Secret Pop

Dec 25, 2005


I sang O Holy Night at my parents' church tonight, as I do nearly every year. My mother was very proud. When I sat back down next to her, she gave me a very Bill Clinton-esque thumbs up and said, "You made it!"

Paul and I stopped off for egg nog on the way back to the house, and I added a little brandy to it and grated fresh nutmeg on it, and Paul and my dad and I drank it up. My mother was furious that we bought any to begin with. She cried out in dismay and said there was absolutely no room for it in the refrigerator. And I said, "What about the refrigerator under the bar?" And she said -- equally furiously -- "I forgot about that." I told her to relax and reminded her how much I love egg nog, and she said, "So much for that weight loss." Merry Christmas to all.

Paul and Sarah and my parents and I were watching Must Love Dogs, but we decided it was terrible. So we put in March of the Penguins, and my mom followed along with her typical commentary. She says the things that happen in your brain sometimes. You understand the logic, but you've never said these things aloud. She laughs because that penguin is so much taller than the rest. She reminds you about that email with the animation of the one penguin slapping the other. "He gets so fed up, and then he can't take it anymore, so he slaps him!" The wonder of childhood is not lost in her. It's pretty magical.

I left to go meet friends at Nunu's, and my mother wished out loud that my friends would all find that it was too late and not want to meet up after all. Ridiculous. I do feel a bit guilty, though. I didn't come home until about four, and she had apparently begun to worry herself that the worst possible things had happened to me. I didn't mean to worry her. It just didn't occur to me that she wouldn't remember how I stay out until the wee hours all the time.

It's been a hectic visit. I did a lot shopping and a lot of driving and a lot of celebrating and a lot of not getting a lot done. And in the end, it's well after four in the morning on Christmas day, and I have presents to wrap and winks to catch and I'll never get it all done. And by the time we're ready to play at Santa, I will be exhausted and cranky and wish I had made better use of tonight. It's my fault. I know it. But what am I to do. There's fog everywhere and not a car in sight and good friends and hyperbole. Who could resist such a cocktail.

And now I'm home watching the A Christmas Story marathon on TBS. They were playing it at Nunu's on one television. The James Bond marathon was playing on another. It was like my dream command central. Forget trans-continental surveillance. I just want to know how much red cabbage Ralphie eats and how surprised James is to meet his bride with the face like a pig. And I don't want to have to switch back and forth.

I wish you a lovely Christmas, and I wouldn't have minded being wished the same by you.

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