Chaos Attraction

Best Christmas in Years

2005-12-26, 11:24 a.m.

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Well, this may have been the best Christmas ever since I had to fess up and admit there wasn't any Santa Claus.

Amazing, isn't it?

Anyway, I managed to finish Kristen's redone dark green scarf JUST before we arrived at Aunt Susie's, thank goodness. Great timing there! And on the way over, Mom and I had an...interesting...conversation in the car about her psuedo-boyfriend, with her actually saying to me, "Well, YOU never complain about not having a boyfriend." This is perhaps one of the most ironic statements of all time! I said, "Yeah, but I've completely lost my joy in having a relationship. Hard to WANT a boyfriend when real life pounded all of the fun of it out of you!"

I can't help but think that if some freelance media type is reading this, that writing an article on those who date before their spouse dies would be a good article to read. It'd just be hard to get anyone to put their names in the paper. Because according to Mom, there are more people doing this than just my relatives. She mentioned that someone she knows married another guy six months after her husband died, but she started dating him while her husband was in the home. Go figure.

I also found out, for the record, that the hospital Dad is in won't be booting him out any time soon. Sounds like the place they wanted to stick him in won't take someone on a ventilator, and the closest places that do are kind of far off for daily visiting. Oy. Mom admitted she doesn't think she'll get him out of the hospital and home...and I was relieved.

Anyway, off of the depressing stuff and on to Aunt Susie's, which was as mellow and fun as usual. They were babysitting two dogs from different families, so there were four dogs around this year. One of them, Ginger the golden retriever, was so sweet and calm and loving and face-licking that hell, I wanted to adopt her. I swear, the other two goldens mellowed out just being around her. Not one dogfight between Holly and Delsey the whole time!

As for the other dog...well, it was a chihuahua named Kiwi that was JUST FREAKING EVIL. Like, she attacked four people, including Alicia, all of my cousin's boyfriends, and lucky me, who made the mistake of walking into the kitchen and in Kiwi's breathing space. Luckily, Aunt Susie grabbed her before she shredded my ankle. They all hated Kiwi and kept her locked up most of the time, and couldn't wait to get her the hell out of the house.

Yeah, kind of ironic that the big dog is the quiet one and the little dog is insanely evil.

Much to my shock and delight, my Christmas presents actually went over well. I am SO GLAD I redid Kristen's scarf, because she told me several times she loved it and that she is a "scarf nut" and she actually wore it around the house! Hooray! Alicia said she liked the patterning on hers. I think Cassie wasn't too impressed with hers, but 2 outta 3 ain't bad. And Aunt Susie said she loved handmade gifts and is already making plans to put 2 out of the 4 plates up on the wall in the bathroom. ("If I'd have known they were going there, I would have done 4 in Hawaiian theme," I said.) Mom was also very impressed with her doll and showed off her "Purple Hat Club" shirt to everyone. I think the poncho didn't go over well because the damned pattern came out huge around the shoulders, but...oh well, I expected that.

As for me, I got some TV shows on DVD (Remington Steele, Arrested Development, and THE ENTIRE DANG SERIES OF MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS), a few books, tons of bath stuff (as per usual), two book gift certificates, and some clothes- sweats and pajamas. Not bad at all.

It was a nice and mellow Christmas. Snuggled with dogs, watched movies, read, and there was no family strife. Hooray! Oh, and Kristen told a hilarious story about how Delsey (the guide dog) took a dump in the middle of Target and Cassie was embarrassed and ran out of the store, and Kristen got harassed by some woman who kept asking why they didn't clean it up. Kristen was all, "Hi, standing right here, offering to clean it up," and the woman was telling her no, "we have a system for that." A system? How often DO dogs crap in the store? Or is that "system" for when those babies whose parents refuse to let them wear diapers don't make it to the restroom in time?

After that, we visited Dad. To be honest, there's not much I can say about that.

On the way back, Mom wanted to dump gifts off on the doorsteps of the local relatives. I was dearly hoping we wouldn't run into any of them, and figured that we would. ("Mom, I just want one Christmas in my life where I don't ahve to see them!") No one was home at either house, as it turned out.

But... as we had just finished unloading the car, guess who pulled up in front of the house?

Janelle wanted to drop off our gifts before she left town. She looked surprisingly good, all things considered. There was hugging and emotion and stuff. Happily, the PITA's kept things short and quiet (though they did call this morning to ask what they're supposed to do with their plate. "Put cookies on it," I said.).

And...that was it! Best Christmas in years!

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