If you think I was too harsh on Christmas and families and Christmas-with-families last week, consider this:

On one of these recent holiday outings, I was obligated to spend three painful hours with a young man who:

* Was wearing boardshorts and flip-flops (in December).

* Didn’t greet us when we arrived or say goodbye when we left.

* First whine-ily refused to eat dinner, then, with a heavy sigh, slammed some food on a plate and went back to watching a Home Alone marathon, leaving the rest of us, including his elderly grandmother, at the dining room table. (“He’s busy downloading some computer games,” his mother meekly explained.)

* Was completely silent for the entire evening — except twice: First, he sprang to life at the mention of The Hobbit and lectured us about those 44 frames per second. (“If you can’t handle 3D, stay home.”)

* Second, when my husband mentioned our new favorite burger joint, the kid piped up that it was “s*it” because they “serve American cheese.” (Had the same cheese been called “Tibetan,” I guarantee he’d have asked for two slices.)

Now some of your are saying:

“Kathy, it sounds like you were a pretty petulant, taciturn teenager, too. Give the boy a break!”

Oh, sorry:

Did I forget to mention this “boy” is 33 years old?

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