Dear Bon Appétit,
Really? REALLY? Must we have a Christmas issue that lists things the average person can never use and or afford?
There was a time when you were a magazine I loved to read, one from which I took many of my favorite recipes, one that I actually subscribed to, one I found inspiring and colorful and one that was for us average folk to find a touch of class.
Now, you list as gifts things like a ham knife for $362 with the accompanying ham that costs $425 and comes from Spain. From SPAIN!! What is wrong with a nice Virginia ham? Haven’t you heard of buying American? I hack at my ham with a butter knife if I’m hungry enough, I’m sure as hell not going to buy a $362 ham knife. And, who cooks ‘ Swiss Chard Malfatti with Sage Brown Butter’?
Jus’ sayin’ you might want to remember you aren’t Town and Country (don’t even get me started on those folk).
Dear Debbie Hecker,
You were the bane of my childhood. Your need to be a bully in blonde pigtails overshadowed any kindness ever shown, and, you did show quite a bit of kindness. It’s just the unkindness’s you displayed was so intentional, so well planned, so methodical, so cruel, they made the decent things pale in comparison.
For all of the lovely birthday gifts, the great sleep overs, the insistence I tag along to Disney on Ice because you had your parents buy me a ticket–all of that was wiped out when you told someone I had a major crush on them. In front of everyone. While you smiled with dead eyes. Your sharing of dolls and their clothes, of having the first color TV you let us all watch was overcome by your making sure you told everyone what the other said about them, leaving out the fact you’d started the conversations, luring your sleep over partner into a sense of comradeship, a promised friendship you promptly broke the next day, tossing us under the bus as you shared those mean things girls say about each other when they dig deep enough, always keeping yourself clear of the resulting mud splatter.
I guess it’s karma that now you are stuck caring for your mother, whom you hated even back then, with your son just out of prison for check fraud and drug dealing and being the guardian for your two grandchildren. While the rest of us are settling into older age with a comfortable sigh for the most part, you are struggling as we did back in the day of raising kids, having to be the sole support for your family, without a friend or a kind thought thrown your way.
I’d love to be there, be a friend, listen to your stories, but, those mean girl things pop back up, and I remember how you gleefully showed me your presents, and explained Santa didn’t exist, how you whispered in my best friend’s ear I thought she was spoiled, how you left me alone at the movie theater when I was 9, telling your mom I had a ride home, leaving me to walk the two miles home–then explained your way out with tears, making it look to be my fault, so much so, I was punished and you praised for trying to find me.
Yeah. Good luck with that misery now. Karma takes it’s pound of flesh.
Your W00T-Off is the best. One day, I’ll win the W00T Bag O’Crap!! One day!!
Dear Surviving Parent,
Please just tell me what you want for Christmas. I don’t need the usual dose of Passive/Aggressive Lists, where you mention something, then, say, “Oh, I don’t really need/want that.” THEN DON’T MENTION IT!! I get all excited, thinking I’ve finally got something I can buy for the person who literally has everything, only to discover I’m still left with a blank next to your name. Making donations won’t work, because you want stuff, even at your advanced age. The year I gave you a headstone didn’t go over well, so, I’m thinking giving you an outfit to wear in your casket would be a flop, too. Why can’t you be like your sister, Aunt Lee? Why???
Once again, the kids and I will struggle to find you a gift, you’ll shake the package, peel back a corner, do your best to try and find out what it is before the holiday (and, should you succeed, pout because you don’t have a surprise), causing us to have to hide things in better places than I would hide presents when the kids were small, and, in that opening moment, we’ll all hold our breath (and our coffee) waiting to hear, “Oh.” and the tone in which it is said, with the hope it’ll be a happy one.
I swear, SP, this year, it’s gonna be a good “Oh.” and I’m gonna win!
Thank you for putting up with me for another year. You are my life. You are the best thing I’ve done in life. Thank you for your humor, your kindness, your acceptance of who I am, your patience with the world, your love of movies-one-watches-to-get-out-tears (can we say ‘Billy Elliot’?). Thank you for saying and getting it when I say, “You’re killing me, Smalls.” Thank you for still loving Name Redacted–it shows the depth of your compassion.
You two (and the SIL) rock.
With love and appreciation,