Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The 2013 Curmudgeon Season has officially begun!

This has been floating around the Internet lately – and I think it sums up the season rather brilliantly:

2 kinds of people_d97660_4888782

I would definitely be that second one. To be honest, I’m beginning to wonder if my body somehow stores up all the Curmudgeon I possess throughout the year, and then releases it in one desperate purge triggered by the overly-early and enthusiastic start to Retailamas.

I mean, there it is…early-October…it is still 80-90 degrees outside…I’m sweating and just want to pick up some lousy thing or other I was just informed will cause World War III if it is not brought to some event or other tonight…and OHMYGAH, CHRISTMAS! JINGLE-FRICKIN-BELLS! GIVE! GIVE! GIVE TO EVERYONE! GIVE ALL THE THINGS TO ALL THE EVERYONES! If you don’t buy everyone the Things, you are a bad person! You can ONLY show gratitude and affection and prove you are NOT a soulless demon – possibly even a REPUBLICAN! - by BUYING CRAP. So, BUY THE CRAP! BUY ALL THE CRAP! 25% OFF! 50% OFF! DID I MENTION THAT YOU ARE AN IDIOT IF YOU DO NOT SNAG THIS BARGAIN?! YOU MUST BUY THE CRAP, BUY IT, I SAY!!!

Suddenly, I’m the kind of person who goes around snarling “WHAT’S SO DAMNED MERRY ABOUT IT?!” and “When the HELL did ANY of the assorted $DEITIES with fingers in the winter-solstice-ish time of year EVER say ‘go forth and buy cheap plastic crap, lest I smite thee for not being a Goode Persone©’?!”

And then there’s the way my fellow humans turn into crazed herd animals, flocking from one store to the next like starved wildebeest, stampeding and trampling everything in their path.

And taking all the parking spots.

Like, all of them.

And perversely, watching others do this, watching the commercials in which perfect domestic bliss is achieved by doting individuals presenting each other with perfect gifts (conveniently available at extreme discounts at your local StuffMart™ {annoying jingle here}), watching people at the mall in all the various stages of shopping – from giggling excitement to red-faced screaming at exhausted, sweaty clerks because they don’t have whatever-it-is in chartreuse, you don’t understand, my mother-in-law MUST have a CHARTREUSE thingee-mah-witchit, otherwise I am a BAD SON-OR-DAUGHTER-IN-LAW!…witnessing the increasing emotion and pace of the season in action…being jostled while I’m just trying to pick up a couple @^*&@ing gallons of milk, or having my ankles mauled by shopping carts piloted by semi-frantic yet astonishingly inattentive people desperately looking for this only blue and in a size that, or fending off 24/7 attacks on my psyche that are so unsubtly trying to instill that message that I must spend-spend-spend to celebrate…


It’s enough to cause me to seriously consider throwing three or four pieces of leftover Halloween candy nobody wanted into random boxes I dug out of the recycling pile, wrapping them in Sunday comics plucked out of the to-be-made-into-compost-or-worm-bedding-or-something bin, pitching them under the tree and calling it a season.

Dear Family:

I love you. Truly. I do. But. Screw this whole scene. If you need me, I will be locked in my bedroom wearing headphones and watching old cartoons and stuff, and also knitting things. WITH LOVE IN EVERY STITCH, DAMMIT.

See you in the spring.

XOXO  ~ Mom

What I find peculiarly ironic about this is…I actually do really enjoy the gift-giving. I like to make the people I care about happy, and I am thrilled when that perfect thing comes to me.

Especially because usually, frankly, it doesn’t. Or, it does, but is ludicrous in some way. Like, sure, I’d love to get the husband a vintage Camaro. It would be an awesome present! And also ridiculous! And a great way to show that I am a terrible steward of our income, and probably should never be trusted with it again!

Which then puts me into this spiral where I can’t seem to find a happy medium. And I bounce back and forth between various lame, not-as-good and equally-ridiculous things until I eventually end up buying him a box of raw almonds and a copy of the 1987 tax code at the very last possible second.

Because almonds are great. Especially the raw ones. Because they’re, you know, delicious…yet healthy! And buying him healthy food is like the ultimate in ‘I love you, see how much I love you? I don’t want you to die and junk like that!’ gifts!

And ‘tax code’ is all, like, um, INTELLIGENT-Y and some junk. And I think of him as an INTELLIGENT-Y person! See? See how that…works…? it wasn’t the very last thing on the shelves or anything, gosh no, I HAD A PLAN THERE…!


Last of the great romantics, especially when under pressure. <= me

The only thing I do really enjoy about the holiday season is stuff like this:

(I know! The cuteness! And this isn’t showing the whole story at all, which is that these two boys were collaborating with their games, and it was so adorable that pretty much the whole world just dropped over dead from it. That’s right. You are all ghosts now, because of the power of the Cuteness these two were putting out. Sorry.)

(This is actually more remarkable than it looks – Captain Adventure never allows another kid to sit that close to him, other than possibly a sister. But they don’t count, because they’re ‘safe’ people whereas pretty much every other kid in the whole world is terrifying and/or annoying and/or unpredictable and really on the whole let’s just not be around them, ‘mkay? But apparently, his cousin was an OK kinda guy.) 

BUT NEVER MIND ALL THAT. Because, knitting

This is Fia, which has been growing with painful slowness. In related news, I think I’ve decided that the next time I decide on a must-knit pattern, I should choose something in worsted weight, instead of fingering-for-pete’s-sake. Honestly. Sometimes I really do wonder what is wrong with me…but, I digress.

On BART, watching shows, a couple rows here, a couple rows there…it’s ever-so-slowly starting to look like a sweater-thing. And it is a fun knit, too – difficult enough to be interesting, not so difficult that I want to claw my own eyeballs out, or can’t work on it on the train.

The sleeves are actually already done…that was some interesting construction, actually, because they are knitted together, in the round, with steeks…I’m still not sure whether I like that method or not. I suppose I’ll know my own mind on that after I’ve finished the thing and seen how much effort was(n’t) saved by doing them that way.

I have a business trip coming up next week, all week, including a couple 5 hour flights there and back again, so I have high hopes for getting to the point where I will abandon it for months on end because ugh, finishing be able to proudly wear it give it to one of my daughters, because clearly I have still not gotten my arms around the concept that I am no longer quite as small as once I was.

Also, there will be no time for shopping. Or finding myself having to face the mall for any reason. And then it will be two weeks down, less than two weeks to go, y’all.

I may just survive the 2013 Curmudgeon season yet…