The day after Thanksgiving: Black Friday! Eeeeeeek! I’m going to call in sick at work, feed the cat, then wrap myself in a blanket and pretend this day doesn’t exist. I will not leave the apartment until I know it’s safe, maybe sometime in June.
The next day: Okay. I survived Black Friday by going into hiding. Now I’m stir crazy. I think I’ll get a group together and go to the movies. Explode and Demolish: The Absolute Final Armageddon is playing in IMAX 3D. I’ve been dying to see it. Let’s see – I’ll call my best “gay boyfriend” Jack. He likes to watch hot actors fighting supervillains and zombies. Oh yes, I’ll call Eleanor, too. She likes sci-fi action movies, and she has a couple of friends she can invite along who are as loony as she is. It’ll be a blast.
The day after that: The movie was a lot of fun, even though Eleanor spilled coke on Jack’s tee shirt during the previews. When the cold liquid hit him, Jack yelled some words I didn’t even know he knew. He got over it once he realized that the coke stain added a new dimension to the design on his shirt. He and Eleanor apologized to each other and became best buddies for the next two hours. They laughed and laughed when she accidentally dropped a Milk Dud on his crotch. I wrote down what Jack had yelled and memorized it. It might come in handy some day when the usual obscenities won’t do.
I guess I’d better start thinking about what I’m going to get everyone for Christmas. I usually solve my Christmas gift dilemma by sending fruitcakes to everyone. This year I am determined to be different. I am going to start early enough and actually put thought into it. To tell the truth, I made this decision last year when most of the people on my gift list turned around and sent me fruitcakes. I could have built a small house with them.
December 1: I have to start doing some serious shopping. And I will. Tomorrow.
December 10: No more excuses. Ginormous Department Store is having a sale today. Everything is 20 percent off, including some awesome looking fake mink coats. While I’m trying on fake mink coats I might as well stick around and buy some cheap gifts for the relatives I can’t stand. I’ll get them out of the way first, and do it fast so I don’t have to think about it anymore. I think I’ll buy bitchy Aunt Betty some Jean Naté. She hates Jean Naté. It smells like cat pee on her. Too bad I won’t be there to see her face when she opens it. Maybe I’ll rig the box so that it sprays some of it on her. Zap! That’ll pay her back for the time she blabbed to Grandpa that I was shacking up and got me disinherited.
Do I have everything I need for department store Christmas sale shopping? Let’s see: mace; cattle prod; running shoes; umbrella with sharp metal tip – yeah, I’ve got everything.
December 15: I am finally recovering from the injuries sustained five days ago in Ginormous Department Store. I never knew an old lady could pack such a punch. And I fell on my butt when the fake mink coat we were both using to play department store tug-of-war tore right down the middle. No more mall shopping for me. Fuck it. I’ll finish up my Christmas shopping online. Everyone will get big baskets of cheese and things.
December 17: Jack and Eleanor and Jack’s partner and Eleanor’s crazy friends want to go to Ristorante Vesuvio di Napoli for Christmas dinner. Eleanor just texted me. She wants to know if I’d like to join them. I text her back and say yes.
December 18: I just got a text from Alice. She feels sorry for me because I’m single and I have no family nearby to spend the holidays with. She wants me to come to their house for Christmas dinner with her, her husband, their daughter, their son-in-law, their son, their daughter-in-law and their five grandchildren. She’s also inviting Mrs. McGarrett, who has nobody, poor soul. I do some quick comparing in my head:
Good: Alice is a good cook and she always has plenty of food. She also has satellite TV.
Not so good: I’ll be in the middle of someone else’s family holiday. Only Alice will want me there, and she’ll remind me ad nauseum for the next six months about how she felt so sorry for me at Christmastime that she just had to invite me to her home. I have nothing in common with any of her family, and I’ll be bored half out of my mind. Oh yes … like all the rest of the world, I can’t stand Mrs. McGarrett.
Snag: Alice’s feelings and ego will be hurt if I turn down her invitation.
Jack, Eleanor and the Gang:
Good: We’ll all have a great time with people we actually like.
Not so good: I can’t think of anything.
Snag: How to break the news to Alice.
Cell Phone Text:
Alice, damn! Your invitation came too late. I have a prior commitment. So sorry! I would just love to be with your adorable family again, but I can’t break the other commitment without hurting people’s feelings. I hope you understand. Thanks, and Merry Christmas!
December 25: Here we are at Ristorante Vesuvio di Napoli, eating Italian food, drinking wine, laughing until our stomachs hurt at one of Jack’s many hilarious stories and having a blast. I am eating so much good food that I probably won’t have to eat again for the rest of my life.
December 26: How did Christmas come so fast this year?