I’m gonna’ tell you how it is. Today is probably my last entry before Christmas. I have to gather my wits about me for a supper tonight for some of the young people in the neighborhood and our traditional after-dinner game of Balderdash.
We eat and then we play the game and laugh till we cry. Last year one of the player’s had a rutted theme. Wasn’t too long before we knew his definition of every word would be the one that described a woman’s prehistoric, fictional or early Victorian undergarment. “infandous” – the chastity belt that didn’t work, “pegomancy” – a corset worn in medieval times that latched with pegs and leather loops, and “sebum” – the first pair of crotchless panties. Wonder what his theme will be this year.
First surprise Yule-callers came by the other night and we celebrated the season with chocolate rice crisp squares, short bread and spice cookies, coffee, and my tree still rolled up in plastic in the middle of the entry just off the kitchen. Yep, there was the tree in all its glory. Down for the first round but blinking lights gaily as I had just plugged it in for the initial light-testing. And hard by a 3-gallon bucket of decorations spilled on the floor beside it allowing a fairly wide-panned view of a regurgitation-like mess of apples, ribbons, glass balls, and garlands blinking with refractory amusement in the glow of the lights of the downed tree. But long ago, I have realized, surprise callers have to take you the way they find you, which leads to the next night.
Last night more callers, right after supper. But now my tree was up and fully dressed. Couldn’t say the same for Hub. He was in the bath and I was downstairs when the knock came to the door. I knew he had no clothes with him in the bathroom. I was rushing to fill the washing machine so I could run upstairs and answer the door when I heard Hub answer it.
But then, when I came upstairs, a lady friend was standing inside on the door-mat and Hub was wedged on the tuther-side of the open door. Still I could readily see his upper half through the window in the door and what I saw was wet hair and no shirt. The lower part of the door hid the rest of him. “Don’t look,” he said to the visitor, as he talked to her through the window. “I’m not decent.”
The visitor bent over and began removing her boots. The door moaned a bit as Hub gently pushed it away from him a bit in order to escape. And you know what she did?
She stood up and looked. I mean really looked. I’m thinking that Hub is naked, and I’m thinking what kind of person would not turn their head and say, “let me know when I can look”? But no, this person is just looking.
Suddenly she roared with startled laughter. “My God, you aren’t dressed. I thought you were just joking,” as Hub made a mad dash for the bedroom – shirtless, shoeless, beltless, but with long white thermal underwear on his lower half.
I had to say—I just had to say, “Why did you look? Where is your sense of modesty and respect? What kind of woman are you? A little too curious for your own good, it seems to me!”
“Honestly, Roberta, I thought he was just kidding. Nobody answers the door in their long johns with no clothes on.”
“Take note,” I said with a chill in my voice, “some do. And when someone tells you they aren’t decent, the respectful thing to do, the kosher thing to do, is keep your back turned until you are given permission to look.”
After this sarcastic game of pitch and catch, we are cast back under the special spell of the Season and we laugh heartily and I promise her I will never let her ever forget what kind of woman she is – looking with such curiosity if given the chance!
Another neighbor delivered a lovely card and stopped for coffee. She noticed my card display particularly the gilded one from my scrap-booking friend. “I’m so disappointed,” she said. “I haven’t got one single glittery card this year and I love glittery cards.”
The disappointment rang in my ears like a mornful toll of bells so yesterday, although I had bedding to wash, floors to vac, and tidying up that still needed doing, instead I sat down and made her the glittery-est card I have ever made in my entire life. Very simple, but it's not about the complexity, it's about the glitter...
So now, with all this nonsense going on, I’m not as near ready for our Christmas celebration on Christmas Day-eve (to fit everyone’s agenda), that I should be. Oh Lord, don’t let me forget to thaw out the big bird in plenty of time. And I must get the pies baked on the 22nd this year, cause we want them fresh but the big ole bird will be monopolizing the oven come the 23rd.
I have to admit, I fret about it all way too much. About making every Christmas the best Christmas my children and grandchildren ever had. I’ve been doing that for thirty years. You’d think I’d eventually stop the painful anxiety cause every Christmas in its own unique way is as much or more than I hoped it would be.
So to you, all my dear beloved friends in Blogland, have a Very Merry Christmas, unique and special in its own way.
P.S. And for those of you that are into pristine, untouched, totally organic, here's a special Xmas card for you...
...an organic snow-woman with no supportive undergarments though the Barbie dolls would all run and hide with shame if she were compressed into Victoria Secret attire.