Stop being a massive asshat to Thanksgiving just because it’s a laidback holiday.
You and I both know that Thanksgiving doesn’t ask for much. It doesn’t want to make a big scene or bum anybody out. It’s content to just hang out at your house all day with you and your folks, watching football and eating all your food.
I suspect Thanksgiving smokes a lot of pot.
I mean, c’mon, it has to, right?
But even though Thanksgiving’s too mellow to stick up for itself I, for one, can no longer sit idly by and watch you shove it around and treat it like one of those minor holidays no one really cares about. Thanksgiving is not Flag Day, dammit.
You do this every year: Steamrolling over one of the chillest, most unpretentious holidays so that you can barf out festive lights and candy canes and holly wreaths and manger displays (and seriously, how is it not illegal for people to have those gaudy-ass inflatable snow globes out on their lawn already??) all over every store window display and front lawn in America.
Look, I’ll get into your stupid spirit in due time. I’ll tolerate extended jazz versions of “The Little Drummer Boy” playing on the Muzak system of every business establishment I enter. I’ll watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” and “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” for the twenty-ninth year in a row like it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it. I’ll listen to the incessant bell-ringing of that Salvation Army Santa squatting on every street corner–and I probably won’t even flip my sh*t and smack a bitch. I’ll wait my turn to spend a half-hour elbowing strangers in line so that I can spend all my money on gifts that I’m pretty sure no one’s going to like anyway. I’ll send out Christmas cards. Ok, that’s a lie, but I’ll feel guilty about not sending out Christmas cards.
What I’m saying is, I’ll play your stupid reindeer games. But I am not going to start playing them in early November and you know what? I sure as shizzle wasn’t going to start in friggin’ October.
SO STOP WITH THE PREMATURE DECORATING ALREADY.
You are still over a month away. That is plenty of time to stress everyone out and make the populace miserable in proper yuletide fashion.
So here’s the deal I’m going to make you, Christmas: You hold off on cramming yourself down everyone’s throats until–I don’t know, say, December?–and I hold off cramming my foot up your ass in a fit of festive rage.
In closing, leave us to enjoy Thanksgiving in peace. Also, leave Halloween alone.
I feel terrible because… well… I feel terrible. For the past 4 days I’ve played host to not only my in-laws, but also to the mother of all cold germs. Seriously. She’s made herself quite comfortable in my sinuses with the occasional weekend trip to my lungs, and I don’t think she has any intention of leaving anytime soon.
So aside from emerging from the warm cocoon of my bedcovers every so often to take a soothing, steamy shower or make much-needed football food (while donning plastic gloves and a grade-a surgical mask, of course), I’ve behaved much like an antisocial hermit, my days revolving around bouts of coma-like sleep interspersed with 30-60 minute increments of Flip this House and The Property Ladder watched through a semi-drunken haze as I take nips from a bottle of cough syrup.
But I have to (sheepishly) admit that there’s at least one good thing that’s come from having this cold while Justin’s parents are in town. Right now, this very minute, Justin is driving them up to Sanford to go to church. And while I wasn’t planning on going anyway, which I’m pretty sure they all knew, this cold has given me the ability to stay in bed while they got ready to leave, thus avoiding the entire awkward send-off:
(still in pajamas, hair
tousled, sips her coffee)
Well, you kids have fun at church…
(dressed in Sunday
Best, fiddle with keys)
(picks a piece of
lint off her t-shirt)
Umm… I hear it’s supposed to be
a great sermon today. Or is it a
Homily? The thing the guy gives?
I mean the priest. Or is it Pastor?
Have a great time.
(exiting STAGE LEFT)
We’ll pray for you.
Okay, I’m exaggerating. Obviously. I mean, I wouldn’t make coffee until after they left because they’re not allowed to eat or drink an hour before receiving Communion, which is what they do every week in Catholic church, and I wouldn’t want to rub it in.
But if I were going with them, maybe I would make coffee first since it’s okay for me to drink it since I’m not Catholic and therefore not allowed to receive Communion and therefore more likely to fall asleep during mass (or is it a sermon? shit.) since I’m forced to sit on the bench like some unruly student while all of the good boys and girls stand in line to get a cookie and stare at me with sympathy because I’m going to Hell and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.
But really. I think Justin’s parents are fairly okay with the fact that I don’t go to church. I’ve attended with them before, and I’ve always felt like someone shoved me onto stage in the middle of the play and no one gave me the lines. I mean, everyone else knows when to stand, when to sit, when to sing, what to say, while I stumble around a haphazard half-a-second behind everyone else trying not to embarrass them more than absolutely necessary.
So maybe this cold thing is all for the best. I don’t need to embarrass my in-laws with my church ignorance, and I can blame this entire post on my consumption of excessive amounts of cough syrup should it fall into the wrong hands. And that’s all I can really ask for, anyway.
Allow me to explain: Normally, I consider myself an adequately intelligent, relatively self-sufficient member of the human race. However, about once every month or two, for some unapparent reason my brain abandons me for the day to go do whatever it is brains do when they’re not in your head and leaves a Jell-O mold in its place.
You know, to take care of all that pesky higher cortical functioning.
And since Jell-O molds are notoriously bad substitutes for brains, I am left with no choice but to lurch through the day, slack-jawed and drooling and generally posing a safety hazard to myself and those around me.
These are the days where I fumble to cram words together into coherent sentences, blank on what year it is, and forget basic personal information like my address, shoe size and middle name. I put cereal boxes in the fridge and spoon salt into my coffee and squeeze Clearasil onto my toothbrush. I’m positively stumped on how to spell words like “people” and “because” and spend half the day looking for things that are already in my hand.
On these days, it is only by the grace of God and vigilant adult supervision that I do not venture into public without pants on.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because Monday was just such a day.
It all started when I couldn’t find my car. Apparently I’d completely forgotten that I’d parked it on the street right outside the apartment door the night before, which means I moseyed right past it in the morning so that I could go blink at the empty space where it’s usually parked for a good 10 minutes or so until I realized what had happened.
Then, upon locating said car, I drove it to the VW dealership for its scheduled maintenance since a service reminder had been popping up on the dashboard display for several days. However, when trying to explain that to the mechanics, I completely blanked on the word “dashboard” (it’s a tricky one, I know) and ended up telling them that I’d come in “because the blinky thingy told me to.” As a testament to the fine people at Fitzgerald Automotive, they didn’t even try to capitalize on my moron-itude by overcharging the ever-loving pants off me.
But the pièce de résistance occurred later in the day while applying online for an editor position that sounded absolutely perfect for me. The company’s ad was lighthearted and whimsical and stressed, above all, the necessity for a sharp eye for detail. Eager to demonstrate my editorial prowess and, uh, eye sharpness, I spent four hours crafting a charming yet professional cover letter and carefully combing it multiple times over for even the most minute error… only to notice seconds after I hit ‘submit’ that–oh wait, what’s this? Ah, yes. I’d misspelled the name of the company. Frick.
Maybe Jell-O head is caused by hormones or a vitamin deficiency or lack of sleep or the phase of the moon.
Maybe it’s early menopause or acid flashbacks or alien technology implanted in my brain.
Whatever the reason is, it should at least come with some sort of hiring preference.
With the end of our two-month trip in sight (PS: If you’ve been following us since August and still haven’t caught on that we’re in Costa Rica, you’re officially fired from reading our blog), I’m starting to think more and more about what I’m going back to.
Hopefully, I will still have the following items upon my return:
One (1) Husband, tall
One (1) Apartment, shoe-box sized
One (1) Car, Volkswagen
Two (2) Cats, disinterested
However, once I’ve done a quick survey to ensure that said items are in their proper places, the game plan gets a tad hazy. One of the major burning (huh-huh) questions I know I’ll have to face is: What in the sweet Sam Hill am I going to do for work?
A little part of me always expected that some amazing job opportunity (like, oh say, National Geographic travel writer?) would magically present itself–without requiring any effort whatsoever on my part, mind you–while I was over here developing multiple overlapping farmer’s tans and writing drug-fueled rants. But with only four measly days left here, I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that such is not the case.
So now what?
An easy-going and understanding husband Chuckles may be, I doubt he’ll suffer in silence while I spend the next 20 years slouched on the couch staring off slack-jawed into space while systematically inserting rows of Chips Ahoys into my face. At best, I think I’d have about a month tops before he shipped me back to the wife factory for a functioning model.
And, when I really think about it, as tempting as it may be to feather myself a cozy little couch-nest out of Kleenex, socks and Pop-Tart wrappers, I don’t really want to do that with the rest of my life anyway.
Or do I?
Nah, I guess not.
Which means there’s going to come a time—and soon—that I’m going to have to put myself back on the market. The job market.
Job hunting is the most torturous form of dating ever invented. You spend hours upon hours each day primping and preening your resume to make it as attractive as possible, you buy uncomfortable new shoes and wear your hair in a bun (a bun, for gods sake), you attempt to exude an air of confidence and capability and togetherness to hide the fact that you’re egregiously ill-equipped and criminally underqualified to operate in the adult world. You spend your mornings poring over the interwebs, screening for the few job ads that aren’t clever euphemisms for telemarketing positions and mail order bride scams, you “put yourself out there” and “network” and “mingle” and “make contacts” and “follow up”, you exchange firm handshakes and cards and wait with increasing agitation for calls that never come, you try to appear available—but, hey now, not too available–and brag about yourself without seeming like you’re bragging about yourself, all the while desperately (but, geez, not too desperate) trying to find a long-term relationship with something decent and presentable and complimentary that you aren’t ashamed to tell your parents about.
Sure, he’s gay, but at least he offers a good dental plan.
And job interviewers never ask about the qualities that really matter, anyway. All they ever want to know is where do I see myself in five years and what are my applicable qualifications and why do I have so many gaps in my employment history, yadda, yadda, yadda… Do you think even once I’ve been asked if I know any good knock-knock jokes or am able to bake a mean Apple Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bread? Have any of them have ever bothered to query as to whether I’ve had the dedication and fortitude to watch every single episode of Sex & The City?
If the world were fair, I would be able to list the skills and qualifications that really make me stand out, like:
1. I invented my own dance called ‘The Crab Waft’. (Trust me, it’s huge in Japan.)
2. I know fancy words like ‘ineluctable’ and ‘ingenue’. (Feel free to bask in my vocabu…lar…um…ical? prowess.)
3. I can pick up small objects with my toes. (You say you dropped your pencil there, bossman? I am on thecase.)
4. I can crack both my shoulders. (It’s gross, but in an impressive kind of way.)
5. I am one bad mammajamma at crossword puzzles.
6. I always remember to clean the dryer lint trap. (Except when I don’t. Which is sometimes.)
7. I can eat really, really spicy food. (Indian and Thai food, you are my biznitches.)
8. I have never appeared on COPS, To Catch a Predator or Sixteen and Pregnant.
9. I know all the words to Pearl Jam’s “Black”. (Anyone who can understand Eddie Vedder can negotiate their way around any international language barrier.)
10. I’m really good at catching a Frisbee.
Just give me a jaunty bandana and call me Bandit.
11. I’ve never once passed out. (This could come in handy in some work-type situation, I’m just not sure what that is just yet…)
12. I know the difference between “affect” and “effect”, “compliment” and “complement” and “then” and “than”. I also know that “alot” and “misunderestimate” aren’t actual words, and I almost never end a sentence with a preposition.
13. I know how many “I knows” you have to sing in the middle of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”.
Granted, there is the slight risk that I could lose out to someone who can hula hoop, play the harmonica, and do a one-handed cartwheel but, c’mon, I’m a pretty qualified candidate, right?
I’ll be accepting salary offers now, National Geographic.
Three weeks ago, I wrote a rambling list of thoughts while shivering on the couch in a sweaty, disoriented haze during The Most Heinous Sinus Infection Ever Recorded in the History of the World, Period.
Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but not–if I may utilize my stellar Spanish skills–by mucho.
Anyway, after the sinus infection spent the weekend torturing me and then pushed me out the back of its tinted-window van Monday morning, I was so positively elated to be over the ordeal, I forgot all about the list.
And since I’ve had a major case of writers’ block this past week (hence the lack of posts), I figure a half-coherent list of musings is still better than anything else I could come up with right now.
So, bon appetit!
1. Why is it always that the song in which I only know five words is the one song I have stuck in my head all day long? This constant repetition of the first two lines of “La Cucaracha” is greatly diminishing my quality of life.
2. At what point are you too old to have ice cream cake on your birthday? Because I would like to be euthanized before that age.
3. Is there a more awkward situation than standing on the outskirts of a group photo and not knowing whether you’re in the frame or not? Seriously, do you squeeze in and smile, stand where you are and awkwardly pose, or just get the hell out of there?
4. I will consider myself at the pinnacle of social self-mastery when I am finally able to refrain from the knee-jerk response “You too!” when waiters tell me to enjoy my meal.
5. Why do I always panic and suddenly forget my phone number when someone asks for it?
6. I’m one of those people who unintentionally creates my own bastardized language by combining words that are similar in meaning. Like, one time, an old boss once asked me to do something and instead of saying “No problem” or “You’re welcome”, I responded with “No, your problem.”
7. If I drop my keys on the ground, I’m more willing to believe it’s because they are spiteful things hellbent on making me look stupid in public than the fact that I might just be clumsy.
8. Carrots are a vegetable that nobody really has a strong opinion on, but everyone has an opinion on carrot cake.
Fun History Fact: 30 percent of our nation’s wars has been caused by conflicting views on carrot cake.
9. Does the sound of a slide whistle automatically bring perverted images to everyone else’s mind too, or is it just me?
10. The following things are unforgivably creepy to me: porcelain doll collections, velvet paintings of sad-eyed clowns or children, mannequins with faces and/or nipples, and ventriloquist dummies. If I am over at your house and I see any of the above, I will immediately assume you lured me here to make a coat out of my skin.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
11. Whenever I don’t want to clean a dish, I’ll leave it in the sink. Later, if I come back around and it’s still in there, I’ll get mad that someone didn’t wash it. What, do I have to do everything around here?
12. To me, there are very few life situations for which “Woot woot!”or “Dang.” is not an acceptable response.
13. One of the questions I always ask myself is, if I had a twin who talked and acted exactly like me, how long would it take before I wanted her dead?
14. It’s amazing how easily anyone can give off a completely psychotic vibe. If you don’t believe me, next time you’re out walking in public, start swinging your arms in unison with your legs and see if people don’t look at you like you just stepped off the mothership.
(Disclaimer: If any or all of the above statements made absolutely no sense to you, let’s just blame it on the fact that I was heavily medicated at the time and never speak of this post again. Deal?)
Allow me to state for the record that I am not a fan of spiders.
In fact, I am the exact opposite of being a fan of spiders.
In fact, on the list of things that bum me out, spiders rank somewhere between being eaten alive by polar bears and a nuclear holocaust.
Everything about them–from their beady eyes to their spindly, hairy legs–seems sinister and malevolent and completely unworthy of my compassion.
Mind you, I am not this way about most of God’s less fluffy creations.
Snakes? No problem.
Lizards? Let’s dance.
Bats? Bring ’em on.
Let me put it this way: If I had my choice of being hit in the face repeatedly with a shovel or having a Daddy Long Legs crawl on my arm, I’d go ahead and pop some Extra Strength Excedrin and clear my schedule for the next week or so.
So, it’s cosmically fitting that this would appear in our bathroom this weekend:
Allow me to reiterate: THIS…
…IS LIVING IN OUR BATHROOM.
It found itself a nice little vantage point on the ceiling above our shower Sunday morning and, since Katie and I each have a strict No Contact policy when it comes to icky things (and have been so far unsuccessful in convincing the other to amend hers), has been leering at us from up there for two whole days now.
Look, I’m fully aware that spiders are part of the Great Circle of Life or whatever, but if this is Nature’s attempt to teach me some integral lesson on how to peacefully coexist with my eight-legged brethren, it was a poor location choice because, sorry, but I find it a tad hard to sympathize with the plight of something that has seen me in all my naked, vulnerable, soaking wet glory.
This will not do. If it’s still there after work today, decisions will need to be made. Strategies devised. Perimeters secured. Attacks mounted.
The kind of morning where you awake, bleary-eyed and bewildered as to how you arrived in this bedroom, this body.
The kind where you open your eyes to find your shirt has twisted completely around you, your pajama pantlegs are hitched up past your knees, and your hair has fashioned itself into an intricate network of Sailor’s knots. Your mouth gives off the distinct impression that it spent all night gumming a gym sock like a Werthers Original.
And now you are jonesing for a caffeine fix.
So you sit up, spend a moment orienting yourself to your new vertical-ness, kick off the sheets, swing your knees to the edge and let your feet, Lewis and Clark, scout the way to the kitchen.
But upon arriving at your destination, something’s amiss. You go to scoop some coffee and…
You stand there for a moment, unconvinced. Let out a little cough.
Perhaps you’d be more apt to appreciate the dramatic irony of the situation if you were able to fully open your eyes.
Another minute of silent reflection. Then, you start grasping at straws:
You check the coffee machine just to be sure you didn’t already scoop coffee, then suffer a mild stroke that damaged the coffee-scooping short-term memory region of your brain.
Coffee? Are you in there already? Do I need to go to the hospital?
No such luck.
You stand there stupidly in the center of the kitchen, scratching yourself. Giving this information a minute to sink in.
“Well that sucks,” you say out loud, to no one in particular.
Then you get serious. You consider your options. You do a quick equation in your head, calculating the time it would take to get dressed and brushed and scrubbed into a version of you passable enough to venture into the outside world and adding that to the distance to the nearest coffee shop, then subtracting by how much you despise Starbucks’ burnt-tasting coffee and insane price tag and, finally, dividing by how weak your resolve is to go entirely stone-cold caffeine-sober today.
You’re not exactly sure what the final answer is since you’ve always sucked at math, but you know you don’t want to go.