Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Eve Follies

The day started with a bang when my 2-year-old woke me up asking for his "baba." I went to the fridge and poured him some milk, but he grabbed a glass bottle of Orange Fizzy Lizzy and it slipped out of his hands onto the floor. I, half-asleep, barefoot, with blurry vision, disturbed the sleeping household: "STEPHEN!! Wake up! I need help. I'm bleeding! Wake up!" Shards of glass everywhere, orange soda with no added sweeteners or preservatives, also everywhere. My foot, victimized. My husband, rudely awakened.

Then--all of us still clad in pajamas, and me trying to arrange a last-minute cousins' gift exchange--the cable guy called. "I'm running early. Can I come over to fix your internet connection now?" Um, give us ten minutes. Eight minutes later, dressed, but just barely, we opened the door to find the cable guy AND the cabinet guy who was popping in for some last minute touch-ups. Wow, everyone was working on Christmas Eve, and really early at that. "Oh, we didn't know you were coming. We would have cleaned the kitchen." Kitchen was in drastic state of disarray, what would he think of us? And this, after the bounced check debacle. Cabinet guy didn't give me a chance to find out what he thought of us. He was gone in no time, but cable guy stayed. And stayed and smelled like cigarettes in our bedroom and stayed some more. And didn't end up making one bit of difference for the all-important speed component of our high-speed internet connection. Thanks, cable guy. Here's a holiday tip for ya.

I was wrapping presents mid-morning when I did something really lame. I ran out of wrapping paper. That is lame because last year, after Christmas, I hit Target hard on the after-Christmas sales and bought SO MUCH wrapping paper it would blow your mind. I stored it for a year in our garage, and then early this month, I bundled rolls together and tied them with pretty bows and took them to our friends for a neighborly sort of Christmas gift. Our friends were grateful: they needed more wrapping paper! I felt pretty good about how smart I was and how much money I saved, until I realized that I didn't save any of that great, cute, almost-free wrapping paper for us. Lame, lame, lame. I ended up going back to Target and I bought four rolls of full-price wrapping paper. Lame.

Meanwhile, Steve was inspired by the cabinet guy to finally install our range hood over the range. Really, he got it out thinking that cabinet guy would help him install it. No such luck. Several hours, a whole heckuva great deal of aggravation, and several scratches on our new range later, Steve finally finished, and declared that it was totally pointless, because all the hood does is suck up the steam/smoke/whatever, recirculate it, and spit it back out in your face. Not worth the scratches on our range.

We decided to flee the still-messy kitchen, which was even messier than before what with all the tools and cardboard and instructions lying all over the place. Why not get some lunch somewhere? Maybe some Mexican food. Maybe start a new Christmas Eve tradition of eating out Mexican food for lunch. What do ya know? The dive we have heard so much about and were wanting to try was closed for the holiday. Denny's--Steve's next suggestion--was quickly shunned. (Denny's has the potential to be a major hurdle in our marriage, given the fact that he likes it, and I want to vomit every time I drive by it.) So, we settled on Chuy's. Never been there, always heard of people who went there, knew it was Mexican, why not give it a try? We knew we were in big trouble when we ordered at the counter and they gave us a filthy, mangy huge stuffed pink heart to put on our table so they knew where to bring our order. Um, first of all, I do not want to touch that nasty thing with its probable dust mites and baby barf. Second, you want me to put that on our table where our food will go? Aren't there health code restrictions about such practices? When Steve pulled a long blond hair out of his water, there needed to be no discussion between us: severe germ anxiety was settling in, on both of us, really fast. Our reactions were different, though--I subsided the consumption of my lunch, and waited eagerly for everyone else to finish; Steve kept eating, but grew grumpier and grumpier, taking it out on poor Elliot who just wanted a quarter to get a plastic gun out of the gumball machine thingy. Okay, two quarters, and I would never let him buy a toy gun like that anyway, but Steve was awfully grumpy as he chowed down on his chicken and then, upon finishing, hustled everyone out of the germ-infested restaurant with no chance for a six-year-old to so much as look longingly at the toy gun-machines one last time. Steve made up for it by taking the kids to Dairy Queen. We decided to drive thru, so as not to further aggravate our sensitivities toward restaurant health-code violations, which this particular Dairy Queen surely had, but, hey, ignorance is bliss and what we don't know about employees not washing their hands after they go to the bathroom can't hurt us. Er, yeah.

And thus began our day, this day before Christmas. Things were not looking so bright at our household. Luckily for us, we had a bit of a sweet reversal of fortune: a celebrity sighting, of sorts. Dairy Queen was followed by a quick stop at Home Depot. Steve ran in to buy some parts for that blessed range hood. The kids and I waited in the car, and beheld: parked right next to us was someone who may have been the goat from The Chronicles of Narnia. Without his hoof costume, of course. And he was a little broader in the shoulders than the one in the movie. But Elliot was convinced, so who was I to argue? How many people get to see the goat just doing his thing at Home Depot on Christmas Eve?

A merry Christmas, indeed.

(And a merry Christmas to you.)


neil and diana said...

imdb says Mr. Tumnus is a fire eater. I hope your foot is OK. Paul, Neil and Jon are watching Ken Burns: Baseball. Your turn. Love, D

Emily said...

Fire eater. . .faun. . .goat. What's the diff?

Steve said...

I'd just like to say that we haven't eaten at Denny's in years, so it isn't much of a contention point in our marriage. I'd also like to say that we won't be eating at Chuy's, but I don't suppose that will be much of a contention point.

Merry Christmas to all.

amye said...

The writing is wonderful! And to think we spent much of today with you and didn't know any of this until reading it tonight. It was great being with all of the family (except Abby and Jamie) throughout the week. We just took Ryan and Jessica to the airport. I'm quite sad at the moment. Thank goodness we live near some of our kids and grandkids. I couldn't handle living away from everyone. I looove my family!

neil and diana said...

The actor who plays Mr. Tumnus is a fire eater.

Suzie Petunia said...

We miss you so much! We're laughing and laughing at your Christmas Eve follies! (We make it a point to always read your blog out loud - it makes it that much entertaining :) I always say that craziness makes for good memories. What if you had just had a plain old boring ho-hum Christmas Eve? It would have been one boring blog post. And this was certainly NOT one boring post.

We've had a quiet little Christmas by ourselves here in Sherwood. Taylor has the whole week off and we're just kickin' it old school. Playing xbox, watching videos, eating, eating, eating. It would be fun if you guys could come over to play Settlers of Catan with us...or Masterpiece. Taylor got Settlers for Christmas, but you need at least 4 to play and Waverly and Henry are a bit young for it. Won't you come and play?