Truly Tasteless Holiday Decor, Stupid Parenting, and Gratuitous Self Pity

I have a pink Christmas tree, complete with pink lights.  Mom got it for me last year.  Believe me, I am putting it up.  Watch me go.

Like most people, I have a deep ambivalence toward the holiday season.  I enjoy the decorations – especially tacky ones– but I sincerely abhor crowds, especially when all I’m trying to do is get basic grocery staples or scripts and I have to fight off the unwashed hordes.

I don’t like feeling as if I have to do all kinds of shopping either. My relatives already have way too much crap they don’t need.  I do too.  Please forgo the kitschy crud and either give me a gift card (Target, Kroger’s or Speedway, especially) or even cash.  That way I can get something I need rather than another hideous green sweater, or hinky nasty dinky earrings that I will never wear.  I hate shopping unless I can do it online. Whoever isn’t happy with a gift card and/or what I can manage to get ordered online, sorry about your luck.

The cooking business is actually something I enjoy as long as I have the time to do it.  My grandmothers ensured that I was proficient with the culinary arts (at least the old-time redneck version thereof) so there will be no shortage of such holiday favorites as pumpkin, apple and chocolate cream pies, scalloped potatoes, turkey-and- dressing, homemade gravy, homemade noodles, baked mac and cheese, cheeseballs, etc.  I like to serve the old-time comfort food.   If other people want to bring funky stuff like spinach casserole (not bad, really) or hummus (got to love the extra garlic version) that’s cool- I am not a food snob and will try just about anything once, but make sure the staples are covered.  I would hate to see Dad disappointed because there were no scalloped potatoes or reduced sugar chocolate cream pie, or have the nieces and nephews wonder why I didn’t bring the baked mac-n-cheese.  Lasagna is lovely (I made both red and white lasagna Sunday night that is divine if I say so myself) but it’s not a substitute for turkey with homemade dressing and gravy. 

Although I have rather diverse and eclectic tastes in food, there are some items commonly served around the holidays that I can do without.  I find fruit cake to be just plain vile.  I can’t eat it.  Fruit cake might as well be head cheese or pigs’ feet, which are two items that I have also tried and find positively gut-wrenchingly disgusting.  I’m also not a real big fan of green bean casserole.  I like the stuff that goes in it, but there’s just something about the combination of green beans, mushroom soup and deep fried onions that doesn’t thrill me.  I can eat it, but it isn’t something I find imperative to serve.  Sweet  potatoes (some people call them yams) are another item that I can do without.  Since I am diabetic I can beg off the candied yams (gross, gross, gross) without too much trouble. 

Yesterday’s news proved yet again that there is no shortage of the second most common element in the universe: stupidity.  Suffice to say that anyone stupid enough to leave one’s offspring in one’s (running) car whilst running into a convenience store to get smokes really shouldn’t be left alone with children.  I am glad the mother got her little boy back safely, but I’ll bet that’s the last time she will leave him alone with Baby Daddy for a long time.   I was certainly no shining example of superlative parenting, but I never left my kid alone in a running car regardless of whether or not he was strapped into a car seat- no matter how bad I needed smokes.

Ironically, Steve-o, in preparing for his upcoming role as Baby Daddy, seems to be a tad bit on the OCD side of things. He’s reminding me a bit of Mom and her Clorox obsession.  When Steve-o was a newborn (and a large, robust one at that) Mom tried to Clorox everything that came remotely close to him.  I swear she bathed him five times a day and changed his (freshly Clorox’d) clothes on the hour, every hour.  His dire concern with everything being Just Right and Super Clean for his little girl is not only reminiscent of Mom and her fussiness with the POMC, but it’s also richly hilarious- considering that he ran from Mom screaming bloody murder when she chased him down in her feeble attempts to cut through all the little-boy crusty filth with wet wipes and/or Kleenex.   He is in for a rude awakening.  Tee-hee.

I am wondering just how long it will take him to realize that his little girl is not made of porcelain, that baby puke and poop both stain and reek, and there is no known medical explanation as to why a two year old can extract an infinite length of thick green snot streamer from his/her nose.  

I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun, but I can’t wait until my grandchild showers him in a spray of snot, spit and half-eaten Cheerios.  Children are many things, but filthy is universal. You just haven’t lived until you have been showered, caked and drenched with the offal emanating from your offspring.

I must really be becoming my mother now that I am taking delight in the same phrase she liked to use: “Wait until you have kids.”  I have to remember to send Steve-o a copy of the news article above as a cautionary tale.  Never leave the kid in the car (especially with the car running) when you run to the shop-and-rob to get smokes.

Parenting taught me a few interesting lessons, above and beyond the average toddler’s infinite capacity to generate toxic waste of divers kinds.  I learned you can drown out a screaming kid pretty well by cranking up Led Zeppelin and/or Ozzy.   I also learned that until the kid’s about sixteen or so, while it’s rude, it’s often necessary to wheel the grocery cart down the middle of the aisle, and to inspect the contents often- unless you want to explain to the cashier why you don’t want  the 15 boxes of Pop-Tarts, the economy pack of extra-heavy duty disposable douche, the “For Her Pleasure” multi-colored condom assortment, and the six tubes of Prep-H that magically appeared in your cart.

I guess I really shouldn’t feel too sorry for myself.  It could be a whole lot worse.

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