normal visit without having to cater to Boyfriend, and when it's over, we wish we could see Uncle by himself more often.
Anyway......this post has gotten WAAAY too long, but my point is, am I evil for being glad that Uncle and Boyfriend may not be a "forever" thing? I mean, sure, I benefit by not being forced into obligatory visits designed to perpetuate a toxic, strained, superficial sham of a relationship (punctuated by homophobic and racist comments behind Boyfriend's back, of course), but I think it'll ultimately be good for Uncle too, because it's just not healthy for anyone to spend so much of their lives living for someone else instead of for themselves. But then, Uncle is a grown man who's more than twice my age, so maybe I shouldn't be judging what's "healthy" for him and what isn't. What do you guys think?