Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas Cards My Ass

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

There are many excuses for not sending holiday cards. Here’re mine:

Holiday Cheer_Where Excuses Go to DieChristmas cards, holiday cards, greeting cards – whatever people wanna call ’em, I don’t care.

It’s been many years since I purchased a greeting card, because the greeting card industry has become insulting. It pushes homogenized sentiments and condescending condolences that are marketed as if buyers were monkeys. While card aisles and displays are perfectly convenient and, yes, could come in handy someday, I must say I did better in a prison cell with magazine collages, glue sticks, and agitated screamers to my left ‘n right.

Yes sir or ma’am: I heavily promoted my “John has turned over a new leaf” brand by mailing handmade greeting cards to friends and family who were on the fence about me. For one, I was determined to prove that my imagination would never be replaced by swastika tattoos and institutionalized hatred. Watching the arrival and transformation of so many gullible young men into seething and explosive monsters positively inspired me to trade even my meals for whatever I needed to stay creative, expressive, and weird.

And there were just certain things I couldn’t re-embrace upon returning to the civilian world. First among them, coincidentally, was store-bought greeting cards. Why? Because I was fresh out of the joint one day and nudged toward a cousin’s birthday party the next. I looked at the clock, gathered the things I’d need (accessing real scissors was a plus), and never looked back.

All these years and hundreds of greeting cards later, the only downside has been visiting my parents during the holidays to find my own card among their others, displayed writing-side out (as if the interior sentiment were the thing!). Apparently my mom is uncomfortable with the idea of guests commenting on the one that’s “different.” My cards are as professionally made as the Thomas Kinkades, yet the images I choose are antidotal to forced-marching-to-the-glowing-Christmas-cottage.

But never mind all that self-congratulatory poo, here are my excuses for not lifting a finger this year: (more…)

Wherein I Attack the Word “Blessed”

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Excessive use has reduced the word to a good-for-nothing air kiss.

CHIMP BLESSED WITH HUMAN BRAIN_Where Excuses Go to DieI’m blessed, you’re blessed, she’s blessed, those kids are blessed, the Seattle Seahawks are blessed, blessed-blessed-blessed!  Since when did so many people start benefitting from divine intervention? When did “luck” morph into into a Vatican Press Office buzzword? Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to cram the annoyance of an entire Christmas letter into a single word, but could you do it with this one a little less often?

And while we’re at it, for the love of all things peaceful and plain, don’t ever throw it at me as a projection of good things to come. Don’t use “Blessings!” as a goodbye salutation. Nothing makes you sound less employable.

Yeah yeah, it’s just terrific as hell that gratitude has gotten fashionable, but isn’t gratitude supposed to be shown, rather than flaunted? We’re supposed to give thanks, not blab thanks.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present without giving it – yes, I have heard that one. But while some small dogs are cute, the ones that bark  in order to be paid attention to are more or less the worst creatures on earth. And way too many people use the word “blessed” as an excuse to announce bark their personal status. (more…)

How Head Lice Saved My Christmas

Friday, December 27th, 2013

When help arrived this far-gone family’s mental resources were DONE

HOLIDAYS ON LICE_Where Excuses Go to DieAnd when I say “done,” I mean that arguing and shrieking could be heard from the driveway. Anna, the specialist who’d soon be knocking on their front door, had been given detailed instructions and a description of the wits’ end she’d have to deal with. Slowing for the address, Anna pictured having to talk her way past a police perimeter or finding the family of seven tossing its furniture into a bonfire on the lawn. These were panicked people.

Not one of them knew which had been child zero, the one to bring the louse home. They only knew that dad couldn’t go to work; the kids had been removed from school; and no one had so much as put on a sock in four days. They all wore towels, the only cloth they believed wasn’t contaminated. Each was driving the others nuts with complaints and tantrums – let alone living the misconceptions of their predicament.

When the 14-year-old shaved parts of her head with the wailing martyrdom of St Ludmila of Bohemia, mom finally called a head lice removal service. Where she’d once been too proud to dial Hair Whisperers, Lice Lifters, The Lice Squad, and especially an outfit called Lice Schmice, at this point she’d been reduced to begging. (more…)