It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like (Tacky) Christmas, and a License for Bad Behavior

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I knew my pink skeleton from Halloween could become a year-round decoration!

I adore tacky Christmas decorations.  I like the nice ones too, but I can identify with “decorate with what you can find.”  A discarded Bud Light bikini bimbo cardboard display from last summer’s beer promotion at the drive thru can be made festive, if that’s all you have.   Some rednecks up in the west side of Marion did that one year and I’m still kicking myself in the ass for not having a camera handy to capture that moment.

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Just hang some tinsel and beer cans off of her (like pasties) and you’re all set!

Dad absolutely loathed the holidays when we were growing up, and because we were poor, he waited until the last minute to begrudgingly allow us to put up anything.  One year I stuffed a left over live Christmas tree from one of those tree lot sales after it had ended (on December 23rd, because there were no decorations in the house) in my ’72 Super Beetle and brought it home and set it up.  Dad didn’t like it, but I think he let me go ahead and do it just because it was so much fun for him to watch me unload this nice, crooked, sappy, spiky tree out of the passenger’s seat of said Super Beetle in the middle of an ice storm.  He has a sick sense of humor too.  The tree ended up a bit less than five feet tall and resembled a Charlie Brown tree- but it was free.

Now I have an artificial tree, and it’s pink.  Jerry is afraid that a real Christmas tree is a fire hazard (coming from Mr. Let’s-Drink-a-Fifth-of-Wild-Turkey-Then-Start-a-Fire-in-the-Fireplace-with-Gasoline) so I decided to humor him.

small pink tree

Tastefully tacky?

Jerry can be quite the asshole with absolutely no provocation or logical explanation at all, but any kind of holiday is a sort of license for bad behavior for him.  If he can show his ass, get me upset, or otherwise make a Drama Queen Scene, that’s when he will do it.  Every holiday.  Especially Christmas.  I’m better off to go to 12 Noon Christmas Eve service at church, and then get out of town for the next 36-48 hours.  Guaranteed.

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He wonders why on every holiday I beat feet and go somewhere else to wait it out.  Holidays are the few times a year where going to my oldest sister’s actually is a more attractive option than staying home.  This is even taking into consideration her obnoxious in-laws (and I thought mine were raised by wolves) and the fact that she beat the hell out of me every day for the first thirteen years of my life.

Yesterday (Thanksgiving) was no exception to his holiday angst.  I figured if I was out of the house by 8 AM I would be OK.   He had gotten really shitfaced Wednesday night so I figured he would still be sleeping good when I took off. Unfortunately he had set his alarm (?) for 6:30 (he doesn’t get up that early when he has to work) so I got the full “Where’s my breakfast?” and “What did you do with my pills/smokes/underwear/any other item that I normally never touch?” rant.  I was in no mood for his little tirade, and I basically told him he could shove his smokes up his ass and eat shit for all I care.

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56, going on 2.

I’m still waiting to see if he has the locks changed today and/or if he throws my shit out on the lawn.  That wouldn’t surprise me, because Jerry is the poster child for conditional “love” if that’s what you call it.  I stopped believing in the concept of romantic “love” many, many years ago.  As long as I run and fetch and kiss his ass, he claims to “love” me.  But the minute I assert any type of resistance to his constant shit-slinging, he goes on and on about how I don’t do anything for him, ya-da, ya-da, just like a brat child who doesn’t get his way.  I put up with his shit mostly because I’m old, and for the sake of the dogs.

I don’t understand why this brat child in a geezer’s body, who would have absolutely no clue how to do more to maintain himself than the most basic of personal hygiene, wants to threaten me.  That’s not very smart on his part.  Before you tell me to get out, be careful what you wish for.  You might just get it- and when I am done, I am done.  Just ask my ex.  Only this time I won’t show nearly as much mercy, and I will get a better attorney.  You don’t want me to channel my inner ruthless bitch.  Trust me on that.

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I guess I just have to forgive stupid, because I can’t fix it.

Sometimes I wish I could just go from Halloween and skip to about May 1.  I am not a terribly big fan of the holidays, mostly because of Jerry’s bad behavior.  I know I need to sincerely examine why I put up with it because my tolerance of it defies logic.  On one level I’m smarter than that, but on another level, I am letting my emotions govern my behavior. “Following my heart” and showing mercy have always gotten me into trouble.

I’ll see how he behaves tonight.

On Maudlin Sentiment, Man-Clean, and Dirty Laundry

I don’t know what motivated me to take this pic but I find it interesting.  A couple of years ago I went with Steve-o to tour a technical school in Connecticut (thankfully he ended up in Lima, OH, which is sort of a long story, but the Connecticut foray was an interesting road trip.)  Just outside of Hartford CT, there are small family farms and it really is somewhat picturesque.  I took a pic of the compost pile above because I found it such a contrast- lovely scenery, a beautiful sunrise, and- boom-  a steaming pile of shit.  What an appropriate metaphor for maudlin sentiment.  I am not the type of person who responds well to flowery diatribes and superfluous praise.  In fact, I see right through it.  Cut to the chase and tell me what you want.  I have learned the (easy to me, at least,) lesson that no one butters a piece of bread without intending to take a bite out of it.   Nobody butters me up unless they want something from me.

It’s better to tell it like it is so that people know exactly where you stand.  Of course I don’t think Jerry has washed a dish in his life- which is OK with me- I eat off of those dishes and utensils too,  and I would rather have them clean and in one piece (tremor disorder and wet, soapy, slippery, breakable dishes do not go together well) than to attempt to drive home a point.  Perhaps the general laissez-faire attitude toward caution and cleanliness that is prevalent to the male of the species is the reason why so many mothers fail to train boys to do domestic chores.  I have to admit I didn’t usually press the issue of washing dishes with Steve-o either, not because I was afraid of him breaking dishes, but because I know where his hands have been.  Anyone who can jam his index finger up his nose up to the third joint and pull out a worm-like, amazing green, streamer of snot should not be fingering things I’m going to be eating off.  I know his hygiene has improved in the past few years but still.  No matter how much soap is in that dish water,  the snotty visual remains.

There is such a thing as “man-clean.”  Man-clean is when something is sort of cleaned up, but not very well. 

This toilet is man-clean, because you can actually see some white porcelain here and there, and there is clear water in the bowl.   Before the man “cleaned” it there was no toilet paper, and the bowl was full of used chili dogs and processed Natty Lites.  Putting toilet paper on the roll is a Herculean undertaking for any man, so he’s going to want brownie points for that, even if he used up most of the roll blowing his nose in it.  Flushing deserves even more points, especially if the plunger was involved.  Of course this level of clean is not acceptable to any woman, so when a man would report that he “cleaned” the above bathroom, a woman would don a pair of gloves, grab the Clorox and get to scrubbing.

I think men are allergic to Clorox.

Man-clean as it applies to keeping young children remotely sanitary is especially scary.  “Hosing off the big chunks” is not an acceptable approach to bathing kids, or dogs for that matter.   If it still smells like puke or shit, or it still has snot encrusted on it, you didn’t finish the job.

I got to experience man-clean as it applies to laundry last night.  In a rare and daring stretch of ambition, Jerry decided to put a load of laundry in the washer all by himself last night.  Jerry and his attempts at using any household appliance scares the hell out of me, especially after he caught the microwave on fire several years ago.  Handy hint: if you put popcorn in a 1200 watt microwave on full power for five minutes, the result is FIRE.  Just so you know.

Anyway,  Jerry didn’t make the typical man mistakes with laundry which generally include: washing whitey tighties with red t-shirts (leads to pink undies,) overloading the washer (leads to all kinds of potential fun) or putting too much soap in.  He didn’t do it right though.  He forgot the fabric softener, which you don’t do in beautiful Central Ohio for two very good reasons.  The hard water here is legendary.  Failure to use both liquid fabric softener and a dryer sheet will leave your clothing so incredibly crunchy it will crinkle and crunch and almost stand up by itself when it dries.  This time of year is especially bad because you not only get crunchy clothing, but crunchy clothing with static cling.

I put in a dryer sheet when I put his stuff in the dryer for him, but I am not responsible for his jeans standing up all by themselves.  He’s going to have a very scratchy day.  I buy liquid fabric softener for a reason. 

I hate ironing.  I admit it.  That’s why most of my clothes are knits.  Of course Jerry has a thing for oxford shirts rather than t-shirts or knit shirts, and most of the time (unless you hang dry them or retrieve them from the dryer right away) oxford shirts need to be ironed. 

That reminds me, I need to get his dress clothes to the dry-cleaners before somebody dies.  It’s been over a year since we’ve had to go to a funeral (Grandma’s, sadly enough) and unfortunately odds being what they are, someone’s going to die and then I’ll catch hell for not having his clothes ready for him.  I don’t know why he bothers dressing up to go to the funeral home when these days guys show up in Dale Earnhardt t-shirts and cutoffs.  I know it’s tacky to show up at the funeral home looking like the Grateful Dead, and I am somewhat old school about that- I have black dresses for funerals and other formal occasions- but he’s a dude.  Nobody expects dudes to dress up unless it’s absolutely required any more.