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As The World Turns Through A Soft Focus Lens


I’m no huge fan of Soap Operas, never have been. I’ll occasionally leave the television on for awhile after I watch one of the morning shows, and I’ll come back to see the newest bizarre love triangle between a mother, her long-dead son, and a broom, and for a split second between laughing mockingly and turning off the television, I admire the soft focus camera work.

I used to associate that look with porn, but after seeing the likes of “Debbie Does Dallas” and “Anal Clinic,” I’m pretty certain that I was highly wrong with that assessment. Porn is intended, I think, to make feel like you’re there (which, in the case of those particular movies, couldn’t be farther from the truth) whereas Soaps make me wish that *I* was always seen in such favorable lighting. I’d need less makeup and have shockingly fabulous hair that way.

An interestingly unrelated phenomenon that, for lack of a better term, I will call Soft Focus Brain has taken up residence in my body and I’m not quite sure why.

I go through the motions of a regular day, but rather than feeling such things as “boredom” or “anxiety,” I merely float through the day as though on a cloud of fluffy pink marshmallows. Some days, I find this to be a quite pleasant change from feeling both bored and restless, whereas others, for example, when I realize that Christmas is a mere four seconds away, I wonder what the bejesus is going on with me.

I know that things haven’t exactly been great for me these past couple months. I mean, on the one hand, things are FINE: I (mostly) have my health, I have a husband who (smells) adores me, my children are all well, and I have access to as much Cap’n Crunch as I want. And on the other hand, I’ve spent the last several months minimizing all of the shit that really IS going on with me. As much as I may appear to enjoy complaining, I don’t. Not really. And I enjoy listening to OTHER people complain about as much as a digital rectal exam, so I just eke by, aloft on a sea of cotton balls.

Wait, what was I saying? I totally forgot.

I mean, I’ve barely gotten enough stuff for this new baby I’m going to be expelling, oh I don’t know, NEXT MONTH. By “enough stuff” I mean, bottles and a crib mattress, not $4,000 onsies made from albino elephant tusks. It’s not that I don’t know what I need by now, because I do, it’s just that I haven’t done anything about it.

Hell, “I haven’t done anything about it” should be my new-yet-not-improved motto these days.

I’ve done most of my Christmas shopping by shear stroke of luck–and the availability of online shopping, which is perhaps the best invention for someone such as myself, whose ass has worn a permanent groove into the cushions of my couch–but haven’t even thought about hauling up the Christmas decorations stored neatly in my basement. Or, rather, I’ve thought about it for the briefest moment only to sit on my ass while not doing anything about it.

The likelihood of me sending out a gigantic batch of Christmas cards, by this point, is slim to none, with an emphasis on the NONE, and if I could pay someone to come over and wrap the presents, I would. Shit, I’d pay someone to decorate my house at this point. And that’s only because my kids are dying to have it done and I’m determined not to be a Grinchly beast this year.

Without that pull, however, it’s doubtful I’d do anything besides show up and eat for the holidays this year. This is horribly out of character for me.

Short of speed or cocaine, I’m thinking that I’m pretty stuck in Soft Focus La-la-la Land, and that I probably should just go ahead and right the festivities off for this year to the best of my ability (what with having a bazillion Christmases and all the Joyful! Holiday! Fun! that involves). Unless, of course, I can find a stand in for me, which would allow me to sleep peacefully while Fake Aunt Becky does all that needs to be done.

Anyone care to volunteer? At this point, I’m not even going to object to someone who looks nothing like me, so long as they can show the hell up.

Or perhaps, there are better suggestions to my flighty plight (hehehe). Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

38 Comments to

“As The World Turns Through A Soft Focus Lens”

  1. On December 8th, 2008 at 1:57 pm Sandy Says:

    I would love to wrap your presents for you, except that I suck at wrapping. Laughing at Sandy’s wrapping is almost as much of a tradition during our Christmas celebration as the tree and trimmings. Bastards. Screw all of em this year.

    Good news – I don’t really remember ANY Christmas before the age of 8, so you can take comfort in the fact that there is a good chance that the kiddos will have no recollection of anything other than the coolest toy they got.

    Hope that helps!

  2. On December 8th, 2008 at 2:02 pm kbrients Says:

    oo oo I want a stand in too!! one that will get up with Sam at 5am!! sign me up!

  3. On December 8th, 2008 at 2:03 pm Vered - MomGrind Says:

    I’m completely unable to relate to this. I wake up each morning and immediately tackle my to-do list as if my life depended on it.

    But you sounds strangely relaxed. I am not. So which is better?

  4. On December 8th, 2008 at 2:09 pm abandoning eden Says:

    whatever dude, you’re like a million months pregnant. If your kids want the place decorated, they can decorate it themselves. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. On December 8th, 2008 at 2:16 pm queen-size funny bone Says:

    If I start walking tomorrow morning early, I might get there for next Christmas.

  6. On December 8th, 2008 at 2:28 pm RhoRho Says:

    I don’t know, what with the cotton balls and all, I think you may have become… enlightened. That’s a good thing. And me too on the x-mas shit, I would totally Grinch it up if it weren’t for Things One and Two. Maybe the baby (rhymes) will come ON xmas, and then you’ll have a super-good excuse!

  7. On December 8th, 2008 at 1:50 pm CourtneyRyan Says:

    I’d come decorate, but I’m pretty sure it’d be far to get there.

  8. On December 8th, 2008 at 3:13 pm DD Says:

    Listen, Slappy, I am counting on my card from you and as such, you have no excuse not to send at least that one.

    With that, I will finally be guilted into sending you the box of clothes ZGirl has outgrown.

  9. On December 8th, 2008 at 3:17 pm swirl girl Says:

    there is a little tab on the internet gift pages for gift wrapping – pay the extra $3.00 for the Amazon or Geoffry Giraffe Toys R US wrap. Kids don’t know the difference anyway.

    ’round here – we use tin foil to wrap gifts. No tape necessary!

  10. On December 8th, 2008 at 3:50 pm Stacey Says:

    I kinda like soft focus brain. I’m there quite a bit. We did some decorating but since we are actually going to be out of town for the holidays we didn’t see the point in doing too much. I’m probably only helpful if you are looking for reasons not to decorate. I have a bunch.

  11. On December 8th, 2008 at 3:04 pm Marsha Says:

    I can relate to the soft focus brain in regards to treatment. It’s exactly what I experienced and am just now coming out of.

  12. On December 8th, 2008 at 3:17 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    You could try what I’m trying- being in complete denial about Christmas. Perhaps, I am thinking, if I ignore it, it will go away.
    I don’t think that would work so well with the baby, though. In fact, I feel certain it wouldn’t.
    Nor would you want it to.
    You’re going to have a baby!

  13. On December 8th, 2008 at 4:34 pm Jenn Says:

    Umm, no advice. I’m never good with advice. But I would so be willing to come over and sit around with you while nothing gets done. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. On December 8th, 2008 at 4:39 pm kalakly Says:

    Dude, how much of that codeine are you popping these days?

    P.S. God made gift bags and tissue paper so decent folks wouldn’t have to wrap!

  15. On December 8th, 2008 at 4:39 pm ewe_are_here Says:

    My cards are all still in their boxes. Untouched.


    Hang in there. Or sit on the couch. Make the husband and kids decorate while you watch.

  16. On December 8th, 2008 at 5:14 pm foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    The decorating around here is bare minimum. I just can’t cope, even for the briefest time, with all the ‘stuff’. I wrapped presents yesterday. I have a few more, but seriously, that I have down what I have is nothing short of a Christmas miracle. The only good thing is most of what I wrapped was all in straight boxes, so it was the easiest wrapping job I’ve done in years. Still took me hours for the few I did, though!

    As for cards, I say ‘meh’. It sort of sounds like ‘Merry Christmas,’ so close enough!

  17. On December 8th, 2008 at 5:25 pm Kristine Says:

    I would like a stand in too – maybe we could trade! My ion-laws are fine with sitting around on the couch…

  18. On December 8th, 2008 at 5:41 pm Sara Says:

    I feel like I haven’t slept in years since Friday. I understand the “soft focus” thing. Great description!

    I’m not decorating this year. Because I don’t wanna go broke on decorating “perfectly” which I know I would do. I’ve got Christmas OCD.

    I would be your stand in, but alas, you are very far away. I do however, look nothing like you, so I’m sure no one would notice!

  19. On December 8th, 2008 at 6:01 pm Nity Says:

    If you were close I could wrap your presents while lying on the couch tomorrow. Our house is half decorated too. And if it never gets there, it’s not the end of the world.

    THis line cracks me up: “I have a husband who (smells) adores me”… glad to know I’m not the only one.


  20. On December 8th, 2008 at 6:12 pm Ginger Magnolia Says:

    It’s no wonder you aren’t excited about doing all that work. You do so much stuff every day, and every day is the same. Add to that, you’re pretty much a single (married) mama who has a lot already on her plate, with a bun in the oven.

    Take it easy, babe. Don’t sweat all the decorations and cards. Maybe just have the Daver get *some* of the decorations out and let the kids put them up. People will understand!

    By the by, how much is the decorating/card addressing job paying?

  21. On December 8th, 2008 at 5:12 pm Mark Says:

    Maybe you’re just dreaming right now and soon you will wake up and find that your your sent out your cards and stole your man.

  22. On December 8th, 2008 at 6:39 pm deb Says:

    I would stand in for you – I think on most days I even look pregnant so we could probably pull it off.
    Is there not a neighbor, friend or relative that can come over and at least get the tree decorated and some stockings hung by the chimney with care? Or do what I did last year. I have no little ones around anymore and that was truly depressing to realize last year, so I let my BFF’s kids (5 and 6 at the time) do ALL THE DECORATING. Tree and all. It was fun for me to watch them have fun. And at least it got done ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. On December 8th, 2008 at 6:39 pm Fancy Says:

    Yet again, I wish I lived closer so I could help out. How about I put a list together for you online, like at Babys-R-Us or Target, and you just type in your credit card info and address? Do you have any close friends in the area that you could reach out to and just say, Hey – I need some help. Please come carry some boxes up the stairs and let me sit on the couch watching you decorate the house for me?

  24. On December 8th, 2008 at 8:04 pm Rebel Says:

    Oh wow, you sound like me last year!!! I say let them decorate themselves… you deserve to sit around taking it easy!!! I am DD on the I better get a card thing though!!!

  25. On December 8th, 2008 at 8:31 pm birdpress Says:

    Well, I don’t know where you are, and somehow I doubt you are even close to Kentucky, but if you happen to live within driving distance, I would love to come wrap presents for you!

  26. On December 8th, 2008 at 9:16 pm baseballmom Says:

    Uh, I think you’re being too hard on yourself. You’re about to have a baby, for godssakes, and you should just enjoy the fact that you can have an EXCUSE for one Christmas. I didn’t get ready for the second kid until like right before, and I was NOT even stressed about it. It was like I piled up all of the shower gifts, and said, “I can do it later.” I do remember feeling all floaty like that, and when I finally did do it, I was just thinking, “I knew I’d do it”. Relax, dude-everything will work out.

  27. On December 8th, 2008 at 9:21 pm dora Says:

    What everyone else said.

    Why do I suddenly have a craving for Capรขโ‚ฌโ„ขn Crunch?

  28. On December 8th, 2008 at 8:36 pm giggleblue Says:

    what? you don’t like to hear me complain??? eh.

    gift bags. for like everyone and everything.

    or just drag the crap out on christmas eve and say you are being going green when anyone asks why there is no wrapping paper.

  29. On December 8th, 2008 at 9:43 pm Betts Says:

    I think I’d rather just crawl under a thick comforter and watch soaps with a martini in my hand.

  30. On December 8th, 2008 at 11:30 pm Karen Says:

    You are too freaking funny! I love you for making me laugh.

  31. On December 9th, 2008 at 12:57 am Ann Says:

    I’m wiped at 10 weeks. Let’s just sayyou’re my hero at this point!

  32. On December 9th, 2008 at 4:36 am gypsygrrl Says:

    i love wrapping presents. you make sure there is wrapping paper, tape and enough curling ribbon to wrap around the equator, with a lot of curlies. twice. and i am there. also, anything with shimmery/glittery aspects (paper or ribbon) and i will be there friday when this hell semester is over.

    and since you dont like to listen to other people complain, i wont tell you that i have spent the last 16 hours getting progressively more and more nauseous, spiking a temp and in the bathroom (use your imagination) every 45-75 minutes. oh. and i crapped my pants cuz i didnt wake up fast enough which simply pissed me off. (did i mention i have paperS due and a final i need an 89 on wednesday morning? yeah. i think i am going to embrace the fact that i will be repeating this class…)


  33. On December 9th, 2008 at 3:40 am Sarah Says:

    We could be in a figure skating pairs competition, where the ice is pain and we gloss over it togther! ๐Ÿ˜€

    It took me a couple of minutes to realize that by “digital rectal exam” you didn’t mean “as opposed to analog”… soft focus porn indeed.

    I too am fighting to pull off a Christmas-y approach for the progeny. I wish you well and wish me powerful enough to give my wishing some impact on your behalf. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. On December 9th, 2008 at 9:05 am mumma boo Says:

    A soft-focus holiday is what we all need. Have Daver hang a few strings of blinky lights in the windows and call it done. Shop on-line, get the gift wrapping option and call it done. Shop on-line for the babe, have it delivered and call it done. Kick back, curl up under the comforter and relax. No one deserves it more than you, honey. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. On December 9th, 2008 at 8:54 am SciFi Dad Says:

    I remember that last month, and what my wife could and couldn’t do.

    I cannot imagine that happening around Christmas. I say pack everyone up and fly south for the month of December; then you’ll really have nothing do do.

  36. On December 9th, 2008 at 9:13 am SCY Says:

    Can you not delegate the decorating to the Daver? And maybe get the kids involved as well so you can stay on the couch and supervise?

    If I weren’t saving for IVF I would *so* be there to wrap your pressies – I’m a kickass pressie wrapper ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Take care of yourself hon! That is the most important thing right now…

  37. On December 9th, 2008 at 10:54 am Valerie Says:

    I’ll wrap your presents and decorate and send Christmas cards! I love doing those things!

  38. On December 9th, 2008 at 12:38 pm Badass Geek Says:

    I’d just double up on the Cap’n Crunch. That normally works for me.

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