Monday, December 28, 2009

Episode 88: How to Make a New Year's Resolution

Yeah, so New Years' Resolutions. I never make them, and I'm always surprised at the ones people do make. "I'm going to practice my figure skating more!" You figure skate? Uh, okay, hi dork. "I'm going to perform a good deed for the needy every day." Okay, well, here's my routing number; please deposit fifty dollars into my account every day and wa-la! Mission accomplished!

Anyway, last year, my mother decided that her resolution was to not sit in the back seat of cars. Shotgun only. Which I thought was a funny resolution because it's incredibly selfish. Needless to say, it was a resolution I could get behind, like, say, "From now on, I will only let other people pick up the check." So the car thing: the four family members would walk to the car and Mom would stand next to the front passenger door and studiously avoid making eye contact with anyone until the door locks shot up and then she'd whisk herself into the seat, slam the door and fasten the safety belt in one quick series of movements and then she'd shout "we're off!"

She made it to April before there was a conflict. Because in April, my dad had a heart attack. He was in the early stage of it when my sister and I got there so we decided to just haul him the two miles to the hospital rather than wait for the ambulance and we all rushed out of the house and ran to the car and riiiight as we got there, I wondered: "will she do it? Will she refuse to give up the seat?" There was a flurry of activity as I threw some boxes from the back seat into the way-back and then when I looked up, everyone was in place, waiting for the other doors to open.

Sooo, dear reader, what did she do? Did she give up ownership of her seat to her dearly beloved husband without thinking about it? Or did she take one look at my father, who was not unconscious or dying and in fact just seemed a little more irritating than usual, and slide into the front seat, her newly self-declared rightful place?

I'll leave you to decide. But careful with the comments...she reads this!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Episode 87: How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

Okay so here we are again at Christmas and every year, starting in like March, the arguments start up again. No, not the ones about Obama....those started in late January. No, what I mean is the old "where are we putting the Christmas tree this year" one. We've had it in so many rooms that we forget about it sometimes and one year we opened a door in mid-April and saw a fully decorated Christmas tree still standing there.

We used to be live-tree people and then all of a sudden we weren't. I think it was the year I got it into my head that we were going to take the tree to some magical wood chipper and get it back as mulch and so we went off to do that and when I sold my car a few years later, the guy asked "what the hell size air freshener do you have in here" that was the last year of the live tree. And when we go fake, we go fake. Big white plastic tree with lights attached to the branches. It only takes eleven hours to put all the limbs on it and then after a bottle or two of wine, we start decorating it. My favorite ornament is the golden peanut and when I find it in the box, I hang it up and that is the official signal that I am now done with tree-decorating. So I go pour some more wine and watch my sister do all the rest while I do color commentary and in general criticize her ornament placement as bourgeois.

Anyway, have a happy holiday and remember that all that really matters about your Christmas tree is that it's never going to be as pretty as mine.