In retrospect, it was the beginning of the end.
My Mom had just redecorated the house in these wanna-be southwestern colors. It was bloody awful. I remember thinking when I came home from college that someone had thrown a Pepto and Vick’s menthols all over the house. She even had all of the woodwork painted this pink-ish. Although it wasn’t pink. It was Southwestern. Whatever. It was awful. I’m not sure if my Dad went along with it or not, hard to tell, but there it was.
So for Christmas that year, he decided to help her enhance the decor. I kept trying to tell him that even though his thoughts were in the right place, no red-blooded woman would want something like this as a Christmas gift:
Obviously not the same, but this is to give you an idea of what showed up under my Mom’s tree that year
Needless to say, she was upset. And so was my Dad. He had put a lot of thought (although I shudder to think of those thoughts) into that gift, but he, as usual, did not actually consider her wishes. She had told him exactly what she wanted for Christmas that year (some sort of Calphalon set) and he went and did this. It was just another instance that demonstrated the total lack of communication that they had. The following year, he bought her a car. She wanted a car, specifically a mini-van. He got her a two door Subaru instead. They were divorced a few years later.
Spouse and I joke about the cow head. It happened the year we started dating so it was some great conversation fodder. But it was a telling sign of an unhealthy relationship. Something I kept in mind when I was dating Spouse. The present wasn’t bad because of what it was (although…) the present was bad because it showed how much they didn’t listen to each other any more. It was an important lesson as I was deciding on whether or not some people would be a part of my future or not. Spouse listens to me. He always has. And it makes all the difference in the world.
Merry Christmas, Spouse. You are the best present ever.
Greetings all! Today’s Monday Mission, hosted by my favorite NOLA resident Painted Maypole, is to write your post in the form of a holiday song. So, get your bobtails in action and sing to the tune of Jingle Bells! And then, when you’re finished, check out the other participants at her place.
Kids home for two weeks
Heaven knows the carnage and the havoc that they’ll wreak.
Don’t know what to think
This much family togetherness is driving me to drink.
Cooking and cleaning
I just cannot catch up
When I get it clean,
The kids just mess it up
They just won’t go to bed
Even though it’s ten
I’ll try to threaten them with coal and see what happens then.
Holidays are long
Today my therapy will be to write a silly song.
Could be worse, I fear
At least I’m not getting a cow head* as a gift this year.
More on the Cow Head tomorrow….
Greetings fellow bloggers! I’m back participating in the Friday Fragments! Did you miss me?
Right. Well then. Here are some snippets of life that I’d like to remark on but are too busy playing on Facebook don’t have time to make a whole post about:
**I love the instructions on the Ugly Mug Hot Chocolate: “Add one scoop of mix to 7 oz of hot milk or water. That’s all we’re giving you.”
**I’ve started using my crock pot a lot. I have really fallen in love with this thing. I don’t even put it away anymore, it just sits on the counter now, waiting to get used. A woman should not be this attached to an appliance if it doesn’t have batteries.
**I am a pretty good cook, but there are some things that I am not allowed to make because not only do I not cook them well, I render them inedible. Eggplant would be one of them. We can now add meringues to the list. That.Did.Not.Go.Well. And I ruined a cookie sheet in the process.
**I haven’t seen many good bumper stickers lately. The best I can give you is Agnew/Cheney. There was this sign I saw at a church yesterday: “Don’t let your next ride to church be in a hearse!”
**I still cannot believe how fast this year has just flown by. Very scary. I am not ready for it to be 2010 AT ALL.
**If my wonderful and loving spouse (who is the most fantastic person in the world and puts up with all of my shit and loves me anyway) gets me what I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally want for Christmas, how is he going to wrap it or put it under the tree? Or even hide it from me? No, it’s not a car or kitchen appliance (with or without batteries), but it is large and awkward. But he’s pretty creative, so I look forward to seeing how he pulls this off. If he pulls this off. But since he’s so wonderful and fantastic and is amazing in every way, I’m sure he will. Why yes, he reads the blog. Why do you ask? 🙂
Ok, I guess that’s enough for me. Have a great Christmas everyone! For more fragmenters, visit Mrs. 4444!
About this time of year, bloggers with small children talk about Santa and whether or not they have their kids believe and when they should tell them. Some don’t even begin the charade. Others let it die it’s natural death. But everyone seems to have some sort of story involving stress and trauma about “finding out the truth”.
A few years back, I wrote this post, telling all about how I helped keep Santa alive in our home. We went to some pretty serious lengths to make this happen. I used modern technology to explain how Santa can do all of this. I even went so far as to say that there wasn’t a “Santa”, but more like a Santa, Inc., with the Big Guy as the head. Our packages? Showed up under the tree with bar coding.
For a while, it was cute. The kids would come up with ways to “catch” Santa. Last year, they were even talking about doing some Santa CSI by dusting his glass of milk for prints. I pointed out that it probably wouldn’t work since Santa usually wore gloves. But now I’m in a bit of a quandry. Do they still believe? It’s not like you want to start off the conversation with “Hey! Do you believe in Santa?” because you know where that one ends. And I wouldn’t worry so much, except Thing 2 lives in a fantasy world. He’s always coming up with these amazing ideas and faraway places, so that to him, Santa isn’t all that much of a stretch. Then there’s the flip side. Are they just playing along because they think we want them to? You know, humor the ‘rents?
So that’s the tension in my house this year. In addition to all of the normal holiday baggage, we have the Santa Issue. Spouse has told me in no uncertain terms that I am to do nothing that will make the kids think that there isn’t a Santa until they come to the conclusion on their own. But maybe I’ve done too good of a job…
I’ve looked, but I can’t find proper annotation for this pic. So if you know it, let me know. And I apologize if it’s yours. But it’s not like I’m the Huffington Post or anything making a sh&@ton of money off of this blog. Any infringement is purely accidental.
This week’s Monday Mission, hosted by my fellow Lutheran Painted Maypole, is to write your post in the form of a shopping list. So, these are the things that I will need to pick up while I’m out and about today. Sadly, I don’t think any of these things are commercially available.
Grace and patience for those around me
Grace and patience for ME so I can deal with those around me
Confidence in myself and my abilities
Transporter technology so I can be everywhere I need/want to be
An extra hour per day to complete everything that needs to get done
The ability to savor this hectic time because it is fleeting and I will miss it someday
This week’s Monday Mission, hosted by the lovely and talented Painted Maypole is to write your post in the form of a table of contents. And now, for your reading pleasure, I give you….
Keeping Colorful Metaphors out of your Holiday
How to Keep Your Trip to the North Pole from Detouring to the Island of Misfit Toys
Chapter 1. But she’s your second cousin’s ex-husbands half sister twice removed! Tips on cutting your list to only those you can pick out of a police lineup.
Chapter 2. Holy @%$*! It costs HOW much?!?! Tips on scaling back expectations of short people.
Chapter 3. I’m sorry, that’s not something I can do right now. Tips on avoiding politely saying no to the five million charities that come out of the woodwork.
Chapter 4. It is too a food group. Maintaining your roundish girlish figure during the holiday season.
Chapter 5. Beam me up, Scotty. How to visit all of your relatives in different cities without the benefit of transporter technology.
Chapter 6. What an unusual gift! Wherever did you get it? (so I can return it as soon as possible!) How to handle it when Grandpa Fred gives you (or worse, your kids!) an argyle tea cozy.
Chapter 7. Just say No! How to remember why you’re doing this whole Christmas Thing in the first place.
Chapter 8. The Day After Coming back to reality.
…just no good ideas lately. But I did see this today and thought I would share.
Oh, and this:
see more Epic Fails