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Humor May 2016

The Old Gal

Tis the Season

By Anne Ashley

I don’t write about seasonal celebrations because I never know whether Easter is coming or National Lumpy Rug Day is going (FYI: Tuesday May 3rd). It’s all too much and I can’t keep up.

I’m often asked why I don’t write about seasonal events or occasions and the answer is simple. Because, not only do I not know what season or occasion it is now, I stand no chance of knowing what season or occasion is coming and writing about it! What’s worse is the merging of holiday accessories in stores. It’s enough to make you lose track of the time of year, let alone the appropriate festivity.

Plus, this crazy weather we’re having isn’t helping. His Royal Highness dusted off the mower, primed the lawn for a brutal aerating and washed down the garden chairs, ready to enjoy our 70-degree heat wave – only to have Mother Nature dump over 20 inches of snow on us two days later!  Choosing to get dressed this time of year can be tricky too (not to mention, entertaining). I spotted a woman walking her dog wearing a hooded winter coat, shorts and galoshes. Somewhere in her world there’s a pair of snow-trousers, flip-flops and gloves waiting for summer!

Just recently, I went to get paper plates – but from the front of the grocery store to the dairy counter, I had to wade through what seemed like a holiday theme park! I was offered green leprechaun trimmings, boxes of candied Easter bunny chicken eggs, Mother’s Day favors, patriotic flags for whatever patriotic event is looming, and I swear I saw Halloween masks … although I could have been hallucinating from ornamental overload by that time.

After all that, I should have known what I was in for when I asked the aproned lass at the deli counter where the paper plates were and she inquired, “for what occasion?” I replied, “lunch.”

When it was obvious from the confused look on her face that I hadn’t made my needs clear, I further offered, “today’s lunch?” That must have done it because the youngster unfurrowed her youngster brow and invited me to follow her until we arrived at what can only be described as paper plate paradise. Every occasion from St Valentine’s day to Christmas to children’s birthday parties had a celebratory package of plates and accompanying celebratory cup, napkin and plastic spoon, knife and fork available. I didn’t have the heart to look for the generic version of what I’d come for or to go in search of another helpful assistant so I settled on a package of 4th of July plates and resolved that I’d come up with a good reason for returning home with stars and stripes in March on my way home!

Furthermore, how are we supposed to enjoy our decorations when the next occasion’s paraphernalia is being thrust at us before we’ve even removed our newly purchased packaging? I hardly had time to arrange my glittering, green, four-leaf clovers, inflate the giant lawn-leprechaun and bake my green cookies to commemorate an event that used to rate no more than a green item of clothing on the day, before I saw that the next occasion’s ornaments were already on clearance sale! Clearance? They were only put on the store shelves that morning!  It’s enough to make you neurotic.

I’m sure there are decoration devotees who can adorn their homes with twinkling lights, waving flags, strobing characters and dancing leprechauns like Martha Stewart on a conveyor belt but I’m more like Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, struggling with a crisis because I don’t know the meaning of, well, anything, anymore. Not only did it take me forever to decide where our tree would go each Christmas but I could never remember where the string of lights, baubles and bags of tinsel from last year were. Every January I promised to be more organized by the next September when Christmas season started all over again, but then, of course, by the time I was taking down the tree to make room for the New Year’s Eve glitter ball, I’d be in such a flurry that I’d screw everything into a tight ball and shove it all back into the box, vowing to tend to it “later.” Later = next Christmas!  

Incidentally, one of the many, many, many things about me that frustrated my long-suffering husband was that I never just positioned the tree where I had it last year. First, I’d rearrange the furniture a dozen times before I’d throw in the towel and inevitably stand it in the same place as always. Every year from December 1st to January 1st, he’d suffer bruises from a chair leg moved three inches that way, stubbed toes from the couch and coffee table moved four inches this way, only to end up sacrificing wide-screen holiday programs as usual because the tree will only fit right where the television is. It might be more half-screen than wide-screen but it’s not like he doesn’t know how Die Hard is going to end.

Anyway, it’s all a moot point now because we finally compromised. I don’t move, erect or adorn anything Christmassy and he lets me turn on the cable network fireplace for three hours a day during the Yuletide season – so long as it’s turned off in time for Rambo, First Blood!  

I don’t write about seasonal celebrations because I never know whether Easter is coming or National Lumpy Rug Day is going (FYI: Tuesday May 3rd). It’s all too much and I can’t keep up.

So, much like the Christmas concession I made to the husband, I’m throwing all my decorations out and only celebrating National Run It Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day (FYI: typically, January 2nd) and be done with all the anxiety of wading through displays, tables and shelves of everything from trees to decorate to blinking outdoor Easter lights before they’re on clearance. 

I’m also making up my own modest ornament for NRIUTFASIASD – it’s a gin & tonic!


Be sure to follow me on twitter@anneashley57.

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