Bah, Humbug!

I just spent several hours wandering through stores hoping inspiration for the perfect gifts for the grandkids will hit me kinda like lightning. Only less painfully. Alas, my muse was apparently out drinking someplace and having a far better time than I was. The stores were pretty much deserted which was both good and bad. Good, in that I could stop right in the middle of the aisle when my brain shut down from toy overload and I could happily scream internally in mental anguish without people interrupting me whining about needing to get past. Bad, in that store employees with nothing else to do were apparently following me around just to wish me “Merry Christmas” over and over again, and I felt obliged to be just as cheerful right back instead of running them down with a shopping cart. This was not easy to do when my feet were so painful that I just wanted to sit down and howl in anguish, but nooooooo. I smiled, wished people a Merry Christmas right back, and declined all offers of assistance, for how in the world can somebody assist me to find what I don’t know that I’m looking for? Somebody up there better be puttin’ in a change order to upgrade that hut in the hereafter that I’ll be inhabiting someday to a single wide. Just sayin’. Or, uh, maybe the celestial builders are all engaged in the upgrades on the retail people’s mansions. That’s okay. I can wait.

My feet were excrutiatingly painful because I went up (and down) a ladder several times today to go up on the roof per SwampMan’s instructions. I declined, because I knew it would put me in a mostly crippled state for days. He insisted. *sigh* Shopping takes a LOT longer when feet do not work properly. I really need my feet tomorrow. I will be following my mother, the world champion shopper of all time, around. It’s going to be embarrassing if somebody with leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis kicks my ass at shopping. Maybe I can hypnotize my feet. Maybe I can find enough pain pills in the cabinet so that I won’t even care if my feet hurt. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and be better, but I figure the odds on that are about the same as waking up tomorrow and finding that I have a healthy bank balance.

One of the things I mentioned while SwampMan was telling me that I should absolutely not go out shopping tonight was that I did not know where I was going to find the time and energy to drag the big ol’ artificial tree out of storage, stick every branch on, and light and decorate it. This may have been our first year without a tree. SwampMan suggested that I get a really cheap pre-lit artificial Christmas tree, put it up, then trash it after the holidays. Hunh.

I wandered into Walmart and picked up a box that had a 6 and 1/2 foot pre-lit artificial pine that said $38 on the price tag. It wasn’t a sale price, either. How bad could it be? Well, I am here to tell you that it was really, really easy to put up. Maybe 5 minutes. It’s a bit….sparse, much like the tree in Charlie Brown’s Christmas. It looks kinda like it’s pining for the dry cleaners because all of its relatives are coat hangers. Mental shrug. The tree is up! My decorating is DONE.

Grin. I had an epiphany of sorts today when I was getting a little stressed about everything that still needed to be done. Or was I taking a little psychotic break? I forget. Anyway, I have been comparing myself to my mother, my aunts, and my grandmother, women who all had perfect food and perfect gifts and perfect decorations and perfect holidays. Naturally, I do not come off well in comparison. Nobody is ever going to confuse me with a domestic diva. Today, however, for the first time I realized that none of those people that I’m kicking myself in the ass daily over because I’m not measuring up to their memories had an actual paying job when these perfect holidays were occurring. They did not work outside the home. They did not have a second job raising livestock. They did not put up fences. They did not haul bales of hay. They didn’t mow the grass. So maybe I can forgive myself just this once for not baking enough cookies and seven different kinds of fudge. On the bright side, my kids won’t have high standards to live up to at all! As long as they don’t accidentally set fire to the house with Christmas candles, they’ll be able to count the holiday a success.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kcduffy said,

    You had a moment of clarity there, Swampie. If you insist on comparing yourself to other women, it MUST be women of equal ‘stature’ and situation. I don’t do the things the women in my family did because I live an entirely different life than they did. At 55, I’m pretty much ok with that now. My mother and grandmother did work outside the home, and my grandmother helped run a farm to boot. We’re different. I learned how to make lefse as a tribute and reminder of good things during my childhood. It’s enough.

    Cuz I roast a kick-ass turkey, I make gravy my family adores, and other than that, who the hell really cares? I never was a baker, but my kids and hubby don’t seem to suffer for it. They love the pineapple/macadamia nut/banana bread I DO make.

    It is enough. LOVE does not mean STUFF, it means LOVE. Best I can when I can and good enough when I can’t.

    Like today. I feel like CRAP!

  2. 2

    ORPO1 said,

    Izzat why I have the occasional desire to be back on the other side of the world at sea.

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