Ah… Peace and Quiet

Both of my birdies have flown the coop, and some people have asked me if I am sorry my nest is now empty. I can say with all truthfulness that, no, I rather like being one of two mature adults in a large four-bedroom home. We keep it tidy, and have the bonus of having sex right out in the open whenever we want.

Ah, but that was not to last for long.

Ms. MiniD came home from the Left Coast on Sunday. I don’t know why. She hates it here, and has alienated most of her high school friends with her high jinx regarding her ex-boy du jour. (That’s because her best friend is now with ex-BDJ. It appears the two were commiserating during my daughter’s dumpage of the boyfriend, and ended up together. I say, bully for you! And yes, my daughter is mad at me too, for thinking that.) She has a Left Coast boyfriend, but his mother doesn’t like her. I’m thinking the shelf life on that relationship is coming due soon.

I wanted to make something nice for dinner Sunday, something benign that everyone likes, so I chose a half of pork loin. It’s the new white meat, and I can make gravy, which all Demonics love. (Except for me. That’s because I’m Asian, and they are Bohemian. Bohunks lurve the gravy. They crave it. They bitch when they can’t have any. Me, I can take it or leave it.) I made some of my fresh Brussels sprouts newly picked from the garden and sauteed them with garlic. It was a dish meant for royalty.

Ms. MiniD turned up her nose and said, “I don’t eat pork anymore.” When that happened, I don’t know. She did inform me that she now consumes guacamole. I pointed her to the avocados and told her to have at it. She left with her friend before dinner was ready, and didn’t come back until after I went to sleep.

The next day, Ms. MiniD slept in until noon. She left sometime in the afternoon with her friend, and returned later that night. My husband, the dear Mr. Demonic, could not sleep that night, so he woke up at 2 a.m. to go to the office. (If you saw his office, you would know that he needs many, many 2 a.m. wake up calls to clean up that disaster.) He informed me when he returned at a more decent hour of the morning that Ms. MiniD had male company, and “who was that guy?”

If you know me, you know that I am clueless, particularly when it comes to Ms. MiniD. The other child tells me everything, and this one lies like a rug. Mr. D said the two were awake but under a furry throw, implying that some adolescent hanky was being pankied. I said, “Didn’t you ask her who it was? Didn’t you ask what they were doing?” To which, he replied, “NO!” Mr. D plays the Denial Game to its fullest potential.

Ms. MiniD and her friend have been after my husband to take them snowboarding at the condo. My husband doesn’t snowboard (or ski, or snowmobile) but Ms. MiniD is Daddy’s Little Girl. (Yes, even though she is over 18.) And of course, you know me. I despise our Tundra winter with a passion that could illuminate several Christmas trees, and don’t like to go outside at all until the crocuses pop up.

The upside to all this is that Mr. D, Ms. MiniD, and her friend are now 200 miles away. Last night, I was able to work on my novel for five, uninterrupted, peaceful, gloriously quiet hours. Well, except for Grace the dog snoring at my feet.

The Demonics will be gone until Friday. I’d better take advantage of the peace and quiet and work quickly.

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November in a Nutshell, Continued

You can tell when Christmas (and the other religious holidays — I’m not knocking Jews or Africans) is coming up. That is because as soon as the blush on the Halloween pumpkin starts to pale, everyone comes out of the woodwork trying to sell you something.

(I should insert here what I did for Halloween. “Nothing.” We had tickets to the symphony where we heard Leon Fleisher play with TWO hands. Our box seat performance thus freed me from the obligation of buying candy and giving it to mostly drunken teenagers who drove into my neighborhood just for the occasion. Fleisher was wonderful, of course.)

Business is slow, and we are in the type of business where you don’t actually run after your customers and lay the heavy sales pitch on them. They call us asking for information, and then we are friendly and hopefully they will choose us. As of November 1st, however, the calls coming into the office from telemarketers has increased ten fold. They’re selling everything from health insurance to office products. The really annoying ones are those who claim to call from schools wanting us to put “advertising” into their sports flyers. We have the word “school” as part of the business name, so these people want to get chummy with what little money I have left.

Now, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I have kids, and they remarkably came out of the high school experience relatively unscathed. Both were part of the athletic department in some form or another. I know that in all my years as a parent, I’ve never seen the promotional materials these telemarketers mention that I can buy. Which is strange, because the kids’ school was one of the champ-een raisers of money that I’ve ever seen. You’d think that if they could make money with flyers, they would have tried it by now.

No, really these shills are telemarketers, calling me from beautiful southern states that are basking in sunlit ecstacy. They are not calling from the school on the other side of the state that is already experiencing lake effect snow. (No snow here yet, thank the Lord.) How can I tell? Well, it could be that sugary southern drawl that gives it away. Or the noise of 50 other people calling other schmucks in the same room.

I also love the telemarketers who are obviously calling from India, and the first thing out of their mouth is “Hi, my name is Steve…” (or Mary or Susan or Anthony) in an accent so thick that I can barely make out what is being said. The best way around telemarketers is to ask if they would like to leave a message. Of course, they don’t want to leave a message. If I ask for a copy of one of these flyers, they take my name and address. I have yet to see a sample, and I’ve been sitting here for years.

Another sign of impending holidays is the rapid accumulation of catalogs in my mail. I receive six or seven inches worth every day. Why, I don’t know, because I rarely buy anything these days, and I’m certainly not going to buy anything for Christmas, I’ve already warned my family. I’ve tried to have them stopped, but the last time I called, I received double the amount from the same store. I think they are multiplying like rabbits. My husband accuses me of the deforestation of the planet and the thinning of the ozone, but what can I do?

Ditto with the email barrage. Instead of personal messages, I get a hundred or so emails from stores that want my business. In fact, it’s so hot and heavy, these email are crowding out my usual messages about enlarging my penis and helping some Nigerian in London get his 50 million dollars. I sort of miss those stupid mailings.

I’m not a religious person, per se, but I feel like I’m a spiritual one anyway. I’m a fallen Catholic, so I’m not supposed to have the sacraments, which is kind of odd. How does the church know if I’ve fallen or not? Anyway, the entire Christmas experience has morphed into a consumer free-for-all, and it’s worse now than it’s ever been. Doesn’t anyone want my love???

So we made a decision. We aren’t going to participate anymore. At least not the indiscriminate spending. Besides, we can’t afford to.

Because of this, Christmas chaos has not come to the Demonic Family, thus insuring a stress free November and December.

Getting What You Want For Christmas

Christmas this year was glorious! It’s the reason why I haven’t been online much in the last few days. I’ve been so blessed, because I got what I really wanted for Christmas.

My son and his girlfriend came home early Sunday morning. Even though they made the trip by red-eye from the West Coast, they decided to stay up and drink three pots of coffee and visit with us instead of going to bed. They make a very cute couple, and it’s interesting to see him being so loving and kind with her.

Christmas Eve, we had a rib roast, and on Christmas Eve night, we waited for my daughter and her boyfriend to come back from his house before opening our gifts. There was a lot of silliness and playfulness involved between us all. Christmas Day, I made a turkey dinner with all the accompaniments, and that night we all sat down to dinner; me, my husband, my daughter, her boyfriend, my son and his girlfriend. Later, we gathered in the family room and watched a movie together.

This kind of familial happiness is all I wanted for Christmas. Like a classic Norman Rockwell painting, we all came together and enjoyed one another’s company. In fact, this all I want for any other time of the year.

Last year, Christmas seemed bleak without my son, and the house felt empty and cold. This year, with him home and new faces added to the mix, the house feels alive and more like a home.

Some material things lose their sparkle over time, and some will break and become obsolete. Some things won’t fit after a few years, and some are just hollow representations of friendship and love. There are many things given and taken during Christmas that no one will remember by the time the next Christmas rolls around.

What really lasts are pleasant memories of warm exchanges and loving embraces, of waggish banter and humorous antics. All of us will remember this Christmas long after the garbageman hauls away the empty boxes and crushed paper.

My Son is Coming Home Tomorrow Morning!

There’s not a whole lot more I can say about that. We’re really excited! He hasn’t been home in a year and a half, having written off his native city and state for his new city and state.

Also, in tow will be his Japanese exchange student girlfriend. She’s excited too.

I have already emailed him to say that they will officially be in separate bedrooms. This is because my daughter is only 17 and I don’t want her crabbing about how I condone their normally shared sleeping arrangement. (I don’t, but they are adults and she is not.) I did let him know that as long as they are discreet, I don’t really care what they do.

Now, for the last minute things to do that I didn’t have time for this week!