Skip to main content

Christmas Through the Ages

            We’re about to go over to the “mainland” for our Christmas shopping trip. Along with wrapping paper, tape, and double A batteries, we’ll be looking for great deals on toilet paper and Scrubbing Bubbles. This is what we’ve come to.
            Periodic trips off island to eat Big Macs and buy Tide. And the excitement that comes from this whole thing is akin to earlier feelings about a ZZ Top concert or a book signing someplace. It’s pretty darn thrilling.
            We have to call the Steamship Authority to make a reservation to take the car over to Cape Cod. This comes to $80 for me, Chris, Dan, and the car. This is why we don’t leave very often. If we did the same thing in the middle of high summer it would be close to $200. And people wonder why I’ve taken up crocheting.
            So this is what will happen:
            We’ll get up at the butt crack of dawn to make a 7 a.m. ferry on a Sunday. We’ll leave early for the boat because I will need a coffee from the Black Dog before we get underway. Dan will have no part of going up to the top deck to watch the trip across Vineyard Sound. He’ll prefer to sit in the back seat and guzzle his Black Dog coffee. Chris — come hell or high water — will watch most of this trip from the outside top deck. His lips might turn blue but he’s no quitter. And going on four years now, that view is always amazing no matter if it’s our first trip across or our most recent.
            Then we’ll disembark and make our way to Falmouth and then we’ll probably head to Hyannis first, the big city of Cape Cod. The mall is there and the Bath and Body Works. I stock up on foamy soap there once a year. And I’ve been instructed that Cate needs white tea and ginger everything. Danny loves to open all the containers in the store and take a big sniff.
            I might want to look at Old Navy next. I just like that I can get good sweats for Dan there because he only ever wears plaid shorts and dark sweats from Old Navy. He doesn’t have a lot of options in the closet and it is winter and he’s down to two pairs of sweats that he’ll even consider wearing. And sometimes I like to buy Chris one of their fleece pullovers. And, okay, I look in the men’s department for roomy sweaters for myself.
            By this time we’ve either noticed the Fanny Farmer chocolate store or maybe the Dunkin’ Donuts at the food court. There will be a stop for something by this point.
            I’ll persevere through American Eagle only because Cate swears that it’s the only place that sells jeans that fit her. We’ll browse through the store and I will come up empty handed because my idea of Cate’s taste is completely jaded by my assumptions of what she should wear. I want her to wear jewel tones, put her hair up, and wear a flouncy skirt. She wants to wear skinny jeans with a black shirt and spiked boots. Chris however knows this and always picks the Christmas present Cate likes the most. I should just leave him in the store and move on.
            I know exactly what to get for James. I know the form-fitting sweater in just the right color. I know the slim fit jeans in the right size and shade of blue. I know his underwear size. I know what books he likes. And I know he’s grateful for anything he gets, which I appreciate. With Cate it’s harder because she’s very in tune with trends and what looks best on her. I tried to share a couple of pairs of my black shoes with her just tonight when she was getting ready for a Christmas party. Result was that they were both “square toed.” Apparently no one has worn square-toed shoes since 1996. She didn’t take me up on the offer, and I have to admit she left the house looking like a million bucks. Maybe I should really consider a whole day where she just makes me over. It would never last though. I’d like the day but in the end, I’ll put on Chris’ flannel shirt and some sweatpants.

            It’s a lot easier to be Santa when your kids are young. Surprise and delight everywhere. As they get older it’s harder to surprise them or bring a smile to their face. But then again, when you do, it’s even more rewarding.


Popular posts from this blog

I might need a price check

So my husband Chris works three days a week in America, and I’m trying not to take this personally.
He’s commuting Monday mornings on the 6:30 ferry over to Cape Cod, where he works at an upholstery shop in Hyannis, the Mattydale of Cape Cod, for all you Syracuse readers. I stay here and hold down the fort, cooking up a cocktail of frozen pizzas and mac n’ cheese weeknights for my poor Danny. Chris comes back late Thursday night, all giddy over toilet paper prices and quotes on cheaper rent.
No, no, no, and more no I say. I can’t possibly leave all this off-season quiet and high-priced laundry detergent. There’s no convincing me to leave no matter how many times Chris points out that there’s a Trader Joe’s “over there.”
I want to stay here until I miraculously win on one of those $5 scratchers and can buy my own house here. The difference being that I feel confident that I will someday scratch my way to freedom while Chris thinks we’d be smarter to look into a nice rental “over there.…

Getting well takes baby steps

So I’ve had what you could call a case of the pneumonia. It was not pleasant. And to top it off it happened in San Antonio, Texas. Like I wasn’t sweating before the fever.
I was there to see my niece Michelle, who by the way kept asking me, “Are you going to write about this?” which is funny because she’s a writer too. I naturally said, “Oh no, of course not.” And here we are.
Thinking back, the best part of that trip teeters between meeting my two great-nephews, Oliver and Isaac, and having a couple of beers with their Yaya, my sister, who I haven’t had beers with in decades. Like I said, it’s a toss-up. There’s also the fact that I got to spend time with my niece’s husband Alex. He’s a hardcore military guy. He teaches other military guys how to be military policemen. I’m not going to gamble on writing anything about him. He’s from Wisconsin though, which I like. And he likes to cook, which I also like.
I thought to myself before I ever left my nice cocoon of Martha’s Vineyard to tra…

Who's got the soap?

I’m wondering at what age I’m allowed to hire a personal care attendant, covered by insurance of course. I haven’t reached my toenails in two and half years and the other day in the shower I seriously considered whether or not it was worth it to soap up below the waist. It hurts when I go anywhere past my kneecaps.
I’m okay with gray hair; that’s been coming in since I was in my 30s and I could still reach my ankles. It’s the burgeoning mountain under my man-sized T-shirts, just below my sagging breasts, that really gets to me. I want to know when exactly I stopped looking like I was 20, because it feels like yesterday. I look in the mirror strictly from the shoulders up these days.
It’s not completely depressing. I know there are about a billion other women in the same boat I’m in. I love the women who wear whatever the hell they want. Doesn’t matter if they’ve got those top-heavy grandma arms or busted veins mapping their legs. I say go for it ladies. I’m gonna get there someday.…