holiday around my way...
Now Playing: The Push Bin w/Lou (wfmu.org)
The holiday season around the office slows down a bit. There aren?t as many calls from schools or libraries, so you can work at a more leisurely pace. Granted, it?s still aggravating, just less so. Our sales reps have been inundating us with boxes of chocolates and other assorted desserts. On top of our holiday parties, we?re all being fattened up for the kill. Yesterday, the dry erase board on the door of the order entry department at work read, ?Only three more shopping days until Christmas. Don?t regift to baby Jesus.? This morning, a top ten list was in its place.
GIFTS THAT BABY JESUS WOULD LIKE
- A blanket.
- Cabbage Patch Doll.
- Charlie (the fragrance?).
- Harry Potter Books.
- Chanukkah gelt and a dreidel.
- Passion DVD with director?s commentary.
- New swaddling (clothes).
- Barry Manilow?s Greatest Hits.
- The gift of peace and love for all?ah, never mind.
- Baby Powder.
I work with a bunch of damn heathens, but I can?t pretend that we don?t have our moments of mirth. Last week?s holiday party was fun. The food was fantastic, from appetizers to dessert. Two days ago our floor had our holiday party & grab bag. Everybody gives the best gifts around here. Our top customer service person made off with a mouse pad emblazoned with a group picture of the ladies who starred in The Golden Girls
TV sitcom. Nice. Other gifts includes pitcher & glass sets, cocktail napkins and toasters from The New Yorker
, even a drill. I got this beautifully stitched leather storage box with homemade baked cookies inside. Yes, I shared them with my co-workers ? I?m not that
greedy. Immediately I started thinking about what I could use the storage box for. Of course, being the vinyl fetishist that I am, a voice in my head said, ?I bet you could fit your 45s in there.? No dice ? I tried. Width isn?t the problem; height is, however. So now I have no idea what I?m going to use the box for. And if I leave it up to Beth, it will become a really nice box that?s used for keeping anything she can?t think of a better place for. In other words, it?ll be a dumping ground, and it was made for more than that.
You know, I should?ve typed this yesterday; I was in a much better mood yesterday. I really shouldn?t pick on the wifey ? she?s fighting off a chest cold that clobbered her over the head on Tuesday. Whatever this bug is that?s floating around comes very quickly and won?t leave until it?s good and ready. Its effects have definitely been felt here in the office. Our webmaster came down with it, our handyman/engineer guy might have had it, and a person in our accounts receivable department is still fighting it off. And since we all know that the word office translates into ?Petri dish,? it?s only a matter of time before you start fighting off symptoms, too. Yesterday I woke up with a scratchy throat and the aches and chills increased as the day went on. Beth looked miserable when I got home. So I made dinner for us and got her some TheraFlu before she went to bed. Supposedly, she woke up around 4am with a 102 degree fever. This must be a flu bug; it simply won?t let you go.
With everything that?s going on in Beth?s life right now, this is the last thing that she needs. She still has some papers to write for her grad school classes and possibly grade some papers for her freshman orientation courses. Last week, she made the decision that she didn?t want to become a teacher or continue with grad school. The teaching experience hasn?t been kind to her. The last year has been very stressful for her. She feels as if she has failed her students as well as herself. She took on an awful lot this semester. In addition, she feels as if she wasted all this money on tuition and put us further into debt. Knowing that I?ve made sacrifices for her to pursue her studies, she told me that she hopes I don?t hate her for making this decision and that I won?t up and leave someday. She was serious.
I can?t front: there was a part of me that was upset. I?ve watched the debt increase, I?ve tried to keep up with the sink of dirty dishes, I?ve watched a previously clean living room turn into a disaster area, and I?ve often felt as if I was fighting a losing battle. And as much as I would love to quit my job, I can?t. I make half of what I used to, every time the phone rings there a small part of me dies, I can?t f**king stand it, but it?s the only thing keeping us from completely being submerged by our expenses. But it?s always within the state of your own arrogance that GOD won?t leave you alone. Don?t think that the Creator of the universe won?t select the chapters on the DVD in your life that you?d rather skip over and project them on the 56-inch screen, because He will. And there have been plenty of times that I?ve screwed up in my relationship with Beth. And she?s forgiven me every time. I didn?t deserve hers and I know I don?t deserve GOD?s.
So everything that I just told you, I said to her. We stood before GOD, the preacher, our families, our friends, and pledged our devotion to each other ? in sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, as long as we both shall live. ?TIL DEATH DO US PART. I want to be an example of a marriage that lives up to that. I told her straight up, ?You can?t make me leave, so what do you think of that? I ain?t goin? away.? She?s making some hard decisions right now and is a bit of an emotional wreck because of it. She really thought she found what she was supposed to do with her life. She dedicated her time, her energy, and her money to this only to find out that this isn?t it. None of us wants to admit to failure. She shared with me recently that she never learned from anyone in a position of authority that you don?t have to succeed at everything. Had she known that at an early age, maybe her current dilemma wouldn?t seem so painful.
She just wants a regular job that allows her time for family, friends, and self. I don?t see her going back to grad school after this semester is over. So what happens now? We work it out together, just like we do everything else. I?m doing what I can to find a better job. I had a pair of interviews last week with an imaging company that I thought went rather well. The temp agency that hooked it up said that they should come to a decision by Monday. It?s now Thursday ? I haven?t heard jack. I?ve checked with the agency; they haven?t heard anything. Why I should be so concerned with getting a job that?s more a lesser of two evils than something I actually want, I don?t know. I?d pretty much be doing the same damn thing that I?m doing here, but for a business-to-business company. However, it means more money, it means a shorter commute, and it means not traveling down to NYC via subway. I?ve come to loathe the subway. It?s no place for a Christian, I?ll tell ya that.
Whether we?ll actually be able to make the Christmas trek to see our families on Saturday all depends on how we?re feeling and if we can get over our symptoms in time. I?m not as achy as I was yesterday, but a slight fever lingers. It?s strictly cards this year, money for presents I have none, not even for my wife. Perhaps it?s GOD?s way of getting Beth and I back to basics. And much like my man Charlie Brown, the commercialism of the holiday season gets on my damn nerves. If I can help nurse wifey back to health, that?ll be a gift in and of itself ? I?ve never seen her this wiped out from a cold.
A radio archive that I?m listening to on WFMU just got through playing James Brown?s ?Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto.? How fantastic is that title? How could I have missed that gem in past years? Anybody catch that Robert Smiegel cartoon on Saturday Night Live last week where Santa refused to deliver presents to the red states, referring to them as ?Dumbf**kistan??
Personally, I have beef with Santa myself. When my future seed?s on this earth, they?re gonna know the truth from the get go in regards to the real reason for the season and who their presents come from. Call me competitive, but I?ll be damned if a fat ass white man in a red suit (that can?t bothered to stop by the crib on any other given day, mind you) takes the credit for the time I spend on long lines at Target. As always, Christ the newborn King is welcome in our humble abode, but if one reindeer hoof lands on my rooftop, I?m going upside Claus?s cranium with a two-day old fruitcake. I hate to break it to brother Kringle, but there?s a new Santa in town?and her name is Oprah Winfrey.
?YOU GET A CAR!!! YOU GET A CAR!!! YOU GET A CAR!!! EVERYBODY GETS A CAR!!!?
Just sayin?, is all.
Dry erase board update: the writing on the door currently reads?
THINGS TO DO:
*Bake Baby Jesus a birthday cake.
I like that.