Where I’ve Been – Holiday Edition

By the dim light from the windows of today’s cloudy day, and the twinkling of a too-old Christmas tree and a fire in our fireplace, I’m finally sitting down to recount the holiday adventures. I’ve been MIA for almost a month. I can’t honestly say what I’ve been doing, as the days melted into one another until I woke this morning and realized it’s two days to 2017.

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It’s now the next morning, before the crack of dawn because the pets don’t understand holiday breaks and days off…and Sabra decided it was time to go out NOW. I laid in bed trying to ignore the dancing routine she was doing, but I kept hearing these whispy, squeaky sounds coming from her ass and so I jumped up before the dance became more urgent… and possibly more messy.

And, so Oliver decided it was time for breakfast as soon as my feet hit the floor. And he’s not very quiet about it. Which is why we have a squirt gun on the kitchen counter, in case you ever come over and wonder why there’s a squirt gun on my kitchen counter. He is a smart kitty and a very quick learner and so therefore I need only pick up said squirt gun and he stops his verbal assault. Okay, really, the squirt gun was for redirecting his desire to sleep on my dining room table. Except that he still does it anyway. Also, we have this understanding that I get to have my coffee first. Except that it turns out he really doesn’t give a shit what I want.

So now I’m sitting here with my coffee trying not to be pissed off that I don’t have to be up at 6 a.m. today but I am anyway. And you know what? The dog and the cat have both gone back to bed.

So, anyway. I started shopping online on Black Friday because I’m not masochistic enough to enter a store. I worked for Macy’s in King of Prussia in my 20s and I swore after that experience I would forevermore avoid all malls/stores on Black Friday.

Opac has been itching to join a gym and also to own a weight bench. This Christmas he got the latter. It was ordered online and shipped in 3 parts. Which is probably a good thing. Except that the exact delivery time was sketchy and so I quickly learned that if you order big stuff online, you better make sure you’re home to drag it inside before the recipient sees it.

Box #1, which weighed roughly 50 pounds and actually had the word “Heavy” printed on it just in case you wouldn’t know that, was dropped just outside my front door by the postal carrier, blocking the storm door so I couldn’t open it to retrieve the box. How it never occurred to her that WE WERE HOME since there were TWO CARS IN THE DRIVEWAY, I’ll never know. I managed to shove my weight against the storm door enough to stick my arm out and push at the box on the steps until I could pull it inside. Box #2 arrived on another day late in the afternoon, leaned up against the front door, but this time I was coming home to it with the recipient in the front seat of the car. I made Opac stay in the car with his big sheepish grin, and knew it was useless since I was sure he saw the tall oblong box with the picture of the weight bench printed on it.

Box #3 was by far the heaviest of them all, but someone this time had the good sense to leave this in front of the garage door so I was able to just open the door and drag this 120 lb cardboard box of questionable sturdiness inside the garage by those sharp plastic cords that hold the box closed. It wasn’t easy and I had the cuts in my hands to prove it, and I was again reminded of how weak I’ve become in my middle age.

I took Veruca shopping in the mall two days before Christmas, against my better judgement. I felt my nerves tingling close to what could easily have been a panic attack, and decided if I was going to survive this trip I was going to have to just ride the wave. The left turn lane to the mall road was a half-mile long with cars, and V was bitching about the traffic. I told her this was nothing compared to Christiana, the other mall she wanted to go to, and definitely N-O-T-H-I-N-G compared to KoP. And it really wasn’t.

My biggest anxiety stems from parking, and remains an open wound from my youth when my mom would drive around and around the KoP parking lot looking for the ideal spot when all I wanted to do was get out of the damn car. But she wouldn’t give up and a handful of times got in skirmishes with other drivers who also wanted the ideal spot. So when I go to the mall, I park the car in the first empty space I can find – and I don’t care if I have to walk a mile to get to the door. I hope you’re happy, mom, cause I’m in therapy now.

V wanted a gift for Opac so I suggested we go to Spencer’s – a novelty store full of inappropriate paraphernalia, that’s been around since I was a kid. Except that either it’s gotten far more inappropriate or I’m just old now and no longer amused by the inventory. Anyway, they have great t-shirts – of his faves like Tupac, Eminem, and Bob Marley – just inside the door and so the risk of corrupting V is relatively low. We found 2 we liked and then V thought that posters would be a good gift too. The posters for some ungodly reason are located in the back of the store. I heard her say “mom” once or twice and the word “inappropriate” (she likes this word almost as much as the word “mom”) and I realized that my tactic of not looking around was not her tactic and she said something about “boob balls” and THAT’s when I noticed the WALL of dildos just two feet away from us. Yes, I took my daughter into a store that sells dildos. But – in my defense – I didn’t know they did. There are stores for that sort of thing. And I still don’t know what boob balls are, because I grabbed her by the sleeve and ran to the register.

So, this is where I tell you that Christmas was lovely and the kids were very happy, and Veruca forgot about the wall of dildos and I didn’t have to do any explaining. I got some lovely gifts this year, but the greatest gift was the reminder of how good life is today. I reread some old posts from Decembers past for inspiration, and while I don’t often dwell on the past – I do believe in acknowledging where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I highly recommend it to everyone. Keeps you humble and grateful.

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