Posted by lex, on December 19, 2006
And I’m a total fricken’ wreck.
I was ahead of the shopping game for exactly two people in my life: The Biscuit wanted a replacement digital camera for the one she’d treated rather shabbily last summer, to put not too fine a point on it, all regardless of the fact that she seemed to take such great pleasure in the having of the original. That came early in the mail, and there was the school formal coming up, and it wouldn’t really have happened – the formal that is – unless it was preserved in perpetuity via the application of digital amber. So I deeded it over early, like, with stern remonstrations that this was in fact The Patriarchal Christmas Gift, and no fair thinking otherwise comes the actual. Knowing full well – as herself no doubt did too – that it was all bluff and thunder.
Parenthetically, we are much the wealthier nation than we ever were before. Or if not, then I am a spendthrift madcap: We went snacks on a limo for the lady and nine her several friends, that being the one sure way to know that they weren’t being driven home by some pimple-faced boozer at 2 AM.
Like we all were.
The point being that limousines were so far out of the question back in the days so sartorially evoked in “That 70’s Show,” that the question wouldn’t have even been raised. You’d have sooner asked your dear ol’ da to pass you thet ther grand piano as to request shares in a limo, came the formal. I went to my sophomore ball driven by himself in the back seat of his Lincoln Continental MK III – which that could be the very beast itself, if’n it hadn’t been rear-ended by a headlight-dazzled geezer in front of the familial manse, way back on a summer’s eve in the Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-One. She and I (the car, that is) would share quite a few happy moments in between the two events, but that’s a tale for a different day and mayhap a different format, so never you mind on that and get your mind out the gutter.
I went to the sophomore dance – did you know that “sophomore” literally translates as “wise fool”? – with a Cherman kurl named Briggette, a fetching blonde lass a cuppla years my senior (to wit: 17) whom I had met at a church camp in the Shenandoah mountains a few months previously. I had invited her in the fervent hope that the oft-bruited European tendency towards decadence and moral decay would be made manifest in her ample and – one feverishly dreamt – willing flesh, only to discover that if in fact there were decadent and morally decayed 17-year old Cherman kurls to be found in America, that one didn’t find them lounging about at church camp in the Shenandoahs, sing halleluia and can I get an amen?
A chaste Cherman peck on the cheek was to be my reward for fine dining, a corsage and a vigorous session of booty-shaking, as only a 15-year old white boy could shake it, back in the days before MTV taught us what it was to move that thang.
Which is just as well, since I’m not sure how patiently pops would have waited in the driveway after dropping her off. Not that I’d have needed much time, at age 15. Bottle rockets ain’t in it.
And after one pro forma deferral, Son Number One admitted as how any parent who chose to gift a Texas Instrument Titanium Ti-89 graphing calculator could not go very far wrong if one of his progeny was in fact an aspiring engineer. The deed itself was quickly done, and with finals coming up, only Ebeneezer Scrooge could deny it to him until Christmas Eve.
Whom I am not.
But! I did indeed purchase an admirable tree, of the “Noble Spruce” variety, that being widely agreed in Christmas tree parks across the land as the only correct choice for the discriminating set. It stands in the living room corner in stark grandeur, as yet undecorated, and for all I care it will remain that way. I’ve done my bit, I to my work, them to theirs.
But to tell you the honest, I’m having a bit of a time hurling myself into the holiday spirit gentle reader, iTunes playlists notwithstanding. There’s a dark hole that I’m always trying to avoid looking at that doesn’t go away, and even though we’re heading home, as is our custom, it won’t be the same as it used to be, not ever. But we have to go back, as not going would be an unforgivable slight even though all I really want to do is run out in a field with a baseball bat and shatter some china before raving at the moon and rending my clothing when I think about it.
If you’re late to the party, none of that last bit will make any sense and I beg your indulgence. Consider it a passing fugue. I told you I was a wreck.