Today is the American Thanksgiving, but here in Canada it’s just Thursday. It’s kind of special because my kids don’t have school tomorrow, but I do have to go for Parent/Teacher interviews. If past year’s interviews are to be used as my yardstick, I expect to hear a lot of this: “Keep on keepin’ on.”
My kids are excellent students, and know how to fly under the radar. That’s not bragging; it’s disbelief. They’re smart – don’t get me wrong about that – it’s more that I can’t believe they didn’t fall into the genetic trap my family lays down for its members: make them smart, give them a good (albeit twisted) sense of humour, and then put them in a room with a captive audience. Oh, and make sure they have a zero bullshit tolerance and maybe have them over think everythingsinglethingever. Result: We usually quit (or are asked to leave) by high school.
But so far, so good.
Anyway, I’m not well this week (fluish something) and while I am on the mend, I have no energy for a Tip Thursday other than this:
Tips For Not Getting Sick this Cold and Flu Season:
- Take your vitamins.
- Avoid excessive sugar.
- Don’t lick doorknobs.
That should do it.
So just like the big TV networks on a holiday, here’s a re-run for you. If you’re celebrating today, have a great Thanksgiving. And please; if you’re shopping tomorrow on something called “Black Friday,” don’t get trampled. “She Died Saving $7 on a Bagel Toaster” is not something you want on your tombstone.
(originally run on December 16, 2010)
According to my Advil Advent calendar, Christmas is just over a week away. Until now I felt that I had everything under control in the holiday planning department – most of the gifts we need have been bought, wrapped, and are under the tree. My annual manifesto Christmas letter is almost complete; I’m just holding off with some of the details until I see how the judge makes his ruling. I’ve written my final exams for the semester and with the kids still in school for the rest of the week I finally have some time for leisurely pursuits like my annual leg shaving.
There are just a few people we still hadn’t bought gifts for, so PM and I headed out this afternoon, determined to buy everything we needed today. But after all the shopping I’ve been doing recently, I was exhausted after half an hour into the trip.
(Actually it was probably the episode earlier at a Big Box Home Store that sapped my energy. I’m sorry, but when there are more than 6 people in a check-out line and the cashier is interviewing each customer and counting out their change in pennies I cannot be held responsible for my actions. I’m also thinking that most of my shopping will soon have to be done primarily online for legal reasons.)
We decided to be brave and go to the Price Club. By the time we had walked the 40 acres from our parking spot, I was done. PM and I made plans to split the list and meet after an hour. The next thing I knew I was being woken up by a lady in a smock poking me in the face with a tray of European cheese samples. I took her tray and went to find PM. He was looking at electric saunas.
“Hi there!” He was cheerful. “Look what I found while you were napping on the doggie beds.”
I peered into his Hyundai sized shopping cart and said, “I was tired. That car tire sized wheel of Gouda made me drowsy.” I picked through the stuff in the cart. “Are these the gifts?”
“Um…yeah. Yeah; they are.”
“Huh. Who are the pickled asparagus and sledgehammer for?”
“We’re playing Secret Santa at work.”
“Hmm. What about the 40-pack of mousetraps, 2 qt. jar of Cheez Whiz and the 2011 Monster Truck Encyclopedia?”
“Lucky lady. And what’s that?” I asked, pointing to something at the bottom of the cart. “Everything in this cart is for us, isn’t it?”
“I got some pancake mix…” he started.
“That’s a bag of powdered drywall spackle!”
“…and a frying pan that makes snowflake shaped pancakes!”
“For the spackle?”
“If it’s shaped like a snowflake and covered with maple syrup the kids aren’t even going to notice.” He seemed confident.
“Did you find Rock Band 3 for the Wii?” I asked.
“No; but are you sure the kids even want it?” He didn’t seem convinced.
“Absolutely! Yes! Kind of. Probably. I mean, when I mentioned it they didn’t say no…exactly.”
“You told me they were begging for it.”
“Because I think it will be good for them. They need the guitar practice.”
“The Rock Band guitar is an electronic stick with push buttons on it.”
I pressed on. “Regardless, They should master the bass pedal and high hat on the drum kit. Plus, I think they are ready to understand the pressures of the road.”
“Jeni…Jeni, put the cheese down. You are never going to ‘go’ again if you don’t lay off the dairy. And you know that you’re not really in a band, right? It’s a game…something you do for fun – like karaoke or home dentistry. And you really need to stop referring to your minivan as ‘the tour bus.’ I should tell you that people are starting to talk.”
When we left he had to pull his toque down to cover the snowflake shaped red mark on his forehead.