Thursday, December 20, 2007

Naked Truths About Christmas

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... 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.


Pauline said...

Happy Christmas to you and yours Roberta. You've made my year a little merrier!

Anonymous said...

Merriest Christmas wishes to you and all of your dear ones, Roberta. Enjoy the celebration with your family. Meanwhile, breathe, dear lady, it'll all turn out fine ... as always.

Just so you know, I wouldn't have looked if Hub had told me not to. Honest, I wouldn't have. Probably. :)

Catch you on the other side of the seasonal merriment!

Joy Des Jardins said...

You've warmed the cockles of my heart Roberta....whatever cockles've warmed them.

What a delightful blessing to have found you in the blogosphere this year. I wish it had been sooner....but, it doesn't matter because I feel like I've known you and your beautiful spirit and soul for a very long time.

Merry Christmas dear friend.....may you continue to treat us to your wonderful humor, your wise insights and your beautiful stories. ~Joy

Roberta S said...

Pauline, the complement is mutual. As a word lover I truly enjoy your company because visiting you is like having a lovely "play day" with a favored friend and our favorite toys. In real life I'd be hanging out much too often but on the net I can play at your place as much as I like. And always I find such enjoyment in your unique, masterful, and original creations. Best to you Pauline, have a Wonderful Christmas!

Hope to see lots more word play at your site in the new year.

Roberta S said...

Hi Eleanor. Thanks for the encouragement not to panic. I really needed that.

And very special heartfelt wishes to you and Richard and Stef. May you have a Joyful and Blessed Christmas!

P.S. As for 'looking', I know you, Eleanor, I've been at your place enough to know. You wouldn't peek -- not Eleanor...she's more polished, decent, and gracious than that! More like she'd be yellin' at Hub to be more modest and considerate of others. [Gee, maybe I won't continue to ponder this, cause I feel a small level of doubt creeping in.] ;D

Roberta S said...

Hi joy. I don't know what cockles are either but within my own interpretation you warm mine as well. Every time I think of cockles, I think of lizard eggs being brooded in the rocks by a warm sun. Guess that describes in an oblique way, how you make me feel. Warm and cozy when I feel a chill from cold rocks beneath me.

Since I have met you I have so enjoyed your light heart and kind ways. You are a dear friend, and I pray your Christmas will be bright and truly merry.

Looking forward to more chats and sweet and funny poetry in the coming year.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like things are warming up well for the day! Have a great one. I look forward to continuing the dialogue in 2008.

Roberta S said...

Hi dick. Christmas wouldn't be complete, couldn't settle in without wishing you a special "Seasons Greetings". Yes, the dialogue will continue...sometimes you are my amusement, my new understanding, and sometimes my inspiration. Thanks for your friendship and taking the time to commment.

Please don't stop writing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Roberta,

Your post gave me SUCH pleasure! We don't have the visitors stopping by, but I can imagine the same situation here the week before Christmas.

I know you'll pull together an incredible meal, and your guests will no doubt find it memorable. It takes planning to pull off a gathering such as yours, and we can tell that you are organized. I hope that you will be able to find the time to enjoy your guests and the meal you've prepared.

I envy you the game of Balderdash, and would like to observe. You must certainly be grand masters to have "infandous," "pegomancy," and "sebum," as part of your vocabulary!

Have a wonderful Christmas, and the best in 2008!


Roberta S said...

Hi Buffy. First a heartfelt wish for you and your dear ones for a Blessed Holiday Season! Also thanks for the kindly comment but here I must correct a minor misunderstanding. No I am not organized. Don’t tell but usually I run on sullen determination and fear of failure.

As for your other comment, no grand masters of vocabulary here, that is why Balderdash is so much fun to play. The idea of the game is to make up meanings for words never heard of before. The real meanings on the game cards are crazy-sounding (but authentic), so any silly made-up definition sounds authentic as well.

Last night eight of us were playing so for each word there were eight possible meanings. One of the words was “sardoodledum”. We each wrote made-up meanings on little slips of paper and then the Dasher who was in charge of the round collected the papers and read the definitions included the correct one, and we tried to choose the correct meaning. These were the choices we ended up with for “sardoodledum” -
1) a six line poem with first and last syllables in each line rhyming
2) a sensible thought – 1984
3) a melodrama
4) giddy
5) an Italian liquor that includes a pasta noodle in each bottle
6) a sarcastic expression of endearment
7) a large mythical bird
8) the debris that collects in the bottom of a rucksack

The real meaning for the word is 3) “a melodrama”. But the wit who wrote meaning #2 got four points for the four players that thought his meaning made the most sense. It might seem that it would be easy when you play this game with people you have known for years that there are things in their personality that you think you can easily match to their definitions. But that is not the case. Even after I knew who wrote #2, I couldn’t believe that he would write that kind of definition.

You might want to try the game some time. It really is loads of fun. What I really like about it is it is a perfect game for a mixed company from young children to adults. And the more intelligent ones don't necessarily have any advantage.