It’s Christmas. Be Nice, Damnit!

A couple of weeks ago I was out grocery shopping with my two youngest (ages 1 and 2).  Our typical routine consists of getting those hot deals on all things processed at Aldi, then boogying over to Meijer for the fancy generic food they just don’t have at Aldi.  Nevertheless, by the time we get to check out at Meijer everyone is in a Code Red situation.  The 2-year-old is tired from running through the store, the 1-year-old probably missed his morning nap and is fighting an internal battle on whether he’s more hungry or tired.  At this point, it’s a toss-up.  There is a meltdown just around the corner.  I know it, the cashier knows it, every retired person in Bloomington-Normal shopping with us on a Thursday morning knows it.

Needless to say,  I try to make it through checkout in record time.  I place everything on the belt in a way that makes sense for bagging.  If I’m buying booze (HAHAHAHA “if”)… tenorWhen I’m buying booze, I keep it for last so I can have my ID ready. However, it doesn’t matter how prepared you are there are too many variables.  Too many things out of your control.  Those sons-a-bitches who design these stores know that stressed-out parents like me will do anything to shut their kids up in the check out lane so they fill it with candy, and toys and random shit that no one on this planet ever needs….ever.

So, the 1-year-old starts fussing because it’s feedin’ time.  The 2-year-old wants all theKung Pao miniature princess dolls that as soon as we get home, will mean jack shit.  I’m shoving every cracker I have in the diaper bag down the baby’s throat, while trying to distract the girl one with anything that won’t cost me any more money.  I get all the groceries on the belt, I’m sweating like George Costanza housing Kung Pao Chicken, and now there is someone behind us in line, which for some reason elevates my stress level.

We get all checked out.  Bags back in the cart.  Debit card swiped, then inserted because I can never remember which one it is.  At this point, my anxiety is to a max.  I still have to get everything and everyone in the car, home, out of the car, fed, and napped.  Ugh….

Then, the woman who had braved standing behind us in line looks at me and says, “Wow.  You make that look so easy.  I remember doing it, but I don’t remember it being that easy.”

BIQWWmlCQAEN7hOI almost burst into tears and hugged her.  At first, I thought “Well, Gotcha Bitch!  Cause I’m a fucking wreck!”  But I took the high road and said, “If you were in my head you wouldn’t be saying that.  But thank you very much.”

That woman, whoever she is, has no idea what she said meant to me in that moment.  When you go anywhere with little kids you feel like a pariah.  The minute you walk in you can actually hear the eye rolls.  I can’t say I blame them. Other people’s kids are annoying.  Just remember that we’re doing the best we can.

So whenever you see a mom, a dad, anyone straight up owning a stressful situation, whether it’s kid related or not, give them credit.  If you’re thinking something nice about someone, say it. It sounds so simple and yet it’s something I’ll admit I rarely do.  Why?  Shouldn’t we be lifting each other up?  Especially this time of year when everyone is stressed out, be nice.  Find the good.   You never know when you could be making someone’s day.  I know I will never forget that woman at Meijer who made all of my stress and efforts seem worth it.  She made me like everything was going to be ok, and there was nothing I couldn’t deal with.  So, whoever you are Meijer Angel, Thank You! And as for the rest of you, I know people suck but try to be nice.  Maybe they won’t suck as much.



Who Needs Christmas When There’s Thanksgiving

Nothing fills me with rage more than watching people put Christmas trees up on November 1.  I am of a rare breed who thinks that Thanksgiving is the single greatest holiday in our calendar year.  It seems as though the rest of society would beg to differ, but fuck them. What do they know?  Now sit back, shut up, and listen while I tell you why Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever.

butter a carb

First of all, Carbs.  Your argument is invalid.  It is the one day a year we celebrate, unbrazenly, those macro-nutrients we strive to avoid year round: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy. Even the vegetable get de-healthyfied: green bean casserole, corn casserole. My God, I am salivating just thinking about it. Even Christmas with all it’s hammy glory can’t compete with the salty, starchy, carby deliciousness that is Thanksgiving.

Secondly, Football.  All day.  On a Thursday.  Is there anything better than going all Kirstie Alley at the Thanksgiving table, then slipping into a turkey induced mini-coma while listening to Cris Collinsworth commentate the Detroit Lions (because they play every year for some reason) getting their asses handed to them?  Don’t bother answering because the answer is no. No, there is not anything better than that.

Thirdly, wine.  Admittedly, this is not exclusive to Thanksgiving, but honestly, there is wine 2nothing like having a bottle of nice smooth, buttery Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay with a giant turkey leg.  Yes, I said bottle. We all know you’re not surprised.

Finally, (this one might be specific to me, but it’s my blog so suck it) the Traditional Sabaduquia Thanksgiving. No, I did not sneeze mid-sentence, and no, it has nothing to do with the Flintstones. When I was growing up I spent every Thanksgiving with my dad and his family.  It was a small group. Just me, Dad, my step-mom, my uncle, aunt, grandma, and grandpa.  It was really the only time of the year we all got together. Everyone in the family had their “thing.”  My grandmother would scream at my grandfather so he could hear her.  He would, of course, turn his hearing aid down so he couldn’t hear her.  My uncle always ate white rice instead of mashed potatoes for some reason.  My aunt would always sleep for the majority of the day. God bless her with her three jobs.  My dad would count down the minutes until we were done eating and could start drinking and gambling.  And my step-mom, spent the day dodging my grandmother’s passive-aggressive comments.  The whole thing was orchestrated imperfection.  I loved every minute of it.  We would eat, gamble, drink, then eat again.  We would all stay up way too late, and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard in all my life.

My grandmother has since passed away, and my grandfather is in the hospital after a serious accident.  Since I now I have three kids, I have taken on the tradition of hosting Thanksgiving, even following my grandmother’s world-famous stuffing recipe.   I miss those days of hilarious chaos in a way I can’t even explain.  I would do anything to have them back.  Even though it will never be exactly the same, I am so happy to practice the same traditions, and introduce new ones for my family.

Thanksgiving is about pure, unadulterated, family time.  There is no tree. There are no presents. There are no over the top decorations. There are no expectation. There are no ulterior motives.  It’s about reflecting on all the things you already have, not all the things you want. It’s about spending time with the family that drives you nuts, but recognizing that what drives you nuts are the things you will miss the most when they’re not there.   It’s about creating traditions that your family will hold dear for the rest of their lives.  But mostly, it’s just about the carbs.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!