A lot of ink has been spilled and terrible movies with Vince Vaughn created about the awkward and occasionally downright painful familial moments that the holiday season brings. Someone’s always getting drunk, usually an uncle or a grandma. Someone’s new boyfriend is casually racist. Someone goes on and on about The X Factor and how even though she feels bad that Demi Lovato had an eating disorder and was (allegedly) a cutter, she really isn’t a very good judge and everyone knows it.
That last one might be a little specific to my mother. But you get the point.
As any long weekend home with the extended fam progresses, the promise of a Sunday night return to normalcy grows ever brighter. And sure, partially, that’s because everyone thinks their family is crazy, for reasons listed above and many, many more. But it’s also because the holidays are a time when we’re forced to take a long, hard, uncomfortable look at ourselves.
Chances are, if you’re an avid reader of Four Pins and other similar sites (like Selectism, Hypebeast, Bible.com or CircleJerk.com—don’t click on that), you care about the way you dress and probably spend a fair amount of money on clothing. And you show up to Thanksgiving dinner in a nice, tailored suit or a pricey Cucinelli sweater, a stark contrast to your cousin’s square toed shoes and baggy khakis. And someone makes a comment about how fancy you are and you give a cute answer with only a slightly condescending undertone and the meal progresses, but you’re rolling your eyes on the inside. This shit was crafted from the finest Italian cashmere. People wear this and stand regally in front of mountains. Your family just doesn’t get it. They’re crazy.
Except that…maybe they’re not. Who is more crazy, your cousin and his square toes or this guy? Your sister who works in HR or grown adults who claw each other’s eyes out for a jacket from H&M that vaguely resembles a more expensive piece that was sold years before? Your drunk uncle dancing in your living room or dancing in the pages of Vogue like your drunk uncle, if your drunk uncle moonlights in a subway mariachi band? Nana or The Sartorialist? I guess that’s a draw, depending on how old and senile your Nana is.
The fact is, if you work in fashion or care a lot about fashion, you’re in the minority and you’re probably more than a little bit crazy. That’s not to say what you’re doing or what you’re interested in isn’t important—we’ve all seen that “blue sweater” scene from The Devil Wears Prada—but it is to say that chances are you’re a stone cold weirdo. A well-dressed weirdo, sure, but a weirdo nonetheless.
And there’s never a better time to let your freak flag fly then when you’re home for the holidays, staring down a pair of square toes.
Steve Dool is a writer based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.