You probably get one to five of these every year–you know, an estranged sibling or childhood frenemy whose brood just by coincidence or moral superiority or by just being generally better always has scads of wonderful accomplishments to brag on every year. How can you resist reading between the lines of all that glorious repression? It’s about time you repaid them by sharing your own news. So break out your favorite box of wine, dust off the bong, and polish up your calligraphy skills. . .
Greetings on what some folks like to call “Black Friday”–a day on which so many of us cash those early Christmas bonuses from our husbands’ places of employment. Heaven knows what all they do there, it’s beyond us women folk [deep sigh]. Anyway, since Dad was laid off for the summer months, because of the economy, and he didn’t qualify for a bonus in 2014, we decided to make all our own gifts this year. It’s been so much fun bonding as we create treasures from the old tinfoil, unused building materials, and scraps of my wedding dress.
Well, our family dodged several bullets again this year. We are so blessed. First, the children. Tad’s grades at college are not everything they could be–but since he chose to be an English major, we’re at a complete loss to figure out what kind of job he could possibly get, anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. As for Susie, her election not to complete high school in protest against Establishment fascism has had a silver lining: her boyfriend decided, out of the blue, to propose to her after a long talk with Dad and Dad’s long lost brother, Uncle Fat Mario, who’s recently returned from finding himself after seven to ten years upstate.
Meanwhile, Grandpa realized the one thing he hadn’t finished from his bucket list–besides remodeling the bathroom he tore apart three years ago–was to become a triathlete. So he began training in late May, bought several hundred dollars worth of supplements down at GNC, more Ace bandages than Florence Nightingale would know what to do with, got a membership to Planet Fitness, and proceeded to burn himself raw on their newest tanning bed. After he got out of the trauma ward, he vowed that sports had not seen the last of him. As far as I can determine, this means he spends Saturdays, Sundays, and Monday nights avoiding Grandma by dodging behind the big screen down at McClusky’s.
The pets have been their usual adorable, incorrigible selves. Skipper got us off to an early start this year by finding all the chocolate Easter eggs that Dad had decided to to hide the night before (so he could sleep in, ) in such brilliant locations as the dirty laundry basket, behind the toilet, my coat pocket, and under Skipper’s water bowl! So we spent most of the day at the animal hospital inducing charcoal vomiting–but luckily for the rest of us, ham is every bit as delicious on cold sandwiches at 10:30pm as it is served hot with all the trimmings at two in the afternoon. As for Optimus Prime, she hasn’t enjoyed her organic diet so much, and has mysteriously hit a new high of 24 pounds (possibly a record for a short-hair cat.) But, then again, we never did find all those socks we thought were in back of the dryer. Finally, a few weeks ago, the tropical parrot we never got around to naming just flew away when someone left the door open for the hundredth time. But Dad says it isn’t that cold yet in November and she’s bound to come back.
Merry Xmas and whatever alternative Holiday you may choose to observe,
The Joneses (Dick and Carol Smith-Jones and the kids)