Faking It

11 12 2007

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Every year, my brother gets some variation of this present from my grandparents: Sports Illustrated subscription and individually wrapped free presents that come with it (i.e. clock radio, sweatshirt, t-shirt, pens, etc. with SI logo). I don’t think he really caught on until around the 7th grade or so. Now, when I see him open the gift from “Santa Kloss” (my mother’s maiden name), I have to look away. Philip will look off to the side real quick, open the gift, release a sound akin to that of a very petite dog, say “hu-huuuh, thanks,” with an especially deep voice, and then cough some as he gets up to hug Granpa who says something like, “Well, I know how much ya like yur sports,” with a proud smile at having accomplished the perfect gift. I have heard stories about “worse Christmas gifts ever” that are more singular than this, but the sight of a rather burly, rough-looking frat guy in a pink polo and pajama pants with a likely hangover and greasy hair acting like he’s excited about a black Sports Illustrated sweat shirt makes me lose it every time. He is such a classy faker.

This year’s holiday season has me thinking about how much we have to fake it this time of year. We grimace through close-talking aunts and bad casseroles, chit-chating with folks that we might see once a year (for some, that is rather too much), listening to Christmas music and wondering how hard we can hit the sauce without anyone really noticing. Once you have kids, it’s even worse. Everyone wants you to see “so-and-so” because “they never get to see her!” I’ve thought about just sending Ruthie by herself to some of these functions, since no one really cares if the parents come or not. Inviting the parents is a courtesy you pay them for having the child. What people ought to do is give you the night of instead of the complimentary invite. Ah, well. Maybe next year.
In Alabama, it is 78 degrees. I can walk outside right now, at dark, with a t-shirt on and it feels fine. Unfortunately, I’m fresh out of my holiday tank tops.

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