It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Or The Time When I Most Wish I Had a Prescription for Something More Intense Than Vodka. One of Those.

I’m fairly certain that “happy holidays” is an oxymoron.  At least it is when you have to juggle FOUR sets (yes, SETS, not individual people) of parents (which pretty much makes me want to punch myself for all the times I bitched about dealing with only my TWO) and trying to please everyone (has anyone else noticed my overusage of parentheses yet?).

You’d think the source of my anxiety would be the unknowns, aka Not My Side of the Family.  Oh, no.  I like to wipe my memory clean each January so that by the time the holidays roll around again I am genuinely shocked that I am pissed off again.  I’m so dumb it’s adorable!

Anyway, I am writing this from my dad’s house where I have holed up in the office/guest room in order to cool off from a Grade A Hissy Fit.  I stomped off around the time my dad made me cry over the age-old dispute of “Who is right?”  (Spoiler alert: CKD is NOT right.  Ever.  No, just stop talking.)  It’s like 1994 up in here!  I am not exactly proud of this ridiculous behavior but leaving the room to cool off (and, you know, blog and engage in the DeFazio family ritual of Conflict Avoidance and Resentment) seemed less immature than storming out of the house or screaming at my dad in front of Bubba.  So…yay me?  No?  Yeah, I agree.

For those of you playing the home game, not only are my feelings always wrong (I will cop to irrational or immature but wrong?  No.), but I understand nothing about the way the world works and must apologize when my feelings are hurt. 

In other news I got a sweet new black wool coat for Christmas and am exceedingly thrilled about it.  So I’ve got that going for me.  Which is nice.

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Holidays, Evil Ewoks, and Biggie Smalls: A Glimpse Into the Mind of a Crazy Person

It’s December 21 and I am DONE with Christmas shopping.  Even the stocking stuffers have been purchased, y’all.  Usually I am in spazzmatic shopping mode at the time because I realize I forgot something/someone important and find myself battling the crowds.  But no.  Apparently I am On Top of Things this year.  Well, except for wrapping gifts.  And I didn’t send out any cards, which is a damn shame.  I had this awesome idea and it was gonna be so cool but it seems that if there were a progress report for holiday activities mine would read “CKD participates in class but does not always follow through on projects.”  Whatever.  I am saving the environment…or totally lost track of the time-space continuum.  Tomato, tomahto.

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Last night I had a very realistic dream that this evil rogue Ewok was trying to get me.  It was impervious to all forms of weaponry and while it sort of broke my heart that I was doing harm to an Ewok, I didn’t really have a choice now, did I?  He was clearly out to get me, and Lando Calrissian wasn’t doing a damn thing about it.  I have no idea why Lando was there instead of Luke or Han, but my subconscious remains a mystery for the ages.  FYI: I told my mom about this dream and she advised me to keep it to myself.  But come on, Interweb.  What other purpose does my life serve than to amuse and horrify you?

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So, apparently the entire world is expecting me to get engaged this holiday season and while I hate to burst anyone’s bubble (unless you are an evil rogue Ewok in which case DIEDIEDIEMOTHERFUCKERDIE), that is just not happening.  A relative made a comment to Ed and me to this effect and the poor boy’s head damn near blew up and we both started shrieking “NO!” over and over.  But I’m pretty sure he’s hooking me up with some Sour Patch Kids in my stocking (not a euphemism) so I’m pretty stoked.  Plus, this is the first Christmas in something like three or four years where I haven’t been curled up in bed with a fever or strep or something frightening which really is a gift.  Eating all kinds of awesome food is pretty much the highlight of this time of year and that loses its appeal when you are barfing all the time. 

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The other night Ed and I watched Notorious, a biopic about Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls.  It was basically a high school/early college flashback for me, as well as a reminder that we are the world’s whitest couple.  We’re sitting there sipping wine as the East Coast/West Coast feud unfolds before us, which was a sad confirmation that any street cred I ever had at my hippest is a faint memory.  And even then, I’m pretty sure my memory of being cool is clouded by a healthy serving of Jungle Juice (mixed in a garbage can, natch). Still, a night of baking cookies and watching Biggie’s rise to fame and tragic fall pretty much trumps all date nights.

Trying to Find a Theme in This Post is Like…Well, Let’s Just Say It’s Got a Lot Going On, OK?

Taking kids to see Santa is basically teaching them to completely ignore any and all Stranger Danger lectures.  “No, really, it’s cool.  Sit on this strange guy’s lap, tell him about yourself and then pose for some photos.”  It sounds like the storyline of a Law & Order: SVU episode.  Bubba was uncharacteristically shy during his visit, but wasn’t freaked out the way he was his first Christmas.  He asked for a few things, and it looks like Daddy is going to fold and get him a real drum set.  Given my dad’s generous/crazy nature I’m thinking this might be my year for a pony.

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You know what’s an awesome way to spend a cold, rainy day?  Curled up on a couch under a blankie catching up with a dear friend while her dogs play around the house.  There’s something comforting about being around someone you have known for 20 years.  Our conversations go something like this:

Me: “Is it lame that I totally want a Star Trek t-shirt for myself?”

Her: (without hesitation) “Yes.”

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Ed’s office party happened and I wore something that looked perfectly fine and that’s probably all I am going to say about that night.  Not because I got trashed and danced with a lamp shade on my head or something.  Oh no.  THAT would have been welcome given my actual behavior, which could best be described as full-tilt apeshit crazy with a side order of massively inappropriate.  At one point I ended up apologizing to one of his colleagues because she got caught in the crossfire of my psycho.  Yeah.  It’s…probably better if I don’t go into details, but we are OK now and I feel lucky, quite honestly, to still be in this relationship.  I gave the poor guy ample reason and opportunity to kick my crazy ass to the curb and he didn’t give up on me or us.  Hello, Holiday Miracle.

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I think my casual lifestyle in Chico has wrecked my sense of style and fashion and looking cute.  Pretty sure gaining weight hasn’t helped, but we’ll just let that slide for the moment.  We had brunch with Ed’s former boss on Saturday (Peninsula Creamery – holla), who is eight months pregnant with her second baby and I swear to God she looks infinitely cuter, more stylish and more put together than I do on my best day.  Still, my eggs were good and a waitress complimented my lipstick.  And the former boss was super nice.

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Why does Jon Stewart keep giving me reasons to fall in love with him?  This was up my alley, obviously.

Totally Understanding Why People Get Dumped Around the Holidays

I’m not sure what has come over me lately but I have been gripped with what can only be described as Christmas Spirit Dipped in Crazy and Wrapped in Batshit Loony Sprinkled with What the Fuck is Wrong with You.

I’d like to blame Ed since he’s Griswolded out his house and just generally really digs this time of year, but nope.  His enthusiasm is still well within the “Normal” range (decorating the house and tree, baking some cookies, watching Christmas Vacation, etc.) and here I am coming up with all kinds of activities and outings and basically handing him reasons to run screaming in the other direction.

Lately I’ve been really excited about doing all manner of totally cheesy, ridiculous holiday related things.  On Sunday I dragged Ed to the Stansbury House for their annual Victorian Christmas..thing.  I wasn’t entirely clear on what was going on there, but I was thoroughly convinced we needed to go and see it and take part and enjoy it, damn it.

 

Walking up to the house:

 

Ed: “So, uh, what is this exactly?  Is there a performance or something?”

Me: (In a ridiculous high-pitched, chipper voice) “I don’t think so.  It’s just…fun.  It’s all…decorated.  For Christmas!  And it’s a Victorian House…with decorations!  And they have cookies and cider.  (Realizing I sound totally nutburgers.) Look, it’s festive and whimsical and I’ve never been so we’re going, OK?”

The house really is cool and the decorations were lovely and they had docents in each room to give you a full history of each room, from the floorboards to the wallpaper, which was sweet and sort of interesting but also kind of overkill.  I mean, I’m not an expert, but I was able to quickly deduce that they ate in the dining room

Ed was a great sport until we were practically held hostage in the master bedroom by the Main Historian Guy who was all too eager to regale us with tales of the different carpet patterns.  He shot me a look that said, “Holy hell, Woman, what kind of crap have you dragged me into?”  We finally made our escape when some other visitors came into the room and distracted the guy.

Does anyone else have any sort of holiday-induced craziness?  This isn’t the kind of thing I would normally opt to do on a weekend, and yet I was so excited about it and enthusiastically nodding about the pocket doors to the dining room…I mean, seriously.  Who am I? 

In other news: I am still looking for outfit suggestions for Ed’s company party later this week.  We leave town Thursday so get your ideas in by Wednesday night (aka Panicked Packing Time).

Maybe for Easter I’ll Take Him to the Racetrack

Friday evening was Bubba’s End of the Semester/Holiday/Don’t Say Christmas, For Fuck’s Sake, Even Though This Thing Is Held in a Church Hall Show.  As usual, our family was front and center, thanks to my dad playing the wheelchair card.  I know, we are probably going to hell, but my dad is awesome for a.) great parking and b.) getting people to let us go in first and have our pick of seats ANYWHERE because if there’s one thing the guy who is always seated needs, it’s more seating.  NOW. 

Anyhoo, the show was The Nutcracker.  Or, a preschool version of The Nutcracker.  Mostly it was some singing and dancing to music from the ballet and the kids alternately sang and cried and waved to their families.  My dad and I proceeded to mock the other kids (see aforementioned: headed straight for hell) and I wondered aloud if it was a requirement that they have eight kids all named Kayleigh, Caylee or Kailee, because there totally were.  I’m pretty sure all those parents were sitting directly behind us.  Judy said we’re not allowed at any more shows but since she needs me to operate one of the five cameras we always have with us I’m, like 99% sure she was bluffing. 

The show was pretty awesome in its utter chaos and then…Bubba had a brief piano solo and he TOOK A LITTLE BOW at the end and then my heart exploded.  He was awesome and did so well and I am utterly impressed by him. 

After dinner, Dad and Judy said Evan could get a gumball out of the machine at the restaurant.  Turns out the restaurant didn’t have a gumball machine anymore.  Whoops.  No worries!  Sissy will save the day!  Since I used to work in the same shopping/office complex where we were eating, I offered to walk Bubba over to the liquor store to get some candy. 

Who takes a preschooler to the liquor store?  Do you really need to ask? 

We stumbled upon a rather heated dispute between a customer and the proprietor over the deposit for some kegs.  From what I could gather, the customer was returning kegs from 2007, and the price had gone up, but he wasn’t getting 2009 prices, and he was mad about that.  As this scene unfolded Bubba decided to give an encore of one of his dance routines from The Nutcracker.  Yeah, it’s a DeFazio Family Holiday.

I’ll Have Some Cheese and Crackers with my Whine

I don’t know what the hell has come over me, but I have been gripped with malaise, ennui, and an overwhelming case of irrationality. 

I mean, I freaked the fuck out last night because some of my East Coast/Central time zone Facebook friends posted spoilers over last night’s Glee before it aired in California.  Um, WHAT THE HELL, CKD?  Get a grip.  Get some perspective.  Get a fucking life. 

To be fair, the freakout wasn’t just about finding out about a plot twist of some TV show.  I mean, I’m crazy, but not, like, Psycho Hose Beast Crazy.  I am finding that I crack under the dumbest things when I feel pressure building up against me.  The challenge for me has always been recognizing the signs that I am reaching a breaking point, and taking a moment to stop, breathe, and take care of myself before I fall apart. 

If nothing else, I owe it to the people around me to hold my shit together.