As always when I am trying to write I am interrupted, this time by a car pulling up in my driveway. An acquaintance walks in without knocking like SEINFELD’s Kramer and sees me sitting in front of the computer.
HIM : “Whatcha doin‘?”
ME: “Trying to update my blog.”
HIM: “Oh yeah? What are you bitching about now?”
ME: “People annoying me while I’m trying to write….”
For the record I’m doing okay right now but I’ve been working a lot of overtime and life does sometimes seem like a blur lately. One day after another, the weeks melding into a mesh-work of months. Haven’t been posting much lately but I just KNOW you want to read about me complaining about my aching neck, back and feet. But because I’m such a nice guy I’ve decided to spare you and just not post at all. Lately I’ve been too tired when I come home to lift the necessary fingers to complain about these things. It would be easy to grouse I suppose; most of the extra cash I am making seems to be out-going. I was afraid to look in the mailbox YEARS before the anthrax scare and still am.
On the other hand the bills ARE paid, so I can comfort myself with that knowledge at least. No one’s hammering on the door or ringing the phone demanding I pay up. Nothing’s been turned off. And if that wasn’t slick enough, I’ve actually got the bulk of my limited Christmas shopping done including packages already in the mail to “K” and and her son.
Kind of proud of myself; this is a first. I usually put off Christmas shopping until the last minute; this year I’ve got most of it done. And instead of doling out gift cards this year I actually have a handful of actual physical gotta-wrap-em presents for the family. Not ruling out a handful of gift cards but this year is going to be a little different.
And mind you this is in spite of the fact I usually hate and dread Christmas. The commercials that plagiarize Christmas songs on TV drive me nuts from Thanksgiving until December 26th when they start the annual New Years Eve hoopla. When I go shopping I really feel for the store employees that have to listen to Christmas tunes for the duration of their shifts during the Christmas season.
Shopping for anything from groceries to guitar strings for myself, much less presents for my family becomes nothing less than an ordeal; traffic is always horrible during its best moments. Toss in a highly unpredictable weather pattern that can bugger your plans overnight and what’s left is a holiday that’s more stressful than festive. However maybe I’m getting prematurely senile but so far this year I’m taking all of this in stride. Or maybe I just haven’t snapped yet; it’s kind of a fine line. But as of this point I’m just not letting Christmas get me down this year.
A Certain Someone has informed me that her five-year-old grandson has asked Santa Claus for a grand total of ONE thing this year. Yes you read correctly; ONE toy.
This blows me away; when I was that age I wanted every single toy made by Marx, Aurora, Hasbro, Milton-Bradley, Lego and Mattel combined. I was a greedy little bastard; I always had a mile-long Christmas list. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the little tyke’s modest request. So impressed in fact I drove out and got what he wanted and had it in the mail within 48 hours and on its way to him. I’m going to make a wish come true for a five-year-old boy; I’m going to make a Christmas miracle happen. And this is a good feeling; I’m actually looking forward to Christmas for the first time in years.
Now mind you I haven’t gone entirely “out of character”. My house is still barren of Christmas decorations; the tree’s out in the yard where it belongs. And as I look around the room I am reminded that despite the over-time I’ve been working I still haven’t really spent much on myself lately. It really wouldn’t hurt to have my belief in Santa Claus refreshed right now; waking up to find next weeks paycheck “under the tree” (ahem) this morning for example would have been nice.
I have to manually spin my turntable to get it to turn and play a record; I have to “thump-start” my CD player to get it to play a CD. My ten-year-old TV and home theater are both out-dated and need to be replaced. A Christmas miracle or two ( or three or four etc.) wouldn’t exactly hurt me right now.
In fact I saw a CD player in a store the other day for roughly about what it cost me to mail that toy to a five-year-old I’ve never met but only spoken to over the phone. But dagnabbit that’s where Christmas butts in and over-rides the logic that ordinarily spins around the fulcrum of Me, Me, Me.
My only real regret is I won’t be there to see him find it under the tree. It would be wonderful if someone has the presence of mind to shoot photos or video of him on Christmas morning but even if they don’t that’s okay. I’m going to fall asleep Christmas night smiling; I just have that feeling.
Sometimes at moments like this I can’t help but wonder if it really IS Christmas I hate and dread. Or is it the knowledge that in a couple of weeks Moms dishwasher will be full of dirty dishes, the presents will be unwrapped, the decorations will be coming down and my week off of work will be over in the blink of an eye?
The day after Christmas the mailman will show up with a mailbox full of bills. The landlord will be right behind the postman a week later with her hand out. Maybe it really isn’t Christmas I hate so much as the after-burn of realizing it’s over. Somewhere in the swampy bayous of my subconscious I know these things are coming and that’s the real reason I usually dread Christmas.
And that’s when I have to put my imagination back to work; try as hard as I can to imagine that little boy looking under the tree on Christmas morning and finding out that Santa didn’t forget about him. Going to have to remind myself of this; if I don’t I just might find the energy to start complaining again.