I can honestly say that we are....eight days from lift off. I have three children. And I'm like...12 percent done with my shopping. Maybe 13. While I might justify this with "last minute sales" and "BOGO on legos at K-Mart," the reality is that I've been.....traumatized.
Episode 1: Retard.
It's a mutter-word. We all think shit we'd never say outloud. We might murmur it, whisper it, snarl under our breath...but we don't actually say it. Until you're in Wal-mart, searching for the "legos with the motors." "The what?" "Mo-ohhhm, the MOTORS!" Yeah. And there I am. Ditched the boys in video games to cause havoc with anyone actually shopping for something--and I'm in the lego isle....and "What RETARD stocked these little...." And there he was--my 10 yr old. Owl eyes... lookin' at me.
We get in the car. "Dad, mom said retard." Little shit told on me.
Episode 2: Decorating
When you plan ahead for a Kodak moment...conspire to out-do Norman Rockwell...engineer holiday-licious delight...you are doomed.
Hot cocoa, Christmas tree, mistletoe and merry, carols on the stereo. Cinnamon candles mingle with orange and cloves....I've got star shaped marshmallows for goodness sake! I actually had cookie dough to bake afterwards. After...Deco-Night. That evening--with glinting sparkles, stockings hung, holiday cheer so thick you could cream your coffee. There was a ladder. In the foyer. I love the dark wood and trim and tile--it sold me this house in 3 seconds flat. Such potential!
Boxes of twinkle lights, a hammer, nails....jingle bells ringing--I call the boys. My 8 yr-old flies down the stairs and launches himself into my arms. The crack of his forehead against my jaw was audible all the way to the kitchen.
I reel....spinning, his body clings to mine I teeter and SMASH into the ladder. It whips over and crashes to the floor...pinning the cat's tail to the tile. Yowling like a cheetah, he flips backwards, pees on the floor, and falls down the stairs into the basement. Distant thrashing sounds are heard. Child and I gyrate across the room and descend upon the SINGLE live plant to be seen. Obliterated. Rebounding, we absolutely decimate the box of chocolates intended for the mailman.
We found the cat. Briefly. Disposed of the plant, ate the chocolates--never got to the lights. The mailman is getting skittles.
Episode 3: Library
Is there a place more warm, more inviting, more the embodiment of educational envelopment of our deepest aspirations than...the library. Especially when this particular library is actually a renovated Victorian mansion. We're talking FIREPLACES. Gorgeous woodwork, staircases....and as I enter, that smell--ancient knowledge, intelligence...good carpet. I approach the desk. She's so...librarian. She's savvy, clever, witty--you can just tell. And she was wearing holiday fluff. Wowza. Flashing Christmas tree earrings were competing with the battery powered candy cane that hung glowing from her pine-green sweater vest edged with gold thread and embroidered stars. She even had a Santa ring. There was garland in her hair.
"Please, can you help me resolve my son's over-due account?" She paused. She calculated. I was: an offender.
"Uh...he's eight. It was Thanksgiving break and he was with my ex and...." "HE OWES FIVE DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS." "Er...you don't have to shout--I'm right here..." "FIVE DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS!" At this point people were beginning to stare. "Ok, do you take debit?" "CASH ONLY." Um...(sweat beading on my upper lip, shifting my purse...I could smell my deodorant) "I'll be back with the--" "HE CANNOT TAKE ANYTHING OUT UNTIL THIS IS PAID." I smiled. I leaned over the counter...and hissed, "you say anything else and I'll fake a seizure and pee on your rug."
It still amazes me, the power of urine. She blanched. I later learned she was subbing....not a regular. If I ever find her home base...
Episode 4: The Party
Everyone has those "overload" weeks. Mine just happen to...breed.
Remember the gremlins. Dear God.
So I accepted a new position on Thursday--only to learn I was to teach a 6 hour english class in FOUR days. The next morning I was notified my ex was suing me. Sick kids, crazy family and a cat that has recently discovered the ability to piss in my basement without repercussion until the furnace kicks on. Damn if I don't wake up in the ER. Friday night, inescapable pain in the left side of my head. Passed out. They scanned my brain a few times, shot me full of morphine, wrote some scrips, sent me home with a neuro apt. Did I mention that SATURDAY we had a 50+ rsvp holiday bash planned with KIDS at our home? Shoot me now.
Awesome girlfriend....who called at 11:28am Saturday to tell me that she was ill and unable to make it.
I am NOT advocating parties on narcotics.
HOWEVER. Oxy-blah blah rocks. Decorated, cooked, dressed....kicked the damn cat out of the house and burned half a box of Nag Champa....and the mulled wine was killer. At 2:45am I kissed the last guest good-bye....and finished the merlot. I think.
Last night I watched "Olive, The Other Reindeer."
Bring it on.