{ Thursday, December 26, 2002 }

Parties Parties Parties.

I'm going to try to do everything that's happened justice. Everyone wish me luck!

So, Christmas Eve at Mom's. We got the house cleaned up and the food out. I was even dressed before the guests arrived. There was so much food. Too much food. Sandwhices and sushi and chili and soup and I could eat everything in the house. It was very nice, everything being vegetarian. We were actually leaving stuff on the porches at first because the fridge was so full.

My mother makes a mean cosmopolitan. Sooooo good. Really. Better than most bars or mixes. My mom makes the best cosmopolitan I've ever had. I was very impressed. So impressed I drank a whole pitcher. I was one glass down (now, let's remember, three drinks = tipsy almost to drunk for me) when people started arriving. In the first hour, I'd had three. Because I remember telling my younger cousin that I wasn't allowed to refill my glass until after we ate.

That same cousin was the one who had me in the gift exchange. She gave two beautiful necklaces and a very cool thumb ring that used to be a spoon from the store where my sister used to work and a very neat, very me shirt. So, I was very fortunate.

There was only one small child there. One of my cousins' daughter. She's three. She is one of the single most well behaved, beautiful children I have ever met. Seriously, the kid's amazing. I was seated near her (on the floor) while we were opening gifts. She wasn't just crazy about Santa (another cousin all dressed up in Grandpa's Santa suit), but she was pretty into opening presents. The flashlights were the biggest hit. My mom is so good at that stuff.

The highlights of the evening were everyone sitting on Santa's lap (Santa told all the women how light they were and we all replied "My [mother, grandmother] always told me to keep my weight on my feet."... Anything Grandma is always a highlight. And when the dog ate the baby's cookie. She set it on the floor to open a present and, well, being a dog, Julie doesn't wait for permission once it's on the floor. She started crying so hard. And every single one of the forty-some people in that room laughed at her. For at least sixty seconds we all laughed at her while she cried. Not one person felt sorry for that little girl sitting on the floor opening toys and crying over the lost cookie. Then an aunt when upstairs and got another cookie. She was told "Not that one. Give that one to the dog!" because it wasn't chocolate chip. So, we all laughed at her some more. Sometimes, it's very hard to be in my family.

One of my aunts gave us all the sweetest present. My grandfather used to dress up as Santa at the Country Club Christmas Party. And she gave each of the cousins a picture of us on his lap with a poem about grandfathers. My two younger cousins (the only two younger than Shelly) were born after he was dead, and they didn't even know he used to dress up. So, I told them all about it and I got a little bit teary while doing so. Then my (very pregnant) cousin did an impression of Grandpa (he used to pass out with his drink resting on his stomach) and that was so funny we all stopped being teary and went back to laughing. Sometimes it's very easy to be in my family.

Christmas Eve was a fun night. Christmas morning, we had to wait until ten o'clock to get Shelly up because she refuses to adjust for the time difference from California. But we got our presents. Mom got me what I asked for months ago, and hadn't really even dared to hope I might get... a macrame set. I'm so excited. I've been working very hard on it. It's totally my sort of craft... tedious and exacting. I love it so far. She also gave me good coffee and a ring holder (it's really pretty) and some amethyst jewelry. Shelly gave me two shirts and a coffee mug and MomsFiance got me a beautiful bracelet and a gift card.

Apparently I get dressed and I drink coffee. And that's all you need to know about me. Really, it's all so nice. Mom loved her present. Then we all had breakfast. After twenty-two years my mother finally comprimised on Christmas Breakfast. Christmas has always begun with a little fight. I don't like french toast. I don't like eggs. I don't like breakfast food in general. Fruit's fine, but fruit does not make a breakfast in my mind. And bacon and sausage smells make me (very literally) wretch. So, I refuse to sit at the table, because Mom refuses to let me just sit there and drink some coffee. This year, she relented and I had coffee and leftover chili and they had tea and breakfast foods.

Then we got dressed and headed over to MomsFiance's family's gathering. Where I sat and worked on my macrame and Shelly babbled on and on about California. More presents! I got a nice picture frame and some soap and a beautiful cashmere scarf.

Then Shelly was supposed to drop me off at home and I was going to take a shower and sit quietly by myself and she was going to go over to her best friend's house for a couple hours. Except we got home and we were locked out. So, I went on to her best friend's house with her. I really like her and her mother. I've met them all plenty of times and Shelly's best friend and I are friendly enough on our own that it wasn't at all weird.

After that it was straight to my aunt's house for Christmas Dinner. Unshowered. Shelly still in clothes that didn't match. Whatever. No other options. We headed on over. The dinner was nice. I drank lots of water, and no booze. We watched videos of Christmases past. That's always weird. Seeing my grandparents and one uncle who died and hearing their voices again and everything. We did better than last time we watched them and no one cried. It was an edited version of lots of the videos together and they mostly just picked funny bits. There was a ton from 2000, and as we watched we all talked about how very very drunk we were. It was a good time.

When we got home, Shelly and Mom gave me a lecture about how I am a terrible girlfriend. I managed to turn it into "Which of her ex-boyfriends deserved the 'terrible' treatment they got?". The conclusion was all of them, except apparently I was more horrible to NotBoyAnymore than he deserved. I did cheat on him with twelve different people, so I guess they have a point. I find it interesting that they were complaining and sticking up on behalf of Writer Guy (over their own daughter and sister) without having ever spoken to him.

This morning my mother woke me up and told me my cousin (the eye doctor) had had some cancellations and he would see me this morning. So, I got up and got a shower and off we went. It was my first appointment with him and he did a very good job. I think he even studied up on the bone disease first, because he checked all these potential complications I wasn't even aware of. I'm fine. And I shouldn't sleep in my contacts. He says I'll get an ulcer in my eye.

Then Mom and I went glasses shopping. While we were in there, she told me I needed a new coat. There's nothing wrong with any of my three current coats that a washing machine and a lint brush wouldn't fix. But we wandered around the mall anyway while my glasses were being made. I found some that I like, but none that I just loved, so I get to keep wearing my same old coat. Mom was much more understanding than normal while shopping with me. When I told her flat out we had to stop (I HATE shopping. Hate. Hate. HATE.) or else I was going to get snitty and cry, she actually let us stop. All nine hundred times that I interrupted her to ask if that was a coat she was trying to get me to try on, she reacted like I wasn't being unreasonably focused. I still hated it, but I wasn't as miserable as I have often been in the past.

I saw my sixth grade teacher and I think a few other people I know while we were there. I didn't talk to anyone though because I only had one contact in and my eyes were dilated and I was in focussed shopper mode. That was me you saw two steps behind her mother pouting her way through the Kenwood Town Centre today in a coat that "isn't as nice as some people who are panhandling." (I swear it has no stains or rips or weird faded patches or anything. I'm told it also has no shape though).

My new glasses are great and it's very neat to be able to see out of both eyes again. My left eye barely changed, but my right eye is twice as bad as it was. For the first time I have almost the same prescription in both.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to these last few days. Tonight, we're headed out for a cousins' night. We're going bowling and to some concert. I'm sure they'll be plenty of acohol involved. Tomorrow, I get to go home to Lexington. Finally. I really miss my cat.

posted by mary ann 2:43 PM