Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lesson Learned

It’s only since I began dating Susan that I was obliged to adopt the tradition of Christmas stockings.

As it was explained to me, the contents of these stockings typically lack the excitement and festive appeal of other Christmas gifts. They tend to group themselves under the rather unfortunate heading, “practical things” and include deodorant, razor blades, shaving cream, socks, keychains, floss or a toothbrush.

Fortunately, to break up the monotony, the Christmas stocking may, on occasion, include candy, or a chocolate orange.

I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but I can, and do, buy those items for myself, as required.

I say, why bother?

To pull them out of my Christmas stocking verges on pointless and I’m afraid I cannot, for the life of me, express the same appreciation for deodorant as I have reserved for real gifts. To have to shop for "practical things" for someone else and then, individually wrap them before stuffing them into a stocking, is downright chore-like!

Really? They have to be individually wrapped; each bottle of hand sanitizer? I’ve got things to do!

This year, I asked my wife whether we might forego the madly mundane Christmas stocking. I perhaps, too honestly, admitted the only item I looked forward to finding in my stocking was the chocolate orange.

Here's a look at the contents of my Christmas stocking this year.

Santa's sense of humour sears. Don't doubt each of the different flavors of chocolate orange came individually wrapped! I had no idea there were so many! My appreciation for the Christmas stocking has grown considerably and, for a while anyway, I’ll be quietly eating my words.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Settling My Nerves

At some point this morning, I awoke to the sounds of someone moving things around our dark room. With help from the light in the hallway, Susan was searching for a boot. The pants she had sent for dry cleaning are ideally styled for these particular boots, but she could only find one. No other boots would do.

She planned to wear the dry-cleaned pants and these boots to her company Christmas party tonight.

Eventually, her search moved to another room and I drifted back to sleep; actually, it was more collapsed, than drifted!

I got up much later this morning, ready for a fine Friday, when I noticed one boot on the floor in front of me, with a note beside it. My first instinct was to immediately throw on a heavy coat, wig, dark glasses and set off for some distant continent.

The note didn’t even include the word “please”! My mission, should I freakishly choose to accept it, was find the dang boot! There’s no way to accurately evaluate the psychological and physiological stress I experienced as I hesitantly began searching, by process of elimination.

Here was a seminal, defining moment; a chance for a common man to emerge hero, or zero. I, generally, steer clear of moments like these!

Fortunately, I found the boot.

Susan called a couple of hours later to inform me she had gone out and purchased a skirt! She, evidently, assumed, having married an obvious zero, I would not be able to find the specific boot. Apparently, she was certain I would fold under the pressure of crunch time.

Cooly, I told her I had found the boot and explained to her exactly where I had located it. Thinking I was off the hook, free and clear, she casually informed me the dry-cleaned pants don’t only go with the boots, they also go with a particular black leather jacket and belt!

As my breathing sped-up, the trees of the forest closed-in around me; I was not out of the woods yet! How stupid of me not to have anticipated such extraneous variables. Nervously, I searched a couple of closets and found the coat and, a few minutes later, through beads of sweat, attentive scaning and dollops of blind luck, I even located the belt!

Toss me the hero hat, I’m still settling my nerves.