Aaaaaahhhhh. I managed to get the money for Christmas, through the good offices of my wonderful child. (It has to do with family money and trust funds and stuff and whose fund actually HAS money at the moment...all very dull and legal so I shouldn't bother about it, if I were you.) So as soon as it comes through, I am off to:
The Apple Store (a place which makes me feel about seventeen thousand years old), for iTunes cards for my four adolescent nephews.
A shoe store - my niece Ruby requires dark high top Converse, size 3-1/2.
A store which sells some sort of Magic cards - don't ask, my nephew Alex requires them. (Thank God for sister-in-law Kath, who spelled this esoteric desire out in reply to my desperate email.)
Bath and Body Works, because Alex's sister Maya requires various unguents, as what normal teenage girl does not?
Then there's my mother-in-law, the wonderful Ben, who is getting a surprise (certain people named Ben who read this blog need not think I've giving the secret away that easily...ho, ho, ho). Also her usual present and one more thing that I think she will love.
Joshua will get some damn thing or another, although God knows what - I can say what I like here, because A. he doesn't read the blog, and B. I don't actually think he knows what a blog is. I convinced him to get an ATM card, now that he finally has a bank account. He didn't want to get one because of his overwhelming paranoia. He kept insisting that "they can find him" if he has a card. I had to gently inform him that he happens to be on public assistance, i.e., government disability. How on earth could he possibly be under the impression that no one could find him?
The ATM card came up because yesterday he came upstairs to insist that I had to go to the bank immediately (to put a check in) so that I could pay him back the $20 bucks I'd borrowed from him because he wanted to go to the grocery store. This is extremely wrong on several levels. One, of course, is coming up to bother me to begin with. Two is even asking for the damn twenty in the first place, given his extremely odd attitude toward paying me anything like what I've spent on keeping him for the last few years. Three, he has some thousands of dollars in the bank and is now in possession of said ATM card, so all he had to do was go to the store and pay that way. Four, of course, was his explanation of why he needed the money - it was a long walk to the bank. Have we all noticed that nothing was said about making ME walk to MY bank? Of course not. When I mentioned the ATM card, I got such an uncomprehending look that I gave up on raising the subject just then (because I hate confrontations). Now I have to teach a 61 year old man how to use a bank card. Jeez Louise.
Sorry, I digressed from Christmas in there. Okay. back to a much nicer subject.
Anyway, with my gorgeous child's infusion of cash, coupled with my underemployment payments, all of Christmas will be properly in place (particularly given the low lobster cost this year). So I am happy and Christmassy and altogether thrilled. And we will have our roast beast and flaming plum pudding for Christmas night. And I think I'm going to stop hunting the elusive perfect recipe for Christmas morning breakfast (this happens EVERY year...I am always hunting something that will take 15 minutes for a table full of hungry family that will be absolutely spectacular, and I never find it unless it involves pate de foie gras dusted with beluga caviar or something equally unattainable) and just do my good scrambled eggs with little cubes of cheddar cheese scrambled in with them so it gets all melty and bacon and maybe, if I REALLY feel good will towards men, some nice home fries with onions cooked separately to begin with, so that when you mix it all up you get nice crisp edges.
And (yes, yes, you know how I am about these things), when we come variously down- and upstairs on Christmas morning. Ben will say, "Now we'll open one present each and then have breakfast and THEN we'll open the rest of the presents." I have heard this every Christmas of my life for more than 25 years now. It has NEVER worked. Not ever. And in the same fashion, on December 23rd we will trim the tree, and after our (rather drunken looking these days, poor thing) angel is set on the top, I will go to the top of the kitchen stairs and say, "You know, I think this is the prettiest Christmas tree we ever had." And THAT line is what my grandmother said every year. Without these things, it is NOT Christmas.
And tomorrow I'm going to do the ironing! Well, usually I do manage to get it done piece by piece early in the morning as I'm on my way to somewhere requiring ironed clothing, but that's not really very satisfactory because it's one more step in the morning. So I try to schedule it around something really neat to watch on TV. And since I have no job tomorrow (otherwise known as old news), I was looking through the TV Guide to see what might amuse me in the afternoon, because that's when the light is best for ironing in my bedroom - and lo and behold, my beloved TCM starts with Gigi at 10:45 am, followed by My Fair Lady, followed by the King and I. I am only the greatest musical freak on earth, so I think I'll iron veerrryy sllooowwwwlllllyyyy - because actually what I've got to iron is about five pairs of slacks, which is half an hour tops. Well, I wear the pants with turtlenecks (yeah, yeah, it's a uniform of sorts, and it saves me from thinking, which is a thing - thinking, that is - that doesn't work too well for me early in the morning), which means all I actually have to do is make sure the legs are properly creased and smooth. This is like three minutes per pair of pants. After that I'm just going to sit down in my desk chair, put my feet on the end of my bed, and sing along. Tra la!