Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Monday, December 26, 2005


Christmas at my sister's was the usual chaotic happening. Given the diverse personalities of the attendees, the comparison to a poorly scripted Chevy Chase holiday movie is inevitable. 17 related people, some directly, some obscurely, some an amalgamous combination of both. Inevitable chaos.

It started with my daughter Amanda sitting down on a couch occupied by an ancient dachshound. This animal is 5 years older than Methuselah and has "nipped at" (my sisters euphemism for bitten) an incalculable number of innocent victims in her dotage. Naturally , Amanda had a small hunk taken off her hand, post-which my sister in total denial of events told her she'd only been "nipped". I put a bandage on the bleeding "nip", figured the dog was probably up-to-date with her shots and the day proceeded.

There were 7 children present (from 1 to 11), this not counting we "adults" who have yet to leave adolescence. Aside from the usual competition for adult attention, I only counted 6 reportable incidents (none to the cops, we're discrete in our family). Here's an example or two. My grandson Fin (3 years old) fell on the walk on the way in. He very tearfully reported to me (1) that his Daddy had pushed him (perception, not fact) and (2) that his Mommy had "not caught him" as he fell, and (3) that I should do something about (1) and (2). Further investigation revealed that no one was within 15 feet of Fin when he fell, so the action I took was to kiss the booboo on his knee and point him toward the amazing stack of presents under the tree. This apparently was the correct solution.

Azra (1 year old), having never seen a fireplace fire, decided it was probably a very sparkly TV set and rushed headlong to touch it. Her mother grabbed her inches away from screaming conflagration. Routine for Azra, a very curious individual and possibly the most interesting person at the party, but an attention grabbing event nonetheless.

Henry, my sister's husband, is a really nice guy but definitely not a sports fan. Thus it has been my fate to be exiled from the NFL and NBA on Christmas Day for the rest of my life. Discussion of sports is also tabu, the topic, when broached, being shunted aside by my sister, my brother-in law, and even my wife in solid phalanx against us sports Phillistines. My suffering will be rewarded in some Christmas-inspired afterlife, although with my luck this well-deserved Nirvana is probably non-existent. (Anyway, can there be a Christmas Nirvana?)

A drop-by of 2 adult children of my sister's neighbors brightened my afternoon. Eleanor used to send me postcards as she backpacked alone through the Nicaraguan jungles. Unfortunately, she's now rather prosaically teaching 4th grade in Oakland, CA., a life short of vicarious thrill inspiration. She's thinking about a life change, though, like me exploring a new path with a graduate degree in some field other than her current metier. Again unfortunately, she hasn't decided which field. None of my suggestions (surprise!) made an impression.

Her sister Abby, a merger specialist lawyer (could a job be more button-down?) has recently moved with her husband to the DC area, renting an oddly shaped (12x30, 3 floors) town house in Georgetown. She, 5 months pregnant, looks more beautiful than I've ever seen her (and she was always very attractive). She's frustrated with the exorbitant price of real estate in Washington but otherwise is terrifically happy with her life. Made my day.

Since some of the people were vegetarians, all the food dishes but one (some Xmas ham) were non-meat. I myself am a two-fisted, blood and guts non-PC carnivore. When I finished the meal, I felt like running out and hunter-gathering something that moved and devouring it whole. Luckily , my wife made a trifle for desert, so I stowed my excess virility and concentrated on building an humongous sugar high. Succeeded in same.

In the interest of brevity, I'll skip the voracious attack on the present pile and the ensuing display of conspicuous consumption on the part of all concerned. It's good to discover , once again, that the true meaning of Christmas and Chanukah has been correctly identified in thousands of TV commercials and that we're sending our children the appropriate seasonal message.As Tom Lerher composed "Hark the Herald Tribune sings, advertising wondrous things". It's an old sweet song.

Scrooge here, signing off. know the rest.



Blogger Holly said...

I do so enjoy your 'blithering'! You make me smile... you make me laugh... "bah humbug," my A** - you're an old softy, I suspect!

(I hope all is well with your stepdaughter (?) and her precious little one; and all well with your father... God bless them both... and you for your support and love).

Great observations told with wonderful story-telling authority! Family gatherings are bizarre events in and of themselves - especially when recounted by such an observant and masterful story-teller. You write wonderfully... and I hope you've stopped telling yourself otherwise!

For my part, actually for lack thereof, I've not blogged since I blogged my final paper (I think you liked it more than Colin did...), but I've been reading my favorites from class nonetheless - yours among them. I haven't exactly consciously decided NOT to blog... I just haven't been able to as of late. I'm thinking of starting a whole new one - one where I take on a persona and voice altogether different than my present one... who knows? We'll see...

Anyway, I hope the New Year is good to you and your family - good health, happiness, good memories.

7:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home