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So *That* Was Christmas?


Last night found me sitting in the middle of a bustling Chinese restaurant, several of the employees dressed as elves. I looked around (it had been several years since I, myself, had been there) and realized that while it had once been decorated in standard American Chinese restaurant – think beige tones, ancient maps of China on the wall, fake flowers adorning every table – it had now been turned into Hawaii. Chinese-style.

That’s right, I sat, in the middle of a Hawaiian Chinese restaurant, served by a Chinese elf, while The Grinch played on the lone television, subtitled. A gaggle of college kids on my left tried to order a Hot Toddy while the table behind me gripped about the buffet being refilled too infrequently.

I was (initially) sober – I checked. And it was real.

I did the only logical thing one should do in such a situation – I began to order girly drinks with bizarre names like “Pina Colada” and “Scorpion” – which, the menu said, to “be wary of sting.” (I’m generally a bourbon girl, if anything, so girly drinks all sound oddly-named to me)

It had been a tough Christmas for me.

The addition of another (adult) person to care for right around the time I normally am all, “holy FUCK I forgot to do xxx” made for long days. Things around my house have been strained, as most of you have guessed. I’m never prepared enough to have my presents bought OR wrapped more than three days pre-Christmas, no matter how much I vow to be That Person. It’s always a mad dash in the days leading up to Christmas, and between the mouth surgery (me) and the vestigial organ removal (The Daver).

And I love the holidays. So having them be anything other than full of the awesome makes me sad in the pants.

Somehow, though, that awesomely tacky Chinese restaurant redeemed the holiday for me. Sure, I got drunk on girl drinks and am pretty sure my head is going to a) explode all over the fucking place or 2) explode, but not all over the place. Yeah, my food sorta tasted like an approximation of Mongolian Beef rather than the actual item I’d ordered. And okay, if I’m being honest, my Mai Tai tasted almost identical to lighter fluid.

But it didn’t matter.

Sitting there, in what I’m pretty sure was a David Lynch movie set, I was reminded of the absurdity of life. How there is joy in the smallest, most ridiculously decorated spaces. How even when things are so, so hard, we have hope.

And I do.

I hope.

20 Comments to

“So *That* Was Christmas?”

  1. On December 26th, 2011 at 11:01 am Mayor Gia Says:

    Aww, very true. You’ve had a hard couple of weeks/months, what with everyone being sick with explodey organs and your teeth rebelling against you, correct? It’s good you have perspective still. Me, I’d be throwing a tantrum in a pile of ribbons and crumpled up wrapping paper.

  2. On December 26th, 2011 at 11:03 am CathiC Says:

    Love you, girl. Love you.

    (also, WP is telling me I’m commenting too fast and should slow down. Excuse me, WP? I can’t type ANY slower. Trust me.)

  3. On December 26th, 2011 at 11:05 am Brandon Says:

    All you need is a leg lamp and some “Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra” Christmas Carols, and you’ll have a timeless classic on your hands.

    Sorry your Christmas was less than awesome. But… bright side? Comparatively, next Christmas is going to ROCK!

    That is, if the Mayans were wrong….. dun dun DUUUUNNNNN….

  4. On December 26th, 2011 at 11:06 am Ewokmama Says:

    Life IS indeed weird. So weird. So glad you have hope, though!

  5. On December 26th, 2011 at 11:39 am Triplezmom Says:

    So many hugs. Also loving this phrase, “in what Iā€™m pretty sure was a David Lynch movie set”.

  6. On December 26th, 2011 at 11:44 am Grace Says:

    I’m so sorry yesterday was yucky for you. Know that you are very loved. We may not all be there to give you a hug and buy you (lighter fluid?) drinks, but we’re all here for you sweetie.

  7. On December 26th, 2011 at 1:55 pm Liz Says:

    Merry Christmas! We scraped by with only half of our presents going out late.

  8. On December 26th, 2011 at 2:30 pm Steve Bailey Says:

    Belated merry christmas! However my sources tell me David Lynch doesn’t celebrate Christmas… but more a bizarre creepy twist on it!!

  9. On December 26th, 2011 at 2:39 pm Jonah Gibson Says:

    I discovered this new thing called a Ramsey Manhattan that won a Woodford Reserve manhattan contest several weeks ago. If you like the bourbon, this is yummy, and decidedly, emphatically, not girly. 2 measures of bourbon, half a measure of apple brandy, half a measure of sweet vermouth, 2 dashes bitters, shake well over ice, strain into a martini glass, garnish with a thin slice of apple. I have found it to be extremely festive…or maybe I have just found myself to be extremely festive after drinking one. Whatevs.

  10. On December 26th, 2011 at 4:34 pm Andrea Says:

    I have a friend who is always quick to remind me that :It’s always something”, but why sometimes so MANY somethings?! Hope your fortune was a good one, or that at least your lucky numbers win you big jackpot!

  11. On December 26th, 2011 at 5:47 pm GingerB Says:

    Aww, honey, I know how you feel. Things were full of the awesome (except the stress of getting each thing done just barely under the wire) until The Vomiting Of The Children began, and the cycle of laundry (barely distinguishable from the cycle of life – barely) followed closely. After all that cuddling of the sick I think I need a giant to pick me up and cuddle me!!

  12. On December 26th, 2011 at 6:28 pm alfred lives here Says:

    Tough times for you… sending warm thoughts your way!

    The outdated Chinese restaurant, with a weird blend of Thai or in this case Hawaiin (?) theme for no reason, is a Hanukkah standard for me and my whacked out family… my solution if it can be called that is to order as much fried food as humanly possible and drink like a sailor on shore leave…. is that wrong?

  13. On December 26th, 2011 at 7:24 pm Caroline Says:

    I’m pleased to know that I wasn’t the only one scarfing Chinese food and alcohol on Xmas day night. My evening ended in a sight haze of SleepyTime Sinus Soothing Tea spiked with a healthy dose of Jack and honey.

  14. On December 27th, 2011 at 1:14 am Eli Says:

    I have had a horrible, pain-filled year and am thrilled to say goodbye to 2011. I typically just lurk here, but the last few sentences made me want to tell you that YOU have been one of the things that have given me hope this year. I’m so sorry that things have been rough for you; I just hope you know how much you’ve helped complete strangers. Reading your archives, seeing the positive updates on Amelia, seeing that you too have overcome assault: all of these things gave me hope in a time when hope has seemed like something I dare not dream of. I can’t tell you that things will be better for you tomorrow or next week, but I can tell you that you made my life better today. Merry Christmas, Aunt Becky.

  15. On December 27th, 2011 at 1:17 am Eli Says:

    p.s. My husband had an emergency appendectomy at Christmas a few years ago. It sucked balls. I feel your pain.

  16. On December 27th, 2011 at 9:03 am Andie Says:

    I love those moments in life that you sit back and go ‘This is so weird, in such a wonderful way. Is this really happening?’

  17. On December 27th, 2011 at 9:35 am John Says:

    Aunt Becky? You are loved.

  18. On December 27th, 2011 at 9:57 am chrisinphx Says:

    On the bright side, it is now offically OVER! And….EYE OF THE MOTHERFUCKIN TIGER!

  19. On December 27th, 2011 at 4:54 pm Lori (aka Bubbe) Says:

    Man! WP’s picking on me too and I’m not a fast poster. Anyway, trying to re-create my first post which was wiped out when WP freaked.

    I wanted to say I agree this has been a really, really tough year and I won’t be sorry to see it end. Thanks a million AB for your blog; it does give me hope.

    @Brandon – love the Mayan reference and the sound effects! šŸ˜€

  20. On December 27th, 2011 at 10:43 pm Kathleen Says:

    Nothing more to get through but New Year, and nobody cares if you do that too drunk to, well, do anything, really.

    I think I’ll practice a bit, NOW….

    Here’s to you, Aunt Becky! I hope, too.

    Maybe this’ll be the year I finally have that “Depressed Optimist” tee shirt made up.

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