Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The last few days have been a blur of shopping, child-care, and barely restrained grinchiness. Nothing says Happy Holidays like festering rage.

As it turns out, this year we'll be celebrating Family Holiday, a thinly-veiled cover version of Christmas, minus the Christ and the Mas. I had hoped that we'd be celebrating my favorite Christmas-substitute, Winter Present Tree Day (excruciatingly documented here), but the kid has requested that we celebrate Family Holiday again. And so it shall be.

Shopping, as always, has been punishing. Each additional person in line, and every idiot in the parking lot seems to say, "Mike, good job shopping online and beating the crowds!". My kingdom for a sarcasm emoticon.

I went to a brand new grocery store last month that had shopping carts with cup holders in them. That's genius. So many things have been improved by cup holders, including cars and movie theater seats. Now, modern physics brings us the cart cup holder. Sadly, this appears to be a rare beastie. I was especially missing this amenity this week as I did most of my shopping in the morning hours, commonly known as coffee o'clock.

Everything should have cup holders now. We have the technology! I want cup holders in my shower, next to the toilet, and perhaps one surgically attached to my hips. I'd show that puppy off every chance I got. I'd see some thirsty schmuck and swivel my hips, all saucily and thirst-quenchingly. It would be the masculine kind of hip swiveling though.

Despite the missing cup holders, I managed to complete my shopping for everyone in the family except the wifey. In a long-standing tradition, we'll postpone the gift-giving to each other until we get a chance to recover from these holidays. It would appear that my spectacular ability to be on-time does not apply to gift-giving. My friends should also not expect any gifts yet. They know that I love them despite my gruff exterior and lackluster gift-buying performance.

A friend of mine is buying a car for his wife for Christmas. He was wondering if he should try to wrap it or merely put a big novelty bow on it. I suggested that he paper-mache it into a giant crucifix. Alas, that suggestion was rejected and that friendship mildly dented.

On a final note, my child-care time this week went pretty well. I kept my five year-old daughter entertained with a veritable fiesta of plate-spinning, numchuck-chucking, and daughter-tossing. I also let her watch extra TV. Gold parenting star for me.

I had feared that I'd give her nightmares with some inappropriate story, or accidentally teach her how to swear in a different language, but I did reasonably well on both counts. Although I did scare the bejesus out of her when I explained that some people get their tonsils removed (you'd think I'd know at this point to minimize the stories that end in doctors removing parts of her body), I did manage to successfully keep her out of view of our neighbor when he was demonstrating how to swear in sign language. I'm one for two! That easily puts me in the running for the highly-coveted One Of The Best Parents In Our House award. One day....

Well, only about two more days of grinchhood and then I go back to being a curmudgeon. My life is a rainbow of crankiness.

Kisses to all.

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