Archive for December, 2006

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Suit over blog to impact future blogging?

December 30, 2006

Under the category of Too Good Not to Post, I present today’s MSN article “Steamy D.C. Sex Blog Scandal Heads to Court.” Truth really is more juicy than fiction.

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All I wanted for Christmas was more cake!

December 30, 2006

Proof that asking for what you want, even if it’s only by sticking your tongue out and wiggling it around a lot, very often works. (My apologies in advance for the darkness of the film.) Enjoy!

p.s. If you hate canned laughter, you might want to skip this one. There’s this annoyingly shrill woman whose laughter makes me think of nails on a chalkboard. Oh, wait. That’s me.

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A day late and a dollar short

December 28, 2006

Okay, so I know, I know! It’s two days after Christmas, and I’m just posting this, but it’s too darn funny to wait until next year and seems to be helping with my post-holiday let down. Christmas 2006. It was.

Thanks to my cousin Melissa for the find.

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So NOW you tell me!

December 27, 2006

I would like to file this under Things I’d Like to Say to Marketers/Advertisers:

“Please, please, please. For the love of God and all that is holy, put the instructions about how to make my child’s experience more magical on the OUTSIDE of the box (or at least give me a hint in big letters that I need to read something important inside before I spend 2 hours and $20 in wrapping paper wrapping your toy).

“Putting these instructions inside the box to be viewed post unwrapping does me no good and just increases my mother guilt, which is already very high to begin with. Humpft.” (And yes, I do plan on including the “humpft” part in my actual letter to the toy company.)

Honestly. Is this stuff rocket science?

Must be.

In the future, oh you who have pull, please remind companies to put “important messages” on the OUTSIDE of the boxes. And until then, God bless ’em, every one.

Fortunately, the experience seemed to have no magic lost on the fact that mom wrapped THE BOX instead of actually assembling the pony beneath the tree as was suggested to help “ensure a magical experience,” which is what I dropped the $250 on anyway — the toy certainly isn’t worth $250.

Jon did a fabulous job of putting the thing together and had me distract Babs on the other side of the house so that she wouldn’t end up with some memory that resembles the scene in “The Godfather” where the horse’s head turns up in the bed. Ack! As if “Monster House” wasn’t bad enough!

I think this was the true purpose of The Note to Parents — to prevent childhood scarring — because even Jon thought it might traumatize her to see that pony in two pieces. But please, people. Give me a break here. I can’t magically know that there’s some special note to me hidden inside your box. Moms need all the help they can get. Sheesh.

Fortunately, a couple of screws, six D batteries and 20 minutes later, Babs had her pony. And even though the thing doesn’t walk, as Babs and I had hoped it would, she is elated nonetheless, and I get to go one more Christmas of being able to get her what she wants.

I think I’d best enjoy it while I can, because, as Al so appropriately reminded me, a car will be on the list soon. God help me!

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

December 25, 2006

And I’m wondering if it’s okay to bring my laptop to the festivities, sit on the couch and blog. :o) Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends!

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There goes my ski pass!

December 23, 2006

True confession time. I buckled.

I buckled perhaps like I have never buckled before and will now be eating crow for Christmas along with my chocolate covered pretzels. No more baklava unless I make it myself — fat chance of that!

Costco laughed at me earlier this week when I told them that no, I had most definitely not found everything I was looking for because the baklava was no where to be found.

Do you remember the scene in Groundhog Day where Bill Murray is asking the B&B owner why there is no hot water and she laughs a hearty laugh and says, “Of course there’s no hot water today. It’s Thursday. Ha, ha, ha”?

It was kind of like that, only worse. I’d rather take cold showers the rest of my life and be able to nosh on baklava to my heart’s desire.

However. This is not a post about baklava. Unfortunately. It’s a post about what a pansy I am. And as such, it requires a bit of background.

As a refresher, you remember that it was actually difficult for me to drop $10.99 on a tray of baklava, which turned out to be an incredible experience for at least three weeks after that and totally worth it. Ah, baklava. The memories are still causing endorphins to rush through my body.

It will not surprise you then when I tell you that when my daughter wouldn’t leave the robotic horse at Walmart alone that I quickly dismissed it from my Christmas list once I saw that the price tag was $279. AT WALMART! I didn’t realize that Walmart sold anything that costs more than $4.95.

“Put that right out of your head,” I told her.

Okay, I didn’t actually say it like that. It was more like, “Honey, I think that Santa has a cap on how expensive a gift can be that he delivers, and that is a very expensive gift.”

“Oh.” (Which normally means, “Mom, I don’t know what the hell you just said because you were using words like ‘cap’ and ‘expensive’ that mean less than nothing in my humble seven-year-old world, but I’m not going to say that because I’m at least smart enough to understand that sometimes it’s just better to keep your mouth shut . . . unlike you, dumbass.”)

Was she buying it? I couldn’t tell.

A few weeks later I realized that no, she hadn’t bought it because as she and Little Jon sat on Santa’s lap she A) lied when she responded that yes, she had been a good girl all year and 2) that what she wanted more than anything in the entire universe was a Butterscotch pony.

Crap.

So, being the finagler that I am, I decided that maybe we could turn this into a lesson on saving for what you want.

It’s become this huge philosophical thing for me, Christmas giving. I didn’t want to just say, “No, Babs. You can’t have what you want for Christmas.” What if she grows up thinking that there’s no use in wanting something (like a college education or a good marriage, for example) because mom taught her when she was seven that it’s not possible to get what you want? What’s American about that?!

Neither do I want her growing up a la Paris Hilton (ha, as if) thinking that all she has to do is snap her pretty fingers and what she wants will magically appear.

Hence, the compromise. Teach Babs that she can have what she wants, but she has to work and save and contribute if it’s going to cost 10 times more than the normal Christmas gift.

So we started fundraising.

“Babs,” my mom asked her over the phone earlier this month. “What do you want for Christmas?”

“A Butterscotch pony.”

“Where do I find one?”

Walmart.”

At this point I grabbed the phone realizing that my mother probably thought it was some $9.95 toy by Mattel. It’s not.

“Mom,” I totally interrupted. “Butterscotch is an outrageously expensive toy the size of a Shetland pony.”

“Oh.” (Which normally means, “Okay, I’m waiting, Angela, because I know that you are about to instruct me as to what I should do and tell me that it’s my choice but it’s not really because you’re a stubborn, selfish person who wants her own way. So I’m resentfully awaiting further instructions and wishing I’d given birth to a daughter who was more malleable, dammit.”)

What else could she say, really?

So when she asked what she should get for her, I said that if she wanted to contribute to the purchase of the toy that maybe we’d have enough money saved up for it that she could purchase it sometime before she went to college. OR, she could get her WHATEVER her heart desired and we’d be more than happy and grateful for it. “Anything you get her would be wonderful, mom.”

$50 arrived in a card. Babs was thrilled. That $50 — along with the $28 she scrounged in loose change from underneath the car seats (along with assorted McDonald’s french fries and crayons) and the $4 she has saved from allowances and money received from the Tooth Fairy — has brought her closer to her goal. She’s a child on a mission.

And then there’s always the money she gets from the Starbucks drive-thru where they know us as regulars. (About $2.83 at the last count.)

Now comes the hard part.

I bought the toy.

Yep. Last night after plying my husband with really good beef and potatoes, I begged him to go with me and buy the toy. We braved the snow and ice at 9 o’clock at night to load that damn toy into the van before Babs gets home tonight from her other grandmother’s.

One thing I will say about it: It’s enormous. I had to use more wrapping paper on it than I used on everyone else’s gifts combined.

My dilemma now isn’t necessarily that I keeled over and bought the toy (which is disturbing to me on some level in and of itself), but that now I need to figure out that personal responsibility part I told myself I was trying to teach her.

It’s not even 2007 yet. Where’s the postponing-present-pleasure-for-future-advantage in that?!

Do I have her write a letter to Santa explaining that she understands that this is totally above and beyond his normal Santerly duties but that here’s 84 dollars and 83 cents and she hopes it helps?

Do I let her keep the money to buy Junie B. Jones books because Santa doesn’t need the money? Where’s the magic in Santa needing money?

Or do I have her give the $84.83 to the local homeless shelter so that a good Christmas dinner can be had by at least one family?

Over thinking. It’s going to lead me to an early death, I tell ya.

Hopefully I’ll have something figured out by Sunday night. And speaking of hopefully . . . hopefully, she won’t notice the enormous pile of blankets in Little Jon’s room that’s hiding the pony. Ah, there’s no end to the list of things I could worry about.

I justified this decision by telling myself that:

1) The Santa Belief Clock is ticking and won’t be good for much longer

2) $279 is a hell of a lot cheaper than what it would cost to buy and keep a real pony, and

3) I am selfish enough to want to see her reaction when she comes out Christmas morning and that damn pony is under the tree.

For $279, it better be good. But even as I write that, I realize that the joy of sparing my daughter a morning of disappointment is worth ten times that and that if I could wipe disappointment from her life, I would do so in a heartbeat. (And yes, I realize that doing so probably wouldn’t be in her best interests. But dammit if I don’t want to.)

Merry Christmas, all! I hope that Santa brings you all the one thing you asked for this Christmas and wanted more than anything else. As for me, if you find any baklava, let me know. I’m going through withdrawls.

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Man cannot live on chocolate covered pretzels and coffee alone

December 22, 2006

But as a woman, I’m just stubborn enough to try it! Consider yourselves warned, as I tend to get very bitchy when I eat only sugar and coffee. Is it Monday yet?

Pass me some ‘nog if you get the chance.