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Archive for December, 2008

Putting in for vacation.

It will be strangely silent here for the next few days, as I will be enjoying some much-needed off time with my family in a decidedly warmer place.

If I don’t get back here before the new year, have a good one.

— Mox

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The jig may be up.

“Mama, I want to sleep on the couch tonight so I can see if Santa is real.” 

Hm.  “Santa won’t come if you’re waiting up for him.” 

“I’ll be asleep!  I promise!” 

Yeah, right.  “Yeah, right.” 

“And maybe he’ll leave his hat for me!” 

“Nice try, Spawn.  No.” 

“Aw, pleeeeeeease?” 

“Nope.” 

I have a feeling that there will be some scientific observation commencing this evening concerning the existence of one Santa Claus.  I’m envisioning booby traps and secret tests.  Which is exactly what I did as a kid. 

If we can just stretch the myth for one more day this will be a successful year in my book.  I hate to see this portion of Spawn’s childhood come to an end, the innocent wonder of believing in Santa, but I get the distinct feeling we may be on borrowed time. 

A happy Christmas to all and to all a good night. 

 

— Mox

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Eve’s eve.

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Total absence of content today.  I am not feeling terribly productive. 

 

— Mox

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Really irritated.

Nothing ever goes off without a hitch when it comes to my inlaws. 

We made our annual Christmastime pilgrimage to the inlaws this past weekend, and true to form my mother-in-law bestowed upon us all manner of stuff that we don’t need, thankfully some of which included gift receipts.  So there will be a day in the near future when I trek to the mall to return said gifts and receive the cash for use elsewhere.  Nothing too terrible, and certainly manageable, save for one gift in particular that my inlaws gave to Spawn. 

Now, I’m pretty blasé about most things in the toy aisle, and there’s not too much that I put my foot down about when it comes to Spawn playing with certain toys.  But I do have one or two things that I don’t approve of, and won’t allow Spawn to have. 

Guess what Spawn got. 

My sister-in-law had called my husband earlier in the season to see if this particular gift would be acceptable, and my husband told her no.  So she didn’t get the thing for Spawn.  But either the memo never made the rounds to my mother-in-law, or she doesn’t give a whit about my decision.  I’m opting to believe the former. 

Of course I told Spawn that we were not opening that particular toy and playing with it.  Of course there were tears and recriminations. Of course I was labeled with all sorts of unflattering terms.  Of course my husband did not back me up. 

Of course the whole thing pisses me off. 

And of course guess what Spawn is currently playing with. 

I’m of two minds about this.  On one hand I really feel like I should stick to my guns about it, because Spawn knows my feelings and so does my husband.  These are feelings that have been made abundantly clear in years past; it’s not like it’s a new and arbitrary rule I dreamed up on the spot.  On the other hand, maybe if I don’t make a big deal of it then it won’t be a big deal and we can all move on. 

I certainly don’t think that the development of Spawn’s character hangs in the balance over this one stupid toy.  I would think my mother-in-law would know better, but giving her the benefit of the doubt, it probably never occurred to her that this would be an issue for me.  Because she certainly doesn’t know me all that well, despite the fact that I have been in this family for 21 years.  Which is funny considering that my sister-in-law has known me for the same number of years and hm, she had the good sense to check with my husband to see if I would be okay with it. 

A psychologist would have a field day parsing this, I’m sure. 

So I have a plan, and this is it:  my plan is to nurse my grudge.  Then, once the offending toy has fallen out of favor (and it won’t take long, I’m sure), said toy will disappear. 

Have I mentioned that I am very glad I do not live close to my inlaws? 

 

— Mox

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I don’t much care for my hands to be sticky. 

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I do, however, think I’ve finally gotten the hang of making icing. 

 

— Mox

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Bears repeating.

In looking through my archives, I ran across a post from last year that is timely and still true, particularly because we have plans to head up to the in-laws this weekend for our annual Christmas visit.  Can. you. sense. my. excitement. 

So I thought I’d repost this from last year because a) I do not possess an original thought today and b) I am still operating without my laptop.  Which is helping me to develop a tic. 

Help for the giftily challenged, right here.

I have a closet in my home that I have dubbed The Prize Closet.  It’s where I store gifts that people have given me for use in regifting.  Say what you want about regifting, but to me it’s a viable and valuable way to part with things that are perfectly nice but are just of no use to me.  I mean, I like scented candles, sure, but right now I’ve got enough of them to set my house on fire. 

Every year I get to restock The Prize Closet with 90% of the things that my in-laws give me, my husband, and Spawn for Christmas.  And I kinda feel bad about that, that I don’t want/need/like the things my mother-in-law buys for us, that I give them away to unsuspecting people throughout the year.  Obviously I don’t feel bad enough to not do it, however.  Scented candles and guest soaps make nice hostess gifts, by the way. 

The problem with my mother-in-law, God love that woman, is that she is taste-challenged.  Now, there are many ways to split that particular hair.  I could, for instance, say that her taste and mine are worlds apart.  That would probably be the most generous thing I could say.  I could get worse from there, because I could also say that she doesn’t have that first clue what my taste is, despite the fact that she has been in my house numerous times and has seen the clothes that I wear.  And I could say that I suspect she is colorblind.  Furthermore, I could say that she doesn’t quite see the distinction between “pretty and sparkly” and “whorehouse.”  But then that would be mean.  I’m a lot of things but I’m not mean.  At least not on purpose. 

And it’s not just me.  She doesn’t do too well buying for her own son, either.  I don’t think she has ever figured out that he doesn’t wear a shirt and tie to work anymore, nor does he ever ever ever wear sweaters.  She’s also under the impression that he’s still fat, despite evidence to the contrary, and she buys him XL’s and XXL’s in everything. 

Don’t even get me started on the mountain of things she buys for Spawn every year.  Frankly I think one or two gifts would be nice for the kid, since the kid gets a boatload of stuff from Santa, us, and my parents, and then turns around three weeks later and gets another boatload of stuff for birthday.  My own grandparents never got me more than a couple of things each year, and so this largesse is frankly a little dismaying to me.  How will Spawn ever learn to appreciate a gift, the thought behind a gift, if it’s a bloated pile of cheap stuff every time? 

We of course take back the stuff that comes with gift receipts, and the rest of it I store in The Prize Closet.  Because there will be an occasion that calls for an emergency birthday gift for one of Spawn’s friends. 

I know that my mother-in-law is starting to get a little… frustrated, maybe?… with the state of affairs with regard to Christmas gifts for our branch of her family tree.  I know this because she asked me with not a little bit of exasperation at Thanksgiving “what do you want for Christmas?”  And honestly, I had to tell her, “Please give me gift cards.” 

She did not like that suggestion. 

I predict another round of useless and not-to-my-taste gifts in the very near future. 

Truthfully, I would rather my in-laws take the money that they spend on us and just give us a big, fat check.  Because they spend way too much money and time on buying stuff for us that we don’t want and will never use.  It’s a waste. 

If my father-in-law were in charge of this gift-buying scheme, I don’t think he’d have that first qualm about just handing us money or gift cards.  He’s a practical man.  But he’s also not in charge of orchestrating a Merry Christmas that would meet his wife’s standards.  He’s just the bankroll for this endeavor. 

I know that studies have shown that a certain percentage of gift cards never get used.  Whoever conducted this study did not contact me.  I use them.  I love gift cards, especially when I can use them for online purchases.  And for those who find gift cards to be impersonal and a way to say “buy your own damn gift” I say — fie!  Give me a gift card.  I love to shop for myself.  I don’t get to do it much. 

 

— Mox

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So yesterday was a “snow” day, minus the snow, and Spawn was out of school all day.  Then last night we had freezing rain, and while in the back of my head I knew otherwise, I had hoped that the kids would be back in school today. 

No such luck. 

While I enjoyed my impromptu day off yesterday, and got a great many things accomplished, today is a different piece of fruitcake.  I mean, I got down on my hands and knees yesterday and scrubbed that spot on my bathroom floor, you know the one, where the gunked up hairspray collects in front of the sink.  Which is a little task that has been on my to-do list since, oh, September. 

Everything on my list from yesterday’s post was accomplished, and that sense of satisfaction you get from getting things crossed off your list was a nice feeling.  But they cancelled school again today because of a fine glaze of ice all over everything, and I have no to-do list to fall back on.  So I’m just a little bit out of sorts today. 

Oh, I’m sure I could find something to keep myself occupied, but at this point I just want to get back to my regularly scheduled programming. 

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Exhibit A — packaged rum cakes.  Yo ho ho. 

 

 

— Mox

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