Happy Freaking Holidays from the Drobicks
It’s been awhile, my friends, due to the fact that yours truly is now fully and gainfully EMPLOYED!! I get a paycheck and a desk and email and EVERYTHING! Great company, good people, love it. That’s the good news that I’m not going to elaborate on, because really, how funny is that? Other than the fact that I got severe papercut injury while filing, kind of already cementing me as the dumb girl. Also? Most of the people I work with are younger than me and were horrified to learn I was born the in ’70s and routinely say things like, “Yeah, she’s older, even older than you.” Ack.
(EDITED: I am now unemployed, again. And I’m not such a huge fan of that company anymore. The two may or may not be related.)
No, the purpose of this one is to let you in on the kind of good, old fashioned family fun that transpires when we try and salvage some of what has been a pretty shitty year by focusing on good things like family and friends in this special time of year. And while we are so, so lucky to have the family we have and are blessed in many ways, as we all know, luck is generally not on our side, and trying to keep the glass half full generally results in someone filling it with tequila and drinking it.
Monday, December 22
“Good morning! How are you?” Tony. “I feel like shit.” (This same conversation happens every single morning for the next seven.) “Well, of course you do! It’s almost Christmas.” I refer you to our first Christmas as a married couple, when Tony’s grandma died and we both got a violent stomach flu on Christmas night, leaving us unable to attend the wake. He thinks he has a cold.
Tuesday, December 23
Cold has morphed into a toothache in the same tooth that struck him down our last night in Vegas last June. I spend the entire night trying to fashion homemade scrapbooks for our families while making a peach cobbler (henceforth known as the bane of my existence from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day. How I rue the day I offered to make the cobbler last year. How was I to know that it would become my signature contribution, resulting in not only being covered in dough and gpiled up dirty dishes when I come home, but a lifetime of lugging a 400 pound cast iron pot around all throughout the holidays?) I dismiss Kelly’s offer of help, even though she is amazing at scrapbooks and produces them in very little time. No, I want to do it myself. The result is exactly the same as when a three year old insists on getting dressed by herself and ends up wearing a gauze dress and Burger King crown. You wouldn’t think cutting paper in a straight line would be so fucking difficult, especially when your best friend lends you her paper cutter. And thanks to my family for being so nice about it.
Wednesday, December 24, Christmas Eve
Toothache has evolved into throbbing, unbearable pain that makes it impossible to eat, swallow, smile, or run to the store for more paper and stickers. I almost get into a throw down argument at where else, Wal-Mart, with a big fat lady who’s too fucking lazy to walk, instead zooming around on one of the store’s scooters when she, going approximately 40 mph, knocks into my cart and tells me to watch where I’m going. Now, I’ve mentioned my neighborhood Wal-Mart before, correct? Anyone venture to guess what it was like on CHRISTMAS EVE?
Return home to husband prone on couch. Shove him into the bedroom to lie down because I have mad stickering, cutting, and wrapping to do, and I just can’t do it while he’s moaning. Finish in record time, shower, and get ready for Xmas Eve at my sister in law’s house. While Tony’s in the shower, I research home remedies for toothache. A quick note, if you are ever struck down with a toothache with no hope of dental care for two days, all of the home remedies Google retrieves do not work, no matter what the health food fanatics say. We tried a black pepper paste, which only succeeded in making a mess, make Tony want to puke, and use up all of my pepper. (Thank God it’s not required for peach cobbler.)
What DOES work? A fifth of Jack Daniels, gargled and swallowed at intermittent points throughout the evening. Cause nothing says Christmas like driving down 294 while your husband swills Jack out of a plastic bag. Anyhow, the rest of Christmas Eve is nice, good times with the family, Tony’s pleasantly drunk and not reeling from pain. We exchange our “Dirty Santa” gifts (version of a White Elephant.) Tony and I are the only ones to steal, EVEN THOUGH THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT AND PEOPLE SHOULDN’T GET MAD ABOUT IT. I receive a mini food processor (yay!). Tony gets a car wash and a box of chocolates, which he trades to Mary’s husband for three Tylenol 3s. No one touches the cobbler. We return home for the first time in our ten years together to our own house for Christmas morning, indulging in “A Christmas Story” and a midnight snack of bacon and peanut butter and crackers with cinnamon.
Christmas Day begins relatively stress free. I let Tony sleep in, periodically checking to make sure he’s still breathing despite the whiskey and painkillers I’ve been shoving down his throat. Get to my parents to find that my sister has claimed the good bedroom with the awesome mattress that feels like sleeping on a cloud, delegating us to the creepy bedroom where it’s cold and the bed is approximately six feet off the ground, even though she has the exact same mattress at home and ours is more like sleeping on a slab of slightly softened concrete. But I digress.
The plan is for my dad to go pick up my aunt from her rehab facility (no, not that kind of rehab, she recently had a stroke and I’m not going to elaborate because there really isn’t anything funny about it, other than her son in law putting all of her food on her left hand side cause she can’t really see on that side so well anymore, and she’s going to be just fine, thank God,) so she can relax a little before my Grandma gets there. The plan is Sheila will get there around 1230 or 1, then we’ll call Grandma to start getting ready so Dad can go there to pick her up.
The reason she needs to relax before Grandma gets there is because Grandma is 87, and while she is still luckily able to live in assisted living instead of a nursing home, her short term memory is zero and she tends to have the exact same conversation with you fifteen times in a row. The plus to this is it’s a perfectly lucid and rational conversation and we love her and are very thankful she is able to be with us on these special occasions. The down side is, no matter how much you love someone, it can be somewhat nerve wracking to be told fifteen times in as many minutes about the man at church that told her she looks like she’s sixty.
1 PM. Grandma’s missing.
Now, this isn’t as worrying as it might sound at first glance. We’ve learned that sometimes she “hides” which I suspect isn’t really hiding but, “Hey, I’m 87 and sometimes it takes me awhile to go to the bathroom, you know?”
1:20 PM. Grandma’s still missing. Other family has arrived.
1:45 PM. Still no answer at Grandma’s apartment. Now, because my mother and I share the same completely freak out and jump to the absolute worst case scenario gene, we have her dead in her bed on Christmas day. I’m nearly in tears, my mom’s freaking out. Carly and I decide just to go there and start looking.
2:00 PM. Grandma is spotted in the lobby of Alexian Village, dressed and ready to go, having completely forgotten it’s Christmas. Her first words upon entering the house, (after my dad went to go get her — if you’re counting that’s two trips for him) are, “You know, I’m so stupid, I just completely forgot it was Christmas!” She tells me when you’re 87, you sometimes have senior moments, and I reassure her that I have them at 30, nothing to be concerned about.
Spend two hours hunched over my parents’ super fabulous sink washing dishes, resulting in feeling like I got hit by a truck.
Self esteem takes a hit when, while looking through pictures from my wedding shower, upon spotting one of me in a size eight dress, gleaming blond hair, manicured nails, and forty pounds lighter (I also had giant bruises on my knees from taking a header after one too many Lites the night before, but skip that part,) my aunt exclaims, “Who is THAT?” while I’m standing right in front of her. Tries to recover when I tell her it’s me. Fails.
Self esteem takes much, much bigger hit when, while beginning my first turn at acting out charades for the requisite family game, my ten year old cousin Kevin yells out “Hippo!” before I make any movement.
December 31st, New Year’s Eve
Dentist appointment for Tony!! Yay!! Plans to go to Kelly and Pat’s in the evening. Figure Tony will receive antibiotics for raging tooth infection, some more painkillers, and night can go as planned. Receive text message that Dr. Evil apparently asked him, “Well, which one hurts?” then asked if he wanted to save the tooth. When Tony replied no, he immediately shot Novocain into his mouth and begins yanking tooth out. Apparently has to break it in half to get it out and then demands $50 copay that was not in agreement or on insurance card. Tony has to explain this through a mouth of blood because I keep asking more questions. Eventually, around 2 in the afternoon, he asks me to please stop texting him as he’s trying to rest, having had surgery in the morning. Right.
We ended up going to Pat and Kelly’s anyway, and had a great time. Woke up at 8:00 am after going to bed at 3:30 because I feel someone breathing on me. Open my eyes to see Billy, who asks me, “Aunt Court-tee, are you AWAKE?”
Yes, Billy, yes, I am. Talk to him for an hour — probably worked out well as my mental faculties were probably below his at the moment — then proceeded to immediately blow New Year’s resolution by going with Kelly and ordering $20.00 worth of food from McDonald’s.
Happy New Year everyone!!