Ho Down at the Country Club (A Christmas Tale)

Nope I do not mean hoedown (thanks spellcheck, ya smart arse). I will get to that part in a minute, but first a little context, okay? Last Saturday night was Alex’s annual managers work Christmas do, which is always held at the local country club. Obviously we are not members of the club. I went there a few times in high school before formal dances and once I sneaked in with some friends who thought it would be fun to steal their dad’s golf carts and take them for a spin ( they were right, it was quite fun), and for the occasional work related functions over the years, but that’s about it. I have always been somewhat fascinated by the whole idea of a country club though. I can’t understand the point of being a part of something like that. Maybe that’s why God decided to not make me rich. He knew it would be wasted on me. On the other hand, I spent many years being the dorkiest kid in the hood, so possibly He wasn’t thinking of that at all.

Anyway, I was really looking forward to the Christmas party this year because it is a chance to get all dressed up and festive and I really actually like my husbands co-workers. Last year was a lot of fun. I got the perfect amount of drunk without getting too drunk, meaning, I got drunk enough to sing a karaoke duet of “Love Shack” with Alex, but not drunk enough to get sick or slutty. That was the effect of two glasses of white zinfandel. I know there are plenty of people who vividly recall holding my teenaged legs in the air for countless impressive keg stands back in high school, but something has gone horribly wrong in the interim twenty years. I have no tolerance for alcohol whatsoever anymore (which will be a popular recurring theme in this blog, no doubt.) Maybe it has something to do with my hermitism and the fact that I rarely drink these days, or maybe its the daily medication which comes with the warning “May cause dizziness or drowsiness. Alcohol intensifies effect.” It’s probably that one. Outwardly I may be imbibing a cute social cocktail. Inwardly I’m getting cross-faded like a fucking frat boy. You see witty banter, and obligatory foot in the mouth repartee. I feel strobe lights, slurs, and dub-step.

So this year, we were running behind as usual and entirely missed the pre-party meal at a local Mexican food place. Which sucks ass because I was seriously craving some cheese enchiladas (I always am, honestly). It wasn’t until we arrived and Alex started the whole “This is the right place, right? Is this the right place?” that I realized I hadn’t eaten anything but a quick Snickers bar in the car like four hours previously and my blood sugar was getting a bit subterranean. As I hobbled through the pot holes of the parking lot on wobbly ankles that are no longer used to heals, we made our usual pact to have a look around and if either of us wanted to leave, we’d do the rounds and then go out to eat instead. I was mostly concerned at that point, that there wouldn’t be any food or that we wouldn’t see anyone we wanted to spend the evening chatting with. I was not expecting to waltz through the doors and smack dab into a large group of my old high school classmates, looking like a J. Crew ad in snuggly sweaters, jeans and boots. I always kinda figured that if the world was in fact littered with wormholes and time warps and what not, that it would totally be my luck to fall into one eventually. I never for one second entertained the possibility that I would some night, nearing the end of 2014, innocently open the doors to the country club club-house and happen upon the Christmas season of 1992!

I cast a quick nonchalant glance over my shoulder to see if “The Ghost of Christmas Past” was benevolently watching over the scene but instead (Thank God!) spotted my husbands boss and her partner (both in cute jeans and boots, I might add) cheerfully waiving us over to the bar where I was presented with a glass of wine the size of my unusually large head. Obviously, I was genuinely grateful at having been sucked back into the present before the panic attack kicked in. Equally obvious (to me at least) was the fact that we would soon be leaving to get some much-needed grub as I clearly could not be expected to hang around, looking desperate and over-dressed in a black lace dress and vintage costume jewellery ensemble at what was clearly a casual, boots and jeans affair. I began gulping my giant wine in anticipation of a hasty departure only to discover that my husband had turned inexplicably traitorous in regards to our recent parking lot pact. When I hissed at him from the corner of my mouth that we seriously needed to get the hell out of here seeing as he failed to inform me the dress code had changed for this years soiree, he simply replied that I looked “beautiful” and pretended to be unable to comprehend what the problem was! I refrained from mariticide only by sucking still harder at my huge ass wine and by removing half of my lovely accessories while chain-smoking on the veranda that over looks the golf course. Eventually I ran out of Altoids to snack on and decided to wander inside in search of something edible and that is when I discovered I no longer had the option of a quick get-away because my husband still hasn’t learned to drive in America and I was now what would be classified as “tipsy” as well as minty fresh.

It took a plate of cheesecake and a few rounds of Craps (it was a casino themed party) to get me back into shape for my escape, but the minute I felt as though I could safely drive, we pretended to head for the bar but kept on walking straight out the door. Perhaps I was feeling a bit giddy at the thought of finding some real food at last or (more likely) I was still suffering the effects of my dinner of wine and breath mints, because somehow I managed to completely miss the five-inch step directly in front of me where someone had jauntily parked a fricking golf cart. I noticed the carts cute little baby tire only as it began flying toward my face (actually vice versa) and with catlike reflexes I thrust one gaudily be-ringed hand out to catch myself on the tiny vehicle only to discover it was slippery with dew or frost or whatever the name is for the most slippery substance known to woman kind! Not wishing to fall to my death at such a bizarre local, I used my hitherto unrecognized ninja skills to maneuver myself into a position in which I was still relatively upright and braced on the hood of the cart. That is when stage two of the avalanche that is me began and there was nothing left to grasp for but air and ground. I would not be defeated! I grasped for those with all my might! Somehow the slipping and sliding continued despite the fact that I had landed at least once. I felt like Alice in her damn rabbit hole, falling and falling for fucking ever! As I watched the scant contents of my tiny adorable bag roll around on the treacherous ground before me, I realized things had gotten too surreal. I was no longer embarrassed or fearful of dying from a broken neck. I was simply curious as to whether or not the entire collapse of my personage would ever end, and I vaguely hoped my gorgeous pumps were ok. Finally I found myself legs akimbo, flashing a belated SOS with my knock off Spanx from Wal-Mart into the eyes of my startled and terribly alarmed husband who, unaware of the slipperiness involved in my spill was under the dread impression that I had suffered a sudden and massive stroke and had lost control of all the muscles on the left side of my body. So I honestly can’t blame him for the hesitation and blink of surprise when I said simply, “Help me pick this shit up and let’s get the hell out of here before someone comes outside!” I was actually quite cheered by his reaction as there are very few things in this world more hilarious than a highly alarmed proper Englishman (unless it’s an over dressed middle-aged woman flipping over a fucking golf cart).

On the way home we decided to just grab a hamburger and fries from Dairy Queen and it wasn’t until I got home and changed into my usual uniform of pyjama pants and baggy sweatshirt that I started to feel the scuffs and bruises on both sides of my body leaving me to wonder if perhaps some cartwheel action had been involved in the whole golf cart from hell incident. Alex couldn’t really be sure as he was suffering the effects of shock.

Over all it was a pretty good night out for us. We did forget to takes pics so I tried to get some Mary Kate-esque hangover shots in Alex’s Christmassy tie, the next day, but instead wound up with a slew of the kind of embarrassing selfies my daughter will eventually stumble across and tease me relentlessly over for all eternity. I have included one below.

 

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I hope everyone else is having such a lovely, eventful December and I will continue my promised “tips” series very soon!

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Trailer Trash Holiday Tips (Part 1) and a Holly Jolly Contest to Boot!

In keeping with holiday tradition, we have made our first visit to the ER of the season. My daughter (as usual) has fallen ill just in time for the local Christmas parade. The parade is her personal specialty. She has a near perfect record, since the age of four when she got an ear infection on the night she was supposed to walk in the parade with her dance class. In the spirit of sibling rivalry, her younger brother has an equally impressive history of being sick for the holidays, a Christmas gift passed down from yours truly. I have been sick, injured, pregnant or taking care of  a sick child or two, ever since the fateful Christmas when I was partially eaten alive by a very large German Shepard at the age of three. So that is why this post is getting out a little late (again). We have been busy with family Christmas traditions, damn it! To make it up to you all I have devised an exciting Yuletide contest* (details below)! Anyway, while in the waiting room at the hospital, this past visit, I found several old holiday edition magazines. Luckily I had my “big bag” and was able to fit them all inside with no problem (Merry Christmas to me!) I have been reading the tips and advice on gift giving and special-moments-with-the-family making while my daughter has been hogging the laptop all week (because she’s sick and she broke her own laptop). There are some seriously cute ideas out there but the more I read the more I get the feeling that you’re supposed to have a shit load of cash to have an awesome Christmas! For instance, one article suggests “keeping extra wrapped gifts on hand, in case someone unexpected shows up”. It actually recommends “small boxes of Godiva chocolates because guests of all ages will be pleased with it”. Well, damn. I should hope so! While we’re at it, we should hand out Christmas cards with $1,000 bills inside to the people who clean our houses, breed our miniature horses and toil in our money gardens, Dahling. I mean, it’s a lovely idea. And I am totally doing shit like that when I get rich, but in the mean time, my holiday budget is based entirely around a couple of letters to Santa and if I’m able to chisel a nice little dent in those puppies, I will consider it a Holly Jolly Success! Luckily, I have come up with some happy holiday tips that anyone can use, even if you are broke (or half eaten)! I will be sharing these (Ho Ho Ho)w to’s over the course of several posts throughout December and will do my best to get each tip to you in the (st.) nick of time to actually be useful this year!

1. Do not be flattened by a white elephant stampede!!

The “white elephant exchange” originally meant “bring something you already have lying around that you don’t want or need” However, since this tradition sprang to life in the 90’s like the worlds most annoying Frosty the snowman….If Frosty were a many-headed hydra that would not fucking die, it has become synonymous with “crappy gift that you have to go buy for $5-$10″. Now you’re probably thinking, “that’s not too bad”! But between work, friends, family, church, clubs and other organizations for yourself, your husband and your kids, you might be doing 10-20 of these things (if you have a large family) in half a month! I suck at math, but even I can tell that’s like a fucking video game and a pair of skinny jeans off the old Santa lists! The solution is simple though, Just keep up with the gift you end up with after the first shin-dig and use it as your gift for the next one (lather and repeat). Be sure to wrap it up nicely each time and mix them around amongst the family. Instruct your kids ahead of time to not get attached and for gods sake not to open the damn thing (the packaging not the gift wrap, duh)! Convince them it’s the actual point of the game (your future children just need to be raised with this belief from the start)! Bonus points to anyone who can snag one in a cute bag that can be reused for an actual present later! Landing something that can be fobbed off on Aunt Peggy come Christmas day? TRIPLE HOME RUN TOUCH DOWN, BABY!

In my next post, I will tell you how to be truly gifted at re-gifting! I will be posting more than once a week between now and Christmas so I can get all the Holiday goodies in without making anyone’s ADD ache (hopefully).

*Now, for the Christmassy Contest I told you about!

You can win the festive, light-up, hand-made,”Do You See What I See?” holiday corsage from the pics below, by sharing this blog (particularly this post) on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media thingies (just click on the do-dad at the bottom of this post). Then leave a comment telling me you shared it, along with your name or whatever you want to be called. I will put all the names it a Santa hat a week from today and if I choose yours, I will let you know in a reply to your comment and we can work out how I can go about mailing it to you! It’s that easy! Even a misfit toy could do it!

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Bonus tip: One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is by wearing festive holiday clothes and accessories! Happy Holidays, Y’all! xoxoxox

So Long Novembeard!

It is nearly the end of the month and I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am that at last, the billions of tiny puncture wounds on my tender bits (I mean my lips and cheeks, gutter-brain…on my FACE! I am praying for y’all.) can finally begin to heal! My husband (Alex) has even agreed to shave off his dangerous chin needles a couple of days early! Heading off impetigo like a BOSS, you guys! I just want everyone to understand that I too have suffered in the name of Prostate and Testicular Cancer Awareness, because I am going to have to (regretfully) decline participation in the upcoming FANuHAIRy (which I would have called FebPUBEruary, but no one asked me) festivities, as I am already committed to scoring the BIG box of ‘Ferrero Roche’ on Valentines Day. Naturally, the angry feminist inside me is shaking her head in disapointment but I’m sorry. I’ve been planning this ever since last February, when I discovered it is entirely possible to survive on a diet of chocolate for an entire week, as long as you have enough chocolate. I mean, maybe, I could invest in some sparkly clips or combs, a little glitter…but no. I just can’t risk it, folks. I will celebrate JanuHAIRy instead. Who’s with me?

Speaking of things I will not be participating in this year, Happy Black Friday everyone! I should probably make it clear that I am not boycotting Black Friday because of any noble anti-materialism/consumerism reason, It is simply a matter of not having any money. Also I prefer the soothing, familiar buzz of caffeine and nicotine, to the rather harsher buzz of main-lined adrenaline.  I tried it once, a few years ago, and just ended up getting my feelings hurt because of all the people yelling and crashing into me with their over-flowing hell carts. I remember ducking into an empty aisle (literally empty, except for a tumbleweed and a gnawed off human hand with Xbox packaging caked beneath its splintered nail nubs) to escape this particularly aggressive gang of librarian/church lady types. And as I stood there gasping for breath and attempting to staunch the bleeding, I happened to notice a slightly crushed and battered, “Sponge Bob Edition: Ants in The Pants”, wedged between layers of collapsed shelving. It was the closest I had managed to get to any of the sale items from the moment I’d gotten swept into the fray upon entering the shop and the taunts of “Get outta the way slow poke! And “Don’t you ‘excuse me’, me, Missy!” were still fresh in my mind when something inside me broke and I was all “I WILL NOT LEAVE THIS PLACE WITH NOTHING!” I didn’t care that it was on exactly no ones Christmas list that I knew or that it was somewhat mangled and not all that much of a bargain at $10. I pried it out of its prison of twisted metal, popped my collar and forced my way through the crowds, scrambling over the bodies of the fallen. At last, I got to the end of the queue where I passed the next two hours, casting smug glances at the losers who had to line up behind me. When I finally got to my car, I lit a Pall Mall with trembling hands and laughed like a maniac** before starting the hour-long drive home. Somewhere along the way, I experienced a world-class adrenaline crash and found myself unable to enjoy family game nights for months to come. I would probably do it again if it weren’t for the lack of funds though, because on second thought, that shit was kinda rad.

By the way, Thanksgiving was AWESOME this year. I have so much to be thankful for*! The food was delicious as usual. My dad and step-mom and youngest brother got to come down, even though they had originally said they wouldn’t be able to. We had some nice catching up and everyone was in a great mood. The family love was totally flowing at Casa de Good. Also everyone visibly relaxed when I announced that I didn’t really think any of them where assholes.  The only person who did get a little assholey was the cat. As it turns out, turkey is like crack for cats. I hope all of you had a fantastic, asshole-free Thanksgiving as well!

I have a ton of Christmas themed posts lined up for December that I can’t wait to share with you guys! be sure to check in around the end of each week as I teach you how to get through the Holiday season on a real life budget. Not an “I’m so broke I’ll have to save my Starbucks cash to buy those designer shoes” budget. More of an “I’m so broke I’m thinking of learning to fashion some shoes from an old tire” budget. I have a ton of festive hobo tricks up the sleeve of this ugly sweater! We might even take a stroll down ‘Christmas Memory Lane’, with a special emphasis on yule-tide-near-death-experiences! We shall see, my friends. We. Shall. See.

Finally, as I’m sure you noticed already, I decided to keep the cussing’ in this particular post down to the barest of minimums in an effort to balance out the plethora of pubes in the first paragraph. That is called being classy, people. It’s a good first step in the right direction toward staying the hell off Santa’s naughty list, which is something I would totes recommend to anyone who can manage such a hefty undertaking. Honestly, I know it’s possible if we put our minds to it. I believe in you. If you fall short though, don’t beat yourself up. That’s why the baby Jesus made wine, so we can feel better about ourselves when we screw up. And on that note, I’m going dark (which is what Alex said to me when I told him about my glitter pubes idea. It means “I’m going to put on head phones and curl up in the fetal position facing away from you now, so please stop talking.”) ! Have an awesome December everyone!  I’m sorry this post is getting out a little late. I will try to do better next time! Be there or be square!

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* This morning after I finished eating some pecan pie for breakfast, my dad and step-mom came over and fricking GAVE me an SUV !!! (<- Officially the most posh sentence I have ever uttered that didn’t start with “The last time I went to England”) BEST.THANKSGIVING.EVER!!!!

**EDIT: After I posted this, the following conversation occurred with my niece on Facebook :

HER: ” and laughed maniacally.”

ME:  no. like a maniac. maniacal laughter would have implied something much more sinister and mastermind-esque. I laughed exactly like a maniac. with drool and a hacking cough.

HER: Yep. I misread. I think maniacal is one of my fav words. …. or “cylindrical”

ME: it is nice, I wish i had laughed maniacally.