December 27, 2007
Onward ho ho ho.
It's over and I couldn't be happier about it. I know I shouldn't be, in much the same way that I should like to hold everyone's babies all the damn time, but I am. Thrilled. Consumed with the joy that I feel I should have had while everyone was trimming their trees with awful balls and cloth ornaments not washed since 1973. I'm happy Christmas is over.

In my house, Christmas does mean carnage. Not a one of our nuclear foursome escapes it, although I seem to be the unwilling recipient of most of everyone's anxiety dump. This isn't martyrdom; it's a clear, observed, documented, admitted family fact that I'm the black sheep of the clan, particularly at the holidays. Thanksgiving was an absolute debacle, my mother criticizing my every effort down to my reheating of the Thai takeout, all the while praising my sister's Godly steps and clearly superior highlights. I measure the success of most holidays in number of crying jaunts, and given that this year I made it through with zero, Nondenominational Holiday 2007 was a banner event in the old Likey household.

I'm convinced that this is a direct result of the no fewer than $80K I've invested in therapy this year with a woman who is helping me to set some boundaries. No, I don't want to spend my Christmas feeling like a damn 12 year old again. Yes, I'll come over; no, I won't help with the green beans, because every time I enter the effing kitchen you pull out a grenade and I really don't look all that great in red Kevlar. You see, as an adult, these are my holidays too, and I deserve some damn joy out of them. So I get it out of finding cute bows and shiny wrapping, patterned boxes and decorative gift bags. I get it by being the creative one. It's one of the things my family allows me to excel at, something they will actually comment on in the positive. Little joys.

I am convinced that bigger ones await. I want so much to have a family of my own, a husband and more cats and a dog and someplace to put up a tree, a safe place where I'm accepted and success isn't measured in a lack of tears. I pity this poor man, the eventual recipient of decades of stunted Kris joy. I can't wait to choose bold reds and place settings for those I'll welcome into my home. I can't wait to squeal upon finding the perfect holiday cards, to command a kitchen in which I'll cook the green beans any damn way I please, to pick up ornaments during our travels no matter what time of year. It won't be a taking back of the holidays, because they've always belonged to someone else. It will be starting traditions from scratch, every last one of them a success and a joy simply because they are mine.

December 24, 2007
Frankincense and Murrrrrr
Kris, to mother: Sorry I didn't call this morning. I've been out shopping and running errands since 8 o'clock.

Mother, to Kris: Wow. Looks like somebody has more money than I do.

Wishing you and yours ample booze this holiday season.

December 18, 2007
ISO head
Lost in the vicinity of 8th Street, SE, when owner discovered 7-11 fountain soda machine to be out of order. Last seen wearing cheap foundation of questionable winter tone and thinning blonde hair owner should probably condition with something other than mayo. Mouth likely to be spouting self-deprecating complaints about being a bad friend and blogger, a sloth that can’t lose her summer weight, and dateless for New Year’s Eve. If found, do not approach; lure to police/firemen with promise of red Coach bag and a “winter coat that effing fits my fat ass.” Serious replies only, please. 750 ml. reward.

December 12, 2007
How to make my day
On a morning that I'm feeling mediocre about my general abilities as a friend, woman, daughter, and carbon life form, walk up to me without prompt and tell me that, although we haven't known each other long, you can tell I'm one of the kindest people you've ever met. I needed that.

December 10, 2007
It's been five months.
Dress from Target for work holiday party: $52. Control top pantyhose to suck in muffin top: $5.25. Finding dressy black shrug in suitcase still packed from BlogHer: priceless.


December 5, 2007
Further evidence that the hairballs may have reached my brain
There’s no lying on this site. You know this, right? Well, this morning I saw the divine image of Madonna on my shower door. I don’t know how it happened, but the water droplets cleared the path for a gorgeous and clear head-to-toe glass image, gentle curves and all. With dollar signs in my eyes, I entertained removing the door and selling it on eBay. As in removing it from its track while naked and shooing the cats with boobs flailing and preserving the area with God knows what I could Maguyver from the kitchen. After all, didn’t some dunce pay like $10,000 for a pancake that resembled the Virgin Mary? Only after a minute or two did I realize the going price probably wouldn’t be as high for an image of Madonna from her Material Girl years. Sad all around when you really think about it.


December 3, 2007
Wakey wakey eggs and bakey
I spent the weekend sober, as in without any wine, as in up before noon. Like me holding a baby brought to the office, this seldom happens, or maybe it’s more accurately an occurrence leaning toward never. It wasn’t entirely intentional; I had geared up for what promised to be a rowdy Saturday night – one that went horribly awry given my penchant for falling asleep on the couch to episodes of the Ghost Whisperer – by abstaining on Friday. Which turned into Saturday. Which became Sunday, a day on which it just didn’t seem right to drink alone in the tub. At least not this particular Sunday.

And so it was that when awakened at the unholy hour of 7:40 am by a paw swipe to the cheek, I didn’t bark at Bug, didn’t send Cricket to fetch a cool washcloth to cover mommy’s eyes, and most certainly didn’t wonder just whose comforter I was nestled under. Instead I rose to greet the day like I imagine normal people do, those people who read the Sunday Post rather than using it for puppy potty training, those folks for whom “brunch” is a meal eaten in the morning hours. Or early afternoon. Or at least while the sun is still up.

And you know what? This land of the living wasn’t half bad.

Before lunchtime, I fed the cats, bathed and clothed myself (this is an undertaking not to be scoffed at), balanced my checkbook, worked out my December budget, cleaned the litter boxes, did two loads of laundry, watched and bawled at Georgia Rule (I said I was sober; I did not claim emotional stability), went to the mall to purchase no fewer than three Christmas gifts and my holiday cards (time to be very, very nice to the Kris), picked up my beloved Taco Bell for lunch, looked at my nails and opted not to paint them, and smiled genuinely at NOT ONE, BUT TWO of God’s screaming children in the Santa lap line. I didn’t finish my November 2007 memory quilt until well into the early afternoon, but I was, understandably, tired.

There are people out there, I should inform you, who are champions of the sport. Upon my 10:08 am Macy's arrival I was shocked to find that there were several other cars in the parking lot, and interestingly enough, people were not passed out in them from the night before. I witnessed one strange creature, already having done 8 minutes worth and three bags full of intense shopping, come out to her car to unload her mall booty before heading back in for the next round. Seriously? People actually show up before the joint opens, wearing something other than yoga pants and yesterday’s hair, and get their day on mere hours after the rest of us have eaten our weight in pizza and passed out wearing some form of lycra? The early, sober rise, I thought. This must be how the real woman does it all.

I’m guessing she doesn’t drive away from the mall with a Big Gulp on the roof of her car, but one cannot have everything.