It seems that the holidays snuck up on me again. I feel like I’m eighty. “Deary me, how the time surely flies.”
Nonetheless, I’ve had a good break thus far, what with writing that paper the Monday after finals week, getting ridiculous and sleeping until 8:30PM the next day, watching the entire first season of Skins while drinking a 40oz alone (with my cat though, although one might say that is more alone), and hearing my grandma tell stories about how scandalous she and my grandpa were.
My mother had never heard any of these stories from my grandmother and was quite horrified.
“We would be out until 2AM sometimes. No one did that.”
“One of my landlords read my letters from my other boyfriends so I would sprinkle a little talcum powder on them to try and catch her.”
“Lee proposed to me at the old mule barn. We were parked. *chuckles* He always had new cars and bought an item of clothing from Kenneth’s men’s store every Saturday. Sharp dresser, this one.”
They solidified my theory that she married my grandpa for his money after she told me that the ring he bought her was expensive enough that he could have bought a nice farm with it instead ($350). She of course remembered the figures for her salaries at her first jobs, rent at her first apartment, and the cost of a meal at Vern’s Five and Dime (20¢). I love talking to my grandma when she isn’t being racist and I’m not accusing her of religious hypocrisy.
I got my eyebrows and upper lip (READ: MOUSTACHE) waxed by an old friend. She did a great job, and all for $10! Everything is so cheap here. Deeeeeeeeelightful.
I purchased some decent items for my family including a monogrammed pillowcase and sheet set for my grandparents, the Field Guide to Candy for my uncle, and a Bolivian scarf and Fifty Dresses That Changed the World for my mom. In the past I’ve made nearly all of my family’s gifts and most people (my uncle excluded) appreciate that far more than purchased gifts. My dad, however, is a burly factory worker who loves orchids but hates frills, has a water garden but only wears flannel, and doesn’t believe in voting because “the 2004 election proved they don’t even count the damn things.” I simply haven’t ever thought of anything I could make him, and besides, when he opens gifts he looks at them blankly and then sets them down. We all wait patiently for even an insincere thank-you but he only offers that courtesy to me because he respects me for some reason, and not the rest of our family. This makes us all want to buy him coal and dog shit, but generally we do not. My mother always finds the perfect thing and doesn’t know that he adores it until he tells me and I relay that information to her.
This year, however, I decided that for the fourth time I would try to knit. My attempts in the past have been awful. Shameful. Embarrassing. This time there were only a few holes in the beginning, but the end result was a long grey scarf manly enough for my dad, but soft enough for me. I figured he could tuck it into his flannel work jacket and stuff it in his lunchbox if he’s ashamed of it, but it’s utilitarian, handmade, and showcases lots of work. As a craftsman, my father appreciates things that I make, but finding something geared towards him is impossible when your expertise(s) are cross-stitch, embroidery and sewing small cases for things.
Overall I’m pleased with the arrival of Christmas and cannot wait for Friday to arrive.
SANTA SANTA, I WANTA FANTA.