[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
normally, i’m all about the christmas. i dig on the decorations. i dig on the music. i dig on being with my family. i dig on a charlie brown christmas. i even dig on nestor, the long-eared christmas donkey. but, most of all, i dig on christmas gifts. actually, what i really dig on is christmas shopping.
every year, i spend hours poring over websites, catalogs, racks and bins, looking for just the right gift for everyone on my list. i use a soon-to-be-patented-color-coded-matrix-based system. i love it. i find it fun, relaxing and, usually, rewarding.
but, this year…well, this year, it’s gonna be a different story.
this year, i am b-r-o-k-e. broke. as in flat-busted-no-money-having-gubment-cheese-eatin’ broke. i don’t really know how this happened. well, i do know how this happened, but i prefer to act as though i have no clue.
i decided over the weekend that, just because a gal is broke, doesn’t mean she can’t give terrific gifts to everyone on my list! that’s the holiday spirit, right? right! i figured i’d just make all the gifts this year! that would make them more special anyway, right? right! damn, this is a fucking fabulous idea! i have no idea why i never did this before! actually, i know exactly why i never did this, but i prefer to act as though i have no clue.
i spent the past several days perusing various websites, looking for artsy-crafty-make-shit type projects that would result in fan-fucking-tabulous holiday gifts.
let me give you a rundown of some of the more scintillating things i found:
make your own lip balm kit: you must be kidding. if i wanted to give people lip balm, i could actually afford to buy that. from a store. made. already.
make your own soap kit: ditto.
make your own candles: see above.
make your own potpourri: yeah, my dad would love that.
make your own bath salts: ditto. plus, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
most of this stuff i found on martha stewart’s website. go figure. you know, i’ll be the first to admit that i’ve gotten some pretty good ideas from martha over the years. well, actually, from martha’s staff. but i think some of her “fans” are a wee bit nutty. it’s like some sort of cult.
i remember several years back, i read a letter in one of her magazines from a loyal reader. i wish i had cut it out and saved it so i could share all the details, but the gist of it is still with me. will always be with me.
[ed. note: yes, the synopsis you are about to read is true, to the best of my recollection. all the random, wacky stuff you read here on tequila mockingbird is true. yes, that includes the dust buster and the spilled grandpa story. i got a lot of emails on that one. what kind of sicko makes up a story like that? plus, if i was a sicko who could make up a story like that, i'd write for a living and quit my shitty job.]
the letter was from a woman who lived in alaska, as i recall. she was very excited because one of her local stations was going to air martha’s christmas-with-lots-of-food-but-none-of-my-family-‘cause-they-all-hate-me show. she got her vcr all set up, got a notebook and several pens so she could take copious notes, and settled in for the show. well, about that time, the power went out at her house. she was panicked, but remembered that her husband had a mini black-and-white television that he sometimes watched sports on. unfortunately, upon finding the mini-set, she discovered that the batteries were dead. luckily, the mini-set came with an adapter that would allow you to power the television through the cigarette lighter in your car. off to the garage went the marthaphile.
realizing that she couldn’t run the car’s engine, and, thus, the car’s heater, while it was in the garage, she piled on layers of clothing and jumped in the car and plugged in the set. guess wile e. coyote, super genius didn’t consider opening the garage door, or pulling the car out of the garage. too much work maybe. but, she’s gonna make a croquembouche. whatever.
so, there sits this woman in forty layers of wool, in her car, in her dark garage, with her notebooks and her pens, and she turns on the mini-set only to find that she gets next-to-impossible-to-watch reception. so, does our marthaphile finally give it up? hell, no. she goes inside and gets a wire coat hanger to fashion an antennae. it seems our intrepid marthaphile has been catching old macgyver eps. i hear macgyver is huge in alaska. could be a rumor...i don't know. anyway, she finds that the wire antennae gives her crystal clear reception if she loops it around her neck and holds the set in her hands. so, that’s what she did. first off, what possesses one to even try looping it around your neck? actually, there are like ten other things up to that point that could easily qualify for “first off.”
sitting in a garage in alaska with no heat, wearing forty layers of clothes, with a coat hanger wrapped around your neck so you can watch some bitch who would run you off of her property with a shotgun should you try to approach her to tell her how much you love her? make your own lip balm? croquemwhah?
so, after serious consideration, i am now abandoning my brilliant-for-about-two-seconds idea of making gifts, and will be presenting everyone on my list with $2 in mcdonald’s gift certificates. and blistex. 'cause, evidently, lip balm is a good thing.
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