As children, my younger sister and I used to lie under our Christmas trees. We had minimal Christmas decorations, and no outdoor lights, but we loved our small trees. Not only were those colored strings of light magical on their own, they were also a visible reminder that parties, presents, and the North Polar Bear were coming.
When I got my first apartment, I got a tree. It went…poorly. Not only did my roommate JM have allergies (sorry, JM!), but we had cats. 5 pound Bat Cat raced delightedly up and down the tree, ornaments flying in her wake. At 25 pounds, Shamu Cat was incapable or climbing any tree. Instead, he pulled branches down and sat on them, almost as if telling Bat Cat, “See? I am also in the tree!” Continue reading A Tree-mendous Christmas (#272)
There were two great things about being taller than my older sister by age five.
- She couldn’t beat me up anymore.
- I didn’t have to wear her hand-me-downs.
Instead, I got a new dress for the first day of kindergarten. My parents actually asked what color I wanted. I wore that dress at least twice a week until my growth spurts made it into a crop top. Continue reading Hand-Me-Downs & Halloween (#266)
Once upon a time, my future husband gave me thoughtful, expensive presents. On one of our early dates, we rode an elephant together (before we knew better, sorry, wildlife defenders everywhere). Elephants had been my favorite animal as a child, in part because “elephants never forget.” Not being forgotten is the childhood fantasy of every middle child in an enormous family who has been left at school, ballet, or the Trailways bus station.
Andy didn’t forget why I loved elephants or our date. Andy got me a gold and emerald elephant pendant for Christmas that year.
Andy learned I liked old-fashioned, unique jewelry. He found an Edwardian ring design and worked with a jeweler to have it modified and cast in platinum for an engagement ring.
I said yes. Eventually.
Continue reading Andy’s Guide to Gift-Giving (and Marriage) #245
A few years ago, a thirty-something couple moved into the house behind us. They had two girls under age five and another baby on the way. When the mom told me that her husband once danced and sang on a table, I assumed she was indulging in nostalgia rather than foreshadowing.
Until festive lights went up in the backyard. This was followed by a disco ball, loud music, and the chanting of “Drink, drink, drink!”
Another neighbor called and asked where the frat party was.
“At the newborn’s house,” I replied.
Continue reading New Year’s & All That Noise (#243)
When I was a little girl, my mother organized caroling and a party on Christmas Eve. We sang our way around the block in Washington D.C. We were met with universal delight. Those were magical times.
My Ex-Stepmother carried on the tradition in the suburbs of D.C. and then New England.
Until I dated a guy from rural Tennessee over the holiday season, I never thought some people might find caroling…odd.
Continue reading The Dogs of Christmas (#242)
I have exactly one rule when it comes to Halloween.
Rule #1: Everyone who comes to my door on Halloween gets candy.
I have these rules because I had a racist Southern Grandma. The worst Halloween horror story I ever heard was about that grandma. My mother once told me how her mother would keep two bowls of candy by the door on Halloween. One bowl was filled with Hershey Bars. That bowl was for the neighborhood kids.
The other bowl was filled with candy corns and cheap lollipops. When truckloads of “poor kids” came in from “more rural areas,” to trick-or-treat, they got the crap candy. Continue reading Rules for Trick-or-Treating (#237)
You know what I was excited about when Andy and I bought our house?
Putting up a flag pole. I couldn’t wait to fly seasonal house flags.
I envisioned a flag with flowers for summer, an autumn flag with falling leaves, a black cat for Halloween, and Christmas flag with a polar bear. Of course I would fly the Stars & Stripes for Independence Day. Continue reading Red Flags (#226)
It’s Chinese New Year, and it’s also my third blogoversary! I bet y’all think I’m gonna do an uplifting or informational post about the Year of the Dog today, right?
Nope. Today I’m gonna talk about just how much a new mattress can improve your life. Continue reading Year of the Dawg (#212)
366 days ago, I thought, “Next year, for sure, we’re going to do something fun on New Year’s Eve. We’ll go dancing, at least!”
2017 had other plans. Andy ruptured his quadriceps tendon in September. Yesterday he was finally cleared to jettison his brace, but it’ll be months before he can walk normally. Dancing? Out of the question.
Going to a party? Forget it unless they have a recliner and some ice. Continue reading New New Year’s Eve, Same Old Shit (#207)
Back when I was in high school in Virginia, an atheist was an anomaly. Christians were always asking me how I could possibly be an atheist. I had two flippant answers.
- “I was born on Black Saturday – you know, the day between Christ’s death and his resurrection. I’m doomed to be shut away from God’s light. It’s easier not to fight it.”
- “Well, my family used to be Catholic, but my great-grandfather was excommunicated.”
Continue reading An Atheist on Easter (#183)