Archive for category Holidays
If Santa Claus was real the reports would read: Santa Claus, controversial businessman/resident of the North Pole promises free gifts to US children. In other news, North Pole, Inc. is reporting record losses due to lack of consumer confidence and tightening of the credit markets. In still other news Sen. 6-Term whose controversial re-election bid, supported by Claus/Pole SuperPAC, seeks emergency federal funds to protect North Pole, Inc. labs from terror attacks and form exploratory committee for oil drilling in the arctic.
The Holidays are almost upon us, or if you are a retailer, the Holidays, that special time of the year that makes or breaks you financially is half over. Either way we are about to get hit with a barrage of sentimentality driven marketing in order to get us to part with holiday dollars, and also prepare yourself to spend 20 minutes at checkout in Target because some needs a price check. I love the Holidays, I really do. I just wish that the creep of the Holidays into my birthday celebrations at the beginning of November would stop. I think half of what makes the Holidays special is the fact that they aren’t here for so long. The other half of what makes the Holidays special is the pretending.
During the Holidays we seem more okay with the effort involved in pretending. We don’t mind pretending we are okay with the tacky decorations our neighbor put up, we are okay with pretending we are more patient with the overworked cashier at the store than we really are, or that we are okay with the traffic jam caused because the mall exit is so flooded the cars the entire slow lane is blocked for 1 mile. The pretending is part of the specialness of the Holidays, so what I hate, what I really FUCKING hate is when I end up stuck at these big friends and extended family gatherings where you have to answer the infernal question of “What are you thankful for this year?!” Can’t we just pretend we are all thankful for something?!
OMG. I know it makes me seem like a bitch, that I don’t like that question, but I HATE IT. It is an intrusive question! Not that I am not thankful for things, I am thankful for a lot of things. I really just don’t like sharing my thoughts on stuff that is personal to me. If I wanted to over share my feelings and emotions, and yes, I consider that over sharing, I would post it on Facebook like most over sharers do. My “what I am so thankful for” would be sitting there right in between someone’s overly detailed update of how the are progressing through labor/delivery and another’s Technicolor description of how drunk they were and what the evidence of the drunkenness looked like. When asked that question while sitting around a table there is this feeling of my throat closing, and then panic sets in, and finally random trivia squeezes out every coherent thought in my head. Worst of the worst is no matter how much you have rehearsed your answer there is inevitably someone in the group that spent their vacation time feeding kids in an orphanage in a developing nation. I don’t have anything to say that is even close to that. Somehow the non-personal answer of “I am really glad Nordy’s had those boots in my size for 50% off” would just make people stare at me longer with a look of “no really, what are you really thankful for?” So sometimes, I just end up lying. Yeah I said it, I LIE during the “what are you thankful for” portion of the Holiday activities!
As I was pre-planning my answer to that question last week, I came up with my dream answer, now if only I could man up and say it, I would be golden! My answer combines my love of quoting TV/movies with my love of randomness. When asked “…and what are you thankful for this year?” I will yell, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!” before storming off.
Question answered, problem solved!
Over the years, my parents, in other words my Mom has gotten weirder and more random in her Christmas gift giving in order to give me things that I will actually like. Last year it was workout clothes, I think this was more a subtle hint than a gift, but I love that she really does try! My brother on the other hand gave me a card filled with tips on living and gift cards to various restaurants, some of which still haven’t been used. Work gave me money, boyfriends gave me nothing…since I don’t have any, and I gave myself shoes. I don’t remember what shoes exactly, but I am sure I gave myself shoes, I always give myself shoes! So this year, a year when I bought the Barbie Dream Townhouse and sold it off for some extra moolah, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and catalog “The Best Gifts I Never Got”. These are the gifts I wanted to find under the Christmas tree every year, and never found, and now, they will forever be known as the Christmas gifts that got away!
– Numero Uno: Umbrella Set from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Okay, no, I am not old enough to remember when people called Sears “Sears & Roebuck” but I do remember when Sears had a catalog, and in this catalog they had this dark pink umbrella set with white polka dots matching gloves and some sort of hairbrush I believe, but it was the umbrella I remember. Complete with frills on the edges, I think it was more of a parasol, but whatever it was I wanted it. Year after year, I would flip through the Sears catalog and there it would be, unchanged, and I would wish that umbrella set would be waiting for me when I opened my gifts.
– Numero Dos: Dooney & Bourke purse. Eventually, when I was about to enter my very important sixth grade year I got a Dooney & Bourke bag, it was my first really special, non-plastic handbag and I loved it. But for years before that what I wanted more than any other purse in the world was this Dooney & Bourke “all weather leather” purse where the Dooney & Bourke logo of a duck was literally used as the front flap of the purse! The front flap, and so the duck, were SOOO big, they probably could have put a little notice on the tag “duck shown in actual size”.
– Numero tres: Corning Ware mini tea set. Growing up, I was a child whose light bulb was permanently “off”. I believed I lived in or around Washington State because Jamie said so and the news always talked about “Washington (D.C.)”; I also didn’t realize dishes came in sets where everything had the same design until I spotted the tea set one day in a Corning Ware outlet store. Spending what felt like my entire life at the time in Corning Ware outlets, when I spotted this tea set it was like the heavens opened, angels from on high sang, and everything became clear. This was it. This was the toy to make all other toys obsolete. This tea set with matching plates and saucers and cups was everything I needed to give Barbie, that multi-talented doctor/rocker/princess Bitch a run for her money!
– Numero quatro: Shoes like Mary. It was the day of my cousin’s wedding and my cousin Mary and I were flower girls. My Dad totted me over to Mary’s house and when Mary’s mom saw my shoes and I think she realized they were just not wedding appropriate, so she offered to let me wear some of Mary’s shoes, and oh how I wanted to. Just one glance at Mary’s shoes told me everything I needed to know, that they were better than mine. Mine looked like some midgetized version of old men’s shoes. They were the Dexter’s of the post-toddler/pre-first grade set. They were from Stride Rite and they were the only shoes Stride Rite had to accommodate my stupid wide feet. They were black or dark blue, they had laces, they were sturdy, they were well made, and they were ugly. Mary’s on the other hand were shiny and black, they were in my little mind the kid version of Manolos. Unfortunately, heartbreakingly, my Dad wouldn’t allow me to change out of my shoes and into Mary’s. I was forced to wear those atrocities on my feet to a wedding where everyone would comment on my brother looking “soooo handsome and soooo cute” in his Bible boy tuxedo and Mary and I in our peach dresses with green sashes didn’t get one compliment. We were cute dammit! I blamed the shoes. I really wanted shoes like Mary’s for Christmas, I spent nights thinking about those shoes, I wanted those shoes, and they are the shoes that got away!
– Numero cinco: Socks like Margaret’s. If you’ve gone to a smallish church school then you know that getting new classmates isn’t a regular occurrence, but one year when I was in elementary school there was a new student and her name was Margaret. I don’t remember how Margaret and I became friends, all I remember was that Margaret’s Dad drove a VW Beetle, and my Dad drove a beat up old truck and we were both old enough to be sufficiently embarrassed by our parent’s “ride”! LOL! I also remember Margaret had these awesome socks. These weren’t any old regular socks, nope; they were knee socks with ties at the top part of the socks with these poof balls hanging at the end of each side of the tie. I wanted those socks, I COVETED THOSE SOCKS. I don’t think I ever even told my parents about these magical and wonderful socks, but gosh did I hope they would somehow see some just like that and think they were as perfect as I did and buy me a pair. A couple of years ago I got some socks from GAP with poofs on the back of the socks, they just weren’t the same, after all they weren’t exactly like Margaret’s!
So this year, when I open my gifts, I will open them knowing there is no Sears Umbrella Set, no Dooney & Bourke purse complete with logo that could be seen from space, no Corning Ware mini tea set, no black shiny shoes like Mary’s, or no socks like Margaret’s…but a girl can always hope!