Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Horror-idays

Popular wisdom tells us that if a child is ill behaved, Santa Claus will bring him or her only coal for Christmas.  This apparently wasn't graphic enough for my parents.  When I was a little kid, they both informed me that if I were bad, the only thing Santa would bring was reindeer poop.

Incidentally, our extended family didn't grow up calling it poop.  We called it coo.  No idea why, but this lead to some embarrassing laughter from my cousins, sisters and me in grammar school when teachers informed us of the sound that doves make.

Anyway, back to reindeer coo.  One Christmas morning when I was three or four years old, I reached into my stocking, filled with breathless anticipation and the magic of the season, and what did I pull out?  A gigantic plastic pile of number two.  I screamed, immediately flashing back to each and every incident of disobedience from the previous year.  That Santa really was a stickler.  My parents laughed and laughed and thought it was hilarious, because honestly they are a pair of extremely disturbed people.  They gave me my real stocking after that, but every Christmas a little part of me still was wary that I would once again receive a hot steaming message from the man in the big red suit.  

That's a picture of sweet, innocent, adorable me when I was that age, just to drive in the point of how sick that little joke was, by the way.  You people thought I was bad with the chicken foot, but I came by it honestly.  Sadistic humor is apparently genetic.

It got worse.  When I was fourteen, I started trying to pry it out of my mom in early December what I'd be getting for the big day.  She looked at me with wide eyes and told me that we were low on cash that year and that she was down in the dumps about it, so our Christmas might be a little different this time around.  Because I am like the reincarnated Mother Teresa, I put on a brave smile and said something about material things not really mattering.  Then I started praying that the next year would be better and I'd get the Poison CD I wanted needed.

On December 25th, my sisters and I came downstairs and saw that Santa had come.  I plastered a happy expression on my face and opened my Santa sack. Inside was a handkerchief with "Happy Anniversary" embroidered on it, a VHS copy of "La Bamba," and a plastic doll head.  I held up the last gift and my mom said, cheerfully, "I think Santa wanted you to make your own doll."  I exclaimed over each present like it was the best thing I had ever seen because I am a wonderful person and didn't want to upset my poor broke Mom and Dad.

Then I looked over and saw that my sisters were opening presents that were considerably better than the offerings that were spread in front of me.  I heard muffled sounds from the living room couch and saw my parents crying with laughter and I realized that once again, I had been psychologically manipulated and damaged beyond all repair by these evil people who were entrusted to raise me to be a productive member of society.  

Not the same year, but an example of how great I am at pretending I love a gift.  Also revealing to the world that I never sleep without a nightcap.

Honestly, I am shocked that I grew up to be as normal as I am today.  I think they wanted to raise a serial killer just to make life a little more interesting.

EDIT:  My sister ordered me to update y'all on my diet progress.  I am still trucking away but did not lose or gain and weight last week.  This is pretty good considering we celebrated not only Kerry's graduation but also my best friend's birthday and had our family Christmas party.  Still cooking at home and the hip is still healing so I'm hoping to get back to the gym soon.  


  1. Your parents appear to be sick and twisted and I think I have developed a parent crush on them. LOL! Maybe one day I can torture my daughter half as well as they tortured you.

    PS - Totally love the nightcap. It was too hot in Miami for me to ever wear one. I am a little jealous.

  2. Patty, I am sure you could find a summer nightcap in California. It really is extremely ladylike to cover the head while sleeping.

  3. Ok please tell me that they were equally evil to Annie and Kerry too. Not that I want that for any child at Christmas time but seriously Tar Bear, I was/am crazy about you when I was a teenager. Whenever we came to Chicago, the first thing I wanted to do was go to Mary & Jack's house and sleepover. When you were having sleep apnea as a baby, I literally sat next to your crib and watched your breathing while you slept because there was a party going on in the rest of the house and who would know if you were in trouble? I don't think we had monitors yet. Anway, good to see that your fabulous sense of humor and talented writing are part of the results of your childhood. Now go and smack Uncle Johnny & Aunt Mary and then give them a hug from me. Merry Christmas!!

  4. I was born into the wrong family. Clearly I was meant for yours. I'm willing to give them one four-year-old if they'll let me come along for the ride, too.

  5. Haha, Jenny, you have to remember I also threw my dad's severed toe at people on our block. We have always had a very unique sense of humor, for better or for worse :)

    I remember playing "Wizard of Oz" with you guys way back when and thinking you and your sisters were so beautiful and cool and wishing I could be a glamorous teenager like you guys.

    We have to do another get-together thing soon! Merry Christmas to you and the fam.

  6. Your parents appear to be sick and twisted and I think I have developed a parent crush on them. LOL! Maybe one day I can torture my daughter half as well as they tortured you.

    PS - Totally love the nightcap. It was too hot in Miami for me to ever wear one. I am a little jealous.