Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Damn You, December

As per its usual course, the month of December is kicking my ass.

This year it's a little more intense because my ex "gifted" me an extra twenty-three days with Ben. Not that I mind the extra time with my son. However...

Ben is totally amped out over Christmas, even more so than in years past. He is incessantly dipping into extra Advent calendar candies and into my own private stash of Hershey kisses. He's also ripping into my coveted Christmas cards the second the mail comes through the mail slot and he manages to tear at least two-thirds of the cards before I even see them.

"Who's that in the picture?" I'll ask. "I don't know; I ripped their head/heads off," Ben informs me.


As for other fun December antics, Ben's already peeked into his stocking when he thought I wasn't looking and when I offered to pay him to help wrap client gifts, he spent the better part of three hours crouched behind the couch - sniper style - aiming the Nerf gun at me. At my butt, to be more precise. And then he wondered where his payment was once I finished wrapping twenty-three presents. When I denied him payment, he shot the dog. In the butt, of course.

Tonight, he's threatening to sneak out of bed and eat all the Advent candy. And if I hear the words Nerf Stampede Gun (which is an extreme upgrade from his current Nerf gun) one more time, I swear I'm going open up all the wine in the house and drink steadily until December is over and that's a lot of wine: I'm well stocked.

Yay, Christmas. How I've missed you.

My family and friends know that I can't stand the holidays.

Christmas went south for me back in my early 20s when I had a relationship with someone whose family glorified the gifts to no end. I never recovered.

But now, since I have a kid, I can't get all Grinch-y every year.

So I drag the tree out of the rafters right after Thanksgiving and make a big fuss over the ornaments and then we make cookies and gingerbread houses and this year, a giant gingerbread man, and I make a fuss out of how creative my child is when in actuality I know he's going to be sneaking bites out of all the culinary projects and we'll all suffer from the imminent sugar highs and lows.

I send out 75 Christmas cards and then freak out because once again, I don't have enough. I take Ben to see Santa and wait in a long, ghetto mall line and pay too much for a picture. I agonize over what to buy my ex "from Ben" and open his gift to me "from Ben" (to me) before Christmas to get an idea of what to spend and then hurriedly re-wrap the gift so Ben doesn't notice. I worry about Ben getting too many presents because last year was a complete fiasco and I had a wickedly spoiled child on my hands come January.

And for what? To commemorate Christ's birth? I do that quite well on my own, during every month of the year thankyouverymuch. If anything, the consumerism and sheer excess in December detracts me from the essence of the season and that realization puts me in a very bad mood.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I stayed at my dad's and went shopping on Black Friday with my stepmom. We left the house at 4am, something I vowed I'd never do. Admittedly, the ads sucked me in.

It was a manic experience, to say the least. So manic, in fact, that I got a make-over at the Clinique counter at 5:30am (hey, a full face of make-up is always great on Black Friday!) and I bought two pairs of leggings, three shirts, a sweater and a skirt. All this for the girl who could give the Kardashians a run for their money in the clothes department. But hey, it was Black Friday; the motto for the day being: "More! More! Even More!"

I wound up taking half the shit back the following week. Because Black Friday is a big seduction for evil December. Yuck.

Well, apparently that's what my body thought too because as soon as we came home from our manic shopping trip, my body was burning with hives. And so it went into December. Shopping = itching. Wrapping = more itching. Merely flipping the switch for the tree lights each morning caused my body to immediately flush.

The Urgent Care doctor said to wash everything in the house with special detergent, change to Ivory soap, lay off the scented lotions and perfumes. To no avail. Itch, scratch, itch. Steroid pills. Steroid injections. Bendadryl around the clock. Good times.

You did this to me, Black Friday. I know you did.

So last week I saw a third doctor who is sending me to an allergist. The allergist is a friend of the doctor, who made a special call on my behalf, and of course he's not on my insurance plan

Because it's December and I'm cursed.

My theory is this: I'm allergic to Christmas and to the entire month of December. How else can the sudden onset of itching hell on Black Friday be explained?

I'm envisioning the prescription to be something along the lines of:

Patient must refrain from most holiday related activities including, but not limited to:

Stringing lights on her house (like I would ever do this anyway, I've got tacky neighbors who put enough crap up for our entire block)

Destroying her kitchen with homemade cookies (yes, that happened last weekend with Ben; don't let the 7-year-old loose with the flour)

Battling long lines at Wal Mart (I only went because I was desperate for Benadryl, but then I saw the brown leggings and the matching shirt and the sale on Weight Watchers frozen entrees).

Patient may steal Advent candy from her child's calendar on the days that the child is with his dad (great, that gives me two whole candies).

Patient may also dip into wine that is otherwise reserved for client gifts (started that on Dec 1)

Patient is excused from all holiday parties (there were none to put on the calendar anyway) and also from constructing a gingerbread house that caves in immediately upon completion (it's a yearly tradition, and an annual meltdown).

Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Help me understand. What happened to the quiet, peaceful, somber spirit of the manger and the clear, starry night, and the wismen and the advent of new life? Now all the advent that's celebrated in our house is the daily fight over 5am Advent candy. And it's not even that good.

Come January, I'll have gained several pounds from the discarded gingerbread walls and the copious amounts of wine (but not from the Advent candies). We'll have a tree that hangs out in our living room far past its welcome. I'll still be apologizing to the friends who didn't get our Christmas cards.

All the while trying to discern our friends' identities from the headless Christmas cards. (And those of you who used Shutterfly or Tiny Prints totally wasted your money at this address. Just so you know).

The horrific gifts will go into the horrific gift box, otherwise known as The New Client Welcome Kit. Ben will shoot the dog with his new Stampede gun and I'll take "that damn gun" away for a week. He'll shoot me and I'll roll my eyes and wait for the next dart. I'll dip into his college fund for the fourteen "D" batteries required to fuel "that damn gun." We'll all suffer from my anti-carb diet.

Ah yes, this is what is known as The Christmas Hangover.

Last week, Ben began his daily plea for a dreidel and I couldn't be happier. Judaism, at least during the holidays, is looking pretty good. We'll light a candle each night, open a dollar store gift and eat matzoh ball soup. F the tree, the lights, the POS gingerbread house, the overpriced toys and the neighbors who think they're the Griswald family.

I know my mom and my sister will be on board. They both recently said, "Christmas should only come around every four years."

God bless my family. They are so smart and logical. Mazel tov. Or whatever.

If this were to happen - this Christmas every four year thing - my skin would "cool down" (as the dermatologist says), my jeans would fit all month, my son wouldn't whine and I might even enjoy the tacky lights and the annoying music. I could even be convinced to bring a dead tree in and let it shed, along with the dog, all over my living room.

In the meantime, word from the North Pole is that there isn't one Stampede en route for Ben. No, there's two which means someone should shoot me now.

Oy vey.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


When one of my clients walked into to my home wearing these last week, I knew I'd found the perfect boot. It's hard to believe that Ugg makes these and it's also hard to believe that merely seeing this style actually took me to a whole new level of Ugg obsession.

The same client who owns these fabulously stylish boots also accidentally forgot to take her very expensive and also fabulously stylish black BCBG coat after our session a couple of weeks ago. I can't say how it happened, but that lovely BCBG coat made an appearance in our Christmas card photos. It is likely the most expensive coat I'll ever be photographed in.

I can only hope that she'll forget her boots one day...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What A Pro Can Do

More to come. :)

Santa, Santa...

Dear Santa

We're not even within the 12 Days of Christmas window and you're already getting my orders all screwed up.

Let's review for a moment.

First, I said "Prius," not "printer." There's a huge difference, like to the tune of $24,929. Yes, I know that my HP was a POS (that's 'piece of shit' in case you don't know the lingo up in the Northern areas) and really, the Dell is quite nice and once I figure out how to work it, I'm sure I'll appreciate its scanning, copying and otherwise "office-y" functions. But let's get back to the Prius. Say it with me: Prius.

I also told you that I wanted Botox injections. Lots of them. What I did not want were steroid injections. In my ass, nonetheless.

So while we're on the subject of the steroids, please bring several containers of the uber-expensive detergent that I've had to use to launder every piece of fabric in this house since I am apparently allergic to cheap detergent. Then, maybe I can lay off the prednisone for awhile.

In the meantime, I'm going to need an entire new wardrobe to accommodate for the steroid puffiness (read: weight gain).

Also, please include several bottles of high grade vodka and some nice red wine. The doctor said that alcohol consumption might help with the crankiness associated with prednisone. I think he meant "daily" consumption.

That 24 Hour Fitness membership from Costco would sure help out too, both with the mood and the ever-expanding butt.

I also think that a pair of UGGs are certainly well-deserved after the bout with endless itching, especially since my feet are the only parts of my body that haven't suffered the prednisone aftermath.

On a good note, my Blackberry has been well behaved lately and only malfunctions when I try to use the camera. You can still bring any of the Droids though.

Lastly, can you please visit the Home Retention Department at Bank of America and lavish the employees there with expensive gifts? Lots of them? Maybe then, I'll have a chance of getting someone on the phone who doesn't blow me off or cut me off or transfer me to an innocuous department like "Simple Assumptions" or my own personal favorite, "Quantifiable Assumptions." Obviously those folks need some serious cheer. Although they clearly need more of the year-round variety.

In closing, I'd like to reiterate that I've been very good this year. I haven't gossiped past 10pm each day, I haven't been unkind to my mother except for my daily impatience, I haven't let Ben play too much Nintendo but we won't mention the TV hours, I've been to church twice since the summer, and I've made a marked effort to stay in better touch with my friends through texting and Facebook-ing.

Yours truly,