Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections: Or, A Holiday Postmortem Complete With Underwear, Dendrology, And My Brief (Retail) Sex Change

Later this afternoon I'm going to bribe Rick into taking down the tree and completely deChristmasing the house. I'm tired of all the opulence and luxe and extra stuff. Mostly, I'm tired of the Extra. Extra sweets, extra lights, extra decor, and extra extraneousness.

(Bah Humbug. I know, right? Sigh.)

But before all of that--and playing endless games of newly rediscovered Snood (how terribly sad)--I wanted to inflict upon you share a few reflections with you regarding my Holiday Adventures.

:-) On one of our Marathon Shopping Outings, Rick and I searched for the desired underwear for Sam and Jared. JC Penney seemed hell-bent on not only honing our math skills, but on presenting as many confusing options as possible: boxers, boxer briefs, briefs, bikini briefs, buy one get one half off, buy one get one free, all depending upon the dizzying array of brands available, all of which were placed in varying areas not entirely lined up with their corresponding signage. I was stroking out, but Rick persevered, and undoubtedly using the Pythagorean Theorem, chose this particular brand and took two packages to the cashier immediately before I needed EMTs:

whereupon they rang up incorrectly. Of. Course. Rick politely pointed this out, and the twentysomething woman called her manager over and said--and I quote, "Hey, Eric. These Boulevards aren't ringing up correctly." No. I am not making this up. Can you only imagine what I began to go through, as a real person with education and human sensitivity? Neither Rick nor I dared look at one another. And yes, the manager asked her to repeat herself AND SHE DID. Even as I type this, I want to throw something. (And, just to satisfy anyone's curiosity, here is the origin of the name BVD.) Still not over it.

:-) I am still trying to figure out why we have such a bigass Christmas tree. I distinctly remember saying, when we went out for our tree, "Let's not get such a bigass tree this year. It's time to start downsizing." Yet, we have an absolutely enormous tree. Everyone who walks into the house says, "Wow! That is one huge tree. That's probably the biggest tree you've ever had." What the hell happened? My sister Patti has had a fake tree for years and years and has never looked back. My brother Bob, a major real tree holdout, informed me at the family gift exchange that his tree this year fit on top of a tv snack tray. Then he said, and I quote, "Look at Nance's face." Because I sat there, horrified and mouth agape, realizing that I was the only sucker left in the family (besides my younger sister Susan, who still has two younger kids) who goes all out and gets a bigass real tree. Bob then went on, "Yeah, it's a little fake tree and all the ornaments fit in a shoebox. The lights are already on it." I turned to Rick immediately, and he said, "Nance, you're the one who picked the tree out." Which is ridiculous, of course; reread the top of this section! Next year, for sure: DOWNSIZE IS THE KEY WORD. If only people would listen to me!

:-) This is the first year that I, for various reasons, was a Last-Minute Shopper for Christmas. (I felt downright Manly. Hee hee.) Two words: NEVER. AGAIN. I cannot tell you how many times I physically stopped dead in my tracks in the middle of the mall and told myself, "Nance. You are a Grownup. You can do this. It's Just Shopping." In my defense, I must tell you that I was shopping for The Most Uninspiring Recipient Ever. Who Shall Remain Nameless. And for whom every year, I get to shop for "gifts" like socks, underwear, white teeshirts (V-neck), tennis shoes, and crapola like that. Or a Power Tool for which there are no distinct parameters, for example "a drill," but nothing about voltage or power or if it is to be "3/8 or anything like that. Do not suggest that I take anyone with me, either. Trust me, no one can handle shopping with me. That is how deep my pathology is at this point. No one deserves that. But, I did get it all done and it was fine. Just Fine. But that Last-Minute Shopping Thing will never happen again.

Oh, hey. Happy New Year. This was not The Year I Had Hoped It Would Be, to be sure. Let's keep our fingers crossed for 2010. (Which I refuse to pronounce "twenty-ten." Sounds just terrible.)


  1. Oh, my God, yes! Traditionally our tree stays up until the end of New Year's Day -- but you don't have to guess what I will be doing Saturday.

    Other than breaking the New Year's resolutions as fast as I can say chocolate truffle.

    Hugs, and wishes for a happy New Year.

    My hard-to-buy for guy got work pants this Christmas; Marks Work Wear was approachable. The weirdest part is that he liked them.

  2. Tree down. Lights on house still up. Happy New Year!!!

  3. "Boulevards"!!!! 8^) You should be able to hear me laughing all the way over here on the east coast. That's a keeper if I ever heard one. I admire your and Rick's reserve. How did you manage not to snort and roll on the floor?

    We were completely uninspired and didn't put up anything until Chr. Eve. Our tree was a 10" fake that the kids made in kindergarten. Doing nothing was enormously freeing. I think I'll do it again.

  4. I would have totally thought that 'Boulevards' was the kid slang for them, and felt more out of it than ever.

    We have a small fake tree, with lights already on it. I LOVE IT.

    Last minute shopping sucks hole. I agree that it's best left to the men. About a week after I finished my shopping, my husband said, "I guess I had better start thinking about Christmas..." It's like he wants to propagate the stereotype or something.

  5. Oh, and the 'National Association of Good Grammar" disagrees with you on 2010:

    Not that I think you care what they think. ;)

  6. "Can you only imagine what I began to go through, as a real person with education and human sensitivity?" I can just picture you now :-)

  7. Now I know why Mr. Fairway does not wear BVDs. Boulevards, indeed! Rest & Relaxation top my New Year's Resolutions this year. Here's to 2010!

  8. Hey, didn't them Boulevards go out around abouts the same time as them Wife Beaters? I bet her boyfriend still wears both.

  9. I downsized our FAKE tree last year to a seven foot slim tree. I absolutely love it! You should buy one now...the price will be so low you'll wonder how they ever tried to sell it for hundreds of dollars in the first place. Then come next year, it will be a non-issue.

    I'm feeling unmotivated to undecorate my house too, even though I didn't put much out given the little hands that want to touch everything. However, it's Jan. 4 and still not done and today some teacher had the nerve to take an extended break and I'm off to work so it won't get done today either. Humph.

  10. Anonymous8:34 AM

    Twenty ten, 20-10
    It sounds right to me.
    Happy New Year
    Happy New Decade.
    So. MD

  11. So.MD--I prefer "Two thousand Ten." Twenty ten is illiterate-sounding, like saying "fifty hundred" rather than five thousand. I also hate when people call September 11th "nine-eleven." I think it reduces such a historically horrific event to an almost peppy sounding slogan. I know--I'm a Language Bitch. (But it's My Job.)

    Nina--I can't do both--a smaller AND a fake tree--in one fell swoop. A smaller tree will be traumatic enough. And going back to work today was such a Horrid Ordeal. (And I have to keep going back, ALL WEEK. And then the weeks after THAT! It's a Tragedy.)

    The Other Nance--Honestly, sometimes it's just an Offence being in public and hearing people speak out loud anymore. It was a full minute before Rick and I could even safely comment to each other about what we had just heard.

    Melissa B.--Rest and Relaxation? Are you quitting your day job? LOL.

    Mikey--Oh, I know that you could. I was in Agony. I made Rick check to see if my ears were, in fact, bleeding profusely. I know my soul was.

    J.@jj--The Nat'l Association of Good Grammar sounds like a self-appointed gig if I ever heard one, bless them all. And you are right: I don't give a rat's ass what they say. LOL. The Dept. Of Nance says that "two thousand ten" is far more grammatically and audibly pleasing, how's THAT?! Now, with regard to "Boulevards" being slang for the younger set, believe me--they have no idea that BVD is even an abbreviation for that word unless they happen to have it as part of their own street address. Sigh. (Forgive me; I'm channelling my Crabass Teacher Persona right now.)

    sputnik--I wondered if that little anecdote might bring you out of hiding. And you might see my pea-green envy at your Freedom Liberation all the way from NE Ohio. I am going to try and downsize more than just my tree next year, though, and i will dedicate as much Nothingness as possible to you, my mentor.

    Apathy Lounge--Leave the house lights up and pretend you live in my general neighborhood. Oh, and turn them on often! You'd fit right in. sigh.

    Mary G.--I never make those pesky NY's Resolutions. As I said over on my other blog (Stuff On Our List), I prefer to think that I am on a Continuous Journey of Self-Improvement, and I keep trying to better myself, with varying degrees of success and backsliding, every single day. (How's THAT?)

  12. Anonymous8:12 AM

    I be illiterate, but twenty ten will prevail.

  13. We had a bigass fake tree that had been reigning over Chez V holidays for many years, holding a bajillion ornaments on its 2,500 tips. When we moved into this house, we discovered there was no good place to set up the tree. I am not a woman who will rearrange or remove furniture to accommodate Christmas. So this year I sold the old tree on Craig's List and picked out a smaller, skinnier tree. There was resistance among family members. There was a quiet boycott of the tree decorating process.

    Yet, in the end, the tree looked beautiful and easily fit into the large dining area which has a fireplace and is the main gathering spot in our house. It doesn't come close to holding all my ornaments but I'm OK with that. Best of all, it stores in a fairly small box--a big deal in our only-one-car-garage older home.

  14. V-grrrl--If I refused to remove or relocate things to accommodate Christmas, we would never even have a tree, period. I am in awe of your Resolve. That, or your Minimalism, either one. Color me Impressed.

    Anonymous--Twenty-ten is certainly prevalent already, but Trendiness/Popularity has never held sway with me. (Sort of why I'm still persisting with this blog...sigh.)

  15. LOL...I had a patient answer the other day that the year was ten-twenty. Close enough for me!
    Our tree is still up. Since I'm the one who deals with the whole kit and kaboodle of it I need a stretch of time and something fabulous on TV. Yesterday was an In Plain Site marathon, so about 1/2 the ornaments are wrapped and boxed. Wish someone would put on a George Clooney marathon...

  16. Happy New Year! I always say "twenty-ten" in my head. I prefer it. I think it sounds fun, compact, and space age. Yet, when I spoke it, I said "two thousand ten." I hated it and immediately corrected myself. I haven't said it out loud since. I hope that's not a bad sign...

    I do hope it's better than 2009. I've heard very few people go on about what a great year it was. And they are mostly bloggers who got book deals and/or had babies. Well, I guess I would have been pretty thrilled with the year too.

    Anyway... Nice lesson on BVDs. I never knew for sure if they were a brand name, but I definitely knew they were NOT Boulevards!! : )

  17. Anali--I don't talk in person to any bloggers, really--I'm a real oddity. LOL. Where I live, we have had double-digit unemployment for over a year, so no one goes on and on about how great things have been. They either would be lying or afraid they'd get their heads knocked off. Oh, and glad I could edify you with regard to men's underwear. You never know when that expertise might come in handy.

    DBSO--Oh, if there were a George Clooney marathon, you and I both know you wouldn't get a thing done. Either that, or the ornaments would be all covered in drool.

  18. It's Jan. 14 and I still have some decorations out. We did not put up a tree. It shocked even me, but THANK GOD. We were going away and it just didn't make sense. Right after we got back, I got the cold from hell (it's still with me!) and I haven't had the energy to put anything away yet. All the outside stuff has been replaced by plain winter stuff, but the other has to go this weekend. I think I have enough energy now.

    Unreal on the BVDs. I don't like sayig "twenty ten" either. Of course, I don't like "Xmas" and stores like "Quik Mart" either.

    I waited until the last minute to do shopping, too. It turned out okay, but it made me insane. However, I'm resolving to do even less next year. And, though I thought we'd never do it, we might get an artificial tree next year. We are both getting tired of all the work.

    Happy New Year, Nance!


  19. Shirley--Thank you. Where were ALL YOU PEOPLE when XMAS was just around the corner? You all could have told me that you weren't putting up trees or anything way back then and I wouldn't have felt so much PRESSURE! Sigh.


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