Secret Pop

Dec 26, 2005

Depth Perception

I wish Beulah and Justin had been able to be with us. But in all other respects, this was a super duper Christmas. I think my dad got more gifts than I've ever seen him get in one sitting. He seemed genuinely dazzled. And my mom cried out in shock and delight upon opening several of her gifts. The kind of thrill and gratitude that transcend concern over cost and necessity. I got way more than I expected or deserved. And I gave a great deal, but it still didn't feel like enough. My mom prepared a delicious prime rib. A couple of nights ago, I had asked what her plans for dessert were, and it seemed she didn't think we needed any. For Christmas? I protested. She said, Fine. And then decided to make her famous Melt in Your Mouth, a chocolatey dessert that is Beulah's favorite. Christmas morning, after scolding me for taking the dog out without putting on a jacket ("You don't have any common sense!"), she burst into my bedroom, where I was still trying to sleep, and yelled, "I made the Melt in Your Mouth. But I don't know why we couldn't just have watermelon!" and then promptly left the room. In response to each of these announcements, I muttered deadpan, "Merry Christmas." In the end, I think everyone was happy she had made her special dessert, and I have a feeling she was happy, too. Although I am also certain she would have been just as content with watermelon.

We sat around the fireplace and amongst the shrapnel of the gift explosion, watching the DVDs my sisters and I arranged to have made of my father's old super 8 film footage. That was our flagship gift to my parents. We watched the film of their wedding and of our family in Italy and in Virginia and Northern California. I don't know if we made it to Guam, but that footage is in there, too. We also watched more of 'Allo 'Allo!, the British sitcom Beulah recently got my dad interested in via DVD gifting. I dozed off a bit, on pillows on the floor with Audrey curled up against me. But only for a split second.

I wrote and sent my Christmas email. I also made a mental note of how many holiday text messages I received this year. A surprising trend. Especially when I took note of the number of message-senders I heard from who had only just finally bought into cellular technology or only just learned how to read and send SMS messages during this calendar year. Big ups to those guys.

Martín and Katie and Francisca came by in the evening, driving all the way out from Valley Center, to exchange gifts and deliver the ham I'd forgotten. It is nice having friends who live really close to you and to have had the foresight to give them copies of your housekey. We sat around and talked for a good bit, and I made them look at Audrey in her adorably ridiculous sweater and bonnet from the day before. Audrey was a good sport about it. She didn't try and bite anyone today. My mom's can method has really worked miracles on her savage behavior. My mom retold the story of the glorious can discovery to our guests. It continues to be priceless as stories go.

Eventually, Audrey and I saw everyone off, and it's been very quiet since. I said good night to my parents, did some work, did some chatting, took a bath, got through a few chapters of the novel I'm reading, wrinkled my nose at how the James Bond marathon turned into a Three Stooges block, and all of a sudden it was four a.m. again.

I still think I despise the holiday season. The span of time and the hubbub that surround the actual holidays. But the holidays themselves are still really rather good. It's still possible that I will have a ghastly New Year's Eve. But I'll cross that rickety bridge when I'm forced to by a pack of sword-wielding Thuggee guards.

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